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RMS Carpathia’s Role in Rescuing 705 Titanic Survivors Told by Belfast Author Flora Delargy

17th September 2021
Belfast author and illustrator Flora Delargy
Belfast author and illustrator Flora Delargy

Harold Cottam was a 21-year old radio operator who was on duty on the night of April 14th, 1912 on board passenger ship RMS Carpathia when he received a Morse code message he would never forget.

Nor would the world, for Cottam was the telegraphist who picked up the first distress call from the RMS Titanic.

The RMS Carpathia was about four hours away from the Titanic, and steaming in the opposite direction towards the Mediterranean.

Its captain Arthur Rostron, changed course – which meant heading for ice - and took a number of measures to increase speed while ordering the crew to prepare food, blankets and medical care for any survivors.

The lesser-known story of the Carpathia’s role in rescuing 705 Titanic survivors has been recalled by Belfast author and illustrator Flora Delargy, whose grandfather and great grandfather both worked in the Belfast Shipyards where the Titanic was built.

Rescuing Titantic book

Morse code, navigation tools, the different roles of the crew, how the ships found each other, and by-the-minute details of exactly what happened on this cold and fateful night are reflected in her illustrated text, which has received critical claim from British publication The Bookseller.

Incidentally, the Carpathia, a Cunard Line passenger steamship, was sunk six years later on July 17th 1918 off the south Irish coast after being torpedoed three times by German submarine U-55.

Flora Delargy spoke to Wavelengths about her debut publication, and you can listen below

Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

Email The Author

Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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Afloat's Wavelengths Podcast with Lorna Siggins

Weekly dispatches from the Irish coast with journalist Lorna Siggins, talking to people in the maritime sphere. Topics range from marine science and research to renewable energy, fishing, aquaculture, archaeology, history, music and more...

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