Rockets & Rescues
During foggy conditions ships were alerted to the proximity of land by rockets which were fired out to sea and exploded in the air with a resounding boom. Rockets were fired at regular intervals to allow captains to orient themselves to the coast.
Another device, involving rockets, was used to rescue shipwreck survivors. A rocket with a rope attached was fired with the intention that it would fall across the deck. The rope would be attached and fed into a block. The rope could be pulled between ship and shore and passengers brought to safety on a bosun’s chair.