Interesting facts about the SOS distress signal

In 1784, a Japanese ship sank in the Pacific Ocean, and 44 sailors escaped to an uninhabited coral island. One of them, Matsuyama, wrote a call for help, put it in a bottle and threw it into the water. It so happened that the waves threw the bottle onto the Japanese coast near Matsuyama's hometown. But, alas, the distress signal was 150 years late! The bottle was only discovered in 1934.

In the first half of the 19th century, international distress signals were installed. The ships were supposed to fire from guns and fly a certain flag, and at night, in addition, give signals with lights and rockets.

This was already a big step forward. But if on sea lines near the coast, these signals could be seen, then the effectiveness of their action in the vast expanses of the oceans, on new, little-known routes, was practically zero.

In 1896, a new effective means of communication appeared - radio. In 1898, two years after the outstanding discovery of the great Russian scientist Alexander Popov, the first ship was equipped with a wireless telegraph - an English floating lighthouse, which on March 6, 1899, after a collision with the steamer Matthews, for the first time in the history of navigation, broadcast a call for help by radio ...

However, a single signal of the call for salvation did not yet exist. And only on November 3, 1906, the Berlin Radiotelegraph Convention was signed, which adopted the international distress signal "SOS".

The oldest lighthouse still in operation is 660 years old. It was erected at the mouth of the Elbe on the island of Neuwerk. Throughout its centuries-old history, the power supply of the lighthouse has changed more than once. The "eternal" fire at this lighthouse was supported first by firewood, then by kerosene, and now electricity is "burning" on the tower.