Titanic Report

Carpathia, the rescue ship


Carpathia (Drawing by François Omont)

T he radio operator of the Carpathia received the Titanicís SOS telegram at 12:15 a.m., shortly before going to bed. Radio contact was left to chance at nighttime, a practice which would soon change after the Titanic catastrophe. The captain of the Carpathia promised to help, being about four hours away. He turned around and navigated his way as quickly as possible through the iceberg-infested waters to the Titanic, while organizing necessary preparations for bringing the passengers up to his ship: lifeboats, rope ladders, blankets and medical supplies. Three doctors set up emergency facilities.

Alfred Fernand Omontís official testimony on being rescued:
ďThen we waited until dawn: then the Carpathia came up. We were royally treated on board the Carpathia. Any man who was saved by the Carpathia will always have in his mind the faces of the captain and officers.Ē

A religious ceremony was soon held on board the Carpathia in honoring all who had been on board the Titanic. Then the shipís crew and passengers turned their attention to the Titanicís survivors en route to New York.

While still on board the Carpathia, survivors who had been travelling first class chose a group of delegates, led by Samuel Goldenberg, to speak on their behalf. 25 people signed a press release to make this fact known prior to their arrival in New York. Lists of survivors were compiled on board and were wired to the mainland. Newspapers immediately released the lists, but the names were often misspelled. A media frenzy began, spreading the sensational story of the sinking of the Titanic.


Picture of A. F. Omont on the front page

O n board the Carpathia, the survivors used their time before reaching New York to send telegrams to their families and business associates. Alfred Fernand Omont was able to let his cotton trading partner know that he was alive and would soon be in Savannah. He also sent telegrams to his family and friends in Le Havre.


Telegram by A. F. Omont