Warning the Mariner.
Since the routes taken by most of the vessels that ply between Europe and the United States pass directly through that part of the Grand Bank which is most thickly sown with icebergs, it becomes interesting to ascertain what precautions are taken to warn mariners of their danger. By means of the wireless telegraph each master informs the vessels in his immediate radius of icebergs and field ice that he has sighted. His warning is either directly communicated by wireless to land or relayed from ship to ship until it eventually reaches the United States Hydrographic Office at Washington, D. C. Wrecks, derelicts, ice, and other obstructions to navigation are promptly reported. On the basis of these reports the United States Hydrographic Office prepares a daily memorandum which is sent to sixteen branch Hydrographic Offices along the Atlantic Coast, the Great Lakes, the Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of Mexico. In these branches the masters of sailing vessels and steamers may note the probable location of obstructions that have been reported. The daily memorandum issued by the United States Hydrographic Office at New York on April 15th last, a memorandum now of tragic interest because of the "Titanic" disaster, reads as follows:
NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN.
OBSTRUCTIONS OFF THE AMERICAN COAST.
March 28th—Latitude 24 degrees 20 minutes, longitude 80 degrees 02 minutes, passed a broken spar projecting about 3 feet out of water, apparently attached to sunken wreckage.—“Evelyn” (steamship) Wright.
OBSTRUCTIONS ALONG THE OVER-SEA ROUTES.
April 7th—Latitude 35 degrees 20 minutes, longitude 59 degrees 40 minutes, saw a lower mast covered with marine growth.—“Adriatic” (Italian steamship) Cevascu.
April 7th—Latitude 45 degrees 10 minutes, longitude 56 degrees 40 minutes, ran into a strip of field ice about 3 or 4 miles wide extending north and south as far as could be seen. Some very heavy pans were seen. –“Rosalind” (British steamship) Williams.
April l0th—Latitude 41 degrees 50 minutes, longitude 50 degrees 25 minutes, passed a large ice field a few hundred feet wide and 15 miles long extending in a N.NE. direction. –“Excelsior” (German steamship). (New York Herald).
Collision with Iceberg—April 14th—Latitude 41 degrees 46 minutes, longitude 50 degrees 14 minutes, the British steamer "Titanic" collided with an iceberg seriously damaging her bow; extent not definitely known.
April 14th—The German steamer "Amerika" reported by radio telegraph passing two large icebergs in latitude 41 degrees 27 minutes, longitude 50 degrees 08 minutes. –“Titanic” (British steamship).
April 14th—Latitude 42 degrees 06 minutes, longitude 49 degrees 43 minutes, encountered extensive field ice and saw seven icebergs of considerable size—“Pisa” (German steamship).
J. J. KNAPP,
Captain, U. S. Navy, Hydrographer.
From this daily memorandum it will be seen that the "Titanic" had been informed by the "Amerika" of the proximity of two large icebergs. A few hours later she met her doom.
Day after day the United States Hydrographic Office keeps mariners informed of the dangers that lurk off the Grand Bank. Through the courtesy of Lieutenant John Grady in charge of the Branch Hydrographic Office at New York, the writer was permitted to examine reports that passed through the office recently. On April 10th at 8:20 A. M. the steamship "Excelsior," in latitude 41 degrees 50 minutes north, passed through field ice only a few hundred feet broad, but at least 15 miles in extent in a north northeasterly direction. On the 11th the "Carmania's" captain reported about thirty large icebergs in latitude 41 degrees 54 minutes and longitude 50 degrees 30 minutes west, as well as extensive field ice. "Some large bergs," to quote the "Carmania's" captain, were "about 400 feet long and from one-quarter to one-half a mile in width."