Wreck of the Carpathia, Titanic’s Rescuer, Found
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, Sept 22 (Reuters) – A U.S. expedition confirmed on Friday it had located the wreck of RMS Carpathia, the ship that rescued 705 survivors from the Titanic and that was later torpedoed by a German U boat.
American author Clive Cussler and founder of the National Underwater & Marine Agency said the wreck that was found last spring was confirmed as the Carpathia last week.
The ship, sunk near the end of World War One in 1918, was found in 171 meters (514 feet) of water off the east coast of Ireland.
Cussler said he and his team were able to pinpoint the wreck using scan sonar and have surveyed the wreck with remote operating vehicles.
The Titanic, the wreck of which was found in 1985, sank off Newfoundland on its maiden voyage from Britain to New York in April 1912, after striking an iceberg. About 1,500 people were killed but 705 others were rescued by the Carpathia.
Interest in the Titanic soared after the 1997 movie which set box-office records and won the Academy Award for the best film of the year.
“Now we have footage of the RMS Carpathia,” Cussler said at a news conference at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Halifax.
Video released on Friday clearly show the ship’s stern a propeller and winches used to load cargo.
“My goal was to preserve maritime history. We have been succeeding beyond my wildest dreams. I did not think this would happen in my lifetime,” Cussler said.
He said his team and Nova Scotia television firm Eco-Nova were shooting a documentary on the story as part of a documentary to be shown on Canada’s History Channel.
A never before published four-page letter, hand-dated April 24, 1912, by Luke Hoyt — a passenger on the Carpathia describing what he called the “greatest tragedy of the seas” — was also released on Friday, telling how Titanic survivors were rescued from lifeboats in the dark by the Carpathia.
It describes how Carpathia passengers cared for Titanic survivors — giving away many of their clothes.
Hoyt wrote to a friend: “It was a tragedy. The horror of it all was appalling.”
“It took everyone two or three days to get over that,” he added. In his letter, Hoyt praised the courage of surviving women and wrote that he saw the iceberg “that did it.”
“It was immense, estimated by a civil engineer as 180 feet (60 meters) in height,” he wrote.
John Wesley Chisholm, a television documentary producer, said the letter gave new insight into the bravery of the Carpathia crew and passengers.
“The wreck discovery and the letter open a whole new chapter in the Titanic story,” he said.
The Carpathia was steaming in convoy from Liverpool to Boston on July 17, 1918, when it was hit by two torpedoes from the German U-boat. A third torpedo slammed into her hull as her lifeboats were being lowered, killing five of her crew.
The ship slipped beneath the surface the following day and the surviving crew and 157 passengers were picked up by a British warship, HMS Snowdrop, and safely returned to Liverpool.
Copyright 2000 Reuters Limited.
Rescue Ship of Titanic Found
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — The wreck of Carpathia, the ship that rescued passengers of the Titanic, is intact and sitting upright at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, according to video images released for the first time Friday. The wreck, which was found May 27, rests 500 feet beneath the Atlantic Ocean in waters 120 miles south of Fastnet, Ireland.
The Carpathia was the first ship on the scene after the Titanic sank in 1912. It raced at high speeds through waters filled with icebergs to reach the survivors. Its crew pulled 705 men, women and children from lifeboats bobbing in the icy water.
On July 17, 1918, during the First World War, the Carpathia was traveling in a convoy from England to Boston when it was struck by two torpedoes from a German U-boat and began to sink. A third torpedo hit the ship as the lifeboats were being manned. Five crewmembers died, while the rest of the crew were rescued.
At a news conference in Halifax Friday, the documentary film company Eco-Nova productions presented film showing the Carpathia was intact and sitting upright at the bottom of the sea. There are huge tears in the side of the ship’s hull and the boilers appear to have exploded as the ship sank.
After locating the site of the ship with sonar equipment last May, the company sent down a submersible, remotely operated camera to the site late Tuesday.
The search for the Carpathia was funded largely by fiction author Clive Cussler.
Cussler has used the royalties from his many best-selling books — including the fictional “Raise the Titanic” — to fund expeditions to locate and preserve shipwrecks around the world.
