Famous Wrecks

Famous Wrecks of the World Oceans News

  • Treasures from the world's most valuable shipwreck

    The ornate Atocha cross, is the most prized of all artifacts from the shipwreck

    By Germania Rodriguez Poleo - Dailymail.com

    Treasures from the world's most valuable shipwreck are being displayed in New York 400 years after they sunk to the bottom of the sea off Florida's coast. The anticipated Winter Show in New York City this year offers a rare look into three historical items recovered from the the Nuestra Señora de Atocha shipwreck, including an emerald crucifix, a royal orb and a gold-and-emerald ring.

    The Nuestra Señora de Atocha and all its New World treasures, owned by Spain's King Philip IV, left Havana in early September 1622, carrying 265 people as well as 40 tons of silver, gold and assorted riches taken from Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Venezuela.

    But the Spanish galleon and its sister ship Santa Margarita sunk to the bottom of the ocean after a hurricane struck just days after the doomed voyage began, killing hundreds, including wealthy colonizers who brought their personal jewels.

    The cargo of gold, silver, copper, tobacco, and gem was so vast that it had taken two months to transport it onto the Nuestra Señora de Atocha. The treasures, many taken from Colombia's Muzo mine and worth an estimated $1.1billion today, sunk on the ocean floor from the Marquesas Keys to the Dry Tortugas, between 30 and 70 miles west of Key West.

    Full story...



  • The 300-year-old “holy grail of shipwrecks”

    Photos of the 300-year-old San Jose shipwreck, thought to contain billions of dollars in treasure. Credit: Armada de la Republica de Colombia

    By Alexi Friedman - Greek Reporter


    Photos of the 300-year-old “holy grail of shipwrecks” that is thought to hold billions of dollars in gold and treasure have been recently released.

    The massive Spanish San Jose, which went down off the coast of what is now Cartagena, Colombia, likely contains gold and silver coins, emeralds, Chinese ceramics, swords, and cannons valued at nearly $17 billion to $16.1 billion euros, Insider reported. That would make the multi-deck 64-gun vessel, which held 600 people, among the richest sunken ships ever discovered.

    Colombian naval crews spotted the galleon cargo and warship in 2015, but for obvious reasons did not provide an exact location and did not previously reveal images of the sunken vessel. It was located via an unmanned submersible that dove more than 3,000 feet below the surface.

    The British fleet sunk the San Jose in 1708 amid the War of the Spanish Succession, a decade-long battle over control of the Spanish empire. Some of the cannons aboard date back to the mid-1600s.

    The Colombian army shared photos of the find after Colombian President Iván Duque showed images of the wreck at a press conference earlier this month.

    The wreck has been the subject of an ongoing legal battle between Colombia and Spain, The Economist previously reported. Ownership could also be contested by countries in South America from where some of the treasure was thought to have been stolen.

    Full story...



  • Never before seen footage of the Titanic

    RMS Titanic

    By Phillip Nieto - Yahoo News

    Never-before-seen footage of the legendary RMS Titanic showed the wreckage in the highest available 8k resolution.

    OceanGate, a commercial expedition group, took the footage this year and released a one-minute clip of the 8,000 resolution of the sunken British passenger liner.

    The 110-year-old ship was found approximately 400 nautical miles from Newfoundland, Canada, and 2.4 below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. The group charges each guest $250,000 to take a tour of the wreckage via a submersible. Previously, OceanGate has completed two expeditions, with a third one scheduled for 2023.

    The footage provided by the team is the highest quality video ever taken of the world's most popular sunken vessel. "The amazing detail in the 8k footage will help our team of scientists and maritime archeologists characterize the decay of the Titanic more precisely as we capture new footage in 2023 and beyond.

    Capturing this 8K footage will allow us to zoom in and still have 4K quality which is key for large screen and immersive video projects. Even more remarkable are the phenomenal colors in this footage," said Stockton Rush, president of OceanGate Expeditions, in a statement.

    The company claims that each expedition is accompanied by a crew of historians, scientists, and dive experts. The footage shows the ship's bow, portside anchor, hull number one, a 200-pound anchor chain, cargo hold, and bronze capstan. Vivid images of the Titanic's decaying railings can also be seen.

    The group hopes to use their footage to determine the ship's decay rate and assist archeologists in studying the wreckage.



  • The forgotten shipwreck of the ‘Spanish Titanic’

    RMS Principe de Asturias

    From Naira Galarraga Gortazar - El Pais

    Isidor Prenafeta Siles, 87, still remembers the after-dinner conversations of his youth, in 1940s Spain, when his grandfather would recount the thrilling tale of the shipwreck, if there was company to listen.

    “The story of the ship would come up here and there in conversation, but only when guests asked him about it,” he remembers, speaking on the phone from his home in Castelldefels, a coastal town on the outskirts of Barcelona.

    “I would ask him about it, too,” says Siles, a retired engineer and a writer who made his living building boats. His grandfather, Gregorio Siles Peña, would recount in gripping detail the fatal wreck of the Príncipe de Asturias, the Spanish passenger liner that sank off the coast of Brazil, on the night of Carnaval, in 1916. Siles Peña knew the details because he was there: he survived the catastrophe.

    Peña worked as an electrician on the ship, which was launched just two weeks after a similarly fated, if more famous, passenger liner — the RMS Titanic — struck an iceberg and capsized in the North Atlantic Ocean on the night on April 14, 1912.

    The pride of the Spanish merchant navy, built in Scotland, the Príncipe de Asturias departed Barcelona on February 17, 1916, bound for Buenos Aires, on what would be her last and final voyage.

    More than a century later, the tragedy of the “Spanish Titanic” (or the “Brazilian Titanic,” depending on who you ask) is better known in Brazil, where it sank, than in Spain, where it set sail. The remains of the shipwreck, which claimed more lives than any other in the history of Latin America’s largest country, still lie in the depths of the South Atlantic.

    March 5, 1916: The night of Carnaval, and the last night before the Príncipe’s scheduled stopover in Brazil. First-class passengers are enjoying their own carnival celebration, dancing the Charleston to a live orchestra on the 150-meter-long ship, which in addition to a dancefloor, offered its wealthier guests a library, a sauna and a smoking lounge.

    Registered passengers totaled 654, including 193 crew members, but historians estimate that somewhere in the realm of 1,000 additional, clandestine travelers were also aboard: European refugees fleeing the devastation of World War I, packed into the ship’s hold, together with a slew of delinquents of all shapes and stripes — men and women in search of a new life in America.

    Full story...


  • Endurance shipwreck found 107 years after

    Ernest Shackleton

    By Xindi Wei - GB News


    The wreck of Endurance, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship which has not been seen since it was crushed by the ice and sank in the Weddell Sea in 1915, has been found.

    The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust confirmed the news this morning, bringing a 107-year mystery to an end.

    The wreckage was found at a depth of 3008 metres off the Antarctic peninsula within the search area defined by the expedition team before its departure from Cape Town, and approximately four miles south of the position originally recorded by Captain Frank Worsley.

    The team worked from the South African polar research and logistics vessel, S.A. Agulhas II, owned by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment and under Master, Capt. Knowledge Bengu, using Saab’s Sabertooth hybrid underwater search vehicles.

    The wreck is protected as a Historic Site and Monument under the Antarctic Treaty, ensuring that while it is being surveyed and filmed it will not be touched or disturbed in any way.

    Donald Lamont, Chairman of the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, said: “Our objectives for Endurance22 were to locate, survey and film the wreck, but also to conduct important scientific research, and to run an exceptional outreach programme.

    "Today’s celebrations are naturally tempered by world events, and everybody involved in Endurance22 keeps those affected by these continuing shocking events in their thoughts and prayers.

    “The spotlight falls today on Mensun Bound, the Director of Exploration, and Nico Vincent, Subsea Project Manager. Under the outstanding leadership of Dr John Shears, they have found Endurance.

    "But this success has been the result of impressive cooperation among many people, both on board the remarkable S.A. Agulhas II with its outstanding Master and crew, a skilled and committed expedition team and many on whose support we have depended in the UK, South Africa, Germany, France, the United States and elsewhere.

    "The Trustees extend to them all our warmest thanks and congratulations on this historic achievement.”





  • The Endeavour, shipwreck of Captain Cook

    A painting by John Alcott of Captain Cook's HMB Endeavour entering Australia's Botany Bay.

    From Farrah Tomazin - Stuff

    Australia’s announcement that scientists had confirmed the final resting place of Captain James Cook’s most famous ship has been vehemently disputed by archaeologists in Rhode Island, where the shipwreck lies.

    The Australian National Maritime Museum’s (ANMM) director Kevin Sumption announced the breakthrough on Thursday, that a wreck in Newport Harbour, off the coast of Rhode Island in the United States, was the long-lost HMS Endeavour.

    But the announcement immediately sparked a furious response from the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP), which is the lead partner in the search.

    It branded the ANMM announcement as a “breach of contract” and said it was premature.

    “What we see on the shipwreck site under study is consistent of what might be the Endeavour, but there has been no indisputable data to prove the site is that iconic vessel, and there are many unanswered questions that could overturn such an identification,” the group said in a statement.

    The discovery could also spark a cross-continent tussle over where to store the historical wreckage. While the ship has an important place in Australian history, it also has significance for the US, Britain and the UK.

    The Endeavour was originally launched in 1764, albeit under another name: the Earl of Pembroke. Four years later it was renamed by the British Royal Navy and spent the next three years voyaging to the South Pacific, charting the east coast of Australia and the coast of New Zealand in 1770.

    Full story...

  • $250,000 for a visit to the Titanic shipwreck site

    Underwater image of the wreck of the Titanic

    By Lauren Harte - Belfast Live

    A new expedition to the wreck of the Titanic has been announced for summer 2022, but it comes at a hefty price.

    Only around 250 people have glimpsed the wreckage since it was discovered on the seabed in 1985, but a small group will make the epic two-mile journey to the site on the ocean floor next year.

    Oceangate Expeditions, which offers underwater expeditions across the world, has announced its second annual trip to the ship's final resting place. It will see ‘mission specialists,’ along with researchers, survey the vessel up close from inside the company’s submersible Titan.

    The group of citizen explorers will travel 12,500ft beneath the North Atlantic Ocean to survey the famous Belfast-built liner that sank in April 1912.

    The Titanic Expedition is conducted as a series of eight-day missions in May and June but each seat now costs $250,000 – a $125,000 increase on last year. OceanGate Expeditions Mission Specialist, Aaron Newman said of the 2021 trip: "It was something out of Discovery Channel or National Geographic. It was very surreal and amazing.

    "This is one of the most interesting and unique experiences I have ever had. Less than around 200 people have ever been down to the Titanic and seen the wreck in 110 years."

    Full story...



  • This Maldives resort hosts an overnight shipwreck adventure

    The Maldives

    From Julia Neeson - Travel+Leisure

    Have you ever had the urge to ship your kids off to a deserted island for a few days? No need to lie; we know you have.

    Well, now you can — but in style. At the ultra-high-end Maldives resort Soneva Fushi, the Adventure of the Corbin course will take kids aged 12 to 15 to an uninhabited island to live like shipwrecked sailors in an imaginative (and completely safe) crash-course in survival.

    The world's leader in sustainable luxury, Soneva, has launched Soneva Academy. At both Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani, they offer five different courses ranging from Marine Life of the Maldives to Zero Waste and Plastic Pollution to The Adventure of The Corbin.

    "At Soneva, our core philosophy is to educate our guests on how to take care of the environment in which we live," says Bart Knols, managing director for science and conservation at Soneva Fushi.

    This kids-only trip to a beautiful white sand beach isn't a sequel to "Castaway," it's the stuff of childhood dreams.

    Starting at Soneva Fushi, the group of newly formed survival buddies will spend the first night learning about the Maldives' varied marine life and ancient island culture while playing games and eating barbecue on nearby Turtle Beach.

    Full story...



  • The British shipwreck that changed the world

    A stone memorial marks where Sir Cloudesley Shovell's body was washed up from the wreck of HMS Association

    By Keith Drew - BBC

    Our boat was only half a dozen miles out of St Mary's, the main island in the Isles of Scilly, but the sea had become a different beast entirely.

    The waters that lulled against the harbour walls were long gone, and as we arced around the Western Rocks – a notorious cordon of razor-sharp skerries at the very south-westerly reaches of England – the swell surged.

    Waves slapped against the bow as the boat keeled to and fro. The water was the colour of midnight, and I peered into the darkness for a sign of the HMS Association, one of 1,000 shipwrecks that lie splintering into the seabed around Scilly.

    Two parallel reefs, much of which is submerged at high water, the Western Rocks posed a formidable threat to sailors bound for safe harbour in Tresco or St Mary's. And the names that each cluster of jagged granite has been given over the years – Inner Rags, Tearing Ledge – hint at the devastation wrought.

    "It is doubtful if any collection of rocks in the whole of the British Isles has a worse reputation," said Richard Larn OBE, president of the International Maritime Archaeological & Shipwreck Society and author of Sea of Storms: Shipwrecks of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. "This immense area of hidden danger has been the setting for the worst of the many wreck disasters on Scilly."

    None, though, have been more tragic, nor played a more significant role in history, than the sinking of the Association in the early years of the 18th Century.

    A 90-gun, second-rate English warship, HMS Association was the flagship of Sir Cloudesley Shovell, who had worked his way up from lowly cabin boy to become Admiral of the Fleet in 1705.

    Shovell had distinguished himself in the Nine Years' War and in early skirmishes of the War of the Spanish Succession, but after a summer spent (unsuccessfully) laying siege to the French port of Toulon, he set sail for home, departing from Gibraltar for England in late September 1707.

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  • Titanic undertaking: Chronicling ship’s decay

    Titanic expedition

    By Ben Finley - The Columbian

    The Titanic is disappearing. The iconic ocean liner that was sunk by an iceberg is now slowly succumbing to metal-eating bacteria: holes pervade the wreckage, the crow’s nest is already gone and the railing of the ship’s iconic bow could collapse at any time.

    Racing against the inevitable, an undersea exploration company’s expedition to the site of the wreckage could start this week, beginning what’s expected to be an annual chronicling of the ship’s deterioration. With the help of wealthy tourists, experts hope to learn more about the vessel as well as the underwater ecosystem that shipwrecks spawn.

    “The ocean is taking this thing, and we need to document it before it all disappears or becomes unrecognizable,” Stockton Rush, president of OceanGate Expeditions, said Friday from a ship headed to the North Atlantic wreck site.

    The 109-year-old ocean liner is being battered by deep-sea currents and bacteria that consumes hundreds of pounds of iron a day. Some have predicted the ship could vanish in a matter of decades as holes yawn in the hull and sections disintegrate.

    Since the ship’s 1985 discovery, the 100-foot forward mast has collapsed. The crow’s nest from which a lookout shouted, “Iceberg, right ahead!” disappeared. And the poop deck, where passengers crowded as the ship sank, folded under itself.

    Full story...



  • Divers saved 'monumental' piece of Titanic

    A piece of Titanic was recovered

    By Callum Hoare - Express.co.uk

    A Titanic breakthrough was made after a "monumental" piece of the vessel was saved, in what was described as a "miracle" for preserving history.

    The British passenger liner famously sunk after hitting an iceberg shortly before midnight on April 14, 1912, in a devastating event that saw more than 1,500 people lose their lives. Its wreck was discovered in 1985 by a Franco-American expedition sponsored by the US Navy. 

    The ship was split in two, and is still gradually disintegrating at the bottom of the North Atlantic, sparking concerns from experts who wanted to save it before it was lost forever.

    And Channel 4's "Titanic: Into the Heart of the Wreck" detailed how, in 1994, diver Paul-Henry Nargeolet made a huge contribution in its survival bid. The narrator said: "He discovers an enormous piece of Titanic's hull lying on the ocean floor, measuring eight by seven metres and weighing 18 tonnes.

    "Nicknamed the 'Big Piece', its recovery is a huge challenge, costing millions of dollars. "Nothing like this has ever been achieved by any archaeologist before.

    Full story...



  • The Titanic: Unforgotten stories of the 4 Greek passengers

    The Titanic in front of the 5 times larger Oasis of the Seas, currently the largest cruise ship in the world. Photo by Imgur.

    By Paulina Karavasili - Greek City Times

    109 years ago, one of the darkest pages of the world history was written. The transatlantic Titanic, one of the largest ships to ever be built, and the largest ship of its time, sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912, carrying 2,224 passengers and crew.

    After colliding with an iceberg during its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York, US, the gigantic ship was wrecked in two, killing more than 1,500 people. Even to this day, the tragedy of the Titanic, is considered to be one of the deadliest maritime accidents in modern history.

    What many do not know is that among the casualties, there were four Greek passengers, who left Europe, looking for a better life and new opportunities in America. Panagiotis Lymperopoulos, Vassilios Katavelos and brothers Apostolos Chronopoulos and Dimitrios Chronopoulos, came from the same village, Agios Sostis, in the region of Messinia in the Peloponnese.

    They were all under the age of 30 and once they heard the news about the Titanic and the cruise to the US, they travelled to Marseilles in France, to board the ship at the port of Cherbourg.

    Tragically, their dreams, like those of many others who were lost that night, never came true, as all four of them died in the most famous shipwreck in naval history, and although the bodies of Lymperopoulos and Katavelos were believed to have been recovered, those of the two Chronopoulos brothers were never found.

    Full story...



  • The world's most valuable shipwreck ever found ?

    Replicas of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha treasure haul

    By Alex Lemaire - The Maritime Excecutive


    On this same day, 35 years ago, the legendary deep-sea explorer Mel Fisher discovered the shipwreck of the Nuestra Senora de Atocha. The galleon was sailing from the new world to Spain. It was hit by a hurricane and sank in 1622. 260 people lost their lives in this accident. Only five survived by climbing the mizzen, which remained above the water.

    Senora de Atocha was loaded with several precious items. But what makes this ship so special is that it contained 40 tons of gold and silver and around 70 pounds of Colombian emeralds, some of the finest and most expensive in the world.

    Spanish salvors tried and failed to recover this precious cargo because the hatches were locked tight. A second hurricane further destroyed the shipwreck and it was lost without a trace.

    In 1969, more than 300 years later, Mel Fisher started looking for Atocha’s treasure. This mission was lengthy and dangerous. A few finds along the way convinced him that he is getting closer to the great discovery. The crew found some silver bars in 1973; their tally marks matched Atocha’s paperwork. Two years later, they found five of the galleon’s cannons. In 1980, they discovered the wreck of the Santa Margarita (Atocha’s sister ship).

    Three members of his crew (a diver, his son, and his wife) lost their lives during this quest when their boat capsized. The treasure hunter was shaken but he didn’t lose hope and he knew that the lost teammates would have wanted the expedition to resume. He always kept saying “Today’s the day!”.

    In addition to the previous difficulties, the treasure hunter has to fight a court battle against the state of Florida who wanted ownership or at least a percentage of the treasure. The US Supreme Court ruled in his favor.

    Full story...



  • Artifacts retrieved from shipwreck of HMS Erebus

    Drone image above the HMS Erebus shipwreck

    By Kat Long - Mentafloss.com

    From a shallow Arctic gulf, a treasure trove of objects from the HMS Erebus shipwreck has been brought to the surface for the first time in more than 170 years. The items could offer new clues about the doomed Franklin expedition, which left England in 1845 to search for the Northwest Passage.

    All 129 people perished from still-uncertain causes—a mystery that was fictionalized in the AMC series The Terror in 2018. Marc-André Bernier, head of underwater archaeology at Parks Canada, said in a teleconference from Ottawa that this year’s research season was the most successful since the discovery of the HMS Erebus shipwreck in 2014.

    Parks Canada divers and Inuit located the HMS Terror, the second ship of the Franklin expedition, in 2016.

    From mid-August to mid-September, 2019, the Parks Canada and Inuit research team began systematically excavating the large and complex shipwreck. “We focused on areas that had not been disturbed since the ship had sunk,” Bernier said.

    “Right now, our focus is the cabins of the officers, and we’re working our way toward the higher officers. That’s where we think we have a better chance of finding more clues to what happened to the expedition, which is one of the major objectives.”

    Over a total of 93 dives this year, archaeologists concentrated on three crew members’ cabins on the port side amidships: one belonging to the third lieutenant, one for the steward, and one likely for the ice master.

    In drawers underneath the third lieutenant’s bed, they discovered a tin box with a pair of the officer’s epaulets in “pristine condition,” Bernier said. They may have belonged to James Walter Fairholme, one of the three lieutenants on the Erebus.

    Full article...



  • Titanic shipwreck protected under treaty between US and UK

    The Titanic, a passenger ship of the White Star Line, that sank in the night of April 14-15, 1912

    From Fox News

    The sunken wreck of the Titanic will be protected under a new treaty agreed to by the United States and the United Kingdom.

    More than 100 years after the ill-fated ship sank to the bottom of the sea when it hit an iceberg, the formal agreement includes managing and safeguarding one of the world’s most culturally significant sites.

    “This momentous agreement with the United States to preserve the wreck means it will be treated with the sensitivity and respect owed to the final resting place of more than 1,500 lives,” said British Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani in a statement announcing the news on Tuesday.

    “The UK will now work closely with other North Atlantic States to bring even more protection to the wreck of the Titanic.”

    The Titanic hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. ship’s time on April 14, 1912, and sank on its maiden voyage just over two hours later with the loss of all but 706 of the 2,223 people onboard, according to a Senate report released at the time.

    The Titanic incident led to the drawing up of the SOLAS (Safety of Lives at Sea) Convention in 1914, which sets the minimum safety standards by which ships are required to comply worldwide.

    Full story...


  • The Titanic shipwreck is collapsing into rust

    The bow of the Titanic

    By Brandon Specktor - Livescience

    One-hundred-and-seven years after sinking to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, the ruins of the RMS Titanic continue to rapidly disintegrate into the sea, according to a team of ocean explorers who recently revisited the wreck for the first time in 14 years.

    Led by Victor Vescovo — who set a new deep-diving record after piloting a submersible to the bottom of the Mariana Trench (and finding plastic trash there) in May — the team descended 12,500 feet (3,810 meters) to the Titanic's wreck site off the coast of Newfoundland in a series of five dives earlier this month.

