Thursday, August 30, 2007

Now We know Who's to Blame

Key that could have saved the Titanic - Telegraph: "It looks for all the world like an ordinary key but this unremarkable piece of metal could have saved the Titanic from disaster.

It is thought to have fitted the locker that contained the crow's nest binoculars, vital in detecting threats to the liner lurking in the sea in the pre-sonar days of 1912.

Catastrophically for the Titanic and the 1,522 lives lost with her, the key's owner, Second Officer David Blair, was removed from the crew at the last minute and in his haste forgot to hand it to his replacement."


Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I read that the SOS that was sent out was then a new signal and not all ships recognized it as a distress signal. That's supposedly why a nearby ship didn't come to the Titanic's aid sooner.

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

No, the captain of the Californian (the nearby ship) refused to navigate the ice-filled waters to reach the Titanic. The crew and the captain were close enough to see the Titanic's distress flares and did nothing.

CQD (come quick deliver) was the previous distress signal; SOS the new one. I believe that the Titanic's telegraph operator used both.

I doubt that the binoculars mentioned in Bill's post would have done much good. The Titanic was traveling at too much of a clip to stop in time.

Beth Foxwell
(who did a lot of Titanic research for her short story "Unsinkable," which is in _Crime Through Time II_)