St. John’s (Bernd F. Laeschke – August 2010): During an expedition to the wreck of the Titanic, stunning 3-D images have been captured for the first time. Scientists and archeologists aboard the research vessel The Jean Charcot produced the most detailed map to date of the wreck site. The RMS Titanic, Inc., the company that was awarded ownership rights to the wreckage as salvor-in-possession in 1994, organized the expedition that is co-led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). A YouTube video-clip titled “Expedition Titanic: ROV Recovery” is available here.
RMS Titanic was the largest passenger steamship in the world when she set off on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City on 10 April 1912. The Olympic-class passenger liner, owned by the White Star Line, struck an iceberg at 11:40 pm on April 14, 1912 about 400 miles (644 kilometers) south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, and sank at 2:20 am the following morning. In one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters, 1,517 people drowned, and only 706 survived. The 882 feet (269 meter) vessel did have a displacement of 52,310 tons. With a height of 175 feet (53 meter), the Titanic featured 9 decks and 840 staterooms. Fully loaded, it could carry 2,687 passengers and a crew of 860.
“What an incredible day it's been. Images: jaw-dropping. Working up the nerve to climb up into that little room,” said David Gallo, WHOI’s director of special projects, on its Twitter account. “I really wish y'all could be aboard to see these images. Tough for anyone to get to sleep.”
The latest attempt to map the wreck that lies roughly 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) below the ocean surface was threatened by the approach of hurricane Danielle. Officials said Sunday that they are heading back to shore and return once the storm has passed. Nevertheless, the expedition was able to probe the wreck and the large debris field surrounding it with a pair of robots that captured thousands of photographs and hours of high definition video. Scientists aim to complete a full inventory of the ships remains and artifacts that are partially buried under almost a century of sediment.
Some of the most stunning images of the Titanic wreck are seen in this video, placed on YouTube by Premier Expeditions.