was a Cunard Line transatlantic passenger steamship built by
Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson. Carpathia began its maiden
voyage in 1903 and became famous for rescuing the survivors
of RMS Titanic after it sank on 15 April 1912
The RMS Carpathia was built by Swan Hunter & Wigham
Richardson at their Newcastle, England shipyard. Launched on
6 August 1902 and began its sea trials on 22 April 1903
which ended on 25 April. Carpathia was 8,600 tons, 541 feet
long (164 m) and 64.5 feet (18 m) in breadth.
Carpathia made her maiden voyage on 5 May 1903 from
Liverpool, England to Boston, USA, and ran service between
New York, Trieste and various Mediterranean ports.
Carpathia docked in New York following the rescue of Titanic's survivors. The Carpathia was sailing east from New York
City bound for Gibraltar on the night of Sunday, 14 April
1912. Among her passengers were renowned American painter
Colin Campbell Cooper, his wife Emma, journalist Lewis P.
Skidmore, photographer Dr. Francis H. Blackmarr and Charles
H. Marshall, whose three nieces were traveling aboard the
Her wireless operator, Harold Cottam had missed previous
messages from the RMS Titanic, being on the bridge at the
time. He received messages from Cape Race stating that they
had private traffic for the Titanic. He thought he would be
helpful and sent a message to the Titanic stating that Cape
Race had traffic for them. In reply he received a distress
signal. Cottam awakened Captain Arthur Henry Rostron who
immediately set a course at maximum speed to Titanic's last
known position, approximately 58 miles away. Rostron ordered
the ship's heating and hot water to be cut off, so the
engines could feed on every ounce of steam. At 4 o'clock in
the morning, Carpathia arrived at the scene after working
her way through dangerous ice fields. Carpathia was able to
save 705 people.
Molly Brown (right) giving Captain Arthur Henry Rostron an
award for his service in the rescue of the TitanicFor the
rescue work, the crew of the Carpathia were awarded medals
by the survivors. Crew members were awarded bronze medals,
officers silver and Captain Rostron a silver cup and gold
medal, presented by Molly Brown. Rostron was later a guest
of President Taft at the White House and was presented with
a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor the United
States Congress could confer upon him.
Carpathia was part of a convoy when it was torpedoed on 17
July 1918 off the east coast of Ireland by German submarine
U-55. 157 passengers and the surviving crew were rescued by
the HMS Snowdrop the following day. The last sighting was at
02:45am, just as the stern section sank.
Finding and salvage works
On September 9,
1999, Reuters and AP wire services reported that Argosy
International Ltd., headed by Graham Jessop, son of
internationally known undersea explorer Keith Jessop, had
found the wreck of the Carpathia on the bottom of the
Atlantic Ocean earlier that week, about 185 miles off the
southwestern English coast. "She is in reasonably good
condition for a wreck of that age," Jessop said. "She is in
one piece, and she is upright."
The next year American author and diver Clive Cussler
announced that his organization, NUMA, had found the wreck
in the Spring of 2000, at a depth of 500ft. After the
submarine attack Carpathia rolled over and landed upside
down on the sea floor. It currently lies upside down off the
coast of Ireland.
The current owner of the vessel is Premier Exhibitions Inc.
(formerly RMS Titanic Inc.) who plans to recover objects
from the wreck. The same company owns the
salvor-in-possession rights of the RMS Titanic whose
artifacts are shown in worldwide exhibitions.