It was on the fateful night of the 14-15th April 1912 that the British passenger liner the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg, 375 miles from the coast of New Foundland in the North Altantic, and sank on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City.
Did you know that there is a connection between the Titanic and the city of Rijeka? (at that time known as ‘Fiume’, within the Austro-Hungarian Empire)
The connection is another liner the RMS Carpathia. This ship travelled regularly between Rijeka and New York when it would transport immigrants seeking a new life in America.
On the night of the 14-15th April 1912 the Titanic sent out SOS distress calls for help after colliding with an ice berg which the Carpathia, which was at that time travelling from New York to Rijeka then picked-up and headed to its assistance. The Carpathia managed to save over 700 people (a handful of whom were Croats) from the icy waters who had escaped the sinking. Unfortunately the other 1,500 or so passengers and crew perished.
One crew member of the Carpathia, a Croat, Josip Car, held onto to a life jacket from one of the survivors of the Titanic and this historical item was later donated after his death to the Maritime and History Museum in Rijeka (PPMHP)
There are several commemorative events of this tragic maritime event being held in the UK (where both ships were built) as well as an exhibition being staged at the Maritime and Historical Museum of the Croatian Littoral in Rijeka.
The Peek & Poke Computer Museum in Rijeka also held a special event until 15th April 2012 on the Arca Fiumana boat, moored on Rijeka’s waterfront entitled ‘Carpathia 2012’: http://www.peekpoke.hr
For a superb selection of photographs visit: British Pathe collection
Titanic footage and survivors interviews. On 14 April 1912, on her maiden voyage, the passenger liner RMS Titanic hit an iceberg. More than 1500 men, women and children perished. This is a short television documentary about the sinking of the Titanic, including interviews with survivors talking about their experiences and their escape.
Official commemorative postage stamps from the UK