( Originally Published 1910 )
THE immense value of the invention of Signor Marconi to the cause of humanity was demonstrated in a remarkable manner in January. On the 23rd of the month, two steamers, the White Star liner Republic and the emigrant steamer Florida collided in a sea fog off the coast of Nantucket, as a result of which the first-named vessel, with her passengers and crew numbering 700, were put in imminent peril.
Jack Binns, the wireless operator on the Republic, proved himself the hero of the moment. When the Florida crashed into the Republic, it wrecked the office in which he was working, but left his apparatus intact. He immediately set to work to get into communication with other vessels in the neighbourhood, and the mystic letters " C.Q.D.," the formula in the Marconi code which intimates that a ship is in urgent need of help, was flashed far and wide. The result of the call reads like a romance, ships from all points of the compass answering the call and coming to the aid of the sinking vessel. Except for a few who were killed by the actual collision every life was saved, both passengers and crew being transferred to the Baltic and conveyed to New York.