How many people aboard Titanic knew about Carpathia?


Athena

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Oct 31, 2012
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Hi all,

I honestly searched the forum, but either this question was never raised here before, or I missed something.

So, how many people aboard the Titanic knew that the Carpathia was coming to the rescue? Apart from both wireless operators and Captain Smith, of course. Daniel Allen Butler describes in his book how Lightoller asked Phillips on Collapsible B what ships were coming, and Phillips told him about the Carpathia (and three other ships), so obviously Lightoller didn't know anything about them before.

What about other crewmembers? Any information?
 
Aug 15, 2005
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Pure conjecture, but I'd stake a guess at all the deck officers and the people who were bosses in their field, i.e. Chief Engineer, Chief Steward.
In the example you have given, I'd imagine that what Lightoller meant was "Are there any <i>more</i> ships on the way/in the area?"

I would also imagine that many of the first class passengers had requested reassurance and been told that the Carpathia was en route, but again, this is pure conjecture.

Would you mind if I asked why you wish to know this?
 

Adam Went

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Apr 28, 2003
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I'd suggest that most of the crew and a handful of passengers would have known about, but most of them wouldn't have known it was the Carpathia. The name Carpathia wouldn't have meant anything to a lot of them anyway. It would have been more in the vein of "there is a ship on the way".

Cheers,
Adam.v
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Pure conjecture, but I'd stake a guess at all the deck officers and the people who were bosses in their field, i.e. Chief Engineer, Chief Steward.<<

I wouldn't even go that far. Some of the top officers may have been informed but that wasn't the top priority and such information while interesting would have been of no real use to the Chief Engineer. The Chief Steward in this ruthlessly class concious society is unlikely to be somebody who would even rate a memo.

Going strictly by what I've seen in the inquiry transcripts, there's little real evidence that anybody was informed that the Carpathia was on the way.
 

Anna Simpson

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Jun 29, 2012
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Is there a possibility those on Collapsible B knew about a rescue ship? In Gracie's account he mentions it:

"When the presence of the Marconi boy at the stern was made known, Lightoller called out, from his position at the bow, questions which all of us had heard, as to the names of the steamships with which he had been in communication for assistance. We on the boat recall the names mentioned by Bride- The
Baltic, Olympic and Carpathia. It was then that the Carpathia's name was heard for the first time..."

This is quoted from Chapter Five of Col. Gracie's The Truth About Titanic.
 

Athena

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Going strictly by what I've seen in the inquiry transcripts, there's little real evidence that anybody was informed that the Carpathia was on the way.
That's it. You'd expect that, if anybody in the lifeboats knew about the Carpathia, or just about a ship coming, it would have been mentioned, at least in passing (something like "And so we were sitting in the lifeboat and waiting for the Carpathia to arrive"). That's what caught my attention while I was reading Butler's book: I realised that it was the first time I read about anyone in a lifeboat mentioning these ships.

Is there a possibility those on Collapsible B knew about a rescue ship? In Gracie's account he mentions it:

"When the presence of the Marconi boy at the stern was made known, Lightoller called out, from his position at the bow, questions which all of us had heard, as to the names of the steamships with which he had been in communication for assistance. We on the boat recall the names mentioned by Bride- The
Baltic, Olympic and Carpathia. It was then that the Carpathia's name was heard for the first time..."

This is quoted from Chapter Five of Col. Gracie's The Truth About Titanic.
It surely seems like Lightoller didn't know about the ships; it seems that he just assumed that there were ships steaming to the rescue.
 

Athena

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Oct 31, 2012
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Pure conjecture, but I'd stake a guess at all the deck officers and the people who were bosses in their field, i.e. Chief Engineer, Chief Steward.
In the example you have given, I'd imagine that what Lightoller meant was "Are there any <i>more</i> ships on the way/in the area?"

I would also imagine that many of the first class passengers had requested reassurance and been told that the Carpathia was en route, but again, this is pure conjecture.
But isn't it strange that the survivors didn't mention that they knew about the rescue ships? Lightoller and Colonel Gracie only learned about the Carpathia coming on Collapsible B, and they were Second Officer and first class passenger.

Would you mind if I asked why you wish to know this?
Mostly out of curiosity, just something I find rather odd (I'd expect that, once it became known that the Carpathia was coming, the passengers would have been told about it -sitting in a lifeboat with the knowledge that there's a ship coming in two or three hours certainly beats sitting in a lifeboat in the middle of North Atlantic with no food, no fresh water, no warm clothes, and no idea about how long that would last!)
 

Matthew Farr

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Apr 14, 2010
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I'd expect that, once it became known that the Carpathia was coming, the passengers would have been told about it...
I'm not sure I would. Based on what I have read from survivor testimonies and interviews the passengers were not told much of anything about what was really going on. Keep in mind that the captain and some of the ships officers knew that the lifeboats would not accommodate all the passengers aboard so they did everything they could to avoid causing a panic and a mad rush of the boats. This is evidenced by the fact that they told the passengers in the early boats that they were just being sent off as a precaution. Telling the passengers that a rescue ship was coming to their aid may well have caused a panic. I know If I were aboard and was told a rescue ship was coming I would likely think the ship was in danger of sinking. Why else would there be a need for a rescue ship but for that reason? Of course many passengers may not have believed that a rescue ship was necessary but then why take the risk?
 

Athena

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Oct 31, 2012
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St Petersburg, Russia
Matthew, you have good point. Indeed, telling the passengers about a rescue ship during the launching of the lifeboats might well have caused a panic, so, indeed, it would be better not to say anything about it at that point.

However, after the sinking, while the survivors were sitting in their lifeboats waiting for someone to come and pick them up, wouldn't it be logical for the crewmen in charge to tell them about the rescue ship coming? If they knew about it themselves, of course.
 

Matthew Farr

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However, after the sinking, while the survivors were sitting in their lifeboats waiting for someone to come and pick them up, wouldn't it be logical for the crewmen in charge to tell them about the rescue ship coming? If they knew about it themselves, of course.
Indeed it would be logical. Even if the crewmen in the boats didn't know for certain that a rescue ship was coming they would most likely have told the passengers there was just to keep them calm and keep their spirits up.
 
May 1, 2004
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Michael, along those lines, I figure that maybe 5 crew members knew the ship was going to founder. The First Class men who approached Capt. Smith knew but said nothing to anybody and all perished. Do you think this posit accurate?
 

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