National Geographic : 1968 Jun
died, but several ships suffered heavy damage. As recently as 1959 a Danish ship, the Hans Hedtoft, struck an iceberg-outside the area covered by the International Ice Patrol-and went down with a loss of all 95 persons aboard. Common Enemy, Ice, Unites Nations The wind freshened now and Evergreen be gan to roll. We picked up speed to keep ahead of pack ice pushing down from the north. The ocean had suddenly become a black meringue of swirls and swells. Waves vaulted over the sides of Evergreen and crashed down on the buoy deck with shuddering force. And then it seemed that the sea was in the hands of demons; they let it go slack and snapped it taut, sending the ship hurtling up and down in a not-so-funny game of blanket toss. The gale raged for 24 hours, becoming so violent at times that I was propelled from my seat, like a cork fired from an air gun, three or four times while watching an old Garv Cooper film being shown aboard ship. On our run back to Newfoundland, I re flected on the efficiency of the operation and the dedication of the men who see it through, year after year. It was easy now for me to understand why the International Ice Patrol has endured; why indeed there has never been a more successful international effort for the preservation of life and property at sea. I carried those thoughts with me into the ship's radio shack. It was evening and the last ice bulletin of the day was coming in from Argentia. This time there was the annual postscript to the message, a pithy reminder that what happened exactly 55 years ago that day would not go unremembered: "RMS Titanic 41°46'N-50°14'W. 15 April 1912. Rest in peace." THE END 793 r - ,,1,,, - 1 1-,r11 kV~ o) t UUIKL, INC.