Distress Rockets were first used on the TITANIC because it sank so slowly, that there was time to fire them. While firing, a ship near by called the Californian saw them from 11 miles off. However, they thought it was for some sort of celebration. Fireworks were invited by the Chinese as weapons and then was used in Italy for celebration due to their stunning and explosive beauty. The TITANIC fired eight rockets which was all that was in stock. After the TITANIC sank, the rescue ship Carpathia used the rockets it had to signal the lifeboats until the darkness lifted. Today, nearly all vessels have flares or rockets in case of distress.