NUMA Team Brings Back First Footage of Carpathia Remains
Titanic Tragedy and Carpathia Bravery Forever Entwine
PHOENIX, AZ-Clive Cussler, founder of the National Underwater & Marine Agency (NUMA) a 501c3 agency, in conjunction with Eco-Nova Productions, Canada, will hold a news conference at 10:30 a.m. Friday, September 22, 2000 at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Halifax, Nova Scotia to reveal the footage of the valiant ship the RMS Carpathia. The Bedford Institute is Canada’s first and foremost oceanography institute. A year ago the NUMA crew, under the direction of Graham Jessop, discovered the remains of the famous passenger liner RMS Carpathia, the vessel that went down in history as the ship that rescued the Titanic survivors. For additional information about the news conference or to arrange interviews, please contact John Wesley Chisholm, Eco-Nova, 902.423.7906.
“This has been an incredible couple of months,” Cussler stated. “Early last month I was privileged to be able to touch the CSS Hunley, which my NUMA crew found five years ago in Charleston Harbor. Now we have footage of the RMS Carpathia in her watery grave at the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Ireland. It humbles me. My goal in founding NUMA was to increase awareness of maritime history. We have been succeeding beyond my wildest dreams. I did not think this would happen in my life time.”
Also revealed at the news conference will be a never before published letter written from the Carpathia describing the scene as survivors were rescued. For additional information please contact John Wesley Chisholm, Producer of the SEA HUNTERS documentary television series (902.423.7906).
“We were very surprised to receive a hand-written copy of a letter written on Carpathia letterhead from a man on board the ship that rescued the Titanic survivors,” Chisholm explained. “It gives new insight into the bravery of the Carpathia crew and passengers. The discovery of the wreck and video of it along with the letter open a whole new chapter in the Titanic story.”
On the night of April 15th 1912, the Cunard Line steamship Carpathia, under the command of Captain Arthur Rostron, picked up the SOS distress call from the ill-fated liner Titanic. Captain Rostron immediately turned his ship around and, dodging the same icebergs that sank the Titanic, sailed at full speed toward the position given by the Titanic’s radio operator.
Upon arriving at the scene, all Captain Rostron found were icebergs and several scattered lifeboats with 706 survivors, mostly women and children, freezing from the cold and shocked by a nightmare none could have imagined only a few hours before. After taking the survivors on board, Captain Rostron set the Carpathia on a course for New York. The heroic rescue made the Carpathia and her crew famous throughout history as the ship that rescued the Titanic survivors.
But what was the fate of the Carpathia after her fabled dash across the icy sea, the tragedy and the inquests?
After rescuing the Titanic’s survivors, Captain Rostron and the Carpathia crew were famous. While traveling in convoy from Liverpool to Boston July 17th 1918, the Carpathia was struck by two torpedoes from the German U-boat U-47. A third torpedo slammed into the Carpathia’s hull as her lifeboats were being lowered, killing five of her crew. The celebrated liner slipped beneath the sea at 12:40 a.m. July 18th. The remaining crew and 157 passengers were picked up by the British warship HMS Snowdrop and safely taken to Liverpool.
And what of the newly released letter? A Mr. Luke Hoyt writes to a family friend, Bird, ” … The horror of it all was appalling … soon appeared out of the ‘Dark of the Dawn’ first one boat and the other 18 in all, loaded with men, women & children & babies … there were about 150 made widows on board and the fatherless & motherless and mothers without sons to the end of the chapter…All talk about the shrieks of women ringing through our ship, which you have probably read in the papers, is the worst rot, if you had seen the fortitude with which they bore their sufferings and woe you would be prouder than ever of your sex. ..” A complete transcript of the letter will be available at the news conference.
The Carpathia was found in 514 feet of water 120 miles off Fastnet, Ireland. After diligent research, Cussler and NUMA were able to pinpoint the wreck using scan sonar; then survey it using ROV’s. NUMA and Eco-Nova are shooting a documentary on her incredible story as part of the Sea Hunters Documentary Series.