    They found that the famous wreck has degraded considerably in the past 14 years, particularly near the officers' quarters on the ship's starboard side, resulting in the loss of some of the wreck's most iconic features.

    "The captain's bathtub is a favorite image among Titanic enthusiasts, and that's now gone," Titanic historian Parks Stephenson said in footage filmed for an upcoming documentary on the expedition.

    "That whole deck house on that side is collapsing, taking with it the state rooms. And that deterioration is going to continue advancing."

    First discovered in 1985, the wreck of the Titanic sits in two pieces some 370 miles (600 kilometers) south of Newfoundland. While the ship's king-of-the-world bow and many interiors remain well preserved, much of the wreck is collapsed, corroded and encrusted in "rusticles" of brittle, deteriorated metal.

    Full story...

  • ‘Titanic II’ to be a near-replica of the original

    Titanic live again

    By Cat Bolton - The Epoch Times

    One of the world’s most famous large-scale disasters was the maiden voyage of the British passenger liner RMS Titanic, which sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in a shipwreck that killed more than 1,500 passengers and crew.

    Nearly every student and film enthusiast has either heard the story or seen the movie, making the deadly nautical disaster both one of the biggest peacetime tragedies of the 20th century and one of the most famous.

    It would stand to reason that, with the grim history behind the massive liner and its name, few would dare board a replica a century later. But thrill seekers everywhere will potentially get that chance within the next five years—and even for the most superstitious among us, it’s a pretty tempting-looking adventure.

    Australian billionaire and cruise line chairman Clive Palmer is the brainchild behind the “Titanic II,” which is currently projected to set sail from Dubai some time in 2021.

    She’ll arrive at Southampton in time for a 2022 maiden voyage, exactly 110 years after the first Titanic went to cross the ocean, and the ship will be a near-identical replica to the original Titanic, with a capacity of 2,500 passengers who will get to experience a cruise experience just as the original passengers had hoped to.

    In an almost eerie parallel to the original ship, the project has hit a handful of obstacles since first being announced in 2012. Financial disputes with the Chinese manufacturers working to build the ship left the project seemingly dead in the water, crushing a controversial yet exciting-sounding dream hatched in the era of limit-pushing and past-era nostalgia.

    Full story...



  • Secret British mission to salvage 44 tonnes of gold bars

    Wreck of HMS Laurentic

    By Brendan Mcfadden - Mail Online

    A WW1 navy crew's daring secret mission to salvage 44 tonnes of gold bars worth £1.3 billion from the wreck of a ship sunk during the First World War is revealed in a new book.

    HMS Laurentic was carrying the gold to Canada and the US when it was blown up by two German mines off the coast of Lough Swilly, Ireland on January 25, 1917. The merchant cruiser sank within an hour, resulting in the deaths of 354 out of 479 passengers on board.

    Cash-strapped Britain needed the gold to finance its war effort and put together an elite diving team to retrieve it from the shipwreck which lay on the seabed at a depth of 130ft.

    The operation started in 1917 and needed to be done in stealth because the British government could not afford for the Germans to learn about the gold in the wreck of the White Star Line ocean liner.

    The little-known salvage operation was headed up by the highly experienced Lieutenant Commander Guybon Damant. Over the next seven years, he was able to retrieve 3,186 of 3,211 gold ingots that went down with the ship, with a value of £5 million at the time.

    The recovery of the gold is to this day the largest recovery, in weight, of a sunken gold hoard.

    The extraordinary operation is revealed for the first time in unprecedented detail by historian Joseph A. Williams in his new book, Sunken Gold.

    Full story...

  • Bankrupt Titanic collector is selling everything

    Titanic - drawing appeared in John Walker’s book AN UNSINKABLE TITANIC EVERY SHIP ITS OWN LIFEBOAT published 1912.

    By Dawn McCarty - Bloomberg

    The story of the doomed luxury liner R.M.S. Titanic proved so alluring that divers were searching for the wreck seven decades after it sank to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Once it was found in 1985, fanfare over retrieved relics led to exhibits around the world and a blockbuster movie. But the company holding the rights to the ship and 5,500 artifacts has been mired in debt, placing the future of its collection in the hands of a bankruptcy court.

    On Thursday, a judge weighed plans for auctioning the largest trove of Titanic memorabilia, which already is drawing the interest of U.S. hedge funds, Chinese investors, British museums and award-winning director James Cameron.

    Among the items is the bell a crow’s nest lookout rang to warn the bridge of an iceberg ahead; window grills from the first-class dining area; a passenger’s three-diamond ring; and a suitcase full of clothes owned by William Henry Allen, an English toolmaker immigrating to America.

    Titanic, once the biggest ocean liner ever built, sank almost two miles below the sea on its maiden voyage in 1912, killing more than 1,500 of its 2,200 passengers.

    “It’s just sad to see that great ship of dreams, and the pieces of it, bounced around like an orphaned child,’’ said David Gallo, an oceanographer and former head of special projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who co-led an expedition to the wreck in 2010.

    At least three groups are vying for the artifacts from the current owner, Premier Exhibitions Inc. It’s the successor to a company once owned by a wealthy Connecticut auto dealer, who bankrolled a French exhibition that retrieved artifacts from Titanic for the first time in 1987.

    The wreck was discovered two years earlier by oceanographer Robert Ballard, who refused to remove anything from the site, which is 12,000 feet (3,700 meters) under water. Atlanta-based Premier organizes Titanic displays around the world, including at the Queen Mary hotel in Long Beach, California, the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, and the Guangdong Museum in China.

    In recent years, the business was expanded to include exhibitions such as animatronic dinosaurs, human cadavers and bugs, along with sets and props from the Saturday Night Live TV show.

    Full story...



  • San Jose may hold the most valuable treasure lost at sea

    Cannons of the San Jose

    By Tom Hale - Iflscience

    The seafloor of the Caribbean Sea looks like a pirate's idea of heaven.

    Just off the coast of Colombia lies a shipwreck loaded with one of the most valuable hauls of treasure ever lost at sea, estimated to be worth up to $17 billion in today’s money. The wreck of the San José, often called the “holy grail of shipwrecks”, was first discovered off the coast of Colombia three years ago.

    However, many details of this intriguing find have only just been released by the authorities. The Spanish galleon was sunk by a British squadron during the War of the Spanish Succession on June 8, 1708. Loaded with 62 guns and up to 600 crew, this colossal ship sank along with its vast treasure trove of gold, silver, and emeralds.

    The ship was transporting the riches as part of the Spanish king's mission to loot the South American colonies to fund the costly 13-year-long war.

    By no surprise, this booty meant that governments, treasure hunters, and researchers had been searching for the wreck for decades, until it was eventually discovered 600 meters (1,968 feet) beneath the waves by the Colombian Navy near Cartagena in 2015.

    Over the past few years, the wreckage has since been explored by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) using sonar imaging and an autonomous underwater vehicle called REMUS 6000, which has captured numerous new photographs of the site. REMUS was also used to map and photograph the Titanic wreck site during a 2010 expedition and played a key role in the discovery of the wreck of the Air France 447 passenger plane in 2011.

    Full story...



  • Victory to rise again

    More than 1,000 sailors died when HMS Victory sank

    By Jon Coates - Express

    Artefacts from the original HMS Victory could finally be salvaged from the bottom of the English Channel a decade after the wreck was found. A multi-million pound plan to excavate 50 bronze cannons, as well as the rudder, rigging and wine bottles has been presented to the Government.

    The Maritime Heritage Foundation is hoping Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson will give his consent to push ahead with the salvage before the wreck – which lies 50 miles south of Plymouth – is further damaged by tides, deep-sea trawlers and looters.

    The first-rate warship Victory was launched in 1737 with 100 bronze cannons on its three wooden decks. It was the predecessor to Lord Nelson’s Victory.

    More than 1,000 sailors died when the top-heavy flagship, the size of a village, sank in a storm in 1744. It was seen as a national disaster with Britain at war with France.

    The wreck was found in 2008 by Odyssey Marine Exploration, a US deep-sea salvage company, which will tomorrow symbolically sign over the £100 reward for finding it to the foundation.

    The Admiralty offered this sum back in 1745, which would have been paid in 95 gold guineas.

    These coins would now be worth £342,000 but the foundation, which was gifted ownership of the wreck by the Ministry of Defence in 2012, will accept £100 in modern-day currency in the hope it will be allowed to start its excavation work.

    Full story...



  • Lost WWII letters recovered to tell stories after 70 years

    SS Gairsoppa

    By Doloresz Katanich - Living it

    Over 700 personal letters were by chance preserved in an airlock onboard the SS Gairsoppa as it sank to the bottom of the Atlantic in 1941.

    A selection of those is now going on show in London. The exhibit in London's Postal Museum tells the story of steam cargo ship, the SS Gairsoppa, which was attacked by German U-boats while travelling from India to Britain in February 1941.

    Torpedoed around 300 miles off the coast of Ireland, the ship then sank almost 4,700 metres to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean.

    It lay there forgotten for 70 years. Fast forward to 2011, marine archaeologists discovered the long-lost shipwreck. In its cargo sat millions of ounces of silver, sent from colonial India to the UK to help fund the war effort.

    But as divers sifted through the wreckage, another surprising discovery appeared. "And in the conservation lab, slowly and suddenly words and phrases started to appear.

    And now this turned out to be a collection of some 700 letters, written from British India in November and December 1940.

    It's the largest collection of letters to survive on any shipwreck, anywhere in the world, since people started to write," said Marine Archaeologist and Guest Curator Dr. Sean Kingsley.

    "It shouldn't have been preserved, but because there was no light, there was no oxygen, it was darkness, it was like putting a collection of organics in a tin can, sealing it up and putting it in a fridge freezer," explained Dr. Kingsley.

    Full story...



  • Here's what protects shipwrecks from looters and hacks

    US Government Property... No Trespassing

    By George Dvorsky - Gizmodo

    On May 25, 1798, the HMS DeBraak was entering Delaware Bay when a squall struck without warning. The British ship that originally belonged to the Dutch capsized and sank, taking 34 sailors and a dozen Spanish prisoners down with it.

    Rumored to contain a hoard of gold and jewelry, the DeBraak became a popular target for treasure hunters in the years that followed. The wreck was finally discovered in 1986, lying under 80 feet of water at the mouth of the Delaware River.

    The team who found the ship attempted to raise it from its watery grave, resulting in one of the worst archaeological disasters in modern history. The event precipitated the passing of long-overdue laws designed to prevent something like this from ever happening again.

    Soon after the wreck of the DeBraak was found, treasure hunters speculated that it contained riches to the tune of $500 million, even though no evidence existed to support the claim.

    The team who made the discovery formed a company called Sub-Sal Incorporated to conduct a salvage operation. Its divers eagerly scoured the wreck, pulling up a gold ring belonging to the ship’s captain, belt buckles, a cannon, a long-barreled pistol, two bottles of rum, scabbards, toothbrushes (sans bristles), a pewter spoon, and hundreds of other items.

    The divers also recovered more than a hundred gold and silver coins, which they used as collateral for an $85,000 loan to keep the project afloat.

    Full story...



  • The Halifax Explosion: Ten objects that tell the story

    By Michael MacDonald - National Post

    Across Halifax, a trove of artifacts tell of what happened one terrible day 100 years ago.

    Just after 9 a.m. on Dec. 6, 1917, the bustling city was shaken by a thunderous blast that cut a swath of unimaginable destruction through its north end. Two ships, the SS Imo and the SS Mont Blanc, had collided in the harbour.

    As the Mont Blanc’s hull was sheared open, a shower of sparks set fire to its volatile cargo of bomb-making chemicals and ammunition. Almost 2,000 people were killed by the Halifax Explosion. Another 9,000 were injured.

    Inside two of the city’s museums, new exhibits help commemorate the disaster’s 100th anniversary on Dec. 6, showcasing relics that few have seen before:

    No. 1: Handkerchiefs

    As bodies were recovered from the blast site, those handling the remains were careful to collect all personal effects to help with identification. Among the many items left unclaimed were the mundane, everyday objects found in people’s pockets. These items included silk handkerchiefs, workingmen’s bandannas and children’s hankies, some of which are on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.

    “They’re pretty much exactly as they were when they were recovered from the rubble in the days after the blast,” says curator Roger Marsters. “They’re crumpled, they’re dirty, they’re rough … Every one of those has a story.” One of the cotton handkerchiefs belonged to a girl, believed to be about 10 years old. She was identified as No. 256, with “light complexion” and “long dark hair.”

    She was wearing a dark dress with a red and black striped apron, and a light flannel petticoat.

    No. 2: Prosthetic eyes.

    As the Mont Blanc burned in Halifax harbour, hundreds of people watched the spectacle, unaware that the vessel was a floating time bomb. When it exploded, the resulting shock wave blew out windows across the city, blinding hundreds of people.

    About a dozen ophthalmologists treated 592 people suffering from eye injuries, which included performing 249 eye removals.

    As part of its exhibit, the museum is displaying a unnerving collection of hand-painted prosthetic eyes, on loan from the Medical History Society of Nova Scotia.

    Full story...







  • The Titanic shipwreck killed 1,500 people


    By Stephanie Merry - Washington Post

    Here’s a lesson in how to avoid being a popular teenager in 1997: Tell all your friends that the swoony romantic drama they’re giddy over is actually a garbage movie; that, really, a 1958 black-and-white film called “A Night to Remember” is more worth their time; that the whole romance between Leo and Kate is insipid compared with what really happened.

    I was 16 when “Titanic” came out and became a colossal hit, and sometimes I felt like the only naysayer. I was right in the bull’s eye of the target demographic: What adolescent girl didn’t want to see a tear-jerker starring Romeo himself, with a plucky heroine and sweaty love scenes? So I saw it in the theater 20 years ago, like everyone else.

    But unlike just about all of my female classmates, I wasn’t impressed. Or maybe I should say I wasn’t impressed with the story — you can’t deny that the movie had some seriously special effects. The problem was that, knowing the real tales of some of the survivors put me at a disadvantage for appreciating the manufactured love story the mass tragedy revolved around.

    The sinking itself on April 15, 1912, was dramatic enough.

    What was the point of inserting a bunch of made-up melodrama into an event that was already so harrowing? Even before I knew I had a distant relative on the Titanic, I was instantly and deeply fascinated by the disaster.

    I must have been 6 or 7 when I stumbled upon a couple of old National Geographic magazines in my childhood basement about the recent discovery of the ship’s wreckage.

    (In the days before Marie Kondo, my parents, like every parent I knew, hung on to every last issue, neatly lining up the yellow spines in a bookcase in chronological order.) I found myself paging through a worn copy from December 1985 with a story by Robert Ballard, the explorer who discovered the ruins that year.

    The article was accompanied by underwater photos like I’d never seen of the rusted hull of a sunken ship that had been sitting on the ocean floor, undisturbed, for decades.

    I can’t say what could possibly draw a little girl to such a nightmare — shouldn’t I have been playing with my Pound Puppy or something? — but I was transfixed and immediately took the magazine to my dad, who I presumed had never heard of this massive historical event. That’s when he told me we had a family connection, albeit a distant one.

    Full story...







  • Parks Canada releases new images of 2017 Franklin dives

    A port-side 3D scan of the HMS Erebus on the ocean floor of Queen Maud Gulf in Nunavut

    From steve Ducharme - Nunatsiaq Online

    New details about Sir John Franklin’s doomed Arctic expedition continue to be discovered as archeologists examine two sunken wrecks in Nunavut’s waters.

    Following the announcement that the United Kingdom would transfer the shipwrecks to the country that offered them a final Arctic resting place, Parks Canada has released a new trove of underwater images of HMS Terror and HMS Erebus taken this past summer.

    New images confirm that the Terror’s anchor remains on board, disproving earlier speculation from 2016 that the ship was “at anchor” when it sank—another important detail as researchers determine the timeline of events in this historic tragedy.

    As well, Parks Canada says it has catalogued 64 artifacts from the Erebus, but added that no artifacts were removed from either the Erebus or Terror during the 2017 expedition.

    “Through dives, Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology team was able to locate previously unseen artifacts, including wine bottles, on the wreck [of the Erebus],” said Parks Canada communications officer Meaghan Bradley.

    The British government’s proposed transfer of the wrecks to Canada would be in exchange for “a small sample of artifacts,” the United Kingdom said in a statement.

    What will be contained in that sample of artifacts has yet to be specified but Parks Canada said it “looks forward to working with the United Kingdom in the very near future to finalize the details of the artifact transfer.”

    Full story...







  • Bringing a shipwreck back to life with photogrammetry

    SS Thistlegorm

    By Steve Dent - Engadget

    A little over 76 years ago, the British merchant steam ship SS Thistlegorm was sunk by a WW II German bomber off the coast of Egypt, taking nine souls down with it.

    It has only been seen in detail by divers, but a new website from the University of Nottingham and Egypt's Alexandria Universities lets you experience the shipwreck via immersive 3D models and 360-degree VR videos.

    The underwater photogrammetry study is one of the first to use 360-degree, 3D video. Divers carried 360-degree Kolor GoPro Abyss rigs, each with six individual cameras shooting 4K Ultra HD footage.

    To create a 360-degree virtual "guided tour" of the ship (below), the team mounted the Abyss system on the front of an underwater scooter. Each dive captured 50GB of data, for a total of 1.5TB of footage.

    "For me, 360 video is a big step forward as it recreates the diving experience," said University of Nottingham project director Dr. Jon Henderson.

    "You can get the impression of swimming over it and through the internal parts of the wreck."

    To build the 3D model shown at top, the team took over 15,668 images to capture the external model of the ship and seabed, along with 11,164 interior images for the deck, holds, captain's cabin and other areas.

    It took 65 days of continuous computer processing to build the five survey models.

    Full story...







  • U.K. offers famed Arctic shipwrecks

    The HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in the bay where John Franklin's expedition spent the winter of 1845-1846, as illustrated by Le Breton in 1853.

    By Colin Dwyer - NPR.org

    In an act befitting "our long shared history and the closeness of our current bilateral relationship," the U.K. has announced it will give Canada the recovered shipwrecks of John Franklin, a British explorer who sought to chart an unnavigated section of the Northwest Passage in the Arctic in the 1840s — and died in the attempt, along with all of his crew.

    "This exceptional arrangement will recognise the historical significance of the Franklin expedition to the people of Canada, and will ensure that these wrecks and artefacts are conserved for future generations," British Defense Minister Michael Fallon said in a statement published Tuesday.

    For more than a century and a half, the resting place of the two vessels remained a mystery — until a team of archaeologists finally found and identified the HMS Erebus in 2014.

    Just two years later, researchers acted on a tip from an Inuit man to find the HMS Terror, the flagship of Franklin's 1845 expedition, sitting "perfectly preserved" nearby in the waters near King William Island.

    Reporting at the time the HMS Erebus was found, the Toronto Star explained the enduring riddle Franklin's doomed expedition has represented:

    "Sir John Franklin and 128 crewmen were lost in the original expedition. Skulls believed to be of the members of the expedition were found and buried on King William Island in 1945. "But for 167 years it has remained a mystery as to why Franklin and his men were never heard from soon after the Royal Navy had mounted one of the best equipped Arctic explorations in its history to find a possible trade route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans."

    Full story...







  • Shipwreck of heroic British explorer Ben Leigh Smith

    Eira the steam yacht

    From The Siberian Times

    The name of Benjamin (Ben) Leigh Smith may not seem too familiar among Arctic explorers, but it should be.

    The intrepid explorer born into a radical English family named the cape where his vessel sank after being trapped between two giant icebergs after his famous relative Florence Nightingale, known as 'The Lady with the Lamp' for tending the wounded in the Crimean War, an English social reformer and statistician who is seen in her country as the founder of modern nursing. 

    On his fateful voyage which culminated in the fateful sinking of his elegant steam yacht, the Eira, a remarkable photograph records a meeting at sea with two other ships from Peterhead in Scotland, the Hope and the Eclipse.

    Leigh Smith invited on board the Eira the captains of both these ships and an historic picture records the occasion. 

    After the Eira sank, the crew built a shelter - Flora's Cottage, made from driftwood, rocks and ship masts - and somehow survived six months of total darkness, intense cold, and bone cracking gales in the Arctic winter thanks in no small measure to ship's dog Bob.   

    They were rescued the next summer after a perilous journey in storm force winds in the Eira's four lifeboats - with sails made of table cloths purloined from the sunken vessel -  to the waters off Novaya Zemlya where they were found by an expedition sent from England to rescue them.

    For years researchers have sought to locate the wreck of the Eira, which had been specially built as an Arctic vessel for Leigh Smith. 

    It is now revealed that in August 2017, the expedition 'The Open Ocean: Archipelagos of the Arctic' during a survey of the seabed at Cape Flora discovered 'an object' the size of the Eira.

    Full story...







  • Buried treasure stories of wrecked Dutch ship Gilt Dragon

    Hidden treasure from the Dutch shipwreck, the Gilt Dragon, are said to be located somewhere near Dynamite Bay at Green Head, WA.

    By Chris Lewis - ABC

    For some, there's nothing more exciting than hunting and searching for buried treasure from a shipwreck that happened almost four centuries ago off the coast of Western Australia.

    But for archaeologist, author and historian Bob Sheppard, the real treasure is discovering the tales associated with the legend of the wrecked Dutch ship — the Gilt Dragon. But he's reaching out to the public in the hope that someone, somewhere may be able to shed more light on the stories, particularly the event that happened at Dynamite Bay in Green Head in 1964 — so he can include the stories in a book.

    "Following the discovery of the [Gilt Dragon] wreck in 1963 there was another party who believed that there was a treasure buried at Green Head which was also related to the Gilt Dragon," Mr Sheppard said.

    "They said that the wreck that was found at Ledge Point was not the Gilt Dragon but another ship and the Gilt Dragon was actually wrecked in Dynamite Bay at Green Head.

    "This was a story put around by a Dutch man who had a map of where the treasure was buried."

    The story goes that Frank Moore helped out this Dutchman who was quite ill.

    As a sign of goodwill the Dutchman, named only as Harry, later showed Frank a piece of old yellow parchment and told him it was a map that indicated where chests of coins from the Gilt Dragon were buried.

