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Titanic’s Belfast & Dublin Links Remembered With Retrieval of Sunken Ship's Marconi Radio

20th May 2020
Historic departure – the ill-fated Titanic is manoeuvred out of her berth in Belfast Harbour on April 2nd 1912 to sail for Southampton and her maiden Transatlantic voyage, brought to a tragic end by an iceberg in mid-ocean just twelve days later Historic departure – the ill-fated Titanic is manoeuvred out of her berth in Belfast Harbour on April 2nd 1912 to sail for Southampton and her maiden Transatlantic voyage, brought to a tragic end by an iceberg in mid-ocean just twelve days later

An ambitious project to retrieve the most famous marine radio in the world from 2.5 miles down in the Atlantic has finally secured legal approval. The saving of the Marconi radio which sent out the distress signals from the sinking Titanic after she'd struck a North Atlantic iceberg en route to New York on 14th April 1912 has finally been given approval in a US court. And if the project is successful, it will be a very tangible reminder of a special link between Belfast and Dublin.

The Titanic was built in Belfast in a massive seven-year project between 1907 and 1912, and towards its conclusion, her legendary “Radio Shack” was installed with the latest in marine radios from the Marconi company. The company was founded and its best ideas provided by Gugliemo Marconi, whose father was Italian, but whose mother was Annie Jameson of the long-established Dublin whiskey-distilling company, a family renewed for their long and successful association with sailing.

This had been underlined in 1904 when the young Marconi’s new invention was used to transmit sailing results for the first time ever from an event afloat to national newspaper, the event being the regatta of Royal St George Yacht Club in Dublin Bay. The Jameson family had been closely associated with the club since at least the 1840s, and possibly since its formation in 1838.

The Guardian has the story of the proposed radio retrieval here

Guglielmo MarconiMake mine a Jameson……radio pioneer Gugliemo Marconi definitely had the look of one of the more serious Jamesons, which is not surprising as his mother Annie was of the famous Dublin whiskey-distilling family

WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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