We all know the terrible story of The Titanic which sank into the icy ocean in April of 1912 killing 1522 people. What if I told you that disaster could have been avoided?
A second officer by the name of David Blair was removed from the ship’s roster right before the ship’s departure from Southhampton. In all the haste to replace him, Blair forgot to pass the key to the crow’s nest locker which contained the binoculars vital for the lookouts.
After the disaster a US inquiry was held and Fred Fleet, a surviving lookout testified that they did not have binoculars on the voyage. Had they done so, he said, they could have seen the iceberg earlier. When asked by the chairman of the inquiry “How much earlier?” Fleet replied, “Well, enough to get out of the way.” Someone asked me, why didn’t anyone on the ship bother to breakdown the locker door and get the darn binoculars? I have not an answer for that, and I myself wondered why myself. More importantly, was that question asked of someone in the inquiry?
Blair’s descendants kept the key that could’ve prevented this awful disaster as a memento for a long time. They finally put it up for auction in 2007 and it sold for $148,000.