Sunday, April 22, 2012

"CARPATHIA" the forgotten CUNARDER and her master Captain Rostron

 "CARPATHIA" was launched in 1902, she was tasked to cross the Atlantic not at speed like the LUSITANIA or the MAURETANIA, instead she carried her duties which included transporting Hungarian emigrants to the US from Trieste in Italy at a steady pace of 14 knots. "CARPATHIA" became the unlikeliest of heroes when she came to the rescue of the sinking TITANIC on the night of the 14th of April 1912, she was the first ship to the rescue of the liner. At 00:15 of the 15th of April the ship's wireless operator picked up the signals and immediately woke Captain Rostron. "CARPATHIA" was 58 miles away from the TITANIC so the ship would need 4 hours to cover the distance and get to the TITANIC's rescue. Captain Rostron ordered a change of course and instructed the chief engineer to turn off all the heat and hot water, he also instructed all stokers to shovel coal into the furnaces as fast as they could, soon the ship was travelling at 17 knots way above her maximum speed through very dangerous icy waters.
Captain Rostron was determined that the "CARPATHIA" would arrive fully prepared, lifeboats were readied, slings were made to raise children and injured passengers, dining rooms were transformed in first aid stations, blankets and clothing amassed and the crew was instructed to prepare hot drinks and soup. "CARPATHIA" arrived at the given position at 4 am and ten minutes later the first survivors came aboard, by 8.30 all the 705 rescued were safely on the ship, Captain Rostron decided to go back to New York, from where the ship departed on the 11th of April, Halifax was nearest but this would mean travel through more ice and provisions on board were not enough to reach the Azores. Weeks after the "CARPATHIA"'s arrival at New York survivors presented the Captain and his crew with a Trophy and medals, the following year Captain Rostron received the Congressional Medal of honour in Washington and in 1926 he became Knight Commander.

No comments:

Post a Comment