The good news for Second Officer David Blair: He was reassigned at the last minute and did not sail on the Titanic's maiden voyage. The bad news: He reportedly forgot to hand over the keys to a locker in the ship's crow's nest. Those keys would have enabled his shipmates to access a pair of binoculars, vital for those on designated lookout in the icy North Atlantic, where icebergs are always a danger.
There was no sonar in 1912, and when the Titanic famously found one of those icebergs, 1,522 lives were lost during the ship's sinking. Fred Fleet, a crewman who survived the disaster, later testified at an official inquiry that if they had had those binoculars, they would have seen the danger sooner. How much sooner? “Enough to get out of the way," he said.
A key event on the Titanic: