Harold Thomas Cottam (January 27th, 1891 – May 30th, 1984) was the wireless operator on the RMS Carpathia when the SOS from the sinking RMS Titanic was sent. It was also he who awakened Captain Arthur Henry Rostron after receiving the distress signal. Without his diligence, and the somewhat fortuitous circumstances, many more people might have died in the Titanic disaster. Cottam was off duty and about to go to bed, but he left the radio on and listened to Cape Race, reputedly to learn the results of Saturday's football matches. He heard Cape Race advise that they had private traffic for the Titanic and thought it would be helpful to inform the Titanic of this. In reply, he received Jack Phillips's SOS call.
Cottam received a "hero's welcome" when the Carpathia reached New York. He continued to work at sea until 1922, when he took a job as a sales representative.
Portrayals[edit | edit source]
Harold Cottam was portrayed by Alec McCowen in A Night to Remember (1958).
Harold Cottam was portrayed by Christopher Strauli in S.O.S. Titanic (1979).
Harold Cottam was portrayed by an uncredited actor in the 1996 Miniseries Titanic.