The Fatal Miscommunication

The Fatal Miscommunication 

"Shut Up"

The Titanic received numerous ice warnings. Jack Phillips, Titanic's radio operator, had been sending and receiving messages for passengers all day. When he received an ice warning from the operator of the ship the Californian he replied with "Shut up. I am busy."  With that reply, Californian’s operator went to bed.

"I suddenly felt a great reverence to see him standing there sticking to his work while everybody else was raging about."

~Harold Bride, Titanic wireless radio operator

Model of Radio Room (Science Museum).

"I will never live to forget the work of Phillips during the last awful 15 minutes."

~Harold Bride, Titanic wireless radio operator


Due to the fatal miscommunication of ignored ice warnings, the Titanic struck an iceberg, on April 14, 1912, at 11:40 PM. Crew members rang the warning bell. The Titanic had been sailing fast to arrive in New York on time.
The collision with the iceberg left a long gash in the hull of Titanic, below the waterline. Water flooded six watertight bulkheads because the walls of the compartments weren't tall enough. Due to poor-quality iron rivets, the hull basically "unzipped."
After surveying the damage, the architect, Thomas Andrews, estimated that Titanic would have 90 minutes before it sank.

(National Geographic)

Making the Titanic
Inside the Radio Room