Letter predicting Titanic was 'cursed' up for auction

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A letter in which a steward aboard Titanic chillingly predicted that the liner was cursed by 'bad luck', is up for auction.

In a hand-written note which was sent days before the doomed liner sank, shipsman Arthur Paintin, who was the Captain's steward, confided that he was worried a near-collision the Titanic had when it left port was a bad omen.

Shockingly, he also told his parents in England that he expected to be away at sea all summer 'bar accidents'. Paintin was last seen on the bridge of the Titanic standing next to Captain Edward Smith, moments before the liner sank after hitting an iceberg in 1912, the Sun reported.

Three days before the disaster, when the ship had docked at Queenstown, Paintin took the opportunity to post the letter to his parents in Oxford. The letter is tipped to raise 36,000 pounds when it is auctioned at the weekend. In the letter he warned of how the Titanic may have been followed by bad luck associated with her sister ship Olympic, which had accidentally collided with a battleship the year before.

"We have now commenced the quick voyages all the summer (bar accidents). I say that because the Olympic's bad luck seems to have followed us," he had said in the letter. He then gave a detailed account of how the Titanic and a liner called the New York nearly collided at Southampton on April 10. In a well-documented incident, the New York slipped her moorings under the pressure of Titanic's suction, causing it to drift towards the 'unsinkable' ship.

The letter has been handed down through Paintin's family over the last 100 years and is now being sold at auction by one of his direct descendants. Also being sold is an unpublished photo of the steward which has been made available by the family. Paintin, from Southampton, was aged 29 when he was transferred onto Titanic for its maiden voyage to New York on April 10, 1912.

His job was to be at the beck and call of the white-whiskered captain who famously chose to go down with the ship when it sank during the early hours of April 15, 1912, with the loss of 1,522 lives. The auction takes place this Saturday.

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