    He claimed to be a direct descendent of one of the survivors of the Gilt Dragon. After showing Frank the map, he then burnt the parchment, saying no-one else has ever seen this and no-one will. The Dutchman later died.

    Full story...







  • Cannons from 1804 Spanish wreck recovered off the Algarve

    Daylight after 213 years. One of the cannon from the frigate, Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes

    From Algarve Daily News

    Two cannons, one each from the 16th and 17th centuries, have been recovered from the ocean floor by a Spanish team working off Faro, ending a campaign in which the Spanish government managed to prevent a US company from claiming the contents of Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes.

    Several pieces of the frigate, sunk in 1804 by the English navy, have been recovered with the use of a Remotely Operated Vehicle from the Spanish Institute of Oceanography. The two cannon were recovered from the wreck lying 1,000 metres below the surface.

    The archaeologist, Pedro Barros, of the Directorate General of Cultural Heritage underlined the importance of the recovery of the cannons which will "help us understand life on board at that time and the circumstances of the sinking of the frigate."

    The Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes (Our Lady of Mercy) was a Spanish Navy frigate sunk by the British off the south coast of Portugal on 5 October 1804, during the battle of Cape Santa Maria. At the time of the naval action, Spain and England were at peace with each other. The frigate was part of a small flotilla sailing from Montevideo to Cadiz, transporting silver and gold from Peru and vicuna, cinnamon and quinoa.

    This flotilla was intercepted by a British Navy task force, commanded by Graham Moore aboard HMS Indefatigable, and ordered to change course and proceed to a British port for inspection.

    The Spanish commanding officer, Brigadier José de Bustamante y Guerra (1759-1825) objected that the two nations were at peace, declared that they would not comply with the order, and ordered battle quarters, despite being outgunned and outnumbered.

    A single shot from HMS Amphion, commanded by Samuel Sutton, hit the ship's magazine causing an explosion that sank the ship. 250 crewmen were lost, and 51 survivors were rescued from the sea

    The United States company, Odyssey Marine Explorations, discovered the wreck and recovered almost 500,000 silver and gold coins in 2007, transporting them to the US. The value was estimated at 500 million US Dollars

    A court case followed after Spain claimed the vessel carried its flag. Peru had claimed the treasure originally had been plundered by the Spanish but the court decided that the Spanish government was the rightful successor of interest because at the time of the wreck, Peru was considered a Spanish colony and not a separate legal entity, therefore it had no legal standing to be entitled to the proceeds of the lawsuit.

    Next, a U.S. federal court and a panel from the US Court of Appeals upheld the Spanish claim to the contents of the ship and Spain took control of the treasure in February 2012.

    Full story...

  • True stories behind shipwrecks on Lake Superior

    By Marija Andric - RD

    Some call it the Shipwreck Coast. Others call it the Graveyard of the Great Lakes. The waters along this 80-mile stretch of Michigan coastline between Grand Island and Whitefish Point have sunk hundreds of ships.

    (And you have to see the reason why there are thousands of shipwrecks below Lake Erie.) Edmund Fitzgerald, Cyprus, and Vienna are just a few of the vessels lost beneath the waves, their names forever etched in maritime lore. Their wreckages lie in varying depths of Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes.

    Every summer, thousands of visitors come here to explore the wrecks and the breathtaking bluffs, including Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. People are attracted to the “human drama, the battle of man versus nature, and our age-old romance with the sea,” says Bruce Lynn, executive director of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Paradise.

    The museum is at the center of all this activity. It’s a definite first stop for any visitor interested in the maritime history of Lake Superior.

    In the 19th century, Munising, near Grand Island, was one of the busiest ports on Lake Superior and one of the few harbors where ships carrying passengers, iron ore, timber and other cargo could seek sanctuary from the lake’s stormy seasonal fury. (To get even more spooked, check out these chilling ghost stories.)

    Full story...



  • Paul Allen finds lost WWII ship USS Indianapolis

    USS Indianapolis found

    From USA Today

    "We've located the wreckage of the USS Indianapolis in Philippine Sea at 5500m below the sea."

    That tweet from entrepreneur and billionaire Paul Allen around 12:20 p.m. Saturday confirmed what many have been searching for since the ship was sunk on July 30, 1945.

    Allen, who is leading a 13-person team on his 250-foot research ship, the R/V Petrel, said the wreckage was found at a depth of more than 18,000 feet.

    The heavy cruiser, carrying 1,197 sailors and Marines, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine while sailing back to the Philippines after delivering components for "Little Boy," the atomic bomb that helped end World War II. It took only 12 minutes to sink.

    While 900 crewmen made it through the initial sinking, only 316 survived to be rescued when help arrived five days later on Aug. 2. Many had died of exposure or thirst, drowned or were attacked by sharks.

    Families of those aboard the ship found out about the deaths of their loved ones just as the rest of the country was celebrating the conclusion of World War II.

    The latest break in the search for the wreckage came in July 2016, when the Naval History and Heritage Command Communication and Outreach Division reported that a sailor had confirmed that a tank landing ship, LST-779, had passed the Indianapolis 11 hours before the torpedo struck. That backed up the testimony of Captain Charles McVay III and was confirmed by deck logs.

    Full story...



  • Telegraph from WWI Lusitania shipwreck

    Divers recovered the main telegraph machine from the Lusitania wreck.

    By Megan Gannon - Live Science

    Divers have recovered the main telegraph machine from the Lusitania, the wreck at the center of one of the most infamous maritime disasters of the 20th century.

    Irish heritage officials confirmed that the telegraph was recovered and brought to the surface Tuesday (July 25) and is now undergoing conservation on land.

    The bronze artifact was "undamaged and in excellent condition," Heather Humphreys, Ireland's minister for culture, heritage and the Gaeltacht (areas where Irish is still spoken), said in a statement.

    The Lusitania was the largest ship in the world when it made its maiden voyage in 1907.

    The British ship was bound for Liverpool after a transatlantic crossing in 1915, when it was struck by a torpedo from a German submarine off the southeast coast of Ireland during World War I.

    It sank in just 18 minutes. Of the 1,962 passengers and crew aboard at the time, 1,198 died, most of them from drowning and hypothermia. The attack on civilians prompted diplomatic outrage (though there is still debate over whether the ship's cargo secretly included war supplies and munitions).

    As 128 Americans were killed in the disaster, the event helped push the United States into World War I.

    The 787-foot-long (240 meters) shipwreck now lies on its starboard side, at a depth of about 300 feet (91 m) off the coast of County Cork. Retired American venture capitalist Gregg Bemis has been the sole owner of the wreck since 1982 and has occasionally clashed with the Irish government over his plans to explore the wreck and recover artifacts, according to a profile in Fortune.

    Bemis is particularly interested in investigating the cause of the second explosion that rocked the Lusitania after the initial torpedo strike, which could help to explain what made the ship sink so quickly.

    Full story...







  • 10 rare and revealing things salvaged from ancient ships

    From the wreck of the the ship Mentor

    By Jana Louise Smit - Listverse

    When ancient ships are discovered, largely all that remains are remnants of wood.

    Eons beneath the waves will dismantle organic matter, and within decades, cargoes and passengers are erased. Once in a while, the icy depths become an untouched tomb, preserving moments from hundreds, even thousands of years ago.

    From what the royals wore, snacks preferred by sailors, to finding evidence that finally put notorious rumors to rest. Lost stories of tragedy and trade resurface, as well as the unknown and rare.

    A case of sticky fingers is still being disputed between Greece and Britain.

    In 1801, Lord Elgin filled 16 crates with marble art he removed from the Parthenon. The next year, the British ship Mentor sailed for London, carrying the loot (or rightful property, depending on one’s view) and Lord Elgin.

    Near the island of Kythera, it was scuttled by a storm. Shortly afterward, the crates were salvaged and their contents displayed in London’s British Museum. The 17 sculptures and 56 panels that once decorated the Parthenon remain at the heart of an ownership squabble between the two countries.

    More recently, archaeologists visited the 200-year-old shipwreck to see if it contained more artifacts. They were on the lookout for additional Parthenon marbles that might have been left behind, but the trip was also an attempt to confirm a rumor that Lord Elgin had taken other antiquities from Greece.

    The two-week survey proved that he did. Divers found a stone vessel and the handles of ancient Rhodian amphoras, some stamped, dating back to the third century B.C.

    Full story...







  • Rich people can tour the Titanic now

    The Titanic

    By Christian Gollayan - New York Post

    If James Cameron’s 1997 movie wasn’t enough to satisfy your Titanic appetite, you’re in luck.

    Blue Marble Private, a London-based luxury tour operator, will begin diving excursions of the shipwreck in May 2018.

    “Far fewer people have visited the wreck of the Titanic than the number who have been to space or summited Mount Everest,” Elizabeth Ellis, Blue Marvel Private founder, wrote in a press release.

    A first-class ticket to the original Titanic was $4,350, and eager tourists will now have to pay the same price, albeit adjusted for inflation, of around $105,000 to experience the famous shipwreck in the North Atlantic Ocean.

    The hefty price tag includes a helicopter ride from Newfoundland, Canada to a private yacht, and a submarine ride to the Titanic. So far, nine clients are confirmed for the pricey journey.







  • Sale of Anglesey shipwreck treasure put on hold

    Peter Day says the gold should be put on public display

    By Gareth Wyn-Williams - The Daily Post

    Plans to put treasure from a 19th-century shipwreck up for auction have been put on hold amid calls that they should instead be put on public display.

    The widow of one of the divers who found the items at the Anglesey wreck of the Royal Charter had planned to sell the gold and jewellery, but other members of the group say they should be shown on the island.

    The items, which have been valued at £4,000, were unearthed in the 1970s at the sunken ship, which smashed against rocks off Moelfre in a force 12 storm in October 1859.

    John Leyland’s widow had planned to sell six sovereigns, one half sovereign, a nugget pin and eternity and signet rings at auction next month.

    But auction house Halls has confirmed that the sale has been postponed, after some of the other divers called for the items to instead go on public display.

    Peter Day, from Tynygongl near Benllech, was one of the divers who visited the wreck in 1972. He said: “We had an agreement with the authorities at the time that the group would be the custodian of the gold, and that no individual from the group could offer the items for sale without the express permission of all concerned.

    “I and the other members of the group don’t want to sell the items to private individuals. “We think they should be added to the display at the RNLI Seawatch Centre at Moelfre, near the location of the tragedy.”

    Full story...







  • Huge fire ripped through Titanic before it struck iceberg

    A poster advertising the RMS Titanic before its fateful first voyage

    From The Telegraph

    The sinking of the largest ship ever built, the Titanic, may owe as much to a enormous fire onboard as it did to a gigantic iceberg, it has been claimed.

    The doomed vessel, which measured more than 880ft long and 100ft tall, went down with the loss of more than 1500 lives on April 15, 1912 during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.

    However fresh evidence that the Titanic’s hull may have been crippled by a massive blaze that burned unchecked for almost three weeks immediately behind the spot where it was later pierced.

    The claim was made by journalist and Titanic expert Senan Malony, who has spent more than 30 years researching the disaster. He used little known photographs taken by the Titanic’s chief electrical engineer before it left Belfast shipyard to identify 30ft-long black marks along the front right-hand side of the hull.

    Mr Malony said: “We are looking at the exact area where the iceberg stuck, and we appear to have a weakness or damage to the hull in that specific place, before she even left Belfast”.

    Experts subsequently confirmed these were likely to have been caused by fire damage, as a result of hundred of tonnes of coal catching fire due to “self-heating” in a three-storey-high fuel store behind boiler room six.

    Twelve men battled to bring the resulting conflagration under control, but it was still raging days later - as temperatures of between 500 and 1000 degrees Celsius.

    Ship’s officers were reportedly under strict instruction from J Bruce Ismay, president of the company that built the ship, not to mention the desperate situation to any of the Titanic’s 2,500 passengers.

    Full story...







  • Divers locate £100 million Nazi shipwreck stash ?!

    The ill-fated Wilhelm Gustloff

    By Henry Holloway - Daily Star

    Hitler's bullion stash has been the subject of myth and legend for nearly nearly a century as treasure hunters try to track down the fortune.

    Now, a British diver claims the lost gold is not in a bunker or aboard a buried train, but it is instead lying beneath the waves of the icy Baltic Sea off Poland's coast.

    Nazi officers tired to smuggle three tonnes of stolen gold bars out of Germany in the dying days of WWII on board refugee ship the MV Wilhelm Gustloff. At today's gold prices, the bars will be worth £100m.

    Third Reich officers were notorious for plundering any treasure, and stored valuable gems, metals and artworks in vaults and banks across their empire.

    But the ill-fated Wilhelm Gustloff never reached its destination as it was sunk by the Soviets – with 9,500 passengers onboard all perishing – in a shipwreck disaster six times worst than the Titanic.

    Former professional diver Phil Sayers exclusively spoke to Daily Star Online about the gold believed to be hidden beneath the Baltic at 450m down on the seabed.

    The 61-year-old made the claims after meeting a survivor of the sunken vessel who revealed the tragic ship's incredible secret.

    Rudi Lange was the ship's radio operator at the time of the sinking, and witnessed crates of what is thought to be the Nazi gold being loaded on the Wilhelm Gustloff at port in Poland.

    The then 17-year-old was the one who sent the SOS after the liner was torpedoed by Soviet submarine S-13. Mr Sayers used Lange's incredible story as the basis of his historical novel Baltic Gold.

    Full story...







  • Indigenous crew member leads to HMS Terror

    Photograph: George Back [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

    By Megan Gannon - Mentafloss

    The long-sought shipwreck of the HMS Terror has reportedly been located, more than 160 years after it disappeared in the Canadian Arctic.

    The discovery comes two years after the identification of Terror’s sister ship, the HMS Erebus. It’s hoped that the wrecks could illuminate the desperate end of Sir John Franklin’s mission to find the Northwest Passage in the 1840s.

    All 129 crew members from the polar expedition for British Royal Navy died after the ships became stranded in ice. A team from the Arctic Research Foundation aboard the research vessel Martin Bergmann said they located the sunken ship last week in King William Island’s uncharted Terror Bay, according to The Guardian, which first reported the discovery.

    Over the weekend, the researchers sent a robotic vehicle underwater to explore the ship. Video footage shows that the ship has been quite well preserved in frigid waters 80 feet below the surface—rope, an exhaust pipe, a mess-hall table, glass panes, wine bottles, the bell, and even the helm are intact. Adrian Schimnowski, the foundation’s operations director, claimed there were still plates on the shelves in the food storage room.

    The research team believes the ship sank gently to the seafloor. Parks Canada, the government agency that has been leading efforts to search for and explore Terror and Erebus, said that it is working with its partners to validate the details of the discovery.

    But the news was already being cheered by the community of shipwreck hunters and historians. “Seeing the images of HMS Terror—her bowsprit still set, her bell, her railings, all in pristine order—feels as profound a moment as when a camera first passed over the bow of the Titanic,” Russell Potter, author of Finding Franklin: The Untold Story of a 165-Year Search, said in a statement by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

    “We’re witnesses to a discovery, the end result of a century and a half of searches, that will profoundly alter, augment—and doubtless complicate—our understanding of the final fate of the Franklin expedition,” Potter said.

    The murky fate of the Franklin expedition has long captured the imagination of historians, amateur sleuths, and authors from Mark Twain to Margaret Atwood.

    Full story...







  • Historic Jacksonville shipwreck

    A model of the Union steamship Maple Leaf is shown on display in August 2014 at the Mandarin Museum

    By Dan Scanlan - The Florida Times

    Jacksonville’s most historic shipwreck may have been damaged by submerged telephone cables draped over or through its 152-year-old wooden bones, according to the man who led its archaeological exploration in the 1980s and ’90s off Mandarin Point.

    So Keith Holland is pushing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to get the cables moved from the National Historic Landmark site of the Union steamship Maple Leaf and the thousands of U.S. Army artifacts buried within it.

    As he helps a third company reroute a planned third cable around the 1864 shipwreck, Holland said he wonders how the Maple Leaf’s federal protection apparently failed.

    “The state and federal statutes of the National Historic Preservation Act appear to be worthless because somehow, unknown to me, the shipwreck site had telecommunications cables put across it,” Holland said. “Although I am gravely concerned about this transgression, I am not dispirited by it. …

    Right now my major objective is to test our state and federal historic preservation statutes to see what can be done to mitigate this.”

    The Maple Leaf was headed to Jacksonville early April 1, 1864, with the possessions of the 112th and 169th New York and the 13th Indiana regiments onboard when Confederate mines blew its bow off, killing four. Most of the wreck ended under 7 feet of mud, which kept the 900,000 pounds of personal and military gear inside preserved.

    In 1989, Holland and St. Johns Archaeological Expeditions began excavating part of it, recovering 4,500 artifacts over the next few years, including shoes, belt buckles and a rare gum rubber rain hat.

    In 1994, it was declared a National Historic Landmark, joining the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor off North Carolina as the only shipwrecks on that list. Landmark designation is given to sites that possess “exceptional value” in commemorating U.S. history and is supposed to protect them, according to the National Park Service.

    Florida and the Park Service set up a 24-acre buffer zone around the actual wreck. Yet Holland found two cables were laid through that buffer zone. In his July 1 letter to the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, he asked for remedial action and fines “for the negligent acts” of the state, Corps of Engineers Jacksonville and others.

    The advisory council forwarded its own inquiry to the corps, which responded Aug. 19. Jacksonville corps regulatory official Tori White’s letter verified a permit was issued in 1990 so Southern Bell could lay a telephone line underwater between Mandarin and Orange Park.

    The permit was approved prior to historic designation, so compliance with the preservation act wasn’t required, she wrote. But Holland said the wreck site was well-known before that designation, as was his team’s investigation, with dozens of stories in the Times-Union about it between 1985 and 1989.

    Plus, the corps approved work there, he said.

    Full story...







  • California shipwreck

    'Hellcat' fighter plane found in the wreckage

    By Paul Rogers - Mercury News

    Famed oceanographer Robert Ballard discovered the Titanic, the Bismarck, the USS Yorktown and John F. Kennedy's PT-109.

    On Tuesday, he added another accomplishment to his list of documenting the world's greatest shipwrecks: the first images in more than six decades of the USS Independence, an iconic World War II aircraft carrier scuttled in 1951 off the California coast, half a mile under the sea.

    In a 20-hour-long expedition, Ballard's team, working with officials from the Navy and NOAA -- the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- revealed breathtaking images of the lost carrier's flight deck, a Hellcat fighter plane, anti-aircraft guns, hatches, ladders and even the letters of the ship's name still visible on the hull, all submerged 30 miles west of Half Moon Bay.

    Thousands of viewers in more than 30 countries watched the discoveries live over the Internet.

    "What's so wonderful about the wrecks in deeper water, like this ship, the Titanic and the Bismarck, is that they are in amazing states of preservation," Ballard said Tuesday, still at sea.

    "There's very little change from when the Navy scuttled it," he said.

    "The deep sea is the largest museum on Earth." Ballard, a retired Navy officer, and his organization, the Ocean Exploration Trust, based in Connecticut, plan to build a detailed 3-D digital image of the Independence from the thousands of photographs they took with two unmanned submersibles on Monday and Tuesday.

    "It was really nice to read the name on the side," he joked.

    "You think, 'Good, I found the right ship'."

    Full article...






  • Le sous-marin Vendémiaire retrouvé au large de la Hague

    Sous-marin Vendémiaire

    Ouest France

    A la suite du drame vécu le 8 juin 1912 dans le Raz Blanchard, à la pointe de la Hague dans la Manche, la localisation exacte du sous-marin coulé, le Vendémiaire, n'était pas connue.

    L'expédition de quatre plongeurs d'Omonville-la-Rogue pour retrouver l'épave vient de mettre un terme à cela : la plongée a porté ses fruits, mardi dernier.

    Il s'agit bien du sous-marin coulé accidentellement par le cuirassé Saint-Louis, le 8 juin 1912, au large de la Hague, confirme Matthias Dufour, un des quatre plongeurs chasseurs d'épaves.

    Ces derniers viennent de partager sur les réseaux sociaux une vidéo de leur découverte.

    Une expédition pour retrouver ce sous-marin cherbourgeois devait avoir lieu l'année dernière, mais les plongeurs d'Omonville-la-Rogue ont été finalement les premiers à mettre la main dessus.







  • Finding the A.J. Goddard

    The Klondike steamship A.J. Goddard, in 1898. It sank in Lake Laberge in 1901. (Candy Waugamann Collection, KLGO)

    From CBC News

    Filmmaker Jesse Davidge said he was inspired to make a documentary about the A.J. Goddard shipwreck because of a nagging feeling he always had growing up — that "there wasn't anything left to discover in the world."

    The story of the Gold Rush-era steamboat, found at the bottom of Lake Laberge in 2008, showed him that wasn't true.

    "People who weren't in the professional world, but still were able to help discover this boat really inspired me to want to tell the story to younger people," he said.

    The ship went down during a winter storm in 1901 but its exact location was unknown until some divers, including Davidge's uncle, Doug Davidge of the Yukon Transportation Museum, "stumbled on it".

    "That started the whole process of researching the vessel, and also surveying the vessel on the bottom of Lake Laberge," Doug Davidge said.

    "People from all across North America became interested in it as this little time capsule of artifacts and a way of life, actually."

    The wreck, still at the bottom of Lake Laberge, has been designated a Yukon historic site.

    Divers regularly visit it, with the requisite government permit. The new film explores the Gold Rush history of the vessel, as well as its discovery by Doug Davidge and others.

    Full article...







  • Titanic survivor or storyteller ?

    John Butler, a former Mount Gambier councillor, claimed he was a survivor of the famous shipwreck.

    By Kate Hill - ABC


    "Survivor invited to premiere" was the headline that appeared in Mount Gambier's Border Watch newspaper in April 1959.

    The story told of local man John Butler who had been asked to attend the premiere of the new film about the Titanic — A Night to Remember — being the only Australian survivor of the 1912 maritime disaster the theatre was able to locate.

    The story spun a tragic tale of the nights events, saying that Mr Butler was one of eight quartermasters on board the fateful cruise liner when it hit the iceberg and how he had been put in charge of Lifeboat No. 7 along with 40 survivors, which "rocked in the icy seas for about 14 hours before its occupants were picked up by rescuers".

