Photo Of The Day

Capt. A.H. Rostron with Mrs. J.J. Brown, a Survivor of TITANIC. Rostron receiving a "loving cup" from Margaret Brown for his rescue of Titanic survivors in 1912.

Capt. A.H. Rostron with Mrs. J.J. Brown, a Survivor of TITANIC. Rostron receiving a “loving cup” from Margaret Brown for his rescue of Titanic survivors in 1912.

Carpathia Arrives….

Titanic Survivors Are Rescued

The Carpathia was on its regular route between New York City and Fiume Austria-Hungary (now Rijeka, Croatia), when, early on 15 April 1912, she received a distress signal from the White Star Line ocean liner RMS Titanic, which had struck an iceberg and was sinking.The Captain Arthur Henry Rostron was asleep when Carpathia’s wireless operator, Harold Cottam, contacted Titanic at 12:15 am to relay regular private party wireless traffic from Cape Race. The sinking Titanic, which had struck an iceberg approximately an hour before, replied with a distress message and call for help.

An Eye Witness on the Carpathia tells his story:

One of the passengers on the Carpathia bound for London was Dr. Stanton Coit.

At 5:30 Monday morning, our bedroom steward reported that the ship had stopped to rescue the passengers from the Titanic, which had sunk the night before. I hurried on deck, saw great icebergs about, and looking over the railing, saw some fifteen rowboats approaching us, full chiefly of women.

These were drawn up on board and passed us by, most of them so stiff with cold and wet that they could not walk without being supported. Soon the tragic news spread among us that some fifteen hundred people had been drowned, and for the most part only women had been saved. My first and lasting impression was the inward calm and self poise–not self-control, for there was no effort or self-consciousness–on the part of those who had been saved.

I said to one woman, whose dress, but not her face, betrayed that she was one of those who had undergone tragic experiences: “You were on the Titanic?” She answered, “Yes, and I saw my husband go down.” The only hysteria displayed was after the physicians had administered brandy to the half-frozen sufferers. The people struck me not as being stunned and crushed, but as lifted into an atmosphere of vision where self-centered suffering merges into some mystic meaning.

Every one reported a magnificent self-possession of the husbands when parted from their wives. Many related the cases of women who had to be forced from their husbands. Touching beyond words was the gratitude toward those of us who gave clothes and our staterooms.

More magnificent was the calm of the clear dawn was the unconsciousness of any personal horror, or need to pity, on the part of those who related how they had met their fate. One youth of seventeen told, as if it had been an incident of every-day life, that he was hurled from the deck and that as he found himself sinking he took a deep breath. When he came up and found that he was again to be drawn under, he thought it would be well again to breathe deep. Upon rising the second time, he said, he saw the upturned bottom of a canvas boat. To this he clung until he was rescued.

One woman in one boat insisted that they should row back and rescue eight men clinging to wreckage, although the oarsmen feared the suction of the great steamer might endanger their lives and the eight were thus rescued.

My feeling is that in the midst of all this horror human nature never manifested itself as greater or tenderer. We were all one, not only with one another, but with the cosmic being that for all time had seemed so cruel.

On board the Carpathia there was much discussion as to the possible culpability of the captain of the Titanic, but there was no judgement offered, and the feeling, I believe, grew upon us that only wrongs were the insufficient number of lifeboats and the full speed of the Titanic, and that even this great sacrifice of innocent life and happiness would have been counted by each sufferer worth making if it would help to put an end in the future to the sacrifice to commercial interests of the infinitely precious life of those we love. But I return again to what I say was my first and abiding impression–the self-poise that is so because the human soul is not self-centred.

One young woman with whom I talked was so calm and full of stories of the heroism and the suffering of others that I said: “How fortunate that you lost no friends!” Then for the first time her face changed, and, with tears streaming down her cheeks, she said: “My brother, who was my only living relative, went down before my eyes. He scorned to disobey the discipline, so now I am alone.” My faith in the deeper meaning of things has been greatly strengthened by this wonderful experience.

Group of survivors of the Titanic disaster aboard the Carpathia after being rescued.

Group of survivors of the Titanic disaster aboard the Carpathia after being rescued.

Titanic survivors onboard the Carpathia.

Titanic survivors onboard the Carpathia.

Capt. A.H. Rostron and under officers of "Carpathia".

Capt. A.H. Rostron and under officers of “Carpathia”.

Photo: Library of Congress. Steamship CARPATHIA - bow view with 2 tugboats at bow.

