Cunard Line: Carpathia

Carpathia

The Twin Screw Cunard steamship Carpathia was laid down at the Wallsend-on-Tyne works of Swan & Hunter in 1901. She was launched on 6 August 1902 and, after fitting out, registered a gross tonnage of 13,603. She was 558 feet in length with a breadth of 64 feet 3 inches and depth 40 feet. Her eight cylinder quadruple-expansion engines installed by the Wallsend Slipway Co. gave her a service speed of approximately 14 knots.

On 5 May 1903 the Carpathia left Liverpool on her maiden voyage, travelling via Queenstown to New York  The Carpathia plied the Liverpool to New York or Boston route in the Summer and, between November and May, she carried immigrants (mainly Hungarian) from Trieste and Fiume to America.  As well as providing essential immigrant revenue these summer cruises to Europe were particularly enjoyed by wealthy Americans on holiday with additional stops being made at the ports of Gibraltar, Genoa and Naples (sometimes including Messina and Palermo).

In 1905 the Carpathia was refitted to provide accommodation for 100 first class, 200 second class and 2,250 third class passengers. By 1909 she was permanently assigned to the Mediterranean service, only returning to Liverpool at the end of each year for a refit.

For the story of Carpathia's involvement in the rescue of the Titanic survivors, see the entry for her captain at that time: Arthur Henry Rostron.

At the beginning of World War One, on 5 September 1914, the Carpathia was fined by the Italian government for transporting emigrants without a licence.

The Carpathia continued its commercial service throughout the war, first operating from the Piraeus in Greece and then, in 1915, being transferred to the New York and Boston run from Liverpool.  She was never converted into a troopship although she had been designed to enable conversion to carry up 3000 officers and troops with 1000 tons of stores, or 1000 officers and men when transporting cavalry.

On 17 July 1918 the Carpathia was travelling in a convoy, bound for Boston, when she was struck by two torpedoes some 120 miles west of Fastnet. A third torpedo hit the ship as the lifeboats were being manned. Five of the crew were killed by the explosions. The remainder of the crew and the 57 passengers on board were picked up by H.M.S. Snowdrop and safely brought to Liverpool. The Carpathia sank at 12.40am that day.


References
Cunard Archives at the University of Liverpool: Carpathia
Brian Ticehurst (1996) The Titanic's Rescuers - Captain Sir Arthur Rostron the crew of the Carpathia

Contributors
Scott A. Bergevin, USA
Brian Ticehurst, UK


Titanic Lifeboats Approach the Carpathia

Carpathia Crew Medal on Sale

Berthe Leroy wearing Carpathia brooch

Roger Bricoux on the Carpathia

Lifeboats from Titanic Reach the Carpathia
Bodies recovered by the Carpathia: 1
Titanic Crew whose current ship was the Carpathia: 307
Crew whose previous ship was the Carpathia: 122

Articles etc.

ARTICLE: A LIFEBOAT AT THE SIDE OF THE CARPATHIA
ARTICLE: AWAIT COMING OF CARPATHIA WITH RESCUED
IMAGE: BERTHE LEROY WEARING CARPATHIA BROOCH
ARTICLE: BOSTON MAN ON FRANCONIA REPORTS COMMUNICATING WITH CARPATHIA
ARTICLE: CARPATHIA AND THE TITANIC: RESCUE AT SEA