On April 13th 1912, Titanic’s Marconi wireless system broke down. It’s well known that this resulted in a delay which led to a backlog of messages (made worse by Titanic being in range of Cape Race and having to send many messages to and from other ships). What isn’t so widely known is the fact that when the system broke down, Jack Phillips and Harold Bride completely broke Marconi rules by taking the system apart, identifying the problem and finally managing to fix the system themselves in the early hours of April 14th. If they hadn’t, there’s a good chance the emergency system’s signal may not have been strong enough to reach the Carpathia clearly (if at all) after Titanic collided with the iceberg just a few hours later.
In 1904, the first wireless station in Newfoundland was built at Cape Race. On night of the April 14, 1912, RMS Titanic’s wireless operator Jack Phillips was sending telegraphs to Cape Race for relay to New York City. When Cyril Evans, wireless operator on the SS Californian sent an iceberg warning to the Titanic, Phillips was annoyed by the “interference” and responded “Shut up, Shut up, I’m working Cape Race.” Titanic hit an iceberg 15 minutes later. Cape Race played a major role in relaying Titanic’s distress signal and sending news of the disaster to New York.
Cyclists in the peleton during Stage 3 of the 2016 ABSA Cape Epic mountain bike race near Wellington, South Africa on March 16th 2016. The ABSA Cape Epic is often described as the Tour de France of mountain biking and will see 1,200 riders racing over 652km during the eight-day race. Credit: EPA/Kim Ludbrook