British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry


Account of the Saving and Rescue of those who Survived
Rescue by the SS Carpathia

On the 15th of April the s.s. "Carpathia," 13,600 tons gross, of the Cunard Line, Mr. Arthur Henry Rostron, Master, was on her passage to Liverpool [Mediterranean] from New York. She carried some 740 passengers and 325 crew. (Rostron, 25361 et seq.)

On receipt of the "Titanic's" first distress message the Captain immediately ordered the ship to be turned round and driven at her highest speed (17 1/2 knots) in the direction of the "Titanic." (25385, 25390) He also informed the "Titanic" by wireless that he was coming to her assistance, and he subsequently received various messages from her. At about 2.40 a.m. he saw a green flare which, as the evidence shows, was sent up by Mr. Boxhall in No. 2 boat. From this time until 4 a.m. Captain Rostron was altering his course continually in order to avoid icebergs. (25401) He fired rockets in answer to the signals from Boxhall's boat. At 4 o'clock he considered he was practically up to the position given and he stopped his ship at 4.05. He sighted the first boat (No. 2) and picked her up at 4.10. There was then a large number of icebergs round him, and it was just daylight. Eventually, he picked up in all 13 lifeboats, two emergency boats and two collapsible boats, all of which were taken on board the "Carpathia," the other boats being abandoned as damaged or useless. From these boats he took on board 712 persons, one of them died shortly afterwards. The boats were scattered over an area of four to five miles, and it was 8 a.m. before they had all been picked up. He saw very little wreckage when he got near to the scene of the disaster, only a few deck chairs, cork lifebelts, etc., and only one body. The position was then 41° 46' N., 50° 14' W.

The "Carpathia" subsequently returned to New York with the passengers and crew she had rescued.

The Court desires to record its great admiration of Captain Rostron's conduct. He did the very best that could be done.