A Brief History
On September 1, 1985, after 73 years sleeping on the deep dark ocean floor, the wreck of the fabled ocean liner, RMS Titanic, was discovered by a joint American-French salvage team led by Robert Ballard, sponsored by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. The mighty ship had sunk on its maiden voyage when it hit an iceberg 375 miles South of Newfoundland on April 15, 1912 with the loss of more than 1500 passengers and crew, including the ship’s captain. Not equipped with sufficient lifeboats for all on board, only about a third (705) of the 2224 people aboard survived to be rescued by the RMS Carpathia.
The Titanic was the largest ship afloat when she sailed on her only voyage, and had modern safety features such as watertight compartments and a radio (Morse code only). Sinking in only 2 hours and 40 minutes, not all lifeboats were filled and not all could be launched properly due to the listing ship. Despite survivors’ accounts describing the way the ship settled implying it had partially or totally split in half, for decades after the sinking it was assumed the big ship went down intact.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Ballard, Robert D. and Ken Marschall. Discovery Of The Titanic (Exploring The Greatest Of All Lost Ships). Warner/Madison Press, 1988.
Ballard, Robert D., Patrick Crean, et al. Exploring the Titanic: How the Greatest Ship Ever Lost was Found. Madison Press Books, 2014.
The featured image in this article, a biew of the bow of the RMS Titanic photographed in June 2004 by the ROV Hercules during an expedition returning to the shipwreck of the Titanic, is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, taken or made as part of an employee’s official duties.
You can also watch a video version of this article on YouTube: