If Carpathia was not full when she rescued Titanic survivors, why was she so overloaded? There should have been plenty of room and spare cabins.

  • 2
    What research have you done? Where have you looked? – Lars Bosteen Oct 21 '19 at 22:56
  • I'm confused. Do you mean underloaded? – T.E.D. Oct 22 '19 at 0:44
  • 1
    At least one article agrees with the OP, The Carpathia was now overcrowded, with space and supplies at a premium.. The Carpathia seems to have had 743 passengers, and took on over 700, so I could see supplies being an issue, but unless they only carry enough beds to accommodate the expected passengers, space being an issue does seem confusing... – justCal Oct 22 '19 at 0:53
  • Space can't have been a problem as steerage could hold over 2,000, but Carpathia only had room for 100 1st class and 200 2nd class. Apparently, the Carpathia captain gave up his own quarters to 3 wives of millionaires so I guess you can't put millionaires wives in steerage... – Lars Bosteen Oct 22 '19 at 2:57
  • 2
    @T.E.D.: When Carpathia left the scene, there were no survivors left in the water; they had picked up every survivor they could find. So there was no "underload". I am quite sure they would have picked up, and made room for, many more if there were any more. "Overcrowded" is a relative term here; I feel it refers to relative comfort, not maximum capacity of the ship when you abandon all thoughts of comfort and go for as many souls as you could transport. – DevSolar Oct 22 '19 at 12:42

Indeed, Carpathia had a lot of spare space. The problem was, most of that space was steerage.

After a refit in 1905, Carpathia could carry 2450 people, according to the statement given by captain Ronson to the US Senate Inquiry commission, 250 in first and second class combined, and 2200 in third class dormitories. The captain might've been off, though - he states several times that he does not know the exact capacity of his ship (it seems weird to me, but I'm not that well versed in ship operation; also the captain might've tried to dodge questions related to the problem of ships of that time having rescue equipment vastly inadequate to the number of passengers carried). Wikipedia lists a bit different numbers, although with no source provided: 100 first-class, 200 second-class, 2250 third-class for total capacity of 2550. Thus, if we go by sheer capacity - even with lower capacity cited by the captain, Carpathia could've taken in another thousand passengers.

I couldn't find the exact number of first and second class passengers onboard the Carpathia during the Titanic disaster. Data given here lists ~130 first class passengers (which does not agree with wiki 100 first-class passengers, but still - the first class wasn't empty). Carpatia rescued 201 1st class passengers, 118 2nd class passengers from Titanic. Carpathia's crew might've been reluctant to put first and second class passengers in steerage - and that would lead to ovecrowding in those classes.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.