Photo: Library of Congress. Steamship CARPATHIA – bow view with 2 tugboats at bow.

The RMS Carpathia arrived an hour after the RMS Titanic sunk to her watery grave. Her rockets were spotted by those in the lifeboats at three thirty that morning.

The RMS Carpathia was owned by the Cunard Line. Her maiden voyage was on May 5, 1903. {She would be Torpedoed off Ireland by German submarine on July 17, 1918}. She left New York City on April 11, 1912 and was sailing towards Fiume, Austria-Hungary {now Rijeka, Croatia} on April 14, 1912.

Harold Cottam was the Carpathia wireless operator. He missed the initial Titanic SOS messages because he was on deck. When he returned Cape Race, Newfoundland told him of the CQD/SOS messages and he then received Titanic’s distress signal. He awakened Captain Rostron who immediately set sail for Titanic. They were fifty-eight miles away from the sinking vessel.

Captain Arthur Henry Rostron was given the command of the RMS Carpathia on January 18, 1912. He went to sea when he was thirteen years old. In January 1895 he joined the Cunard Line. In 1912 Captain Rostron and RMS Carpathiamade regular trips from New York City to Fiume, Italy. Headed to Europe the vessel carried a large number of tourist. On the return trip to New York City the steamer would carry emigrants.

This was the first disaster Captain Rostron responded to. However, he spared no effort or cost. He ordered that his lifeboats be swung out, all gangway doors opened, stewards to keep passengers and survivors separate, blankets prepared, extra rooms and the library and smoking rooms prepared, soup and hot drinks ready, rope ladders and extra chairs used to bring the survivors on board, pursers to gather names and stewards to see after the survivors, and the doctor summoned. He clearly rose to the challenge and acted in a timely and professional manner.

Rostron immediately ordered the ship to race towards Titanic’s reported position, posting extra lookouts to help spot and manoeuvre around the ice he knew to be in the area. Only after ordering Carpathia ‘turned to’ toward the disaster scene did he confirm with Cottam if he was sure about Titanic’s distress call. About 58 nautical miles (93 km) separated Carpathia from Titanic’s position. Rostron and his engineering crew, led by Chief Engineer A. B. Jones, skilfully obtained the maximum speed possible from the engines of Carpathia, coaxing her up to 17.5 knots — three and a half faster than her rated speed. Even so, Carpathia, travelling through dangerous ice floes, took about 3½ hours to reach Titanic’s radioed position.

Understanding the severity of the situation, Captain Rostron ordered all heat sources to be cut off. This allowed the boilers to work faster, build more power and produce more steam. This could have been very dangerous with so much ice and he understood this, posting additional lookouts.

During this time Rostron had the ship prepared for the survivors, including getting blankets, food, and drinks ready, and ordering his medical crew to stand by to receive the possibly injured survivors. Altogether, 23 orders from Rostron to his crew were successfully implemented before Carpathia had even arrived at the scene of the disaster and Rostron highly praised his crew for their efficiency in his report to line management. Rostron was a pious man: issuing orders, he often raised a hand to his cap and closed his eyes in prayer. Speaking of the risk taken by running through dense ice at speed at night, he is reported to have said “I can only conclude another hand than mine was on the helm.”

The Carpathia arrived at the scene at four o’clock in the morning. The Captain and crew were met with a scene of the vast ocean and nothing else upon reaching the given concordance of the Titanic’s location. Captain Rostrom testified they were met with “only a sea covered with wreckage and debris”. He ordered the engines stopped as the crew searched for life. Finally someone pointed out a flare from a lifeboat in the distance.

The passengers on Carpathia were stunned by the scene that greeted them the morning of Monday, April 15, 1912. One passenger described it as “fields of ice on which, like points on the landscape, rested innumerable pyramids of ice.”

On board Carpathia was Charles H. Marshall, whose three nieces were travelling aboard the Titanic. {All three women survived and were surprised to find their uncle upon being rescued}.

Lifeboat number two was the first to be rescued at 4:10am. She was under the command of Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall. Elizabeth Walton Allen was the first passenger to be brought aboard Carpathia. She confirmed to the crew that Titanic had indeed sunk.

As passengers were brought on board many were in shock or sobbing, while others quietly reflected on the events of that night. Many were still under the impression that their loved ones had been saved and rescued.

The rescue effort took over four hours. Survivors were brought aboard by a variety of means such as climbing rope ladders, slings, chairs and children hoisted up in mail sacks.