    The former ward councillor told the Border Watch he would not be attending the Adelaide premiere, because the film would recall "too many memories".

    "I do not like to think about it," Mr Butler was quoted as telling the reporter.

    "I have never liked to talk about the sinking of the Titanic.

    It was an incredible story and one that raised the eyebrows of South Australian historian and author Dave Gittins, who extensively researched the one of the world's greatest maritime tragedies for his book Titanic: Monument and Warning.

    "It certainly made a good headline, didn't it ?" he said.

    "There is a chapter in my book called Legends, Myths and Ratbaggery — and Mr Butler gets a guernsey."

    Full story...







  • The mysterious shipwreck...

    The Andrea Doria

    By Peter Holley - The Washington Post

    For decades, the Andrea Doria has lured daring treasure hunters and obsessive thrill seekers to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in search of the luxurious ocean liner, which sank off the Massachusetts coast on a foggy night in July 1956.

    Forty-six people died after the Andrea Doria collided with another ocean liner, shocking observers who considered the vessel unsinkable and tarnishing the romantic allure of the post-war passenger liners that plied the Atlantic.

    Despite having less name recognition than the Titanic or the Vasa, the Italian wreck is now considered by many to be the Mount Everest of underwater exploration, according to CBS News.

    The ship rests about 60 nautical miles from Nantucket on the border of the continental shelf, where the seabed disappears into the abyss.

    The remoteness of the wreck, some divers maintain, only deepens the seductive mystery surrounding it.

    "The Andrea Doria stands out as the premier shipwreck in American waters," Stockton Rush, co-founder and chief executive of a Washington state-based ocean exploration company known as OceanGate, told CBS.

    The company is organizing the first manned expedition to the wreck in two decades, according to the AP. Using a five-man submersible known as Cyclops I, organizers hope to retrieve high-definition video and 3-D sonar images of the shipwreck, the AP reported.

    The ship's popularity can be explained by the money and artifacts that are still on board, as well as the unique time period encapsulated within the ship's wreckage, which sits about 240 feet below the surface, according to CBS.

    Full story...







  • Newly discovered telegram sent from Titanic

    Philip Franklin, the boss of shipping company White Star Line, swore on oath he had not received any word from the Titanic after it had hit an iceberg but this newly discovered telegram challenges his story

    By James Dunn - Mail Online

    A newly discovered SOS telegram from the Titanic challenges the owners' claims that they heard nothing from the ship on the day it sank. In the inquiry into the 1912 tragedy, Philip Franklin, the boss of shipping company White Star Line, swore on oath he had not received any word from the ship after it had hit an iceberg.

    Franklin declared to a US Congress hearing held just days after the catastrophe which claimed the lives of 1,523 passengers and crew that 'not a word or communication of any kind or description' had come from the stricken liner.

    Instead he insisted he had only heard the news from Bruce Ismay, general manager of White Star Line, who had been onboard but was saved by rescue ship the Carpathia.

    But a newly discovered distress telegram which was directly addressed to Franklin at White Star Lines' New York office appears to dispel his denials for the first time. The desperate message, sent via communications company Western Union, reads: 'We have struck iceberg. Sinking fast. Come to our assistance. Position: Lat 41.46 N. Lon 50.14 W.'

    It is not known exactly when the SOS was sent but Titanic struck the iceberg at 11.40pm on April 14, 1912 and sank at 2.20am on April 15.

    Experts say the telegram proves that White Star Line bosses would have known that Titanic, which they had billed as the 'unsinkable ship', was going down. The document was completely unknown until it was listed for auction by a seller who inherited it from his cousin whose father was a collector of old telegraphic equipment.

    It is not known exactly how many telegrams were sent from the Titanic after it struck the iceberg because the log was destroyed when the liner sank.

    Full story...







  • What sank the Edmund Fitzgerald ?

    The Edmund Fitzgerald

    By Garret Ellison - Mlive

    Nobody really knows what caused the Edmond Fitzgerald to sink, but that sure hasn't stopped people from trying to solve the mystery.

    In the 40 years since the ship went down, a cottage industry of shipwreck theorists have tried in vain to solve the sinking of the Fitzgerald, which rests in two pieces in 530 feet of water on the lake bottom 17 miles north of Whitefish Bay.

    Numerous authors have written books on the tragedy. The U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board both issued official investigation reports that many dismiss in favor of a theory favored by the Lake Carriers Association.

    Because all 29 men aboard the Fitzgerald went down with the ship — which was there one minute and gone the next — the best accounts that investigators could rely on were those of sailors in the vicinity of the ship during the storm, or who had contact with the Fitzgerald somehow in the weeks prior to her final voyage.

    Some theories are nonsense relating to UFOs or a Great Lakes Bermuda Triangle in the area where the ship sank.

    Others overlap in some ways. It's still not completely agreed upon whether the Fitzgerald broke in half on the surface or underwater.

    The mystery is compounded by mud covering key parts of the wreck and a legal prohibition on further dives imposed by the Canadian government. What's obvious is that wind and waves played a big role in the sinking.

    In 2006, a National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration study recreated the storm in a computer and discovered that the Fitzgerald and its floating companion, the Arthur M. Anderson, inadvertently steamed into the heart of the storm by taking the northern route across Lake Superior to avoid what they thought would be treacherous waves along the established, more direct southern route.

    In that sense, the Fitzgerald met her fate on the path she took to avoid it. But the Arthur M. Anderson survived and the Fitzgerald did not. So, what happened ?

    Below is a breakdown of the main theories. Enjoy.

    Full story...







  • Murder, missing gold and lost shipwreck

    A memorial to the Maria shipwreck was erected by the National Trust in Kingston in 1966. (ABC South East SA: Kate Hill )

    By Kate Hill - ABC.net.au

    When a passenger ship foundered miles off the south-east coast of Kingston in 1840, the events that followed ensured the story of the Maria became one of the darkest and most controversial events in South Australian maritime history.

    What is fact is that 26 passengers and crew boarded the Irish-built brigantine Maria under Captain William Smith and left Port Adelaide on June 26, 1840, bound for Hobart.

    But neither they nor their ship would ever reach their destination.

    The first inkling that events had gone awry was in newspaper reports in late July that "a massacre site" had been found along the Coorong coastline.

    Reports began to circulate that Maria passengers and crew had been murdered by natives after abandoning their foundering ship.

    A group of men set off from Adelaide to investigate, and brought back horrible stories of finding "legs, arms and parts of bodies partially covered with sand and strewn in all directions", and described a trail of native footprints leading from the scene.

    The men brought back wedding rings, allegedly found on the slain bodies of two female passengers, and said they had found local natives in possession of blankets and tellingly, one wearing a sailor's jacket.

    As wild rumours swirled and a horrified public demanded information and action, Governor George Gawler sent a team on horseback to investigate further, lead by Major Thomas O'Halloran.

    Full story...







  • Memories of shipwreck Yvonne

    From Plymouth Herald

    Nearly 100 years ago the Plymouth Breakwater was the scene of a catastrophic shipwreck as a vessel attempted to escape the rough seas by sailing into Plymouth.

    On August 8, 1920 the four-masted barquentine Yvonne smashed into the rocks and the ship's crew were forced to scramble to safety on the breakwater's surface. Hours later the Plymouth lifeboat and the tug Rover arrived just in time to pull the sailors from the water – as waves 10metres high were breaking over the Yvonne.

    This terrifying scene has been captured by local artist Tim Thompson, commissioned by Plymouth man David Rendle. David, aged 79, remembers playing on the breakwater as a child and wanted something to remember his precious memories by.

    He said: "I was looking down at the breakwater with my grandchildren, and my youngest granddaughter said to me 'Grandad, what's that post on the end with the ball on top ?' "I said 'That's the Plymouth Beacon.

    When I was perhaps just a year or two older than you I used to go out there, and one day I plucked up the courage to climb the steps of it'.

    "David, who lives in Peverell, explained how the beacon on the eastern end of the breakwater was designed as a refuge for up to six shipwrecked sailors. It is most likely the crew of the Yvonne tried to make their way towards the Beacon, and even attempted to climb it.

    He said: "It's all very well to talk about it, but I wanted to have this painting done as I knew it would make a lovely subject. It really is a terrific picture."


  • World War I sergeant’s relic found near Hong Kong shipwreck

    HMS Triumph

    By Sarah Robinson - The Weston Mercury

    Historians have been identifying the remains of a vessel which was found in Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong.

    The ship is believed to have been the HMS Tamar, a Royal Navy depot ship which was built in 1897. But it was scuttled during World War Two to prevent it falling into the hands of invading Japanese forces.

    The only identifiable object found amid the wreckage of the vessel was a small oval brass plate attached to some baggage – and its owner lived in Bleadon.

    The plate was owned by Sergeant Edgar Charles Goodman, who was born in Bristol in 1885. His parents Henry and Julia Ann Goodman were both from Bleadon, and they returned to the village after Edgar’s birth.

    Edgar joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry in 1901 when he was 16 years old, though he claimed to be 18. After a number of postings, he ended up on the HMS Thistle in China.

    Based on his service record, it became clear the plate was lost some time in 1914, during World War One, and was only discovered this year near the final resting site of the HMS Tamar.

    Stephen Davies, a fellow at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, discovered the plate. He said: “With the outbreak of war on August 5 Edgar was shifted, along with the crews of 12 other gunboats, to the recommissioned pre-Dreadnought battleship HMS Triumph at the time which was about to take over from the Tamar as the nominal depot ship.

    “He took part in the siege of Qingdao in September to November 1914 and then, after the Triumph had been refitted, went with her to the Dardanelles.”

    While on board the HMS Triumph during World War One, Edgar would have regularly been in action. Mr Davies said he was likely to have been captain of a 7.5-inch gun and was on board a Royal Navy ship which had fired and been hit by the most shells of any of the navy’s vessels in the war up to that point.

    The Triumph was the lead ship in the invasion force made up of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps during the Battle Of Gallipoli.

    Full story...







  • Shipwreck found in sea bed off Wan Chai

    HMS Tamar

    By Fanny W. Y. Fung - South China Morning Post

    The mystery is nearly over: the government has all but confirmed that wreckage found during harbour dredging in Wan Chai last year is the remains of HMS Tamar, Hong Kong's most famous military ship that was scuttled by the British navy in 1941 to prevent her from falling into Japanese hands.

    The Civil Engineering and Development Department said yesterday that the large metal object, about 40 metres long, two to 11 metres wide and two metres high, "may be part of the bottom of the wreck" and "could be the remains of HMS Tamar".

    But it stopped short of confirming the historic find, "as the ship's bell, name plate or any other unique features have not been found".

    The government's statement came a day after the South China Morning Post confronted it with findings by the founding chief of the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, Dr Stephen Davies, that identified the wreck as HMS Tamar, and asked it to respond to the marine historian's claim that he had been removed from the investigation team after presenting evidence to officials.

    Full story...




  • Navy divers to help raise confederate warship artifacts

    Navy divers

    From Newschannel9

    The Navy is preparing to send one if its premier diving teams to Georgia to help salvage a Confederate warship from the depths of the Savannah River.

    Before it ever fired a shot, the 1,200 ton ironclad CSS Georgia was scuttled by its own crew to prevent its capture by Gen. William T. Sherman when his Union army took Savannah in December 1864. Today, it's considered a captured enemy vessel and is property of the U.S. Navy.

    The shipwreck is being removed as part of a $703 million project to deepen the river channel so larger cargo ships can reach the Port of Savannah. Before the harbor can be deepened, the CSS Georgia has to be raised.

    After years of planning, archaeologists began tagging and recording the locations of thousands of pieces from the shipwreck in January. They've been able to bring smaller artifacts to the surface, but the Navy is being called in to raise the 120-foot-long ship's larger sections and weapons. Navy divers are scheduled to arrive at the site near downtown Savannah about 100 yards from the shore on June 1.

    The Navy divers assigned to the project are from the same unit that's had some of the military's highest profile salvage operations. That includes the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor, TWA Flight 800, Swiss Air Flight 111, as well as the space shuttles Challenger and Columbia.

    Divers from the Virginia Beach-based Mobile Diving Salvage Unit 2 also provided damage assessments and repairs on the USS Cole following the terrorist attack on it in Yemen in 2000 and pulled up wreckage from an F-16 that crashed off the eastern shore of Virginia in 2013.

    In Georgia, Navy divers will pull up parts of the ship's armor systems, steam engine components and small structure pieces. They'll eventually be sent to one of the U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command's repositories and Conservation Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

    Full article...




  • RMS Lusitania sinking

    RMS Lusitania

    By Emily Retter and Sam Webb - Mirror

    These fascinating images show the RMS Lusitania, which became a watery grave for nearly 1,200 innocents when it was torpedoed by a German sub in the First World War.

    The disaster, 100 years ago this Thursday, came nine months into the conflict and fanned hatred of the Germans.

    German submarine U20 had been patrolling British waters off the coast of Kinsale, County Cork, for hours. Commander Walther Schwieger could not believe his luck when the Lusitania sailed into view on the seventh day of its passage towards Liverpool from New York.

    Without warning, he fired the torpedo on that sunny afternoon and 1,198 of the 1,959 passengers and crew on the liner were killed.

    The images were taken using sonar images and will allow "new research and analysis", according to Joe McHugh, Ireland’s minister for natural resources.

    Despite German threats in 1915 that passengers sailing the Atlantic were in danger, few Brits doubted the invincibility of Cunard’s greatest liner.

    Full article...

  • The loss of the Sultana

    Loss of the Sultana

    By Jon Hamilton - NPR

    On April 27, 1865, the steamboat Sultana exploded and sank while traveling up the Mississippi River, killing an estimated 1,800 people.

    The event remains the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history (the sinking of the Titanic killed 1,512 people). Yet few know the story of the Sultana's demise, or the ensuing rescue effort that included Confederate soldiers saving Union soldiers they might have shot just weeks earlier.

    So on the 150th anniversary of the sinking, the city of Marion, Ark., is trying to make sure the Sultana will be remembered. The city has created a museum and is hosting events intended to bring attention to the tragedy.

    Marion, across the river from Memphis, Tenn., is near the spot where the 260-foot side-wheeler came to rest. "We feel like we're a part of this Civil War story, but we're the conclusion that no one heard," says Lisa O'Neal, a Marion resident and member of the Sultana Historic Preservation Society.

    The Sultana was on its way from Vicksburg, Miss., to St. Louis when the explosion occurred, says Jerry Potter, a Memphis lawyer and author of The Sultana Tragedy. It was just weeks after the Civil War ended, Potter explains, and the vessel was packed with Union soldiers who'd been released from Confederate prison camps.

    Full story...

  • Batavia shipwreck

    VOC Batavia

    By Sarah Taillier - ABC News

    Four skeletons - one of them headless - were found in February during an archaeological exhibition on Beacon Island, which forms part of the Abrolhos Islands, west of Geraldton.

    One of the darkest chapters of Australia's maritime history played out on the islands, following the shipwreck of the Dutch ship Batavia in 1629.

    The Dutch East India vessel was on its maiden voyage when it wrecked with more than 300 people on board. About 40 people drowned but the survivors managed to swim to nearby Beacon Island where mutiny and systematic murders took place.

    Over the past two months, specialists at the University of Western Australia's Centre for Forensic Science have been piecing together and stabilising the skeletons found on the tiny coral cay.

    Associate Professor Daniel Franklin said through the process, they have uncovered evidence there is probably more skeletons on the island to recover.

    "I think, at this point, we may have another individual that we found some fragments of remains from in the same area," he said. "In particular, there's some teeth that we recovered and some other hand and foot bones that really don't look like they belong to any of the three new individuals that we recovered.

    "So there is the likelihood that there could be more skeletons there to recover." The examination of the latest Batavia skeletons has found that one skeleton is most likely to be an adolescent, while the others belong to adults. T

    The headless skeleton has been reunited with its skull which was found on the island in 1964.

    Full article...

  • Franklin shipwreck divers offer video tour of HMS Erebus

    HMS Erebus

    From CBC News

    Divers beneath the Arctic sea ice offered a live video tour at the wreck of the Franklin Expedition's HMS Erebus today.

    Holes had been cut through the ice, which is now about two metres deep, to give Royal Canadian Navy divers and Parks Canada underwater archeologists a chance to continue exploration of the 19th-century wreck discovered late last summer in the Queen Maud Gulf off Nunavut.

    Park Canada had initially said a pre-recorded video would be released at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, providing an "up-close-and-personal" look at the ship that was one half of the ill-fated polar expedition led by Sir John Franklin in the 1840s.

    But instead, at the Toronto event on Thursday afternoon, divers Marc-Andre Bernier and Ryan Harris, with a live video connection, provided the show. Viewers were able to see the vivid remains of Erebus and, with several technical interruptions, hear descriptions by the underwater crew.

    The divers were also able to answer questions from students gathered at the ROM.

    A video of the live event was released later.

    The earlier video, along with photos released Wednesday, were scheduled to provide the first public look at a complex operation that is being done in conjunction with Joint Task Force (North)'s annual high Arctic sovereignty operation, Nunalivut.

    Full story...

  • Ireland 'letting pirates loot shipwreck RMS Lusitania'

    RMS Lusitania

    By Ed Carty - Belfast Telegraph

    The owner of the RMS Lusitania has accused the Irish government of abandoning the shipwreck to pirates and treasure hunters after stringent rules on diving scuppered his plans for recovery.

    Gregg Bemis, an 87-year-old US entrepreneur, said tough conditions imposed on his lifelong quest to save valuable and historically important artefacts from the sinking ground 11 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale were "spiteful".

    The Cunard vessel was torpedoed on May 7, 1915 by a German U-boat en route from New York to Liverpool and sank with the loss of 1,201 lives.

    Mr Bemis has spent decades trying to confirm a theory that the sinking - 18 minutes compared to two hours and 40 minutes for the Titanic - was hastened by a second explosion caused by a secret cache of munitions destined for Britain's war effort.

    "The Government officials are so glib and innocent sounding like they walk on water, but they add all these restrictions on and throw them at me so they interfere and impede," he said.

    One of the conditions ordered Mr Bemis to indemnify the Irish state against any incidents or injury if he organises a dive on the veritable Aladdin's Cave.

    Full article...

  • Divers look for signs of sailors’ lives in sunk frigate

    The Ertugrul

    By Yoshitaka Tsujimoto and Yomiuri Shimbun - The Japan News

    A private team of Japanese and Turkish researchers has conducted its first underwater survey in five years of the Ottoman Navy frigate that sank off the coast here in 1890.

    The Ertugrul visited Japan in 1890 to express thanks for a decoration Emperor Meiji had sent to the Ottoman sultan. Shortly after the ship left Yokohama Port to return home, it encountered a storm and sank off Wakayama Prefecture on Sept. 16. More than 500 sailors were killed, while 69 were rescued by local residents.

    On the morning of Feb. 10, I boarded a ship at Kashino fishing port on Kii-Oshima island in Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture. About 10 minutes later, we arrived at an area called Funagora. The Ertugrul is said to have struck a reef there, about 100 meters off the coast.

    The currents are strong near Shionomisaki cape, the southernmost cape of Honshu. Only around this time of year are the currents said to be calm enough to conduct an underwater survey. I put on a dry suit and headed to the ocean bed 13 meters below the surface.

    Research team members, including Turkish marine archaeologist Tufan Turanli and Japanese divers, began measuring ballast that has become fixed to the seafloor. Reflecting the fact that it was a navy ship that sank, a cannonball could also be seen.

    After the measurement, we moved to “the cave,” an area of about 10 square meters that resembles a cave. Entering an about 80-centimeter-high space, we found a square metal plate about 13 centimeters on each side that already seemed to be part of the seafloor. There was also a metal piece that may have been part of the ship’s keel.

    I shone my flashlight and wiped sand away with a brush the research members gave me. When mud flew up, the team members sucked it away with a dredge.

    Full article...

  • Underwater drone set to explore sunken aircraft carrier site

    UW drone

    By Amber Lee - KTVU

    It was an unusual sight at Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay on Tuesday as scientists prepared to use state of the art technology to survey a shipwreck.

    A bright yellow underwater drone called the Echo Ranger made by Boeing is there being prepared for a special mission.

    Scientists and a historian from across the country have gathered to use state of the art technology to survey a shipwreck.

    Crews are preparing for the launch of the Echo Ranger. It will be unmanned, depending solely on a computer program to survey the USS Independence, an aircraft carrier scuttled by the U.S. Navy in 1951.

    "To get as detailed sense as we can in doing three dimensional sonar mapping the wreck of the biggest deepest shipwreck we have in the National Marine Sanctuary," said James Delgado, NOAA's chief scientist for the USS Independence Mission.

    Researchers have already pinpointed the ship's location 30 miles off Pillar Point Harbor and 3,000 feet underwater. NOAA is partnering with Boeing in this mission.

    For the past week and as recently as Monday afternoon, the research team conducted multiple test launches. On Tuesday afternoon, there was more preparation work including testing different components to ensure that even if the computer program fails, the Echo Ranger will surface

    It is an expensive piece of equipment worth millions of dollars. Scientists say the Echo Ranger will help them figure out what's left of the 600-hundred foot aircraft carrier.

    Full article...

  • San Francisco's deadliest shipwreck discovered

    SS City of Rio de Janeiro

    By Mark Prigg - Mail Online

    It was lost over 100 years ago in what many consider the worst maritime disaster in San Francisco history.

    On Feb. 22, 1901, in a dense morning fog, the SS City of Rio de Janeiro struck jagged rocks near the Golden Gate Bridge and sank almost immediately, killing 128 of the 210 passengers and crew aboard the ship.

    The ship was never found - until now.

    The NOAA and partners today released three-dimensional sonar maps and images of the immigrant steamship.

    We are undertaking this exploration of the San Francisco Bay in part to learn more about its maritime heritage as well as to test recent advances in technology that will allow us to better protect and understand the rich stories found beneath the Bay's waters,' said James Delgado, director of maritime heritage for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

    The images also revealed that the ship did not, as rumoured, contain treasure.

    The City of Rio de Janeiro was rumored to be full of silver treasure, but Delgado said accounts of a shipment of 'Chinese silver' were actually bars of tin.

