Rescuing Titanic: A true story of quiet bravery in the North Atlantic

Rescuing Titanic: A true story of quiet bravery in the North Atlantic

By Author / Illustrator

Flora Delargy


Non Fiction

Age range(s)



Wide Eyed Editions








'A visual feast [...] Exquisite artwork [...] A triumphant debut' - The Observer, Best Picture Books

Written and illustrated by debut Northern Irish artist Flora Delargy, whose grandfather and great grandfather both worked in the Belfast Shipyards where the Titanic was built, this exquisitely illustrated story of quiet bravery tells in rich detail how the little ship Carpathia saved 705 passengers of the Titanic from the icy waters of the North Atlantic.  With the approaching 110-year anniversary of the ship's sinking, Rescuing Titanic and its story of the Carpathia offers a fresh perspective on the incident from an author-illustrator uniquely connected to the story.

In the middle of the night, the Carpathia received a distress call from the sinking Titanic. The intrepid little ship heroically changed course and headed straight into the frozen sea to help save as many people as it could. Follow the Carpathia as it risks everything to navigate remote, treacherous ice fields in the dark and come to the rescue of passengers on the world-famous ocean liner. 

Along the journey, you will learn all about Morse code, navigation tools, the different roles of the crew, how the ships found each other, and by-the-minute details of exactly what happened on this cold and fateful night. The illustrations set the scene and take the reader into the frozen eerie night in the North Atlantic. Beautiful full-bleed illustration and vignettes give great detail about how everyone on the ship made their own contribution and showed true bravery.

Rescuing Titanic shows that a glimmer of hope can be found even in great tragedy and that heroes are not always big and mighty, but can also be small and unassuming.  This is the debut book in the Hidden Histories series, which explores with beautiful illustrations and vivid details the untold parts of stories we thought we knew.



The story of the Titanic needs no introduction but Flora Delargy gives it new life by exploring the story of the Carpathia - the ship that rescued the 706 survivors of the disaster.

Rescuing Titanic begins by introducing the ship itself and the key crew and passengers. It explains in concise, clear language the technicalities of navigation and the structure of ocean-going liners while cute and perky illustrations work with the words to clarify complexities. As the story unfolds, and intertwines with the fate of the Titanic, the mood darkens and the atmospheric illustrations increasingly add to the feeling of dread.

Language and pictures support each other to describe the gripping night-time race through treacherous seas and fields of icebergs and the heroic (and skilful) efforts of Carpathia’s crew to reach the stricken Titanic. The tone changes again to bitter disappointment and sorrow as they arrive just too late and passengers and crew work together to comfort the survivors.

The book ends with three touching cameos that bring the human dimension of this famous rescue story vividly to life. Harold Cottam, wireless operator from the Carpathian, worked tirelessly through the night to send home names of survivors and was assisted by Harold Bride, his counterpart on the Titanic, who had to be carried into the wireless room because of his frostbitten feet. Captain Rostron refused, despite his exhaustion, to let clamouring newspaper reporters anywhere near his passengers. Molly Brown, one of the grateful survivors, collected funds and arranged for medals and money to be distributed among the crew of the Carpathian.

Factually, I thought I knew the story but I learned many new things. Emotionally, I thought I was ready for the outcome but I found myself swept up in horror when the Carpathian arrived to find no sign of the mighty ship they had come to rescue. It's a super book that I recommend without hesitation.

80 pages / Reviewed by Louisa Farrow, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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