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Charles Herbert Lightoller, DSC & Bar, RD, RNR (30 March 1874 – 8 December 1952) was the second officer on board the RMS Titanic and a decorated Royal Navy officer. He was the most senior member of the crew to survive the Titanic disaster.
As the officer in charge of loading passengers into lifeboats on the port side, Lightoller strictly enforced the "women and children first" protocol, not allowing any male passengers to board the lifeboats unless they were needed as auxiliary seamen.
Lightoller stayed until the last, was sucked against a grate and held under water, but then was blown from the grate by a rush of warm air as a boiler exploded. He found refuge on an upturned collapsible boat with 30 others, showing his fellow survivors how to shift their weight to avoid being swamped, until their rescue at dawn.
Charles discovered his first shipwreck when he was 15 in 1889, He also led the men before and after the Titanic disaster. Lightoller served as an officer of the Royal Navy during World War I, and while commanding HMS Garry, rammed and sank the German U-Boat UB-110, for which he was decorated for gallantry.
The captain of UB-110 later claimed that some of the German survivors were massacred by Lightoller's crew, an allegation never officially substantiated. In his 1935 memoir 'Titanic and Other Ships', Lightoller wrote of the incident that he "refused to accept the hands-up business", but did not go into further detail on the matter.
Later, in retirement, he further distinguished himself in World War II, by providing and sailing as a volunteer on one of the "little ships" that played a part in the Dunkirk evacuation.
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