    Today the wreck is broken and filled with mud, and it is a sealed grave in fast, dangerous waters in the main shipping lanes,' he said.

    Full article...

  • Minnesota History: Most deadly shipwreck is least known

    The Edmund Fitzgerald

    By Curt Brown

    It’s late November, so when talk turns to Minnesota shipwrecks, Lake Superior quickly comes to mind. The Edmund Fitzgerald vanishing in a 1975 gale with 29 aboard. The frozen bodies chipped from the icy deck of the Mataafa just off Duluth’s piers in 1905. And so on.

    But Minnesota’s largest maritime disaster went down some 200 miles south of Duluth Harbor in Lake Pepin, that rodent-in-the-snake widening of the Mississippi River.

    On July 13, 1890, 215 people in Red Wing piled on to the Sea Wing, a wooden paddle-wheeler less than three years old, and its barge cohort, the Jim Grant.

    The people, decked out in Victorian Sunday finery, were on an excursion to Lake City — where Gov. William Rush Merriam and other dignitaries gathered for a weekend exhibition at the Minnesota National Guard’s summertime encampment.

    Cannons would be fired, bands would play, soldiers would march in formation and a grand time would be had by all.

    It was hot, humid and sticky. So many people wanted to take the pleasure cruise — perhaps hoping it would be cooler out on the water — that the barge was tied on to the Sea Wing to accommodate about 70 of the 215 passengers.

    Scattered showers and some squalls foretold the trouble to come. At 5 p.m. in St. Paul, a tornado spun across Lake Gervais, killing six and injuring 11.

    David Niles Wethern, the storekeeper skippering the Sea Wing, wouldn’t have known about the lethal twister in St. Paul, but he sensed conditions were growing ominous. He blasted the Sea Wing’s whistle at 7:30 p.m. and sailed north for Red Wing at 8 p.m.

    Passengers were crammed shoulder to shoulder in the cabin on the skinny boat — 135 feet long but only 16 feet wide with a 22-foot-high pilot house. Straight-line winds began to whip Lake Pepin, with waves swelling from six to eight feet.

    Full article...

  • Zeroing in on what caused Civil War submarine's sinking

    The Hunley

    From CNN

    Born and built amid gray-cloaked secrecy during the American Civil War, the H.L. Hunley -- the first submarine to sink an enemy ship -- has held tight to its murky mysteries.

    The 150th anniversary of the Hunley's daring and dangerous raid will be marked this weekend and Monday, but the overarching question remains: What caused the submarine and its eight-member crew to slip to the bottom of the sea on the moonlit evening of February 17, 1864, after it signaled to shore a success that changed naval warfare.

    The Hunley, housed at a laboratory in North Charleston, South Carolina, has yielded its secrets slowly and sparingly, even to researchers armed with the latest in technology.

    Was the loss of the Hunley the result of the torpedo's detonation? An unsecured hatch? Or perhaps a lucky enemy shot that blasted a hole in the Confederate vessel's viewing port?

    And why were the crew's remarkably preserved remains found at their stations, rather than jammed together near an escape hatch?

    These and other questions continue to enthrall scientists and historians as the sesquicentennial is observed with tours and events in the Charleston area.

    There is hope that some additional clues may emerge soon.

    The Hunley Project, a consortium of researchers, scientists and state and federal agencies, this year begins a conservation phase that might add an important piece to the puzzle of what happened to the submarine.

    A chemical bath will peel away the final layer of sediment that covers the exterior of the well-constructed hull and the Hunley's interior.

    Full story...

  • HMAS Perth: WWII warship grave stripped by salvagers

    HMS Perth scrapped

    By Linton Besser, Dan Oakes and Norman Hermant - Yahoo News


    Australian authorities have tried to keep the scandal a secret, fearing the issue might add fuel to the ongoing diplomatic tensions between Australia and Indonesia.

    The warship, which sank in the Sunda Strait between Sumatra and Java, is the last resting place of as many as 355 Australian sailors who went down with the vessel after it was struck by multiple torpedoes.

    But it has never been protected as an official war grave.

    Australia and Indonesia are yet to ratify the UNESCO Convention on Underwater Cultural Heritage, a binding national treaty which would oblige both countries to protect such sites.

    Since at least September, scuba divers have made official reports of large-scale damage to the wreck from a massive floating crane equipped with a salvage claw.

    These reports have been made to the Australian embassy in Jakarta and to local officials in the Department of Environment and Heritage, and the Department of Defence.

    Several salvage barges have been spotted in the area, and one was photographed in October dredging up the carcass of a Dutch submarine - the O-16 - which sank off the coast of Malaysia.

    Sam Collett, a professional diver based in the Philippines, told the ABC he last visited the wreck in September.

    "Compared to previous trips I had made, the extent of commercial-scale salvaging was immediately obvious," he said.

    "On the boat trip back to the marina in Anyer we passed a salvage barge with a crane and claw and a large pile of what appeared to be wreckage on the deck."

    Andrew Fock, an expedition diver with a keen interest in HMAS Perth, said there was "extensive damage".

    "As best we can tell from the video footage supplied, most of the superstructure - if not all of it - is gone, the guns from the forward turret, the A-turret are missing.

    "The gun houses for the two front turrets are missing, and most of the upper deck... is missing.

    "The catapult has been removed, the bridge has been removed, the crane has been removed."

    An official report was lodged with the Department of Defence in October detailing the damage. The report, seen by the ABC, said there was a strong possibility that human remains still exist within sections of the ship and that they risk being disturbed.

    It warned action must be urgently taken to prevent further mass salvaging.

    "It is probable that unless action is taken the salvers will return and continue to pull apart the wreck, especially if their previous efforts have been remunerative," the document said.

    "It should be noted that any attempt to remove the exposed starboard armour belt would likely involve its supporting structure and prove catastrophic to the integrity of the remaining hull structure."

    The ABC has seen other reports of the use of explosives by salvagers to break up the ship and make it easier to dredge.

    In September, an Indonesian-based diver wrote: "The mid section above deck, where the bridge was, has been completely removed, the bow guns have been damaged by what appears to be explosives with the barrels missing and the tops peeled of [sic], the bow has collapsed completely."

    "Although it is hard to be certain, but as the metal that was the superstructure is all missing and is not lying around as debris it looks although we could be wrong like purposeful attempt to salvage the steel."

    The Defence report also made specific mention of risks posed by the fuel oil and ordnance on board the Perth.

    The Indonesian-based diver did a second dive in September to confirm his findings. In an email, he reported that the vessel is now too "unstable" to allow divers to penetrate the interior of the ship.

    Full story...

  • Griffin shipwreck search

    In this October 2012 file image from video provided by David J. Ruck timbers protrude from the bottom of Lake Michigan...

    From LSJ

    Five months after divers searched a remote section of Lake Michigan for a mysterious 17th century ship and retrieved a wooden slab the group leader believes is part of the vessel, it’s still uncertain whether they are on the right track.

    The object of the weeklong mission in June was the Griffin, built by the legendary French explorer La Salle, which disappeared in 1679 with its six-member crew, becoming the oldest known shipwreck in the upper Great Lakes.

    The dive team dug a deep hole at the base of the nearly 20-foot-long timber, which was wedged vertically into the lake floor, hoping other wreckage was beneath. To their disappointment, they found nothing.

    Since then, the beam has undergone a CT scan at a Michigan hospital. A wooden sliver has been sent to a Florida lab for carbon-14 analysis. Three French experts who participated in the expedition have completed a report.

    Others are in the works, as scientists who have examined the slab or data from the tests compile their findings. Thus far, most have declined to take a position on whether the Griffin has been found.

    “Based on the totality of the scientific results thus far, as well as historical research, to this point there are still two valid theories” about the wooden beam, said Ken Vrana, who served as project manager for the expedition.

    It could be part of a ship, or a “pound net stake” — an underwater fishing apparatus used in the Great Lakes in the 19th and early 20th centuries, he said.

    Full article...

  • Long lost trunk

    From the Titanic

    By Damien Gayle - Mail Online

    Its owner survived the sinking of the Titanic and then endured a second shipwreck just two years later. 

    Miss Roberts spent a life at sea before finding fame by living through the infamous Titanic disaster in 1912, then surviving the sinking of the Rohilla in 1914.

    But her trunk had been presumed lost to the North Sea since tempestuous winds smashed the steamship against rocks to the west of Saltwick Nab, near Whitby, North Yorkshire.

    Wednesday saw the 99th anniversary of the sinking of the Rohilla, where lifeboat crews battled for 50 hours to pull 144 survivors from the wreck.

    Miss Roberts had been a stewardess for White Star Line for several years when she signed on for the Titanic’s maiden voyage.

    It struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City and sank on April 15, 1912, claiming the lives of 1,517 passengers and crew.

    The crew of the ship had failed to heed warnings of ice in the North Atlantic and were sailing at speed through an ice field when it struck the huge floe.

    Full story...

  • Titanic sea burial photo valued at $8,000 - Henry Aldridge


    From Paul Fraser Collectibles

    An arresting photograph of victims of the Titanic being buried at sea after the 1912 disaster will sell through Henry Aldridge & Son on October 19.

    The photograph shows a group of mourners gathered on the recovery ship CS Mackay Bennett, while two men drop a body over the side.

    It is expected to sell for up to £5,000 ($8,108), along with other photographs.

    The shot was taken just a few days after the tragic event, which occurred on April 15, 1912, when the massive liner hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean.

    We can see the ship's priest, Reverend Hind, conducting the service, while bodies are piled three high in sacks on deck.

    According to Andrew Aldridge, Reverend Hind presided over the funerals of 166 bodies, offering the same prayer for each:

    "For as much as it has pleased Almighty God to take unto Himself the soul of our dear brother departed, we therefore commit his body to the deep to be turned to corruption; looking for the resurrection of the body (when the sea shall give up her dead) and the life of the world come, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who shall change our vile body, that it may be like unto His glorious body, according to the mighty working whereby He is able to subdue all things to Himself."

    A rare image from the aftermath of the event, it was discovered when a descendant of R D "Westy" Legate, 4th Officer of the CS Mackay Bennett, took his collection to Henry Aldridge & Son for valuation.


    The loss of the Titanic

  • Argh! Pirate booty found from 1717 shipwreck

    The Whydah

    From Fox CBS News

    He calls it "the yellow brick road" because it's literally sprinkled with gold dust.

    This road runs along Cape Cod's shifting seafloor, and undersea explorer Barry Clifford believes it leads to undiscovered treasure from the wreck of the pirate ship Whydah.

    About two weeks ago, Clifford and his dive team took a trip back to the wreck site, and Clifford returned more convinced than ever that the road he's exploring is a path to riches. "We think we're very, very close," he said.

    The Whydah sank in a brutal storm in 1717 with plunder from 50 ships on board. Clifford discovered the wreck site in 1984 off Wellfleet and has since pulled up 200,000 artifacts, including gold ornaments, sword handles, even a boy's leg.

    But just this year, Clifford learned far more treasure may be resting with the Whydah, the only authenticated pirate shipwreck in U.S. waters.

    Colonial-era documents discovered in April indicated the Whydah raided two vessels in the weeks before it sank.

    Its haul on those raids included 400,000 coins, the records said.

    A Sept. 1 dive during what was supposed to be Clifford's last trip of the season uncovered evidence he was near those coins.

    That convinced Clifford he had to make another trip before summer's end. So Clifford and a seven-man crew went back on a three-day trip that ended Sept. 13.

    Clifford headed for the "yellow brick road," which refers to a gold and artifact-strewn path extending between two significant sites at the Whydah wreck that are about 700 feet apart - a cannon pile and a large chunk of wood that Clifford thinks is the Whydah's stern.

    Full story...

  • Titanic musical pig toy sings its song

    Rosenbaum (later Russell) and her beloved toy pig some years after the disaster

    From Paul Fraser Collectibles

    The National Maritime Museum has used X-ray scans to reveal more about a musical toy pig that was saved from the 1912 sinking of the Titanic.

    The toy belonged to Edith Rosenbaum (1879-1975), a successful player in the fashion world, who was travelling first class on the historic voyage.

    Initially reluctant to abandon the ship, Rosenbaum's (who later changed her name to Russell) life was saved by a sailor who grabbed the toy from under her arms and threw it into a lifeboat, knowing that she would follow.

    Rosenbaum spent the next seven hours aboard Lifeboat 11 entertaining children with the pig's music, until they were picked up by the passenger liner Carpathia.

    The pig - now in the possession of the National Maritime Museum - was recently taken, along with an 18-carat gold pocket watch, to Nikon Metrology in Hertfordshire, UK, in order to learn more about its construction.

    Full story...

  • Trove of pristine shipwrecks

    Shipwrecks in Antartica

    By Tia Ghose - LiveScience

    The oceans surrounding Antarctica may be littered with buried shipwrecks in pristine condition, new research suggests.

    Researchers came to that conclusion, detailed Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, after burying wood and bone at the depths of the Antarctic oceans and analyzing the handiwork of worms and mollusks more than a year later.

    "The bones were infested by a carpet of red-plumed Osedax worms, which we have named as a new species — Osedax antarcticus — but the wood planks were untouched, with not a trace of the wood-eating worms," study co-author Adrian Glover, an aquatic invertebrates researcher at the Natural History Museum in London, said in an email.

    "The wood was hardly degraded either, after 14 months on the seafloor."

    That finding suggests that some of the most iconic shipwrecks — including the Endurance, the most famous ship to ever sail to Antarctica — could be perfectly preserved in the icy waters near the southern continent.

    Sir Ernest Shackleton first set sail for Antarctica aboard the Endurance. At the time, the ship was the strongest one ever built. Yet it was crushed by icebergs in the Weddell Sea near Antarctica in 1915 and sunk.

    More than nine months later and a after a series of harrowing ordeals, the entire crew was eventually rescued.

    In any other ocean, wooden ships like the Endurance are quickly devoured by shipworms or wood-boring mollusks.

    Antarctica, however, has been treeless for the last 30 million years. Instead, the region is teeming with whales and other cetaceans whose bones sink to the ocean floor.

    That raised the possibility that, whereas ocean dwellers feast on wood in other regions, local organisms may have adapted to devour bone in Antarctica.

    Full story...

  • Putin boards submersible to explore 1869 shipwreck

    From Shangai Daily

    Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday dived to the bottom of the Baltic Sea aboard a submersible to explore the wreck of a ship that sank in 1869.

    State television pictures showed Putin climbing aboard the Sea Explorer 5 underwater research vessel for the half-hour dive to the wreck of a frigate that sank in the Gulf of Finland.

    "It is lying on its right side," Putin said in televised reports afterwards, saying the vessel was well-preserved.

    "Indeed, it's in perfect state, the name of the ship can be clearly read.

    "It's not scary, it's very interesting," he added, referring to the experience.

    Television broadcast green-tinted footage showing the Russian strongman carefully inspecting the shipwreck from inside the submersible.

    He said he was not at the controls himself, noting he was not skilled enough. "You have to have lots of experience to operate this machine," he was quoted as saying.

    The naval frigate Oleg was discovered by Russian divers in 2003 and is now being studied by scientists.

    It lies at a depth of 60 meters between the islands of Gogland and Sommers.

    The 60-year-old sports-mad president, who returned to the Kremlin for a third term last year, prides himself on keeping in peak physical condition and has raised eyebrows with a series of media friendly stunts in recent years.

  • Fate Titanic linked to lunar event


    From Hydro International

    The sinking of the ocean liner Titanic in the night of 14 April 1912 is perhaps the most famous--and most studied--disaster of the 20th century.

    A team of astronomers from Texas State University-San Marcos, USA, has applied its celestial sleuthing to the disaster to examine how a rare lunar event stacked the deck against the Titanic.

    Their results shed new light on the hazardous sea ice conditions the ship boldly steamed into that fateful night.

    Inspired by the visionary work of the late oceanographer Fergus J. Wood of San Diego who suggested that an unusually close approach by the moon on 4 January 1912 may have caused abnormally high tides, the Texas State research team investigated how pronounced this effect may have been.

    What they found was that a once-in-many-lifetimes event occurred.

    The moon and sun had lined up in such a way their gravitational pulls enhanced each other, an effect well-known as a “spring tide“.

    The moon’s perigee—closest approach to Earth—proved to be its closest in 1,400 years, and came within six minutes of a full moon.

    On top of that, the Earth’s perihelion—closest approach to the sun—happened the day before, the closest approach in 1,400 years.

    Full article...

  • Colombia concedes point on Spanish galleon salvage


    From PR Newswire

    Lawyers representing the government of Colombia (GOC) admitted in U.S. court on March 25th that Sea Search Armada (SSA), an undersea salvage company engaged in a long-running suit with Colombia, was the rightful owner of 50 percent of the proceeds of perhaps the most valuable sunken treasure in history.

    This is the first time representatives of the government have conceded this point in over 30 years of legal wrangling.

    The admission came in oral arguments before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Washington, D.C. over the validity of SSA's suit.

    While still disputing SSA's claim, the GOC lawyer clarified that any part of the treasure, were it to be recovered and be identified as Columbian – described as the country's patrimony – would not be shared.

    The ship in question is the San Jose, one of several Spanish galleons sunk off the coast of Colombia in 1708 during a war between Spain and Britain.

    Estimated to be carrying over two tons of platinum along with substantial quantities of gold and emeralds, the current value of the treasure is estimated to be in excess of $17 billion.

    SSA and the GOC initially were partners in exploring for the wreck which was discovered in 1981.

    At that time, Colombia was following international custom and had agreed it would split the proceeds with SSA if the wreck were found.

    Members of the Colombian Navy accompanied the search. (Under well established maritime law, it is customary for countries to grant salvage rights in exchange for half of the proceeds.)

    The SSA team located the San Jose in more than 800 feet of water about five miles off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia. Because of the cost and complexity of the salvage, time was required to arrange for investors and the specialized equipment.

    Before the specialized salvage could be initiated, however, the Colombian government decided it would ignore the original agreement and would claim all of the treasure except for a 5% finder's fee.

    Full article...

  • Honoring USS Monitor's fallen heroes

    These shoes were found when the turret of the USS Monitor from the Civil War were recovered in 2002 from the waters.         According to curator, David Crop of the Mariner's Museum, this ring was found on the right ring finger of one of the sets of human remains inside the gun turret of the Civil War-era ship USS Monitor.

    By David Martin - CBS News


    America is about to pay final respects to two of its fallen heroes more than a century after they lost their lives. But we can't tell you who they were and we may never know.

    It is a solemn fact that the remains of Americans killed in conflicts dating back to World War II keep coming home from distant battlefields.

    But Thursday was different, as flag draped caskets held unidentified sailors from the Civil War.

    "Two human beings buried under there for 140 years or so," explained Joe Hoyt. He was one of the divers who discovered the remains in 240 feet of water off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, where they had gone down with one of the Navy's most famous ships -- the USS Monitor.

    "Arguably more significant than almost any shipwreck certainly in U.S. history," said Hoyt, "and to get down there and actually see it -- there's really nothing else like it."

    The hull of the Monitor still lies where it sank, designated a marine sanctuary. But its gun turret -- with the remains still inside -- was raised from the bottom in 2002, and brought to the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, Virginia where Anna Holloway is head curator.

    "This is the ship that you read about in 5th grade -- the Monitor and the Merrimack," she said.

    The pride of the Union Navy earned its place in history on the day it fought the Confederate ship Merrimack to a draw.

    "This was the first battle of iron-clad warships ever in history, and that's really what makes the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862 so significant," said Holloway.

    But ten months later the prototype for today's iron warships went down in a storm. "A very short life," said Holloway of the Monitor. "But a very monumental one if you think about her impact on modern warships."

    When the turret was brought up, pieces of the sailor's lives came with it. A mismatched pair of shoes gave silent testimony to curator David Krop about the ship's final moments.

    "If you think about the chaos the night of the sinking," he said, "if there's water coming into the ship, it's dark, you might just grab what's closest to you, put those on in order to get out of the vessel.

    Full story...


  • $10,000 Titanic iceberg photograph to auction online

    The iceberg that sank the Titanic ?

    From Paul Fraser Collectibles

    A photograph believed to show the iceberg which sunk the Titanic, will be auctioned at a sale dedicated to the ship on December 16 in New Hampshire. Measuring 9.75 x 8 inches, the photo has been given an estimated value of $10,000.

    The photograph of the enormous, curiously elliptical iceberg was taken by Captain Wood of the SS Etonian two days before the Titanic struck it.

    It bears a caption handwritten in black ink by the captain, which reads: "Copyright. Blueberg taken by Captain W F Wood. S S Etonian on 12/4/12."

    After noting the latitude and longitude of the iceberg, Wood concludes plainly: "Titanic struck 14/4/12 and sank in three hours."

    It is thought that the captain took the picture because he was particularly taken with the iceberg's unusual shape.

    Titanic expert Stanley Lehrer has put his weight behind the photograph, stating: "I've had opportunities to look at various photographs reporting to be the iceberg that doomed the Titanic.

    "In my professional judgement this iceberg is the one that sunk the Titanic."

    George Rheims, a first class passenger aboard the ship, and Jospeh Scarrot, one of the seamen on duty at the time of the collision, both made sketches of the iceberg which are similar in shape to Wood's "blueberg".



  • Kate Winslet Titanic dress to auction for $300,000 ?

    Kate Winslet's dress

    From Paul Fraser Collectibles

    A dress Kate Winslet wore in 1997 film Titanic is coming to auction next month.

    The British actress sported the red garment in her character Rose DeWitt Bukater's first meeting with Leonardo DiCaprio's Jack, in which he prevents Rose from throwing herself overboard.

    The so-called "jump dress", designed by Deborah L Scott, is expected to achieve up to $300,000 when it goes under the hammer on December 16 in California.

    "Director James Cameron famously insisted that all physical aspects of his production maintain the highest level of historical accuracy possible," says the auction house.

    "This meticulous attention to detail wasn't spared on the film's legendary and indulgent costumes.

    The auctioneer adds that the dress is "widely considered the most recognisable and sought-after of Rose's costumes."

    A costume Kate Winslet wore in Holy Smoke sold for just $800 in 2006. The auction house will be hoping that the iconic nature of Titanic and the scene willbring a far better result.



