The Titanic Crew Were Warned About Icebergs
United States Coast Guard
The great cruise liner Titanic was doomed from the beginning, if for no other reason than the fact that it was dubbed "unsinkable" by people who have clearly never seen the effect of water on metal (read: rust) in their lives. That was apparently the karmic equivalent of trying to make toast in the shower before work, because sure enough, the Titanic sunk.
What makes this pretty awful is that the ship's crew should totally have known about the impending iceberg, but were trying to field more incoming messages than a Comcast customer service line the week after a particularly heavy thunderstorm. Lost among the "Wish You Were Here!" notes were warnings sent out to every ship in the vicinity of a huge field of icebergs.
Unfortunately, they were all sent to spam by the radio operator.
Several hours before the ship bumped into its Celine-Dion-scored doom, another ship, Mesaba, had sailed through the same area. Upon seeing Jack Frost's idea of a honeymoon location, they sent out a message to all ships in the region (including the Titanic) warning of a "great number [of] large icebergs." With that, they considered their job done, and hoped that nobody was foolish enough to ignore their message.
The crew of the Titanic had received all of the messages sent by Mesaba. Unfortunately, several days beforehand, the ship's radios had broken, leading to a massive backlog of messages to be received, transcribed, and hand-delivered to their respective passengers. And unlike so many of those texts from a clingy ex, many of these messages required replies. All in all, the crew was going through about 250 messages per day -- so about the same amount of daily texts from that clingy ex. One of the radio operators eventually collected the Mesaba's message for delivery. However, he didn't realize how important a giant field of icebergs would be, and ignored it until he'd finished his other deliveries.
"Meh. If it's important, then they'll send it again."