The erection of a wireless station at Horse Islands, the result, it is understood, of the representations of Mr. Strong, member for White Bay, has been more than justified, as the incidents in the connection with the Viking disaster have shown. What the results might have been if no such means of communication had been available may be more easily imagined than described. Certainly, at least six men owe their lives to the prompt arrival of the ships which hurried to the scene as soon as Otis Bartlett, the wireless operator on Horse Islands who has rendered such signal service for four days without a break, first sent word out that a disaster had occurred. Even with the prompt arrival of the relief expedition that reached the island at 9:30 this morning, the messages show that residents and survivors have been reduced to dire straits and that the devoted women in their work of humanity are on the verge of exhaustion.
Incidentally, it is to be hoped that their depleted supplies of food will be replenished.
Newfoundland’s financial resources do not permit of the providing of many facilities around the country, but in one respect at least we cannot afford to be parsimonious. Aids for those who prosecute the fisheries make the first call. Their safety is a matter of paramount importance.
In these columns, it has many times been urged that the uses to which wireless can be put should be at their service: more stations such as that at Horse Islands, and a powerful central broadcasting station that could supply the fisherman with weather information hour by hour, as well as other particulars that might be of service to them in their calling. It is to be hoped that while the case of the Viking disaster is fresh in the minds of all. Consideration of the establishment of an efficient broadcasting and receiving station will no longer be deferred.
The Evening Telegram, March 19, 1931
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