Tap out your own distress call

The annual children’s day at the museum is set for this Saturday

Tony Taylor tries out some of the vintage communications equipment children can use at Saturday’s museum event in Qualicum Beach.

Even as the awful truth sank in and the captain of the Titanic realized his ship was doomed, he didn’t direct wireless operator Harold Bride to tap out an SOS on the ship’s wireless radio set.

Rather, he had him send out another code, CQD.

That code, said Qualicum Beach Museum volunteer Tony Taylor, was the signal used in 1912 for ships in distress.

“It essentially meant Seek-You and Distress,” he explained as he prepared for the annual museum children’s day, which runs Saturday from 1-4 p.m. at the Qualicum Beach Museum on Beach Road. “That was what they used before SOS.”

Taylor is inviting participants at the event to use a replica of the Titanic radio set to tap out a Morse code distress call in both styles, as well as try out some of the other vintage communications gear in  the museum.

“This was set up as a touching thing,” he said. “Most places don’t want you touching stuff, but that’s what this was set up for,” he said.

Participants will also have an opportunity to construct wooden boats, make fossil rubbings and go for a wagon ride, courtesy of Tiger Lily Farm.


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