Published: 5th June 2018

Call Out for Titanic Stories

Judith Owens and Aidan McMichael commemorate Carpathia

This summer marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of RMS Carpathia, the ship that rescued over 700 lives following Titanic’s tragic sinking. To not only commemorate but celebrate the ship and the actions of its crew, Titanic Belfast, alongside the Belfast Titanic Society, has teamed up with the great granddaughter of Carpathia’s Captain to shine a spotlight on it once again.

Although lesser known than RMS Titanic and Captain Smith, RMS Carpathia and Captain Rostron played a fundamental role in the Titanic story. Carpathia braved dangerous ice fields and diverted all steam power to the engines to carry out the Titanic rescue mission. It took over four hours to take on all surviving passengers and Captain Rostron was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal by the US Congress and appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his actions.

Janet Rostron, commented, “As Captain Rostron’s great granddaughter, I’m keen to find out what happened to those who were saved and those who did the saving on that fateful night. I’m asking for relatives of both the passengers who were rescued and the crew members of the Carpathia to send their stories to media@titanicbelfast.com before 30th June 2018 to be part of the exhibition. These will be curated by the experts at Belfast Titanic Society, and a selection will be displayed on board SS Nomadic from 17th July – 17th August.”

Judith Owens, Titanic Belfast’s Chief Executive commented, “Titanic Belfast tells the story of Titanic, from her conception in Belfast, to her famous maiden voyage and tragic end, and Carpathia plays a pivotal role in the story. This summer, we want Carpathia, the action she took and the lives she saved, to take centre stage. We want relatives of passengers and crew to get in touch and share their families’ stories of what happened after they were saved by RMS Carpathia so that we can share these stories not only with Janet but visitors from throughout the world this summer.”

The exhibition will showcase not only Carpathia’s Titanic link but the rest of her life as a passenger ship, through her service in WWI to her sinking when she was serving as a Canadian and USA Expeditor Forces troop transport and was torpedoed off the Irish Coast.

Aidan McMichael, Chairman of Belfast Titanic Society, “The Belfast Titanic Society is delighted to be associated with this commemorative event – this story of SS Carpathia is so often overshadowed by the stories of the great loss associated with the loss of Titanic.  Everyone who was rescued was carried safely back to New York by the Carpathia.  It’s fitting we can take time this year to remember the role Carpathia, including Captain Rostron and his crew and passengers, played in the dramatic rescue of Titanic’s survivors on the morning of 15t April 1912 and we look forward to surfacing new accounts of the rescue story.”

Titanic Belfast was crowned ‘World’s Leading Tourist Attraction’ at the prestigious World Travel Awards in 2016, beating off stiff competition from eight global finalists, including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the Las Vegas Strip, USA, Machu Picchu, Peru and Guinness Storehouse, Ireland.
It is the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience, located on the exact spot where RMS Titanic was built and launched.

Since opening in 2012, Titanic Belfast has welcomed over 4.4 million visitors including Her Majesty The Queen, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, former US Secretary of State and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, TITANIC director James Cameron and the discovery of Titanic, Dr Robert Ballard. For more information, visit www.titanicbelfast.com.