Before the voyage, he had been living in several places in Vermont, USA for three years, but then returned to his native Finland. He was travelling from Kivijärvi, Finland to Boston, Massachusetts.
After the collision Strandén woke Niskanen, who went and warned Eiriik Jussila. Together with Strandén he reached the Boat Deck, where, according to their account, they assisted with the loading of one of the lifeboats. Niskanen and Strandén were rescued, probably in Lifeboat 9.
After reaching New York, Niskanen made a claim of £50 for his lost luggage.
Niskanen eventually settled in Cazadero, California. He commited suicide on 13 August 1927.