Three days after the Carpathia picked up the Titanic survivors, the ship docked in New York. Various groups were already working to collect funds to assist the survivors in need of help.
In the last three days the details had been sketchy at best and there was great speculation. Some reports even said that Titanic was being towed in for repairs, that all were lost and that all were saved.
Naturally The White Star Line wanted to believe the more positive reports that all were saved. Their offices were inundated with request from family members, but they did not know anymore than anyone else. They even dispatched a train to Halifax, Nova Scotia with family members of those on the Titanic. When the true situation was realized, the train turned around.
Carpathia arrived in New York on April 18, 1912 at 9:25pm, docking at Pier 34. The voyage had been difficult as she encountered fog, ice, rough seas and thunderstorms. She first stopped at the White Star Line pier and dropped off the Titanic lifeboats. She then moved to the Cunard pier where the passengers disembarked. Only after her arrival did the awful truth sink in.
Small boats greeted Carpathia in the harbor. Family members were on board longing for answers, but most of the occupants were from the press.
One source reported, “Philip Franklin, Vice President of the White Star New York office, was so shocked at the news that he could not believe it and insisted the Titanic was unsinkable. “
Southhampton, England had the greatest loss. Titanic had left this town on her maiden voyage only five days earlier. Southhampton lost five hundred forty-nine men in the disaster.
About 40,000 people stood on the docks when the Carpathia arrived. Many were heartbroken to realize their loved ones were not there to meet them and had perished in the disaster.
Eyewitnesses reported there “were many pathetic scenes” when the Titanic’s survivors disembarked.
Some survivors were taken to the hospital to treat their injuries. Others made their way to hotels or their home town. Third class passengers were now in a new city without a penny to their name, homeless and broke. The White Star Line and other charities were on hand to provide some short term relief.
Margaret Brown was one of the last passengers to disembark. She’d stayed onboard assisting those in need until everyone had safely disembarked. When she disembarked at three o’clock that morning the press was waiting and swarmed around her. Asking how she survived she replied “Typical Brown luck. I’m unsinkable.” In that moment a legend was born.
Captain Rostron and the Carpathia crew were later awarded for their rescue work. Margaret Brown presented Captain Rostron with a silver cup and gold medal. Crew members were awarded bronze medals and the officers were awarded silver medals. President Taft presented Captain Rostron with the Congressional Gold Medal. Later, King George V would knight Captain Rostron.
Words of sympathy were expressed from around the world. King George V said “ The Queen and I are horrified at the appalling disaster which has happened to the Titanic and at the terrible loss of life. We deeply sympathize with the bereaved relatives and feel for them in their great sorrow with all our hearts.” George, R. ET. I.
After completing his testimony Captain Roston and the Carpathia returned to service. Captain Roston died in 1940.
Services were held for the victims all over the world. In London, services were held on April 19 at St. Paul’s Cathedral.