Racing Through the Night
Olympic's Attempt to Reach Titanic
- Wade Sisson
15th August 2011
Entering service a full ten months ahead of Titanic, the Olympic was a near identical sister ship,the fi rst of a class of three liners, two of which would sink. Wade Sisson tells the story of the Olympic on the fateful night of April 14 - 15 1912, how she was 500 miles away, outbound from New York, when her wireless operator first heard Titanic's distress calls. Olympic's Captain Herbert J. Haddock and his crew prepared their ship for a rescue mission, and for the next several hours steamed full speed ahead toward the scene of the disaster. When word came that Titanic was gone, Olympic's mission of hope turned into a voyage of gloom as passengers and crew struggled to make sense of the disaster. Olympic's captain offered to take on Titanic survivors who had been rescued by the Carpathia but was ordered to stay out of view by those who worried that the sight of the sister ship would traumatize the survivors. Olympic instead became a relay station that transmitted the list of survivors from the rescue ship to anxious officials and relatives in the US.
This is the story of the first of three ships meant to dominate the North Atlantic and the night that plan came to a stunning, horrifying end. Olympic's role in the Titanic disaster has been a mere footnote to history - until now.