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Letter from Passenger Luke Hoyt
Mid Ocean, April 24,1912
In the Providence of God it has come to Emma and myself to be of assistance to our fellow men and women in the greatest “Tragedy of the Seas” and Bird it was a tragedy.
The horror of it all was appalling. Monday morning April 15 about four o’clock Emma awoke me and said the boat had stopped and that there was considerable moving about. I put my head out the cabin door and was told by a steward that “the White Star Steamer Titanic is in distress”. Dressing and going down on deck we learned that, about midnight our ship received a wireless and immediately changed her course steaming 58 miles to the position of the Titanic arriving about four o’clock and it was the stopping of the ship that awoke Emma. Nothing was to be seen however and it was supposed the Titanic had gone down with all on board, but soon appeared out of the “Dark of the Dawn” first one boat and the other 18 in all, loaded with men, women & children & babies, most of them scantily clothed, some of the ladies in evening dress, and the night bitterly cold, the boats were attracted by the rockets we were sending up, and were received without any “fuss or frather” or confusion, owing to the marvelous discipline always prevailing on a Cunarder, in fact there was so little noise that I had to awake Mr. Weidman and his cabin mate and their room was not fifteen feet from where the rescued were coming aboard. Upon arrival of seventh or eighth boat I surrendered our cabin and we bunked with Mr.& Mrs. Reynolds during the voyage to New York, and it was soon filled with four men who were in very bad shape.
By about nine o’clock all boats in sight having been cared for and the Lyland Liner Californian steaming up we left her cruising in the vicinity and started for New York with our load of sorrow and woe and misery. We were over 1100 miles out and they were long, long days, we passed our time being mostly occupied with the poor unfortunates.
There is an incident of what we were up against. I remarked to Mr. Weidman “that Englishman in my room is in bad shape. I’m going to get a doctor for him”; immediately a young women lying on a lounge raised her head and said, “I wonder if it is my husband”, no madam he is a single man was my reply. Just think Bird of the hope and despair of that one moment, and there were about 150 made widows on board and the fatherless & motherless and mothers without sons to the end of the chapter. All talk about the shrieks of women ringing through our ship, which you have probably read in the papers, is the worst rot, if you had seen the fortitude with which they bore their sufferings and woe you would be prouder than ever of your sex.
Most of the statements in the New York papers are of like untruth, caused by our Captain refusing to let the reporters aboard at the lightship. On fifth boat was a sailor from the Titanic, who I saw shake hands with one of our sailors and pointing to an iceberg said “that is the one that did it”. It was immense, estimated by a Civil Engineer as 180 ft in height. You have no doubt seen Pictures in the magazines of rescue parties in the polar seas. Well that is the best description of the scene I can give you. In the background was in immense ice floe with berg after berg, which had not broken loose, and other bergs floating around, our ship standing off the floe and the boats approaching from the direction of the floe. I think this a perfect picture of the scene. The ice floe was immense. We steamed 52 miles to get away and around it and it extended in the other direction beyond the horizon, in fact in the New York papers some Captain reported it as 100 miles in length. We gave away many things until I was down to the underclothing I have on. The sea was calm all the way to New York. All that died of the rescued were buried at sea 4 in number.
As you know from the papers we left New York again Apr. l9th and thus far have had clear weather. We should be at Gibraltar Apr 29. We have no definite plans beyond that, as we have not decided how long we will remain in Spain. Emma has been remarkably well except the effect of the strain we have been under. It took almost everyone two or three days to get over that.
The crew was called together Monday and thanked by the Captain for their good work. They certainly were entitled to it and appreciated his thanks as one of them said to me afterwards “he is proud of us ain’t he”. He sure had reason to be. Later a picture of the officers was taken on the forward deck.
We have music by the orchestra every evening at nine and at dinner and lunch. One night instead of music. Senor Jose Mardoner First Baritone Boston Opera Co, gave us several numbers. I don’t know of anything more to interest you. Address c/o American Express Co 546 Haymarket London England. Emma joins with me in love to you all.