Today, 15th April was the fateful day when the Titanic – the worlds biggest passenger ship at that time, collided by an iceberg and sank. RMS Carpathia, which barely got any media coverage, came to rescue and saved hundreds of lives.
RMS Carpathia passed six icebergs on its way to the Titanic with Captain Rostron said to have whispered a quiet prayer during the high-speed, high-risk journey. Thinking back on the daring operation, Rostron, said: “I can only conclude another hand than mine was on the helm.”
RMS Titanic, a beautiful luxurious passenger liner was a sight to behold. The ship was way ahead of its time being the world’s largest passenger ship when it entered service, measuring 269 meters (882 feet) in length, and the largest man-made moving object on Earth. It was one of the largest and most opulent ships in the world.
The ship carried some of America’s richest men and immigrants wanting to start afresh life in the US. Just like the James Cameron blockbuster portrayed, all different kinds of people boarded the Titanic on April 10th.
The beautiful interiors of the ship were inspired by the Ritz Hotel, London. Facilities on board included a gym, pool, Turkish bath, a kennel for first class dogs, and a squash court. It even had its onboard newspaper – the Atlantic Daily Bulletin. All these facilities were made available to the first-class people.
The Titanic also called the “Millionaire’s Captain” because it had the preference of the wealthy. Onboard were several prominent people, including American businessman Benjamin Guggenheim, British journalist William Thomas Stead, and Macy’s department store co-owner Isidor Straus and his wife, Ida.
The fateful day arrived just 5 days into the ship’s maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. What should have been another dazzling bright morning on the sea turned into the most terrifying moment in history. The Titanic hit a massive iceberg, ripping a 300ft gash along the vessel’s starboard side.
The unsinkable Titanic sank more than 12,000 feet beneath the waves at 1 am, killing 1,517 people out of the two thousand, three hundred and fifty-eight people aboard at the time.
Though everything around them was a state of chaos and panic, they were entertained by the Titanic’s musicians, who initially played in the first-class lounge before eventually moving to the ship’s deck.
Some sources also say they played until the very end. The Titanic’s lifeboats were surprisingly more than the recommended number of lifeboats. A total of 2o lifeboats could carry only 1,178 people, still leaving out a majority of people in the mouth of death.
Lifeboat 7 was among the first to leave the ship with only 27 people. Call it the lack of coordination or impulsive decisions during the panic, the lifeboat could have carried 65 more people.
The Great Rescue – RMS Carpathia
After an hour of the sinking, at 3;30 am, the Carpathia arrived. RMS Carpathia was the first response to the Titanic’s distress call.
The Carpathia had passed six icebergs on its way to the Titanic. As the ship made its way to the Titanic, Captain Rostron issued a series of orders to prepare the Carpathia for rescue operations. Extra rooms were prepared to receive the survivors while blankets, soups, and drinks kept ready.
Captain Rostron speeded up his 9-year-old ship to reach the location but was taken by utter dismay when he and his crew could not find the Titanic which by now was at the bottom of the sea.
On arrival, Rostron ordered the engines to be shut off and his crew started desperately searching for any sight of survival. The rescue efforts were concluded at 8:30 am. They rescued a lifeboat and 705 passengers on it.
Captain Rostron then headed straight to New York. Arriving on the evening of April 18th, they were welcomed by a lot of spectators. Many examples of humanity were seen during the time of distress.
Margaret T. Brown, who began to raise relief and reward funds while still aboard RMS Carpathia, presented bronze medals to the crew, silver medals to the officers, and a silver commemorative cup to Captain Rostron.
Iconic movies, songs, and musicals were made about the Titanic including Leonardo Dicaprio’s leap into stardom, the 1997 movie, Titanic which became the highest-grossing movie of the year.