(THE SUN) — The captain of the Titanic may have been under the influence of alcohol when the liner hit an iceberg, according to a never-seen-before letter.

Survivor Emily Richards claimed she saw Captain Edward Smith drinking in the saloon bar of the ship in the run-up to the disaster.

The history books record the white-whiskered skipper attending a first class dinner party a few hours before the collision and then retiring to his cabin.

He was woken just before midnight and was last seen alive on the bridge after making the heroic decision to go down with his ship.

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