October 26, 2021

Science

The world of science and technology

Flat Calm on a Moonless Night

2 min read

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6pm Sunday 14th April 1912, the Titanic had just changed course and was heading in a westerly direction across the Atlantic. The captain believed he was heading to a safe area of the Gulf Stream where there are no icebergs. But in 1912 a phenomenon took place that allowed icebergs to travel further south than was thought possible, the cold Labrador Current had pushed itself into the Gulf Stream, forming a cold protective layer around the iceberg.

The iceberg was 10 times the mass of the Titanic and 130 miles away. It had now been seen by the steamship Californian which had sent a warning message to the Titanic. While Philips rested in the cabin next to the wireless room, his assistant Bride was manning the wireless. Although Bride heard the message from the Californian he did not respond. Although Philips and Bride were well trained wireless operators they were poorly paid and had to rely on sending passenger messages to earn their wages.

At 7:20pm Bride finished his accounts and then intercepted the message from the Californian, it warned of 3 large icebergs, seen at latitude 42 degrees north, longitude 49 degrees west. But Captain Smith had already left the bridge and was now dining with passengers. Had Bride taken down the message earlier the captain would’ve received it and could’ve taken evasive action. None of the surviving offices recall ever seeing this vital message. To this day nobody knows if the message was delivered.

Science News Source: Naked Science