The last lifeboat to reach the Carpathia was number twelve. There were seventy-four people on board, including Office Lightoller, who was the last to board the vessel. Some of the boats had been adrift for eight hours. All ofTitanic survivors were on the Carpathia by nine o’clock that morning.

On board the Carpathia survivors looked for their loved ones. A few had joyful scenes of being reunited, but most saw their hopes dashed as their loved ones failed to appear and reality began to sink in. After being rescued all of the survivors were inspected by a doctor and given food and drink.

The final count onboard the Carpathia was 705 survivors out of 2223 that had started the Southhampton to New York voyage.

After everyone was on board Captain Rostron held a service and moment of silence over the disaster site for those lost at sea.

Due to insufficient resources, Captain Rostrom decided to return to New York instead of continuing on to Europe.

The California arrived at the site of the disaster at 8:30am. Hearing of the sinking she worked her way through the ice to be of assistance. Finding no other survivors she then continued on to Boston.

Titanic’s wireless operator, Harold Bride, was taken to Carpathia’s wireless room where he worked with Harold Cottam. The men did not leave the room and worked transmit a list of survivors names and personal messages to relatives. The men even refused to answer a request from President Taft, requesting information on his military advisor Archibald Butt.

“One of the messages that the New York White Star line did receive from theCarpathia confirming the disaster is as follows:

Steamship Carpathia, April 17, 1912 (via Halifax)
Deeply regret advise you Titanic sank this morning, after collision iceberg, resulting serious loss life. Further particulars later. Bruce Ismay. 

 This was received by Mr. Franklin at the White Star office in New York at 9 a.m. on April 17. Two days after the sinking. This gives you an idea of how slow news was traveling.”

Now the passengers and survivors aboard Carpathia had nothing to do but wait to reach New York.

Group of survivors of the Titanic disaster aboard the Carpathia after being rescued.

Group of survivors of the Titanic disaster aboard the Carpathia after being rescued.

TITANIC life boats on way to CARPATHIA. Library of Congress.

TITANIC life boats on way to CARPATHIA. Library of Congress.

Paqssengers on the deck of Carpathia, circa 1914. Unconnected to the Titanic disaster.

Passengers on the deck of Carpathia, circa 1914. Unconnected to the Titanic disaster.

Photo: Library of Congress.Welcome committee: Survivors were met in New York by distraught friends and family.

Photo: Library of Congress.Welcome committee: Survivors were met in New York by distraught friends and family.

Captain Arthur Henry Rostron, of the Carpathia. Rostron won wide praise for his energetic efforts to reach the Titanic before she sank, and his efficient preparations for and conduct of the rescue of the survivors.

Captain Arthur Henry Rostron, of the Carpathia. Rostron won wide praise for his energetic efforts to reach the Titanic before she sank, and his efficient preparations for and conduct of the rescue of the survivors.

Lost boys: The pair were reunited with mother Marcelle when she sailed to New York City after seeing the newspaper articles about them - which included their photographs.Photo: Library of Congress.

Lost boys: The pair were reunited with mother Marcelle when she sailed to New York City after seeing the newspaper articles about them – which included their photographs.Photo: Library of Congress.

Michel and Edmond Navratil must have felt a sense of relief when they finally made it on to the last lifeboat to be successfully launched from the sinking Titanic.

Despite their tender years, the brothers – aged just four and two – would have been aware of the terror and hysteria that had engulfed those still trapped on the stricken vessel.

They were placed on the lifeboat by their father – but it was the last time they ever saw him. The boys became known as ‘Louis and Lola’ – the only children to be rescued from the Titanic without a parent or guardian.

After placing them on the lifeboat, their father died during the sinking. They were among the 700 passengers picked up by the Carpathia.
Michel later claimed to remember his father telling him: ‘My child, when your mother comes for you, as she surely will, tell her that I loved her dearly and still do.

‘Tell her I expected her to follow us, so that we might all live happily together in the peace and freedom of the New World.’

The youngsters, who were French, spoke no English and they were unable to identify themselves to rescuers.

As a result, a French-speaking passengers called Margaret Hays cared for the brothers until their mother was traced.
A number of newspaper articles about the boys – which included the publication of their photographs – eventually led to their mother, Marcelle, being traced.

She sailed to New York City and was finally reunited with her boys on May 16, 1912 – one month and one day after they made it off the Titanic alive.

