It is 100 years since that fateful night when Titanic struck an iceberg and sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic ocean taking over 1500 of her passengers with her.
Over the years there have been countless theories and claims to what exactly happened and who was to blame for the loss of Titanic, the ship that was thought to be unsinkable. While some things regarding the loss of Titanic may always remain a mystery one thing we do know for certain is that there is certain gadgets and technologies that have come along which may have helped to save Titanic from her watery grave. Here we take a look at some of the technology and gadgets that could have saved Titanic.
The International Ice Patrol.
The International Ice Patrol (IIP) was setup in 1914 as a direct response to the sinking of Titanic. The IIP is an organisation responsible for the monitoring and detecting of icebergs around the world with the aim of making sure that no ship ever collides with an iceberg. As of 2007 the governments contributing to the International Ice Patrol include Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States of America. If the International Ice Patrol had been in existence back in April of 1912 there is every chance that Titanic and her crew would have known the location of the iceberg it struck.
Sonar is a type of radar that uses sound waves, usually underwater, to detect and locate objects. Sonar is often used in modern day to detect icebergs so that ships are able to avoid them. Ironically the first Sonar system was patented as little as a month after the sinking of Titanic.
Today many icebergs are detected by satellites in space. A satellite system known as satellite-based synthetic aperture radar (SAR) is located 800 kilometres above the earth and is used to spot icebergs and beam that information to earth so that ships are able to avoid the same fate as Titanic.
This Metal Key.
The key in the photo above is believed to be the actual key that fitted a locker on the crow’s nest. In that locker was a pair of binoculars which were vital to spotting icebergs in the days before sonar. Second Officer David Blair was removed from the crew of Titanic at the very last moment. In the haste he forgot to hand the key to his replacement which meant that the Titanic’s crew did not have access to binoculars to spot ice. Having to rely only on their eyes the crew failed to see the iceberg until it was too late.
As pointed out above the crew of the Titanic did not have access to any binoculars which forced them to rely on their naked eye to spot icebergs in their path. While many sea captains claim it is easier to spot icebergs with the naked eye the use of binoculars would have allowed the crew of Titanic to see further ahead of the ship and potentially see icebergs while they were still far enough away to steer around.