Stengel, Mr. Charles Emil Henry
Passenger: 1st Class
18 Nov 1857
Newark, New Jersey, USA
19 Apr 1914
New Jersey, USA
Stengel was no stranger to transatlantic travel and he boarded Titanic with his wife Mrs. Annie May Stengel as first class passengers at Cherbourg.
On the night of the disaster Stengels and his wife were in their cabin, his wife woke him from his dream and it was at that moment they felt a slight jar. When the engines stopped they were alarmed, so got dressed rapidly and headed to the deck. They were among the first to reach the boat deck and he put his wife on lifeboat 5. Stengler strolled along the deck and saw Murdoch preparing lifeboat 1. He noticed it was relatively empty and asked if he could join the occupants. "Jump in" replied the First Officer. Mr. Stengel's attempt to board was a little undignified as he mounted a railing and rolled into the boat. The officer apparently exclaimed "that is the funniest sight I have seen tonight!"
“We had difficulty in lowering the boat, and it was by the merest chance that we were not all dumped out into the sea, as its painter stuck so we had to cut it with a knife in order to loosen the boat and permit ourselves to be lowered to the water.
Other boats were not half full. They did not seem to be filled to more than half their capacity. Some were too confident and others were too cowardly to forsake the big ship at that time and enter the small boats. There were three boats that kept together all the time until we were rescued. One of them had a green light and we followed.
All of a sudden we saw a light in the distance and we rowed toward it, believing that it was a ship, but when within 200 feet of it we discovered that it was an iceberg that reflected the Northern lights. Disheartened at this discovery we changed our course. All this time the Titanic was in sight. Some of us believed that dawn would see us back on her deck. We did not believe for a minute that she would sink." - Newark Evening Star, 19 April 1912
Stengler streneously rejected the claims of inappropriate behaviour by Lord Cosmo Duff-Gordon on the lifebaot and made it clear he felt the crew behaved inappropriately.
The married couple were reunited on the Carpathia and Stengler gave evidence at the US inquiry. He would not live much longer though and died of pnuemonia a little more than two years later. His wife claimed the shock of that night is what caused his death.