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5 curious little-known facts about the ship that saved the passengers of the Titanic: "Carpathia" rushes to the rescue
5 curious little-known facts about the ship that saved the passengers of the Titanic: "Carpathia" rushes to the rescue

One of the largest maritime disasters in history occurred 100 years ago - the sinking of the Titanic. The ship sank after hitting an iceberg. Quite a lot has been written about this terrible tragedy, there are a lot of documentaries and feature films. The name of the shipwrecked giant has long become a household name. In this case, somehow behind the scenes there is always the only ship that came to the Titanic to help. Learn five facts about the RMS Carpathia that saved the survivors of the Titanic disaster.

1. The career of the captain of "Carpathia" after that went uphill

The future captain Rostron was born in Bolton in the northwest of England in 1869. Arthur Henry Rostron was not so famous at the time. Many newspapers mistakenly wrote his name as "Rostrom". He spent almost his entire life at sea. Arthur began his career as a sailor at the age of 17, after graduating from the naval school. After serving on various ships, including barges and iron clippers, Rostron joined the Cunard Line in 1895. He soon became the fourth officer on the RMS Umbria. He then served on other Cunard ships and rose to the rank of first officer. After that he became a captain. Rostron took command of the Karpatia in 1905.

Arthur Henry Rostron

After the shipwreck of the Titanic happened, real glory came to Rostron. All thanks to his legendary heroic actions to rescue survivors. After that, the captain testified during the investigation of the British Chamber of Commerce, traveled to the United States to speak in the Senate. The Congress awarded Rostron with a gold medal. Rostron continued his career as a sea captain. He commanded such illustrious ships as Mauritania and Lusitania. In 1928 he was appointed Commodore of the Cunard Line fleet. In 1919, Commodore Rostron was awarded the Order of the British Empire, and in 1926 he became Sir Arthur, Knight of the Order of the British Empire.

Legendary "Carpathia"

2. The most prestigious captain in the history of the Cunard Line Company was a firm believer in the sea serpent

Captain Rostron was not shy about his passion for cryptozoology, the study of creatures whose existence has not been proven by science. Arthur Rostron claimed to have once seen a sea serpent. He later wrote about this in detail in his memoirs "House by the Sea". It happened off the coast of Ireland. Rostron noticed an object in the water and warned his junior officer to stay away from him. The same one gradually approached and Rostron claims that they were able to see him well. It was a real sea monster!

Arthur was terribly saddened that they did not have a camera at hand. Rostron tried to sketch what he saw. “I didn’t get a clear view of the sea serpent, but we were close enough to realize that its head was about three meters above the water and its neck was very thin,” he wrote. Rostron never renounced these assertions. This did not hinder career growth in any way. Today's airline pilots reporting UFO sightings are not so lucky.

3. Preparing the captain to rescue the passengers of the Titanic was simply a masterpiece of multitasking

The sinking of the Titanic

From the moment Captain Rostron was informed of the Titanic disaster, every order he gave was aimed at getting to the shipwreck site as quickly as possible. At the same time, he carefully prepared his own ship to receive the survivors and provide them with the necessary assistance. The maximum speed for the "Carpathia" was about 14, 5 knots, but Rostron was able, with the help of additional stokers, to accelerate the ship to 17 knots. The captain even ordered a reduction in the ship's heating system so that more steam could be sent to the engines.

"Karpatia" rushes to the rescue

The extra speed was associated with a significant degree of danger. "Carpathia" on the way had to dodge icebergs more than once. Much later Rostron admitted that the safety of his crew and passengers "depended on a sudden turn of the wheel." As the ship performed filigree maneuvers, Rostron gave many orders. He understood how much the survival of the passengers of the stricken Titanic depended on this. The captain ordered the launch of his ship's lifeboats in case they were needed. He assigned three doctors to specific areas to provide medical care. Rostron personally oversaw the arrangement of the places on the ship, where blankets and hot drinks will be provided to the survivors while they recover from the horror they experienced.

Everything was prepared to receive the survivors

The captain also made sure that chair holders and other devices were installed in the gangway for lifting children and the wounded aboard. These efforts did not go unnoticed by the surviving passengers of the Titanic. When Carpathia was on its way to New York with 705 rescued, a committee was formed to include the unsinkable Molly Brown. The committee started organizing fundraising for crew bonuses. Later, each sailor from the Carpathia will receive a commemorative medal from the grateful group of survivors.

Boats with passengers on the Titanic

4. The Titanic was not the first ship to send an emergency message, reporting its distress to the Carpathia and other ships

By 1912, many ships had wireless communications equipment. It was intended mainly for the convenience of passengers who wanted to send a message ashore. After the Titanic disaster, all ocean-going ships were equipped with wireless communications and a sufficient number of lifeboats. However, before that, the additional radio operators on board the ocean liners were not even crew members.

Reporters try to interview Titanic survivors

Guglielmo Marconi, the great pioneer of radio communications, attended the US Senate to hear evidence from Harold Bride. The young man was one of the wireless operators of the Titanic. Some of Bride's distress messages were intercepted by a young Russian immigrant named David Sarnoff on the rooftop of a Wanamaker department store in New York. Contrary to popular myth, the Titanic was not the first ship to send an SOS signal. These signals have been in use since 1908.

Early on, the radio operators of the stricken liner used the more common CQD message, indicating a distress. As precious time wore on, operators switched to the relatively new SOS call. It does not mean "save our ship", but is simply three letters that are easily transmitted and received. The signal cannot be misinterpreted: three dots, three dashes and three dots. The distress signal was received by several ships shortly after midnight on April 15, 1912. The Carpathia was the only ship to arrive four hours later.

Rescued aboard the Carpathia

5. "Carpathia" managed to successfully evade icebergs, but not from German torpedoes

The Carpathia spent twelve years at sea. Two years after the heroic rescue operation by Rostron, the ship was requisitioned by the British government. The ship began to be used as a warship during the First World War. On July 17, 1918, the Carpathia was part of a convoy bound for Boston. The convoy was attacked by a German submarine.

All 57 passengers on the ship escaped in lifeboats. Of the 223 crew members, only five died from the impact of three torpedoes, which ultimately sent the legendary ship to the bottom. For the next 82 years, "Carpathia" remained buried in her watery grave. The remains of the ship were discovered by a team led by writer Clive Cassler off the east coast of Ireland. Time and water have spared the "Carpathia". On board found only holes from the torpedoes that destroyed the ship.

Everything that concerns the "Titanic" is painted every minute; the heroism of the crew of the "Carpathia" is rarely mentioned

The legendary "Carpathia" is not often mentioned. There are a lot of studies, where the actions of the Titanic's crew are recreated every minute. Who did what, how and why, who did enough, and who did not. "Carpathia" is always in the shadows. Although the crew of this ship and its captain did the impossible to save the survivors. Read more about the disaster in our article. secrets of the sinking of the "Titanic": hidden reasons for the strange behavior of the crew and passengers during the tragedy.

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