  • Greek antiquities found on Mentor shipwreck

    Mentor wreck

    By Christina Flora - Greek Reporter

    The underwater shipwreck excavation of the wreck of the ship Mentor, that sank off the island of Kythera in 1802 while carrying goods plundered from the Parthenon by British diplomat Lord Elgin has proved to be a treasure trove of personal items from the passengers and crew.

    A greater number of coins were also found, at least two ancient silver coins which were antiquities acquired by Elgin, passengers or the crew,along with two gold coins, used as currency at the time, from the late 1700’s.

    Other coins were also recovered but require conservation before they can be identified. Some of these may also be ancient.

    Finding three ancient coins on the wreck last year created international news, prompting a question about what other antiquities Elgin was transporting, in addition to crates of Parthenon marbles and sculptures.

    There may be even more questions from this year’s finds, after conservation of currently unidentified coins is completed.

    Another pistol was recovered, a fob (pocket) watch, personal seal with a cannon on it and gold chain, a pipe, ring, part of navigation instruments, bottles, musket balls, cannon balls, crockery and ceramics possibly from the galley (kitchen) area.

    The Mentor was a small Brig, carrying 16 crates of Parthenon sculptures and a marble throne, en-route to Malta and then the United Kingdom.

    Full article...

  • The SS Edmund Fitzgerald remembered today

    Edmund Fitzgerald

    By John Gonzalez - MLive

    Today, at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Paradise, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald will be remembered in a memorial.

    It was 37 years ago the ship sank in Lake Superior as a result of a massive winter storm, near hurricane-force winds and waves more than 30 feet. All 29 men on board lost their lives.

    The story of the shipwreck lives on in the poetic words of "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," a song written and recorded by Gordon Lightfoot a year after the tragedy.

    I included today's memorial event in my Top 5 things to do this weekend in Michigan.

    And my posting on MLive.com generated an e-mail from someone who remembers that day well.

    Full article...

  • Famed SS Terra Nova shipwreck discovered off Greenland

    From Maritime Executive


    U.S. researchers have discovered the wreck site of the SS Terra Nova – the ship that Captain Robert Scott sailed on to his ill-fated Antarctic expedition 100 years ago.

    It was located off Greenland.

    In 1910, Capt. Scott and his crew set off aboard the Terra Nova in hopes of becoming the first expedition to reach the South Pole.

    Upon arrival at the South Pole in January 1912, Scott and his crew realized they had been beat by a Norwegian team led by Roald Amundsen. The polar team led by Scott never made it home; their bodies were found by a search party eight months later, according to a BBC News report.

    The historic vessel, on the other hand, lived on and ended up sinking in 1943 while making a supply delivery to Arctic base stations after being damaged by ice. Its crew was rescued by U.S. Coast Guard cutter, Southwind.

    Back in current times, the wreck has been discovered by a Schmidt Ocean Institute team during echo-sounding equipment testing on the R/V Falkor. An unidentified object was noted during sonar mapping of the sea bed.

    An underwater camera package was dropped into the waters below the research vessel to film the presumed wreck. Right across the top of the target, it showed the remains of a wooden wreck lying on the seabed, as well as a funnel next to the ship.

    The features of the wreck closely matched historical photos of the Terra Nova, leading to the identification.


  • Collector asks for whom the Empress of Ireland bell shall toll

    From Montreal CTV News

    Philippe Beaudry is getting frustrated that his deal for his collection of items from the doomed Empress of Ireland still hasn't closed.

    The vessel sank in May, 1914 after it collided with a Norwegian ship near Rimouski, making it the largest maritime accident in Canadian history, as 1,012 passengers and crew died in the disaster.

    The horrific incident has long been Beaudry's great passion and has inspired him to spend 16 years collecting the world's largest Empress of Ireland collection, valued at over $3 million.

    The ship's bell is all that remains in his possession, after he agreed to sell the rest of the items to the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau in December, following a grueling five-year negotiation.

    "I cannot keep a treasure that has to be seen by the public," said Beaudry.

    The deal was to be finalized April 12, 2012 but the federal review board responsible for approving the agreement has postponed its decision until June.

    Full story...

  • Answers sought in China's salvaging of British sub

    HMS Poseidon

    By Christopher Bodeen - Seattle Times

    A lifelong scuba diving obsession led Steven Schwankert to the tale of the HMS Poseidon and the startling discovery that the British submarine, which sank off the northeastern coast of China in the 1930s, had been raised by the Chinese in 1972.

    That revelation lies at the heart of Schwankert's upcoming book, "The Real Poseidon Adventure: China's Secret Salvage of Britain's Lost Submarine" and an accompanying documentary film chronicling his search for answers about what became of the sunken vessel.

    The seven-year transcontinental quest saw frustrations, triumphs and deeply emotional experiences, none more so than bringing together descendants of the Poseidon's crew and sharing with them new information about the submarine's fate.

    "I only wish we'd been able to find more relatives.

    It feels like we've taken on this incredible responsibility of being custodians of this history," said the 42-year-old Schwankert, an American journalist and diving instructor who has lived in Beijing for more than a decade.

    The Poseidon was barely two years old and among the most modern submarines in the British fleet when it arrived at a leased British naval base on Liugong Island, four kilometers (2.5 miles) offshore from the port of Weihai.

    While conducting exercises on June 9, 1931, the captain inadvertently turned into a Chinese cargo ship that had altered course in the same direction to avoid hitting the submarine, which was traveling on the surface.

    Its hull shattered, the Poseidon sank within four minutes, coming to rest on the sea floor 30 meters (100 feet) below.

    Thirty men scrambled out of hatches before it went down, but 26 remained inside, eight in the watertight forward torpedo room.

    Full story...

  • Aussie billionaire’s Titanic II plans revealed

    Titanic II

    From gCaptain

    Australian billionaire and political-hopeful Clive Palmer on Tuesday offered the first glimpse into his Blue Star Line’s Titanic II replica project and the design is so authentic that it even comes with space for steerage passengers and a special space for the correct amount of safety equipment.

    The design, developed by Finish-based Deltamarin, comes fully equipped with nine decks reminicent of the original, included with the famous black hull, four smokestacks and, of course, the Grand Staircase.

    Also included, is an added ‘Safety Deck’ to house the required number of lifeboats and other safety equipement otherwise missing on the first addition.

    Sticking with the authentic theme, Blue Star Lines said from deck D upwards Deltamarin’s design has managed to keep the public rooms, passenger stairs, cabins and other features in similar locations as in the original ship.

    So authentic, in fact, that the ships accommodations will even be separated into first, second and even third class digs.

    “The Preliminary General Arrangement plans depict the original separation between first, second and third class, which will be kept in the ship’s final design,” Palmer said.

    He added, “To ensure Titanic II is compliant with all current safety and construction regulations, a new ‘Safety Deck’ has been inserted between D and C decks and will feature proper lifeboats, safety chutes or slides as well as new common public rooms.

    New escape stairs, service elevators, air conditioning room and similar functions have also been added and the inclusions of main fire zones have been designed so that they have minimum disturbance on public rooms.

    G deck has also been re-designed to now feature crew accommodation, laundry, stores and machinery.”

    Full story...

  • Keys shipwreck has Hollywood link


    By Adam Linhardt - Keys news


    A Key West salvor believes an 1856 shipwreck of the merchant ship Isaac Allerton has ties to the Baldwin brothers of Hollywood fame, and his lawyer has sent a letter to movie star and "30 Rock" actor Alec Baldwin stating just that.

    "I was doing the research and I must have Googled and Googled over and over until I finally traced it back to the Baldwins," said Ray Maloney, who has salvage rights to the shipwreck.

    The captain of the ship was Roswell Baldwin, who was born in Stonington, Conn., in 1818, Maloney said. Recently, Maloney's Key West High School pal and attorney Robert Cintron wrote a letter to the entertainment company representing Alec Baldwin.

    "If we have correctly traced the genealogy for Capt. Roswell Baldwin, we would welcome communications with Mr. Baldwin's representative to determine whether he and/or Mr. Baldwin might have any interest in learning more of the wreck of the Isaac Allerton, to include an actual underwater visit to the wreck that lies in about 25 feet of water approximately one mile off the lower Florida Keys," Cintron wrote.

    "We know that Mr. Baldwin has a busy schedule and likely receives all manner of requests, but we thought that the personal nature of this inquiry might be of interest to Mr. Baldwin and his family."

    Maloney has exclusive salvage rights to the ship in federal court, not the Baldwin family, but he thought they might be interested in the legacy of their ancestor ship captain.

    Maloney has been in contact with a cousin of the Baldwin brothers, and it appears some extended family are interested in coming down to have a closer view of the wreck. Whether or not Alec Baldwin or any of his brothers will come down remains to be seen, and that's fine with Maloney, he said.

    "I just want to share the information and thought the family would be interested to know," he said.

    For Maloney, the letter was also sent to complete the historical context of the ship. He wants to make sure his records are complete and correct, but he added he's certain he's got the right Baldwin family.

    Full story...


  • Thrilling memories of Mary Rose treasure

    Colin with a pot from the wreck

    By Laura Jones - Herald Series

    Thirty years after the stricken Mary Rose was brought ashore, Wantage recreational diver Colin Fox recalls his role in salvaging its treasures.

    The retired oil company worker helped to explore the ship in his spare time and even came face to face with a skeleton in the depths of the wreck.

    Mr Fox made 240 trips down to the Mary Rose, spending a total of 173 hours underwater and bringing weapons, pewter pots and other artifacts back to the surface over a period of five years.

    The Mary Rose sank in 1545 and lay undiscovered in The Solent until 1967, when the project to excavate and raise the wreck began.

    She sank as she prepared to fight the French in the Battle of Spithead and took 660 sailors to their death.

    Mr Fox approached the team in 1978 and offered to work on the project for free during his holidays.

    The 68-year-old said: “I wrote and asked if I could help, never expecting to dive on the project. I thought I could carry bottles for them.

    “They invited me to come and dive.

    “We used a thing called an airlift – a four inch plastic pipe which acts as a huge vacuum cleaner.”

    The team placed a scaffold grid over the area to stop finds being carried off in the current while they made a painstaking search of the wreck.

    Mr Fox, from Ormond Road, said: “We were briefed over what to do while we were down there.

    “There were fantastic finds: long bows, a pair of bellows and lots of small things like shoes and pewter pots.

    “It was amazing. One didn’t know what one was going to find; it was unbelievably exciting.

    “I couldn’t wait to get in and was really fed up when it was time to come up.

    Full story...

  • The Curious case of Lloyd’s Register, The Times, and the Titanic

    By Christopher Browne - Lloyd’s Register

    The message was brief and cryptic: “Struck an iceberg and sank in latitude 41.16 N, longitude 50.14 W”.

    It might have been just another daily entry in Lloyd’s Register’s Casualty Returns. But it hid perhaps the most infamous event in shipping history – the sinking of the Titanic.

    That was 100 years ago – on 14 April 1912 to be precise.

    Since then a flurry of historians, scientists, investigators, conspiracy theorists and media pundits have pondered and puzzled over just why this great and ‘unsinkable’ vessel should founder on a lone iceberg.

    A spectacular array of events are being held this year in the seven European and North American cities involved in the mighty ship’s last voyage.

    However behind the ritual and razzamatazz are some curious post-disaster stories including one about the role of Lloyd’s Register.

    A few days after the incident, the national press wrote a series of reports suggesting the Titanic had been built ‘considerably in excess of the requirements’ of Lloyd’s Register.

    Although we had not classed the vessel, and the information was patently wrong, you could argue it was a form of faint praise by association.

    Although our Secretary at the time, Sir Andrew Scott, didn’t quite see it like that. “I am directed to say that these statements are inaccurate.

    On the contrary, in important parts of her structure the vessel as built did not come up to the requirements of Lloyd’s Register for a vessel of her dimensions,” he wrote in a letter to The Times of London.

    “I do not for a moment suggest that this circumstance had any bearing whatever upon the loss of the vessel and therefore, for obvious reasons, this letter has been delayed until after the close of the Inquiry (the Mersey Committee set up in the UK to investigate the loss).

  • Treasures from the sea


    By Devika Cariapa - Deccan Herald

    After she sank, Mary Rose would have remained forgotten at the bottom of the ocean if not for the wonders of Underwater Archaeology.

    Recently, the world comme­morated a hundred years since the sinking of the ‘unsinkable’ RMS Titanic.

    Almost four centuries earlier, on July 19, 1545, another ‘unsinkable’ ship sank off the coast of England: Mary Rose was Henry VIII’s (he of the six wives) favourite, state-of-the-art, fully armed and loaded warship – a veteran of 33 years of fierce sea battles, manned with a battle-hardened crew.

    After she sank, Mary Rose would have remained forgotten and quietly decayed at the bottom of the ocean if it wasn’t for the wonders of Underwater Archaeology.

    Underwater archaeology deals with remains from the past that are submerged under lakes, rivers and oceans. This means that in addition to being an archaeologist, you have to be an ace diver as well since excavations take place only underwater !

    It is painstaking work but these archaeologists are often lucky since underwater conditions sometimes preserve artefacts and structures. So it was with Mary Rose.

    Mary Rose was built in Portsmouth, England between 1509 and 1511. She was named after Henry’s sister, Mary, and the symbol of the Tudor House, the Rose.

    She was among the finest warships to be built with specially designed gunports armed with huge bronze and iron cannons. She must have cut a dashing sight racing along the water with her special gilded flags and banners. With her handpicked crew, she was a lethal fighting machine.

    She was the flagship of the English Navy for 33 years. She was responsible for destroying many French vessels and had carried Henry’s armies into several battles.

    Full story...

  • The most important British vessel sunk off the Chinese coast

    HMS Poseidon

    From gCaptain 

    In recent weeks, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic in the North Atlantic and the 3D re-release of 1997′s Oscar-winning ‘Titanic’ has galvanized attention in China, where movie goers spent $58 million over the course of a single weekend to re-experience the demise of the infamous liner.

    Now a pair of filmmakers are hoping to draw attention to the nearly forgotten sinking of another British vessel, this one a submarine off the Chinese coast.

    The HMS Poseidon, a British military submarine that sunk in eastern Chinese waters in June 1931, went down under totally different circumstances from the Titanic.

    Yet in its day, it also shook the nautical world, spurring global change in the way men went to sea — in particular because of the dramatic undersea escape by a handful of its submariners.

    A preview of “The Poseidon Project,” a documentary about the British sub named for the Greek god of the sea by brothers Arthur and Luther Jones, was shown to a small group this week in Shanghai, ironically in a room decorated with silk squids hanging from ceiling.

    The film’s narrative tracks the Poseidon’s brief timeline from its launch in England to its arrival at a British naval outpost on the Weihai peninsula in Shandong Province.

    The film explains how during routine surface maneuvers on June 9, 1931, the Poseidon collided with a Chinese freighter.

    With a tear in its starboard side, the sub went down in just four minutes and dragged much of its crew 120 feet below the surface.

    Nicely executed drawings and other artwork in the film illustrate how a small group of five submariners — including one Chinese boy — then made it to the surface alive.

    Back home in England, they were welcomed as heroes, because at that point for submariners, as the film’s narrator points out, “escape plans were only theoretical.”

    The survival of the five members of the Poseidon crew changed much for undersea exploration, the film says.

    For instance, certain benchmarks used by scuba divers today, such as those to avoid decompression sickness (also known as the bends), were determined based on studies of survivors.

    Full story...

  • Officials say human remains may be at Titanic shipwreck site

    A pair of shoes may show where a victim of the Titanic disaster came to rest

    From Fox News

    Human remains may be embedded in the mud of the North Atlantic where the New York-bound Titanic came to rest when it sank 100 years ago, a federal official said Saturday.

    A 2004 photograph, released to the public for the first time this week in an uncropped version to coincide with the disaster's centenary, shows a coat and boots in the mud at the legendary shipwreck site.

    "These are not shoes that fell out neatly from somebody's bag right next to each other," James Delgado, the director of maritime heritage at the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, told The Associated Press in a phone interview.

    The way they are "laid out" makes a "compelling case" that it is where "someone has come to rest," he said.

    The image, along with two others showing pairs of boots resting next to each other, were taken during an expedition led by NOAA and famed Titanic finder Robert Ballard in 2004. They were published in Ballard's book on the expedition. Delgado said the one showing a coat and boots was cropped to show only on a boot.

    The New York Times first reported about the photographs in Saturday editions.

    Filmmaker James Cameron, who has visited the wreck 33 times, told the newspaper that he had seen "zero human remains" during his extensive explorations of the Titanic. "We've seen shoes. We've seen pairs of shoes, which would strongly suggest there was a body there at one point. But we've never seen any human remains."

    Full story...

  • UMass Dartmouth, Woods Hole institute study underwater remains of Titanic

    By Grant Welker - Wicked Local

    A century after the Titanic sank, the shipwreck at the bottom of the Atlantic still has its place in research and academia.

    Just last month, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod released new detailed images of the wreck created during an expedition to create an archaeological map of the site, which can be seen online. One University of Massachusetts Dartmouth program includes a course on the Titanic and another undertakes advanced underwater research.

    Robert Ballard, a professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, is well-known as the first to discover the wreckage in 1985. The oceanography program at URI still uses some of the most advanced technology to study the seas.

    “All of this kind of came out of the Titanic work that he did,” URI oceanography researcher Dwight Coleman said of Ballard, a colleague for 15 years.

    Right now, URI’s oceanography program is working with a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, vessel in the Gulf of Mexico that is studying ocean ecosystems and how they’re faring two years after the BP oil spill. URI is helping them manage data, run day-to-day operations, and record and broadcast video.

    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, based in Falmouth, has been a major contributor to what the world knows about the Titanic.

    Full story...

  • Congress proposes protections for Titanic's 'hallowed ground'

    By Richard Simon - Sacbee

    One hundred years after the sinking of the Titanic, lawmakers are moving to further protect the shipwreck site.

    The R.M.S. Titanic Maritime Memorial Preservation Act would impose penalties of up to $250,000 a day and five years in prison on any U.S. vessel or American that disturbs the wreckage without permission or brings illegally recovered artifacts into the country.

    "It's important to remember that this site on the floor of the Atlantic is a place where so many went to their deaths," Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the bill's sponsor, said in a statement.

    It is, he added, "hallowed ground, not just some underwater area to be poked at or damaged for commercial reasons."

    The Titanic, the wreck of which was found in 1985, sank off Newfoundland on its maiden voyage from Britain to New York in April 1912 after hitting an iceberg, killing more than 1,500 passengers and crew.

    It lies in international waters, but the legislation seeks to thwart "looting and unscientific salvage" of Titanic artifacts - even by foreigners - by establishing penalties for bringing them into the United States and by subjecting them to seizure by the government.

    Congress has addressed the Titanic disaster before, including holding hearings in 1912 and passing a bill in 1986, shortly after the Titanic was found.

    That measure, signed by President Ronald Reagan, called for negotiating an international agreement that would designate the ship wreckage an "international maritime memorial" and the writing of rules for conducting research, exploration and salvage.

    Marc-Andre Bernier, chairman of the Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology, said in an email to the Los Angeles Times that the legislation is important "from the archaeological and historical perspective, and even more so from the solely global perspective aiming for the respect and protection of the resting place of more than a 1,000 souls."

  • The quest to map Titanic

    William Lange (2nd row, fifth from left) was part of the research team that returned to Titanic in 1986 with the submersible Alvin, on which pilots are sitting in the background

    From Oceanus

    Bill Lange was aboard Knorr in 1985 when the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution research vessel brought back the first grainy black-and-white images of Titanic resting on the seafloor.

    Ever since, Lange has made it his quest to push the boundaries of imaging technology, engineering one-of-a-kind camera systems and operating them in the deepest and most extreme parts of the world’s oceans.

    Lange, who directs the Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory at WHOI, has returned to the Titanic site several times.

    He played a major role in a 2010 expedition that yielded new, richly detailed views of the ship and wreck site that were published in 2012, the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s sinking.

    The original Navy-funded expeditions in 1985 and 1986 used Titanic as a target to test pioneering deep-sea technology.Were camera systems on the list ?

    Bob Ballard and a few of us had dreams of bringing color video back from the deep, but camera systems to do that didn’t exist at the time.

    Designing a deep-sea camera system is a lot more than just taking a camera off the shelf and putting it in a pressure-resistant tube.

    There’s a lot of engineering that goes into making these cameras work efficiently at depths of more than 13,000 feet, withstand pressures of 10,000 pounds per square inch and a range of temperatures from 100°F on deck to near freezing on the seafloor; operate on really low power; and produce high-optical-resolution images in very low light levels.

    There really isn’t a big market for camera systems like that, so it’s not economical for a commercial vendor to build one.

    As it turned out, Titanic has been a great driver for advancing our imaging, lighting, and other technologies in the deep sea. The constant desire of people to know more about Titanic has provided funding and resources to go back to Titanic over the years.

    It helped drive our desire to keep bringing technology to the next level and improving the imaging capabilities for the scientists and the public.

    What was the state-of-the-art technology in 1985 ?

    The Argo towed camera sled system developed by Bob Ballard in 1985 was a paradigm shift.

    In the past, scientists had towed underwater metal sleds with 35-millimeter cameras above the seafloor with no electrical connection to the surface.

    You’d bring the camera back up to the surface, remove the film, and wonder what you had documented.

    If you were fortunate enough, you had a way of developing the film out at sea and then knowing a day or so later what you had surveyed.

    You didn’t see in real time what those cameras were seeing and thus loss valuable decision and ship time.

    Full story...

  • Titanic, 100 years later: Titanic museum a hidden treasure

    Edward Kamuda and his sister

    By Philip R. Devlin and Michael Hayes - Darien Patch

    Edward Kamuda, founder of the Titanic Historical Society (THS) and curator of its Titanic Museum in Indian Orchard, MA, remembers well how he first got hooked on the story of the Titanic.

    He was in junior high school in Indian Orchard, a part of Springfield, MA, in the early 1950s, and his teacher required the class to read an essay and write about it. Ed chose “A Great Ship Goes Down,” by Hanson Baldwin. It was about the sinking of the Titanic. The experience changed his life.

