Wireless operator of RMS Carpathia remembered

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Vassili Zaitzev, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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  2. Njaco

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  3. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    #3 mikewint, Oct 24, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
    Also worth remembering are John Phillips (25YO) and Harold Bride (21YO) the Marconi wireless operators on the Titanic. Neither actually worked for the White Star line though WS did pay them. They worked for the Marconi company who supplied the equipment, installed it and trained the operators. The equipment of the day was a giant 1.5kW Spark Gap transmitter (giant spark plug) housed in its own room due to the noise and large amounts of ozone produced.
    The day before the disaster the system had been down and had just been fixed. During the down time a hundred or more passenger messages had been paid for but not sent. Phillips had spent the entire day and evening transmitting those messages to the Cape Race radio post. Phillips had also throughout the evening received several calls warning of ice in the water. These had been sent with the prefix MSG- and as such were sent immediately to Captain Smith who was required to personally respond. At 21:30 the Steamship MESABA ice/icebergs directly in their path and were coming to a stop. Unfortunately the novice Marconi operator did not begin with MSG- thus the message was held in the radio room. At 23:00 the Marconi operator of the SS California radioed that they were surrounded by large amounts of ice and had also come to a stop. Another novice operator Evans did not prefix the message with MSG-. Phillips reply which haunted him and his memory was his reply "BE QUIET SHUT UP I AM BUSY WITH CAPE RACE" To understand his reply better, Spark gap transmitters broadcast on all frequencies, a blast of radio static, in effect. Cape Race was far distant and Phillips could just barely hear them. The SS California was only 6 -10mi distant and its radio blast was completely covering the transmission to Cape Race.
    Ten minutes later Titanic struck the berg About a hour later the Marconi operators were instructed to begin sending distress calls. The Marconi distress call was CQD which was an all ships alert. In the nearest ship, the SS Calfornia, Evans had listened to Phillips and had shut down the wireless. Both Phillips and Bride remained on duty sending distress signals CQD. After a time Bride reminded Phillips of the new distress signal SOS (which has no actual meaning). In Titanic legend this is the first use of SOS but that is untrue. At 0:45 the California's night watch saw Titanics first distress rocket, at 1:15 they awakened Captain Lord, who decided they were nothing and went back to sleep. Titanic sinks at 2:20. Had Lord responded the SS California could have easily saved all the passengers. At 3:30 more rockets were spotted. These were being fired from the Carpathia to let Titanic know they were coming. At 4:15 the watch spotter the Carpathia racing to the scene. Lord awoke at 4:30. Evans at 5:30 who turned on the wireless and found that Titanic had sunk.
    Carpathia had been 58mi distant when it came to Titanics aid. The ship had a top speed of 14 Knots but Captain Rostron ordered all heat and hot water shut off and the Carpathia averaged 17.5 knots taking 4 hours to reach Titanic which had sunk in two
    Note: both the Carpathia and California were torpedoed and sunk.
     

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  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Well done Mr. Cottam
     
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