Small Things Can Lead to Big Risks

While not an IS&T related story, it is interesting from a speculative risk perspective. The London Telegraph had a nice little story on the auction of the key "believed to have fitted the locker that contained the binoculars for the crowâ''s nest."

As the story notes,

It is thought to have fitted the locker that contained the crow's nest binoculars, vital in detecting threats to the liner lurking in the sea in the pre-sonar days of 1912.

Catastrophically for the Titanic and the 1,522 lives lost with her, the key's owner, Second Officer David Blair, was removed from the crew at the last minute and in his haste forgot to hand it to his replacement.

This story should be a reminder that a small event in conjunction with a series of other improbable events can easily lead to disaster.

Without access to the glasses, the lookouts in the crow's nest were forced to rely on their eyes and only saw the iceberg when it was too late to take action.

BTW, the key is expected to bring between $125 K to $150K at auction.


Risk Factor

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Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City