    Edward S. Kamuda started the Titanic Historical Society’s collection of survivors' artifacts in the early 1960s, and he and his wife, Karen, have been caring for it ever since.

    The collection is housed in the back room of his family’s jewelry shop at 208 Main St. in Indian Orchard. Titanic survivors donated many of these artifacts to Ed himself.

    The collection is diverse and includes an original blueprint for the ill-fated ship from its builders, Harland and Wolff, in Ireland, Mrs. John Jacob Astor’s lifejacket, a 9-foot-long, remote-controlled model of the ship, the ice warning message that never made it to the bridge, menus from the ship, various letters and postcards from the Titanic, a wooden breadboard, a piece of a railing and a deck chair picked up as flotsam from the site, photos, many books, film posters, and sheet music, among many other interesting items.

    The museum also has artifacts from other ships, such as the bridge bell of the Titanic’s sister ship, Olympic, and a bronze bell from the cable ship Mackay-Bennett, a Halifax vessel dispatched to pick up the frozen bodies floating near the site of the disaster.

    Something you won’t find at Ed’s museum are any artifacts that have been collected from the bottom of the ocean since the location of the ship was discovered in 1985.

    As far as Ed is concerned, that site is a burial area and should never be disturbed: “Protect the Wreck!” is his motto.

    In fact, Dr. Robert Ballard—the explorer who discovered the wreck and a man Ed knows well—and his team placed a bronze plaque on the Titanic for the Titanic Historical Society in memory of those who lost their lives.

    Full story...

  • Titanic: legendary voyage timeline

    RIA NovostiTitanic: legendary voyage timelineTitanic: legendary voyage timeline

    15:24 10/04/2012 RMS Titanic, one of the biggest and most luxurious ocean liners of its time, set off on its doomed maiden voyage from Europe to America 100 years ago. Follow the voyage with RIA Novosti "time machine".>>

  • Titanic wreck in North Atlantic granted UNESCO protection

    From My Fox DC

    The wreck of the Titanic, which lies at the bottom of the North Atlantic ocean, is now under the protection of UNESCO, 100 years after it hit an iceberg and sank on April 12, 1912, the UN cultural agency announced Thursday.

    The wreckage of the doomed ship is now covered by a 2001 convention on protecting underwater heritage, which means that the destruction, pillage or sale of objects found at the site can be outlawed by the 41 countries that signed up to the treaty.

    The site was not eligible for protection before now because the convention only applies to remains that have been underwater for 100 years.

    "The sinking of the Titanic is anchored in the memory of humanity and I am pleased that this site can now be protected by the UNESCO convention," Irina Bokova, UNESCO's director-general, said in a statement.

    She added, "But there are thousands of other shipwrecks that need safeguarding as well.

    All of them are archaeological sites of scientific and historical value. They are also the memory of human tragedy that should be treated with respect."

  • Might this be the end of pricey tourist dives to the Titanic ?

    By Mary Forgione - LA Times

    Deep Ocean Expeditions offers the ultimate Titanic tour this summer: See the shipwreck firsthand from a tiny submersible during the 100th anniversary of its sinking.

    Despite the stiff $60,000 price tag, the Titanic dives became so popular among tourists that the company added a third trip.

    Now expedition coordinator Rob McCallum tells National Geographic News that Titanic dives planned for July and August will be the company’s last. Deep Ocean holds the exclusive charter for Titanic dives.

    "Our support ship is going into retirement soon, and the submersibles are going to go back into government work," he said in the story.

    Robert Ballard, the deep-sea explorer whose team discovered the Titanic’s wreck on the ocean floor in 1985, has long been concerned about access to the ship, which sits 380 miles southeast of Newfoundland, Canada.

    "The Titanic is really a deep-sea museum with the doors wide open," he says in a National Geographic TV show set to premiere 10 p.m. Monday.

    Ballard warned that if the shipwreck remains unprotected, "it will get stripped until all the jewels have been taken off the old lady’s body."

  • Advanced images shed new light on Titanic


    From Hydro International

    Newly released images of the Titanic wreck site have provided the first unrestricted view of the maritime heritage site.

    These images supplement the collection of images published in the April 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine.

    For the first time, both the public and marine archaeologists can view the wreck as if the ocean were removed from the site.

    The image mosaics are part of a collection containing over 200 optical mosaics created by the Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory (AIVL) at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

    The AIVL, led by Bill Lange, used optical and sonar images collected during the expedition by a specially equipped remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and two autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), to stitch together the richly detailed, comprehensive views of the ship and wreck site.

    The vehicles carried a combination of sonar used to make wide-area maps and advanced 3D camera systems used to conduct detailed forensic-type investigations.

    Although the individual robotic systems provided new information about some pieces of Titanic, the fusion of the imagery provides for the first time a comprehensive view of the wreck site.

    Full story...

  • Titanic: from the deep to the auction house

    The ship's telegraph is part of an auction of Titanic artifacts

    By Kelly Crow - Online WSJ

    The world's most famous shipwreck, the RMS Titanic, is up for sale.

    A century after the tragic 1912 sinking of the luxury ocean liner off the Canadian coast of Nova Scotia, the New York auction house Guernsey's is offering up salvage rights to the shipwreck along with all 5,500 artifacts recovered since the site was discovered nearly two decades ago.

    In an unusual move, a Virginia court overseeing the sale has asked that the objects be sold as a group, not piece by piece. The entire lot, Guernsey's said, has been appraised at around $190 million.

    Iron-eating microbes are steadily breaking down the actual sunken ship, but the pieces already culled from the wreck's 13-mile debris field are "spectacular," said John Joslyn, the owner of a pair of Titanic theme museums in Missouri and Tennessee who helped to fund the first salvaging expedition in 1987.

    Some pieces serve as sturdy reminders of the 882-foot-long liner's "unsinkable" billing, such as a 17-ton piece of the hull that still contains thick rivets and porthole views into what would have been a pair of third-class cabins. Other pieces are poignant in their fragility, including a hand-cut crystal dish and a brown bowler hat.

    One of the most valuable pieces is a 15-carat rose-gold bracelet with the name "Amy" spelled out in 26 small diamonds. Guernsey's President Arlan Ettinger said there were at least two passengers bearing that name among the 1,514 fatalities.

    Other pieces include white ceramic dishes stamped with the ship's red "White Star Line" logo and leather handbags that some of the ship's pursers stuffed with money from safe-deposit boxes.

    Full story...

  • Litter fouls Titanic's resting place


    From News 24

    Litter bugs on the high seas are fouling the Titanic's watery grave with beer cans, plastic cups, even soap boxes, a century after the "unsinkable" luxury liner went down, experts said.

    Contrary to popular belief, the wreck of history's greatest maritime disaster is not swiftly rusting away 3 780m under the North Atlantic. In fact, it looks likely to stay intact for many decades to come.

    "The basic hull remains very strong and very solid," said James Delgado, director of the marine heritage program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a US federal agency.

    "You still have wood and fabric preserved inside," said Delgado, who personally saw the Titanic up close from inside a Russian Mir submersible vehicle during an August 2010 expedition to precisely map its vast debris field.

    "There has been some speculation that it's basically been rusting away and won't exist in 20 or 30 years," agreed Jamie Shreeve, who has closely followed the Titanic saga as science editor of National Geographic magazine.

    "But the most reliable people that I've talked to don't think that it's going away any time soon," he said on the eve of a National Geographic Society exhibition on the Titanic and its legacy. "It's just too slow a process."

    Full story...

  • Myths of Titanic proportion...

    RMS Titanic

    From En Ria

    The Titanic shipwreck has generated a great deal of myths and legends. Some are humorous, and others chilling. But almost all of them suggest that the sinking of the ill-fated luxury liner was destined to be.

    A builder trapped in the hull

    Sinister rumors emerged while the liner was still under construction. According to one such rumor, the builder team could hear a repetitive tapping noise coming from the Titanic’s second bottom shortly before her completion. It was suggested one or several of the builders may have been trapped in the tank, which served as the inner bottom.

    Was Titanic’s hull number anti-Catholic?

    After the Titanic disaster, rumors began to spread that the ship’s hull number, 390904, was a secret code used by Irish Protestant builders to express their animosity toward the Roman Catholic Church. It was suggested that if handwritten on paper and viewed through a mirror, the number would read “No Pope.”

    “Divine retribution” was not long in coming. The Titanic sank during her maiden voyage, following a fatal collision with an iceberg.

    Prophetic dreams

    Some of those who booked tickets for the Titanic’s maiden voyage are said to have cancelled their reservations at the last minute after foreseeing the wreck in their sleep.

    Full story...

  • ‘Titanic’ director reaches bottom of the world in dive

    From The Jakarta Globe

    “Titanic” director James Cameron reached the deepest part of the Pacific Ocean in his solo submarine Monday in a record-setting scientific expedition.

    Mission partner the National Geographic said Cameron reach depth of 35,756 feet (10,898 meters) at 7:52 a.m. on Monday in the Mariana Trench in his specially designed submersible.

    Cameron is the first person to make a solo dive to the Pacific Ocean valley known as the Challenger Deep, southwest of Guam, and the first to do it since 1960, according to his team.

    His first words on reaching the bottom were “All systems OK,” according to a mission statement.

    He then tweeted: “Just arrived at the ocean’s deepest pt. Hitting bottom never felt so good. Can’t wait to share what I’m seeing w/ you.”

    He planned to spend up to six hours on the Pacific Ocean sea floor, collecting samples for scientific research and taking still photographs and moving images.

    The research vessels Mermaid Sapphire and Barakuda, were waiting for Cameron to make his long ascent.

    “We’re now a band of brothers and sisters that have been through this for a while,” marine biologist Doug Bartlett told National Geographic from the ship before the dive.

    Cameron’s goal is to bring back data and specimens from the unexplored territory. He was expected to take 3D images that could help scientists better understand the deep sea environment.

    Upon touchdown, Cameron’s first target was a phone booth-like unmanned “lander” dropped into the trench hours before his dive.

    Using sonar, “I’m going to attempt to rendezvous with that vehicle so I can observe animals that are attracted to the chemical signature of its bait,” Cameron said before the dive.

  • New pictures of Titanic wreckage

    RMS Titanic

    From KPLR11


    “Some of the richest people in the world board in France, some of the poorest people in the world board in Ireland, and a mix survive,” said Robert Sullivan, managing editor of Life Books in New York City.

    “It turns out to be an extraordinary variety of stories.”

    The book begins with the construction of the Royal Mail Ship RMS.L Titanic as one of three sister ships built by the White Star line to usher in a new era of opulent sea travel.

    It offered the finest accommodations to first-class passengers such as New York notables John Jacob Astor IV, his pregnant wife Madeleine, and Benjamin Guggenheim on its first sailing from Southampton, England to New York, via Cherbourg, France and Queenstown, Ireland.

    They were joined by lesser lights such as Margaret, now popularly referred to as “Molly”, Brown. Born in Missouri to Irish immigrants, Brown’s husband, from whom she had separated by the time of the voyage, had made a fortune in mining.

    Other people travelled in less luxurious quarters, including Clear Annie Cameron, a 35-year old personal maid in London seeking her opportunity in America.

    For many, the separation of class and wealth ended when the Titanic sank beneath the waves. There are no photographs of the Titanic’s final moments.

    But included in the book are remarkable images taken by an Irish Cleric Father Frank Browne who boarded the boat in Southampton, travelled to Cherbourg and then disembarked in Queenstown, the ship’s final departure point before it headed across the Atlantic.

    They offer perhaps the only public glimpse into ship board life aboard the Titanic.

    The book also details the ill-fated and random rendezvous with the ice berg, the attempts to get help using then state-of-the-art radio, and ultimately the horror as hundreds of passengers realized there were too few lifeboats and in allowing women and children first, many men would die.

    Among them Isidor Straus, co-owner of Macy’s department store. Alongside him his wife of 40-years, Ida, who decided they should die together.

    “What do you do in the moment of truth ?,” said Life's Sullivan. “These stories, you can’t make them up.”

    Hundreds of passengers in the few available lifeboats were rescued by the Carpathia, captained by Arthur Henry Rostron, only hours after the sinking. But too many died in the icy Atlantic.

    Full story...

  • Groupon sells ultimate underwater bargain: a visit to the Titanic

    Voyage to Titanic !

    From Groupon

    The film Titanic was more than an excuse for director James Cameron to meet his idol, Celine Dion. It was also an account of an actual event, the 1912 sinking of the RMS Titanic.

    A century after the infamous shipwreck, Deep Ocean Expeditions is offering a once-in-a-lifetime package: a DVD signed by professional Leonardo DiCaprio impersonator Frank Lloyd Roberts—and the chance to descend 2 miles into the depths of the icy North Atlantic to see the "unsinkable" ocean liner at her final resting place.

    A team of scientists, engineers, and RMS Titanic historians will be on hand for the 13-day expedition on a large support ship, which sets sail July 26 from St. John's, Newfoundland.

    Days 1–2: A group of no more than 20 meets in St. John's at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland, which overlooks the harbor where the expedition will launch the following afternoon. On day 2, you'll have a chance to take in the colorful houses and mazy streets of St. John’s—the oldest English-founded city in North America—before beginning the 380-mile sea voyage toward the RMS Titanic wreck site.

    Day 3: The crew of scientists and Titanic experts lecture on topics ranging from basic marine biology to the Titanic captain's preferred brand of mustache wax.MIR submersible pilot Dr. Anatoly Sagalevitch and USC professor of ocean engineering Dr. Don Walsh will share their deep-sea expertise to ready the group for the upcoming dive.

    Days 4–10: On the morning of day 4, the support ship will float high above the sunken remains of the RMS Titanic. For the next week, pairs of participants and a pilot will take turns descending 12,500 feet to the ocean floor in the self-propelled MIR I or MIR II deep-sea craft. You'll get three to four hours to observe and photograph the shipwreck that few others have seen in person. In addition to century-old artifacts, you might encounter unusual marine life, including rattail fishes, squat lobsters, and anemones.

    Expeditions can take place both day and night, depending on prevailing conditions.

    Full story...

  • Mystery of the "Beeswax Wreck" in Nehalem Bay

    Spanish silver "pieces of eight" like these, minted in the mid to later 1600s in Mexico City and Peru would have been traded in the Philippines for exotic Chinese porcelains, silks, spices, gems and beeswax

    From Coast Explorer

    Beeswax, porcelain and teak timbers, among other artifacts, have been found along Manzanita's beaches and the adjacent Nehalem Spit and Bay.

    Ahh, shipwreck treasure... perhaps no other subject is quite as magical, and I grew up with that magic.

    I was born just six miles from the wreck of Gold Rush paddle steamer Brother Jonathan, which took $500,000 in gold to the bottom just off Crescent City, California in 1865, and grew up listening to Dad spin tales of lost gold mines, sunken ships and, with the fire glowing bright and a glass of sweet wine in his hand, the fables of treasures to satiate desire.

    When I landed in Key Largo, Florida as a teen, I jumped in the water and never looked back.

    After hundreds of dives on Spanish galleons and other historic shipwrecks around the world, the question I'm most often asked these days is: Are there any Spanish galleon shipwrecks off the Oregon coast ?

    Had I been asked that question in the Keys, I would have said, "No." But when I moved back to the Oregon coast in 2010, it wasn't long before I heard the intriguing story of the "beeswax wreck" reputed to lie somewhere in the surf beyond the sleepy seaside town of Manzanita, just south of Cannon Beach.

    These stories told of large blocks of beeswax (some weighing 175 lbs.) with strange markings on them, teak wood timbers and delicate Chinese porcelains which had been washing up on the beach for the last several hundred years. My first thought ? A Manila galleon !

    These Spanish trade ships sailed from Acapulco, New Spain (present day Mexico) to Manila, the Spanish capital of the Philippines, for 250 years, delivering silver from New World mines in exchange for the fabled silks and spices of the East.

    Full story...

  • New documentary explores Fitzgerald wreck

    SS Edmund Fitzgerald - Greenmas

    From Midland Daily News


    There have been only six expedition teams that have explored the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald.

    A local man, Ric Mixter, who describes himself as a wreck-diving adventurer, was part of one of those expeditions back in 1994 and has produced a documentary that he promises will shed new light on the famous shipwreck.

    Mixter's 60-minute program, "The Edmund Fitzgerald Investigations," will air on Sunday night, March 11, at 7 p.m. to culminate the final evening of Delta College Q-TV's annual Spring Fest pledge drive. Mixter, a documentary filmmaker who has been studying shipwrecks since 1991, has a basic philosophy when it comes to writing and producing the historical shows he's noted for.

    "If you can't add something new to the topic, don't do it," he said.

    "This program delves into a lot of the misconceptions and half-truths surrounding the Edmund Fitzgerald. Even the most informed shipwreck expert will discover something new by watching the program."

    The Edmund Fitzgerald, a 729-foot freighter, sank in Lake Superior 17 miles northeast of Whitefish Bay in Michigan, on November 10, 1975, after its captain made the ill-fated decision to ride out a storm that at its apex produced 70 mile per hour winds-which aren't all that unusual for the big lake, Mixter noted.

    "We've had far worse storms," Mixter said.

    "The Fitzgerald had a reputation for coming through big storms. It's clear the captain was a rough-weather skipper and instead of laying up at port or taking safe haven at Isle Royal, when he got to the top of the lake he made a bad call."

    All 29 crew members perished.

    "No one is alive to say what happened," Mixter said. "The Fitzgerald, though, had been through so many violent storms that the ship can only flex and bend so many times before it tears."

    In July of 1994, a Mt. Morris businessman rented a submarine and wanted a camera guy and media coordinator (Mixter, who was working at TV-5 at the time) to be part of the fourth expedition of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Mixter spent an hour in the shipwreck and found a good portion of it still intact in its final resting place some 530-feet deep in icy Canadian waters.

    "The name is still readable and the first 180 feet of the ship is in pretty good shape," Mixter said. "The most dramatic damage occurred on the side of the ship where the deck was ripped away from the hull. I've got a lot of glamour shots, which is a terrible term for a wreck that claimed lives."

    Mixter's documentary will feature footage of the wreck and interviews with leaders of each expedition, including the first, the 1976 Coast Guard investigation, and the 1980 exploration by the famed Jacques Cousteau team.

    Full story...



  • 3D map of Titanic shipwreck may help scientific inquiry

    By Colin A. Young - Articles Boston


    A group of scientists say they have stitched together the most detailed map of the Titanic shipwreck in hope of learning more about what happened on the night the ship sank.

    Using the latest sonar and computer-imaging technologies, researchers recorded the entire site with new detail, clarity, and accuracy.

    “Every expedition has enjoyed images of Titanic, but it has always been the bow, anchor, bridge, and specific items from Titanic,’’ David Gallo, a co-leader of the 2010 expedition, said Friday in a telephone interview.

    “This is first time we’ve been able to put it all together.’’

    Gallo - director of special projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Falmouth, one of the expedition partners - said the 3D map allows researchers to view the wreckage, which lies 2 1/2 miles beneath the surface of the sea, as a whole for the first time, not just as scattered puzzle pieces.

    “We have the ability to see Titanic as it sits on the sea floor, and we can see it in the context of the sea floor surrounding it,’’ he said. “That’s a first for us.’’

    Gallo’s Woods Hole team was joined by teams of scientists from the Waitt Institute in La Jolla, Calif., the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Park Service, and the History Channel.

    The latter will show a special program about the expedition and its findings on April 15, the centennial of Titanic’s plunge.

    Two types of underwater vehicles were used to capture the 3-by-5-mile debris field: robot submersibles and remotely operated submersibles. Gallo said the robot underwater vehicles worked like “incredibly precise lawnmowers’’ to capture every inch of the wreckage.

    Full story...

  • Sinking of the RMS Titanic: 100-year anniversary in the news

    Titanic Brewery in England

    By Monkey Fist - gCaptain

    As we approach the one hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, your humble author has noticed a good amount of Titanic-related news on the web this week. Included below, a sampling — in no particular order.

    This composite image, released by RMS Titanic Inc., and made from sonar and more than 100,000 photos taken in 2010 from by unmanned, underwater robots, shows a small portion of a comprehensive map of the 3-by-5-mile debris field surrounding the stern of the Titanic on the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean

    See and

    Titanic Brewery on wikipedia

  • Why the Titanic still fascinates us ?

    RMS Titanic


    By Andrew Wilson - Smithsonian Magazine


    Dorothy Gibson—the 22-year-old silent film star— huddled in a lifeboat, dressed in only a short coat and sweater over an evening gown. She was beginning to shiver.

    Ever since it had been launched, at 12:45 a.m., Lifeboat 7 had remained stationed only 20 yards away from the Titanic in case it could be used in a rescue operation.

    Dorothy and her mother, Pauline, who had been traveling with her, had watched as lifeboat after lifeboat left the vessel, but by just after 2 o’clock it was obvious that the vast majority of its passengers would not be able to escape from the liner.

    Realizing that the ship’s sinking was imminent, lookout George Hogg ordered that Lifeboat 7 be rowed away from the Titanic. The risk of being sucked down was high, he thought, and so the passengers and crew manning the oars rowed as hard as they could across the pitch-black sea. Dorothy could not take her eyes off the ship, its bow now underwater, its stern rising up into the sky.

    “Suddenly there was a wild coming together of voices from the ship and we noticed an unusual commotion among the people about the railing,” she said. “Then the awful thing happened, the thing that will remain in my memory until the day I die.

    Dorothy listened as 1,500 people cried out to be saved, a noise she described as a horrific mixture of yells, shrieks and moans. This was counterpointed by a deeper sound emanating from under the water, the noise of explosions that she likened to the terrific power of Niagara Falls. “No one can describe the frightful sounds,” she remembered later.

    Before stepping onto the Titanic, Dorothy Gibson had already transformed herself from an ordinary New Jersey girl into a model for the famous illustrator Harrison Fisher—whose lush images of idealized American beauty graced the covers of popular magazines—and then into a star of the silent screen.

    Full story...