One could only imagine the emotions their mother must have felt when she saw her sons, particularly as their father had covertly boarded the Titanic with the boys so the three of them could start a new life in America – without Marcelle.

The boys’ parents had separated in early 1912 and Marcelle was awarded full custody of the children. However, she allowed her sons to stay with their father over the Easter weekend and he instead decided to emigrate to the United States.

The three travelled to England following a brief stay in Monte Carlo before boarding the doomed ship.

In later life, Michel recalled his memories of the Titanic as a ‘magnificent ship’.

Through a translation he said: ‘I remember looking down the length of the hull – the ship looked splendid. My brother and I played on the forward deck and were thrilled to be there.

‘One morning, my father, my brother, and I were eating eggs in the second-class dinning room. The sea was stunning. My feeling was one of total and utter well-being.

‘I don’t recall being afraid, I remember the pleasure, really, of going plop! into the life-boat. We ended up next to the daughter of an American banker who managed to save her dog – no one objected.

‘There were vast differences of people’s wealth on the ship, and I realised later that if we hadn’t been in second-class, we’d have died. The people who came out alive often cheated and were aggressive; the honest didn’t stand a chance.’

Carpathia’s wireless operator, Harold Cottam, had missed previous messages from the Titanic, as he was on the bridge at the time. He then received messages from Cape Race, Newfoundland, stating they had private traffic for Titanic. He thought he would be helpful and at 12:11 a.m. on 15 April sent a message to Titanic stating that Cape Race had traffic for them. In reply he received Titanic’s distress signal. Cottam awakened Captain Arthur Henry Rostron, who immediately checked the ship’s position which he calculated as 41° 10′ N, 49° 12′ W. Rostron ordered a course at maximum speed (17 kn (20 mph; 31 km/h)) to Titanic’s last known position, approximately 58 mi (93 km) away.

Rostron ordered the ship’s heating and hot water cut off in order to make as much steam as possible available for the engines, succeeding in going 3.5 knots faster than the ship’s rated top speed (a speed it would never reach again in its career). At full speed it took the Carpathia four hours to reach Titanic, while Titanic only stayed afloat for two hours and sank before Carpathia arrived, claiming the lives of 1,523 of her passengers and crew. At 4:00 a.m., Carpathia arrived at the scene, after working her way through dangerous ice fields, and took on 705 survivors of the disaster from Titanic’s lifeboats. By 9:00, the last survivor had been picked up, and Rostron gave the order to depart for New York. Carpathia arrived in port on 18 April.

For their rescue work, the crew of Carpathia were awarded medals by the survivors. Crew members were awarded bronze medals, officers silver, and Captain Rostron a silver cup and a gold medal, presented by Margaret Brown. Rostron was knighted by King George V, was later a guest of President Taft at the White House, where he was presented with a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honour the United States Congress could confer upon him.

During the First World War, Carpathia was used to transfer Canadian and American troops to Europe. She was used as a troopship by the Canadian Expeditionary Force. At least some of her voyages were in convoy, sailing from New York through Halifax to Liverpool and Glasgow. Among her passengers during the war years was Frank Buckles, who went on to become the last surviving American veteran of the war.

On 15 July 1918, Carpathia departed Liverpool in a convoy bound for Boston. On the summer morning of 17 July she was torpedoed, at 9:15, in the Celtic Sea by the German submarine U-55. Of the two torpedoes initially fired at the ship, one impacted the port side while the other penetrated the engine room, killing two firemen and three trimmers. As Carpathia began to settle by the head and list to port, Captain William Prothero gave the order to abandon ship. All 57 passengers (36 saloon class and 21 steerage) and 218 surviving crew members boarded the lifeboats as the vessel sank. U-55 surfaced and fired a third torpedo into the ship and was approaching the lifeboats when the Azalea-class sloop HMS Snowdrop arrived on the scene and drove away the submarine with gunfire before picking up the survivors from Carpathia.

Carpathia sank at 11:00 AM at a position recorded by Snowdrop as 49.25 N 10.25 W, approximately 120 mi (190 km) west of Fastnet.

THE RESCUED: BY AN EYE-WITNESS ON THE CARPATHIA

Carpathia And The Rescue – Titanic-Titanic.com

Arthur Rostron – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Arthur Henry Rostron : Captain of RMS Carpathia

Carpathia | ship | Britannica.com

RMS Carpathia : Cunard Line – Titanic Rescue Ship

Carpathia’s Role in Titanic’s Rescue – The Maritime Executive

 


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