#Titanic and #CapeRace – The Story in Tweets

3 Apr 2012

The approaching centenary of Titanic’s sinking has brought out all kinds of projects and commemorations. While most focus on some aspect of the ship, its crew or passengers – what they ate, what they wore, what they danced to - the role wireless played in helping rescue more than 700 people is the subject of a new social media project from Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism.

The Marconi station at Cape Race of the southeastern tip of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula was the first land station to pick up the stricken liner’s distress signal. Walter Gray, the man in charge of the Cape Race station the night of April 14-15, 1912, was good friends with Jack Philips, the chief wireless operator aboard Titanic. Gray and his crew of telegraphers and radio operators transmitted Titanic’s distress signals via land lines, helped notify shipping of the disaster, and then played an important role in compiling the list of survivors.

Dave Myrick at the Myrick Wireless Interpretation Centre at Cape Race

What really happened at Cape Race that night is the theme of #Titanic #CapeRace on Twitter. The series of Tweets, to be released throughout April, covers the history of Cape Race, the first and one of the most treacherous landfalls for westbound ships; what happened the night Titanic sank; and what happened to improve ship safety afterward. During the series, the story of how Jimmy Myrick finally admitted his long hushed-up role in receiving Titanic’s signal will be revealed, as will Walter Gray’s strange behavior at the height of the crisis.

Cape Race Lighthouse

Often described as “the lifeboat of the North Atlantic,” Newfoundland and Labrador has a long and distinguished history in helping “those in peril on the sea,” as the old hymn has it. This new social media series pays tribute to the rescuers by focusing attention on how the adoption of new technologies and procedures makes living and working at sea just a little bit safer for those whose destiny it is not to be hangashores.

Follow Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism on Twitter (@NLTweets) to watch the story as it unfolds or track the series of events by searching the hashtags #CapeRace #Titanic.