Encyclopedia Titanica


New York Times

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215 Saved from Cunard Liner, Which Is Sent Down Off the Coast of Ireland
Was Bound for an American Port to Take Some More Soldiers to the Other Side
Copyight, 1918, by The New York Times Company
Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES
LONDON, July 19---The Cunard steamer Carpathia was torpedoed thrice off the west coast of Ireland on Wednesday while on an outward voyage and sank shortly afterward. Only five persons, however, lost their lives. Three firemen and two trimmers are said to have been killed by the explosion of a torpedo in the engine room. The remainder of those on board, 218 in all, were rescued without much delay and taken to a port, where they arrived on Thursday night.

The survivors include 36 saloon and 21 steerage passengers.

"The passengers had just finished breakfast and it was a beautiful Summer morning," said a member of the crew, "when about 9:15 a torpedo struck us near No. 3 hatch forward. Two minutes later another torpedo struck right in the engine room and killed five of the crew who were at work there. We could see the submarine. It was a big two-masted vessel, quite the latest type of U-boat.

"The Carpathia did not seem to be very badly damaged by these two explosions. She was taking in water, but I think she would have lasted for hours, and she might even have been towed into the harbor if the U-boat had not got busy again.

"A quarter of an hour after the first torpedo had been discharged a third was fired and caught us near the gunner's rooms. A big explosion followed. We could then see that the Carpathia was doomed. She settled down rapidly after that, and, at about 11 A. M., disappeared.

"Meanwhile perfect discipline had been maintained on board. There was no panic among the passengers. The officers had the whole situation well in hand, and the passengers and crew, with the exception of the five men who had been killed, were away from the ship and safely in their boats within a quarter of an hour after the first torpedo struck us. We were picked up by a warship about midday."

Another member of the crew said: "The U-boat I am sure would have opened fire on our boats if a mine sweeper had not come up. She seemed to be training her guns on us."

Another survivor said that at the first explosion the wireless apparatus was damaged and it was impossible for the Carpathia to send out her S O S. This, however, was done by another vessel in the vicinity. It was answered by an armed patrol vessel, which arrived on the scene between 12 and 1 o'clock in the afternoon. This survivor testifies to the gallantry of the third engineer and the boilermaster of the Carpathia, who although badly scalded over different parts of his body stood by the engines and succeeded in bringing the vessel to a standstill.
Rescued Titanic Passengers

Confirmation of the sinking of the Carpathia was received yesterday by the local agents of the line. They also were told that 215 survivors had been landed safely on the other side. The Carpathia carried a crew of 190 officers and men besides her cabin passengers, and was bound for an American port, it was said.

The Carpathia, it was learned here, sailed from a port in England on July 14, and was attacked by a U-boat the following afternoon. She was commanded by Captain William Prothero, and left an American port on June 12 loaded with American troops.

The Carpathia became famous in April, 1910, [sic] when, under the command of Captain Henry [sic] Rostron, she rescued the survivors of the White Star liner Tltanic, which was ripped open by an iceberg and sank with a heavy loss of life. Captain Rostron was highly commended for steaming at full speed through the ice field at night when he got the " S O S " from the Titanic, and received about $25,000 from Americans as a token of appreciation for his work in rescuing their countrymen and women from the open boats. The Carpathia picked up and landed at New York 866 [sic] survivors of the Titanic.

Since the war began the Carpathia has carried thousands of tons of supplies for the British Government until a few months ago, when she was chartered by the United States Government for carrying troops. She was also one of the first merchant steamers to appear in American waters armed against submarines.

The Carpathia was a steel twin-screw vessel of 13,603 gross tonnage, 540 feet long, sixty-four feet beam and thirty-four feet depth of hold. She was built at Newcastle in 1903 for the Mediterranean passenger and freight trade from New York.

This steamship is the fifth that the Cunard Line has lost in five weeks. The others were the Ascania, Ausonia, Dwinsk, and Valentia, and leaves only five passenger vessels afloat out of the large fleet the company operated before the war.

[Note: The paragraphs after the subhead “Rescued Titanic Passengers” are written from a New York point of view, not London.]

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) CARPATHIA SUNK; 5 OF CREW KILLED (New York Times, Saturday 20th July 1918, ref: #3447, published 15 August 2004, generated 24th January 2022 08:44:32 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/carpathia-sunk-5-crew-killed.html