How I Laid the First Atlantic Cable (Annotated)

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But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! On this day in , the rusty iron gun turret of the U. Monitor broke from the water and into the daylight for the first time in years. The ironclad warship was raised from the floor of the Atlantic, where it had rested since it went down in a storm off Cape Hatteras, On August 5, , President Ronald Reagan begins firing 11, air-traffic controllers striking in violation of his order for them to return to work.

The executive action, regarded as extreme by many, significantly slowed air travel for months. Two days earlier, on August 3, She was discovered lying nude on her bed, face down, with a telephone in one hand. Empty bottles of pills, prescribed to treat her depression, were littered around the room. After a brief On this day in , Polish insurgents liberate a German forced-labor camp in Warsaw, freeing Jewish prisoners, who join in a general uprising against the German occupiers of the city.

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By August 4, the German 1st, 2nd and 3rd Armies—some 34 divisions of men—were in the process of Sign up now to learn about This Day in History straight from your inbox. On this day in , Lincoln imposes the first federal income tax by signing the Revenue Act. As early as March , Lincoln had begun to take Television, rock and roll and teenagers.

The North Atlantic water was chilly — 72 degrees — but bearable, for now. Dawn was still two hours away. Aldridge set a goal, the first of many he would assign himself that day: Just stay afloat till sunrise. Once the sun came up, Aldridge knew, someone was bound to start searching for him, and he could begin to look for something bigger and more stable to hold on to. For now, though, there was nothing to do but scan the horizon for daylight and watch the water for predators. For the first hour, the sea life mostly left him alone.

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But then, in the moonlight, he saw two shark fins circling him, less than 10 feet away — blue sharks, they looked like, pounds or so. Aldridge pulled his buck knife out of his pocket, snapped it open and gripped it tightly, ready to slash or stab if the sharks tried to attack. Who would take care of his dog? Therese, the Catholic church in Montauk. But mostly he thought about his family back in Oakdale, the Long Island town where he grew up: his parents, who had been married for almost 50 years and still lived in the house where Aldridge was born; his brother; his sister; his little nephew, Jake.

It was a close-knit, middle-class, Italian-and-Irish family. His father was retired from the Oldsmobile dealership in Queens where he commuted to work for decades.

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Aldridge pictured them all, asleep in their beds, and thought about the phone calls they would soon be getting. In his 20s, when he was starting out as a fisherman, his parents were constantly trying to talk him out of it. They gave up, eventually, but even now, every time he said goodbye to his mother, she looked at him as if it were the last time she was going to see him.

Alone in the darkness, he remembered a conversation he had a few months earlier with his sister, over beers in her backyard. It was a little after 6 a. The mate he and Aldridge hired to work this particular trip, an old friend named Mike Migliaccio, got up first, and when he saw that Aldridge was missing, he yelled for Sosinski. They were both sleep-dazed, confused by the daylight. What time was it? Where were they? Sosinski tried to puzzle it out: Just before he went to sleep at 9 p.

Now it was past dawn. Even if Aldridge had decided to let him sleep as he sometimes did , surely he would have woken Sosinski by the time they got to their first trawl. But they were more than 15 miles past their traps — almost 60 miles offshore.

The first Atlantic submarine telegraph cable

What could have happened? Still, Sosinski and Migliaccio looked everywhere.

First transatlantic telegraph cable completed

One hatch cover on the deck was off, and Sosinski thought maybe Aldridge had fallen into the open lobster tank, hit his head and drowned. He lay facedown on the deck and stuck his head through the hatch, ignoring the powerful smell. No sign of Aldridge. Sosinski ran to the VHF radio, which was bolted to the ceiling in the small wheelhouse toward the front of the boat, and grabbed the microphone. He switched to channel 16, the distress channel, and at a. Davis was part of a five-person watch that had just come on duty. Davis radioed back, asking Sosinski for details, and Sosinski started feeding them to him: when he last saw Aldridge, the course the boat was on, where they were now.

Yes, he could swim. Davis asked Sosinski to stand by, and he turned to the rest of the team in the command center, a dimly lit room on the second floor of the base. The front wall was covered with maps and charts and video screens, which could show everything from a live radar image of Long Island Sound to the local news. Sitting nearest to Davis was Pete Winters, a Coast Guard veteran who was now working as a civilian search-and-rescue controller.

Rodocker was new to Long Island Sound — he had just transferred two days earlier from the Coast Guard station in Baltimore. It told them that the longest Aldridge could likely stay afloat before hypothermia took over and his muscles gave out was 19 hours.

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But that, they knew, was a best case. The reality was that very few people survived more than three or four hours in the North Atlantic, especially without a flotation device. By , the command center had notified the search mission commander in New Haven, Jonathan Theel, and the search coordinator at the district headquarters in Boston, who would have to approve the use of any aircraft in the search. Pan pan.

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The Coast Guard has received a report of a man overboard off the fishing vessel Anna Mary, south of Montauk, between 5 and 60 miles offshore. All mariners are requested to keep a sharp lookout. Davis kept working the radio. He contacted the Coast Guard station in Montauk with instructions to launch whatever boats were available. Boston approved the use of two helicopters and a search plane, and Davis radioed Air Station Cape Cod and told them to get airborne as soon as possible. The closest Coast Guard cutter, an footer called the Sailfish, was in New York Harbor, and Davis directed its crew to start heading east.

Rodocker, meanwhile, was manning the computer. The Coast Guard has used computer simulations in search and rescue since the mids, but Sarops has been in use since only Operators input a variety of data, from the last known location of a lost mariner to the ocean currents and wind direction.

Sarops then creates a map of a search area — in this case, of the ocean south of Montauk — with colored squares representing each potential location for the search object. Red and orange squares represent the most likely locations; gray squares represent the least likely. It might have been five minutes after Sosinski went to sleep, or it might have been five minutes before he woke up. That created a potential search area the size of Rhode Island, a sweep of ocean 30 miles wide, starting at the Montauk lighthouse and extending 60 miles south.

An 1,square-mile search area would be almost impossible to cover. That suggested to them that Aldridge fell overboard between p. The next step for Sarops was to develop search patterns for each boat and aircraft, dividing up the search area into squares and rectangles and assigning each vessel a zone to search and a pattern to use. A little before 8 a. Flying a Jayhawk in the Coast Guard, like many jobs these days, involves looking at a lot of screens: seven in total, spread out in front of Deal and Jamros in the cockpit, showing live maps, radar images and search patterns. That allowed Deal and Jamros to turn their attention away from the screens and toward the water below them.

They were joined in their search by two crew members who sat in the back of the helicopter: a rescue swimmer named Bob Hovey and a flight mechanic named Ethan Hill. Deal and Jamros scanned the ocean through their cockpit windows; Hill sat perched in the wide-open door on the right side of the helicopter, where he had the clearest view of the water below. Hovey spent most of his time staring at yet another screen, this one displaying the output of an infrared radar camera mounted on the bottom of the helicopter. The Coast Guard search was off to an excellent start.

It was a clear day with good visibility, and they had plenty of assets in place. The only problem, of course, was that everyone involved was searching in entirely the wrong place. Aldridge did not fall in the water at p. Almost 30 miles south of where the Jayhawk crew was carefully searching for him, Aldridge was clinging to his boots in the cold water.

He borrowed the microphone from Sean Davis and radioed the Anna Mary directly.