  • Researchers map entire debris field of Titanic shipwreck

    This composite image, released by RMS Titanic Inc., and made from sonar and more than 100,000 photos taken in 2010 by unmanned, underwater robots, shows a small portion of a comprehensive map of the 3-by-5-mile debris field surrounding the bow of the Titanic on the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean

    By Clarke Canfield - Twin Cities

    Researchers have pieced together what's believed to be the first comprehensive map of the entire 3-by-5-mile Titanic debris field and hope it will provide new clues about what exactly happened the night 100 years ago when the superliner hit an iceberg, plunged to the bottom of the North Atlantic and became a legend.

    Marks on the muddy ocean bottom suggest, for instance, that the stern rotated like a helicopter blade as the ship sank, rather than plunging straight down, researchers told The Associated Press this week.

    An expedition team used sonar imaging and more than 100,000 photos taken from underwater robots to create the map, which shows where hundreds of objects and pieces of the presumed-unsinkable vessel landed after striking an iceberg, killing more than 1,500 people.

    Explorers of the Titanic - which sank on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City - have known for more than 25 years where the bow and stern landed after the vessel struck an iceberg.

    But previous maps of the floor around the wreckage were incomplete, said Parks Stephenson, a Titanic historian who consulted on the 2010 expedition. Studying the site with old maps was like trying to navigate a dark room with a weak flashlight.

    "With the sonar map, it's like suddenly the entire room lit up and you can go from room to room with a magnifying glass and document it," he said. "Nothing like this has ever been done for the Titanic site."

    Full story...

  • Artifacts recoveries on shipwreck just in time to mark anniversary of sinking

    By McClatchy - Oregon Live

    There are hundreds of shipwrecks along North Carolina's treacherous coast, and some, like those of the ironclad USS Monitor or the Blackbeard flagship Queen Anne's Revenge, are nothing short of famous.

    But that of the hapless Civil War blockade runner Modern Greece, which sits just beyond the surf near Fort Fisher, is in many ways the most important of all.

    The wreck, which was excavated 50 years ago, led to the creation of the state underwater archaeology unit that studies the other wrecks.

    It led to a state law to protect historic wreck sites from pilfering. It yielded such a large trove of artifacts that many have been used in experiments that advanced the tricky science of how to preserve historical treasures found underwater.

    As the first of about 30 blockade runners sunk along the coast near Wilmington while trying to bring arms and vital commodities to the Confederate states, it has an iconic status in North Carolina and maritime history.

    And this week _ just in time for events marking the 150th anniversary of its sinking _ thousands of artifacts from the Modern Greece were recovered from underwater.

    For the second time.

    A team of East Carolina University graduate students and University of North Carolina, Wilmington interns sponsored by the Friends of Fort Fisher waded into the muck of half-century-old storage tanks at the Department of Cultural Resources' Underwater Archaeology Branch facility on the grounds of the historic fort.

    Their job: pull out the artifacts, clean and catalog them and put them in indoor tanks where they could finally begin to receive modern preservation treatment.

    "It was just the right time to do this," said Mark Wilde-Ramsing, deputy state archaeologist and head of Underwater Archaeology Branch. "There are a lot of reasons, but the bottom line is it would be a bit irresponsible to just leave it there. We don't even know what we have there."

    In June, the state plans a seminar on the Modern Greece and blockade runners. It also will throw open the labs at Fort Fisher so the public can see the artifacts and what it takes to preserve them.

    New signs on the beach and roadside pointing out the wreck site are planned, and a researcher working with the state is seeking a federal grant to perform a full survey of the 30 blockade-runner wrecks off Wilmington, as well as facilities on land to put it all in proper context.

    Full story...

  • Titanic sunk by "supermoon" and celestial alignment ?

    A rare astronomical assemblage might have helped sink R.M.S. Titanic

    By Richard A. Lovett - National Geographic News

    Just weeks before the Titanic shipwreck's hundredth anniversary, scientists have a brand-new theory as to what might have helped spur modern history's most famous maritime disaster.

    An ultrarare alignment of the sun, the full moon, and Earth, they say, may have set the April 14, 1912, tragedy in motion, according to a new report.

    R.M.S. Titanic went down on a moonless night, but the iceberg that sank the luxury liner may have been launched in part by a full  moon that occurred three and a half months earlier, scientists say.

    That full moon, on January 4, 1912, may have created unusually strong tides that sent a flotilla of icebergs southward—just in time for Titanic's maiden voyage, said astronomer Donald Olson of Texas State University-San Marcos.

    Even at the time, spring 1912 was considered an unusually bad season for icebergs. But figuring out why this happened has been a mystery.

    Olson believes the iceberg boom was the result of a rare combination of celestial phenomena, including a "supermoon": when the moon is full during its closest monthly approach to the Earth.

    Full story...

  • Galleon San Jose and the hunt for undersea treasure

    Galleon San Jose

    By Cecilia Rodriguez - Forbes

    I was amazed to discover recently that a Dickensian legal battle over one of the richest undersea bounties, a battle I first covered years ago in my native Colombia, is still in the courts.

    I hate to date myself, but we’re talking, uh, decades.

    I’m speaking of the Galleon San Jose.  

    The latest chapter came when a federal district court in Washington, D.C., ruled in favor of Colombia’s government against the American company Sea Search Armada (SSA), which was claiming billions of dollars for breach of contract after a tortuous war of contracts, lawsuits and counter-suits over the right to rescue the San Jose from the seabed where it allegedly still rests full of treasures.

    Current estimates set the value at more than $10 billion.

    What SSA Managing Director Jack Harbeston probably wishes most is to be compensated for more than 25 years of frustration, deception, bad faith, mistrust, betrayal, internal squabbles and personal tragedy as many partners and investors lost their fortunes and others died without seeing their dream fulfilled.

    The list of people involved in the treasure hunt included famous American actors, congressmen, business moguls and government officials to whom SSA had offered 40% profit in return for their investment or support.

    “He died from disappointment,” the wife of Jim Banigan, one of the founders who lost his fortune in the search for the galleon, told me.

    “At the end, he was convinced that if we had found the treasure we would have lost our souls.”

    Full of gold, silver, gems and jewelry collected in the South American colonies to be shipped to Spain’s king to help finance his war with the British, the San Jose was sunk in flames in June, 1708 by a British warship, just outside the Port of Cartagena, Colombia.

    As it supposedly lay in the dark depths, its fate has been argued over for 300 years by people whose greed, rapacity and ambition have driven them to distraction.

    First, the Spanish king who anxiously awaited the bounty to help him win the war, then the British military that had planned to capture the ship, not sink it, and make off with its riches.

    Full story...

  • Divers recover Madonna intact from shipwreck chapel

    By Steve Scherer - Reuters

    She was found inside the ship's chapel, submerged up to her shoulders, but in one piece. Fire department divers wrapped her in a white towel, and used a nylon belt to hold it in place so she would not be damaged as they pulled her out.

    On Saturday, the plaster statue of the Madonna from the doomed Costa Concordia cruise liner stood in a white tent on the port of Giglio, still wrapped in the same towel.

    Found early on Friday morning, it was only shown to reporters on Saturday. Orange and black equipment bags were piled next to it, and helmets and diving gear hung behind.

    The man in charge of the team which rescued the statue said he had taken the time to recover the relic when there were still 21 people missing because "it seemed like the right thing to do."

    "When we entered the crumbled churches around L'Aquila after the earthquake, we always recovered the sacred objects," Fabio told Reuters, asking that his last name not be used.

    Fabio, like many firefighters called to search the Concordia which capsized a week ago off the Tuscan coast, had worked in L'Aquila and the towns surrounding it after an earthquake killed more than 300 in 2009.

    Symbols are important to a community, he said.

    The Madonna is about a meter tall, wears a golden crown, and a white robe with a light blue border. A small baby Jesus lying on a pillow was also salvaged, and is sitting on a stool next to the figure of St. Mary.

    "We also recovered the tabernacle with the host, and the crucifix," Fabio said. "We gave it to Giglio's parish priest."

    The parish priest, Don Lorenzo Pasquotti, opened the doors of his church on the tiny island off the coast to more than 400 survivors when the ship was abandoned, and has put some objects they left on a small table near the altar - a life jacket, a hard hat, survival rations, and a half-eaten panettone cake.


  • Peer will take charge of the recovery of HMS Victory

    From East Grinstead Courier and Observer

    Lord Lingfield is to chair a new charity set up to recover artefacts from HMS Victory.

    The ship, an earlier vessel than Admiral Nelson's flagship preserved at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, sank in a storm in 1744 with the loss of more than a thousand crew.

    Sir Robert Balchin, who became Lingfield's first ever lord a year ago, is a relative of Admiral Sir John Balchin, who died when the pioneering naval ship was sunk.

    The Ministry of Defence announced this week that a new charity, called the Maritime Heritage Foundation, would "recover, preserve and display in public museums" items from the wreck.

    Lord Lingfield, who has lived in the village for 31 years, will now lead the recovery.

    He said: "We hope that this site will give us a unique insight into the world of the mid-18th-century Royal Navy.

    "We are very concerned that natural erosion, damage from fishing vessels and illegal looting may endanger the wreck and therefore we have planned an archaeological survey that will record the site before it deteriorates further.

    "Odyssey Marine Exploration has proved its expertise and we are looking forward to working with them to protect the maritime heritage associated with Balchin's Victory."

    The foundation will be supported by an advisory group, with representatives from English Heritage and the National Museum of the Royal Navy.

    Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans Andrew Robathan said: "The gift of the 1744 HMS Victory to the Maritime Heritage Foundation should give better protection to the wreck which is very important to British naval heritage.

    Full story...

  • Brothers’ catalogue of Titanic treasures

    Leon and Ben Baxendale-Smith with the Titanic artefacts

    By Gareth Crickmer - Jarrow and Hebburn Gazette

    Memories of the Titanic are being brought to life by schoolboy brothers on the centenary of the famous liner’s sinking.

    Leo, 14, and Ben Baxendale-Smith, 12, have compiled a catalogue of hundreds of artefacts relating to the vessel bequeathed to their father, Paul.

    Now the youngsters, of Harton, South Shields, are hoping it will inspire a collector to buy and treasure the collection.

    They got to work after Mr Smith’s uncle, Michael Gallagher, 64, died, leaving original artwork, photos, postcards and other items signed by survivors.
    Mr Smith, 46, who runs an engineering business, is delighted his sons have taken an interest.

    He said: “They enjoyed compiling the catalogue and getting it all ship-shape. It took quite a lot of doing and some hard work – I think they spent a couple of weeks putting it all together.

    “They have created a power point presentation of parts of it and have logged it all on a computer. It can be put on a disc for anyone interested.”
    Mr Gallagher, who never married or had children, spent about 50 years compiling memorabilia.

    He was inspired as a boy after watching a film about the ship’s tragic end at a cinema in Ocean Road, South Shields.

    His collection contains nothing directly salvaged from the vessel but includes postcards signed by famous survivors including Eva Hart and Millvena Dean.

    There is also a framed photo from a Titanic dive mission signed by Ken Marschall, a photographer well known for his portrayals of the ship, and others.
    Dozens of books about the White Star Line-owned ship, which sunk after hitting an iceberg in April, 1912, with the loss of 1,517 lives, are also contained.

    Full story...

  • Italy disaster shows Titanic lifeboat issues linger

    The capsizing of the Costa Concordia has put the issue of safety at sea in the spotlight once more

    From The Malaysian Insider

    The capsizing of the Costa Concordia will pressure the cruise industry to address a safety question that has lingered since the Titanic disaster almost 100 years ago — how to get thousands of people off a giant cruise ship into lifeboats quickly.

    Carnival Corp, owner of the Concordia, conceded on Thursday that the accident, which has led to the deaths of at least 11 people with another 24 unaccounted for out of its 4,200 passengers and crew, “has called into question our company’s safety and emergency response procedures.” A Carnival spokesman could not immediately comment on whether the company’s safety review would include the lifeboats.

    “The regulations rely on untrained and frightened passengers being able to deal with life rafts in the absence of trained crew members — including having to board them from the water,” said John Dalby, a former oil tanker captain who now runs maritime security firm Marine Risk Management.

    “The whole point of the Titanic regulations was to avoid what happened with her, and it has now happened again with Costa — that is, the difficulty, if not impossibility, of launching lifeboats from the ‘high side,’“ Dalby said, referring to the side of the boat tipped into the air.

    In the wake of the Titanic disaster, maritime regulations make it mandatory for all ships to have a minimum of 125 per cent lifeboat and life raft capacity, comprising 50 per cent on each side of the ship plus an additional 25 per cent available.

    According to the International Chamber of Shipping, they are designed to be ready for use within five minutes and to be filled as quickly as needed.

    But all of that is for naught if the lifeboats cannot get into the water, or if the ship finds itself in distress in adverse conditions — late at night, in a storm or far from land, for example.

    That was the lesson the Titanic first taught in 1912, when — besides not having enough lifeboats on board — some lifeboats did not launch properly in the ship’s final, harried minutes.

    Full story...

  • HMS Victory 'set to be recovered' from seabed

    HMS Victory was lost in a storm in 1744

    From BBC News


    The remains of a 300-year-old warship are to be raised from the sea bed, according to reports.

    The wreck of HMS Victory, a predecessor of Nelson's famous flagship, was found near the Channel Islands in 2008. The British warship, which went down in a storm in 1744 killing more than 1,000 sailors, could contain gold coins worth an estimated £500m.

    The Sunday Times says the Maritime Heritage Foundation is set to manage the wreck's raising. It also reports that the charity will employ Odyssey Marine Exploration to carry out the recovery.

    The American company found the ship four years ago, with the ship's identity confirmed by a bronze cannon.

    The guns and other reclaimed artefacts will be displayed in British museums, however under the laws of salvage, Odyssey is likely to receive the bulk of any treasure found, according to the newspaper.

    A Ministry of Defence spokeswoman said: "Efforts to protect key parts of British Naval history such as the wreck of HMS Victory 1744 are very welcome and we hope to make an announcement shortly."

    The chairman of the foundation, Lord Lingfield, is a relative of Admiral Sir John Balchin, who was onboard the warship when it sank. The Tory peer, formerly known as Sir Robert Balchin, told the newspaper that he would not profit from the ship's cargo.

    He added: "We will have the satisfaction of solving a great maritime mystery that has been part of my family history since the 18th Century."

    The 300ft (90m) ship was discovered by the Florida-based firm in May 2008, nearly 65 miles (100km) from where it was historically believed to have sunk.

    Full story...

  • Nautical ghosts inhabit coast

    By Nigel Benson and Stephen Jaquiery - ODT

    The greatest maritime tragedy to occur in Dunedin waters since European settlement was the sinking of the Pride of the Yarra in Otago Harbour on July 4, 1863.

    There was only a ribboned dirt track from Port Chalmers to Dunedin at the time and ships were unable to navigate the harbour, so small steamboats provided a ferry service from the port to Dunedin.

    A large welcoming party had arrived at Port Chalmers the previous day to welcome the first rector of the new Dunedin High School (now Otago Boys' High School), Rev Thomas Hewett Campbell, and his family after their three-month voyage from London aboard Matoaka.

    The Campbell family and 50 other people, many of who had also just disembarked from the long voyage on Matoaka, clambered aboard Pride of the Yarra, where they sought refuge from the cold in the cabin and hold for the trip to Dunedin.

    But just after 5pm, the ferry collided with the paddle boat Favourite off Blanket Bay (Sawyers Bay).

    Rev Campbell (34), his wife, Marian (27), and their five children (all aged under 5) were drowned.

    The Otago Witness reported the tragedy: "The family of Mr Campbell, happy in the knowledge of their arrival at their new home, and so unhappy in their fate at the very threshold - they must have been pressed down and suffocated by the rush of cold, chilling, choking water, under circumstances of agony from the contemplation of which the mind must withdraw, overcome with utter horror," the story read.

    A total of 13 people drowned shortly after 5pm that day as the 75ft steamer Pride of the Yarra sank below the waves.

    An inquiry subsequently returned a verdict of manslaughter against Favourite skipper Captain Adams and his mate, while Pride of the Yarra skipper Captain Spence was censured for excessive speed.

    Full story...

  • Titanic . . . the ship we can't forget, 100 years on


    From This Is Somerset


    Almost 100 years on, the Titanic disaster still tugs at the heartstrings.

    The events of that dramatic night in April 1912 are well known but constant retelling of the tale only seems to add more lustre to the legend.

    The hosting of 100th anniversary events in 2012 will introduce a new generation to the Titanic story in a similar way that interest was renewed by James Cameron's Oscar-winning film in 1997.

    Cameron was on to a good thing, as the Titanic story had everything – heroism and human failings, courage and cowardice, horror and hubris. Over the years, the story has refused to go away. Could better design have saved the ship, could more lives have been saved if the vessel Californian had assisted, why were some of the lifeboats pulling away only half-full?

    What is certain is that around 1,500 people were to lose their lives when the 46,000-tonne Titanic struck an iceberg on its maiden passenger voyage and sank in the Atlantic.

    What made the news so shocking was that the vessel was considered unsinkable. Built in Belfast by the shipbuilding company Harland and Wolff, Titanic was carrying the great and the good as well as many less well-off travellers in steerage who were seeking a new life in America.

    With Captain Edward Smith in charge, the vessel carried more than 2,200 people, including more than 300 in first-class. The "nobs" included White Star Line managing director Joseph Bruce Ismay and Molly Brown, a Colorado woman whose survival was to provide her with the fame she craved.

    Among the children on board was two-month-old Millvina Dean from Southampton, who was to live until 2009 to become the last survivor of the sinking.

    Over-confidence had led to the Titanic carrying only around 20 lifeboats, enough for about 1,170 people.

    Having set sail on April 10, 1912, the Titanic had received the first of many ice reports on April 12 and by the night of the sinking these had become numerous.

    Full story...

  • How to survive the Titanic


    By John Konrad - gCaptain


    What fundamentally hasn’t changed in the 100 years since the Titanic ?

    One hundred years ago today Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast Ireland was putting the final touches on a ship that would hold the title of the world’s largest passenger liner but her glory would be brief.

    On 15 April of the following year, 1912, she would claim a more ominous title as the world’s most infamous ship. Her name was the RMS Titanic.

    Scores of books have been written chronicling the disaster but few take the time to understand the men behind the tragedy.

    In a new book titled HOW TO SURVIVE THE TITANIC, Award-winning historian Frances Wilson delivers a gripping account of the incident.

    By investigating the ship’s collision and sinking through the prism of the demolished life and lost honor of the ship’s owner, J. Bruce Ismay, Wilson brings a bright new perspective to the event raising provocative moral questions about cowardice and heroism, memory and identity, survival and guilt—questions that revolve around Ismay’s loss of honor and identity as his monolithic venture —a ship “The Unsinkable” — was swallowed by the sea and subsumed in infamy forever.

    The book is more than a gripping tale of survival, it’s also a window into the role ship managers and shipping tycoons play in the instigation of maritime tragedies.

    The consolidation of major shipping and energy companies in recent years have created mega-conglomerates like Transocean and BP, companies in which CEO’s are responsible for the management of increasing risks and operational complexity.

    While modern technology and regulations have made sweeping changes to the operation and safety of ships since the Titanic, as told by Wilson, the fundamental cause of disaster is the human element.

    The character, motivations and personality of CEO’s play an important role in safety at sea. This, unfortunately, has not changed. The fundamental element of human nature and corporate decision-making on ship safety is just as relevant today as it was 100 years ago.

    Full story...

  • A Titanic rip-off ? Travel firm cashes in on tragic centenary to offer trips to wreck

    Watery end: A starboard wing propeller from the Titanic shipwreck lies 12,500 feet down in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2061750/Titanic-100th-anniversary-Kensington-Tours-travel-firm-offers-dive-explore-wreck.html#ixzz1eE1TP3wi

    By Sebastian Lander - Daily Mail

    The site where the fateful Titanic sunk in the Atlantic Ocean looks set to be a busy area next year as travel companies cash in and mark a century since the tragedy.

    While two cruises - set to trace the exact journey of the Titanic, even hovering above the site where it sank 100 years ago on April 14 at 2.20am - have already sold out, another travel company has gone a step further, charging an eye-watering $66,257 (£41,784) to dive down to the wreck itself.

    The 15-day 'exclusive' dive expedition - scheduled to take place from June to August next year - will offer Titanic 'fans' the chance to see the ship's eerie remains 12,500ft below the surface of the Atlantic.

    The controversial voyage is offered by Kensington Tours and embarks from St. John's in Newfoundland, Canada, 329 miles from where the ship ran into trouble.

    Titanic enthusiasts will take a submarine trip to explore the remains of the ship which famously struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York on April 15 1912. Dubbed the 'unsinkable' ship, it went down in under three hours, killing 1,517 passengers and crew of the 2,224 on board.

    The wreck lay undiscovered on the ocean floor until 1985, when an American-French expedition pinpointed its final resting place south-east of Newfoundland.

    The Kensington Tours itinerary starts with time in Halifax, Nova Scotia, which takes in a permanent exhibition, the pier from where ships were sent to rescue victims and Fairview Cemetery, where over 120 victims now lie.

    From there, guests will travel to St. John's, attending an 'introductory expedition dinner' before going aboard the dive expedition ship which takes them to the site in the Atlantic Ocean, where they will spend seven days.

    The group's arrival at the site will be 'marked by a short ceremony to commemorate the loss of this fine ship' before diving starts.

    Participants will enjoy a deep-sea dive - during the day or at night - down to the wreck in a Russian MIR submersible dive unit, which is able to plunge to depths of up to 20,000 feet (6,090m).

    There will be lectures and briefings to prepare travellers and orientation sessions, plus films and presentations from experts. The journey down to the ocean floor takes around two and a half hours.

    Full story...

  • Saginaw filmmaker to show documentary on Edmund Fitzgerald shipwreck

    Ric Mixter

    By Lindsay Knake - The Saginaw News


    A local filmmaker will share his experience with the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

    The freighter sank in November 1975 in Lake Superior, and remains the largest ship to have sunk in the Great Lakes. Saginaw’s Ric Mixter gathered 16 years of research to produce a comprehensive documentary on the ship.

    Mixter spoke with workers who put the freighter together and the first expedition leaders who found the 29 crew members’ remains.

    The SVSU History Club is hosting the viewing at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 1 in the Regional Education Center’s Ott Auditorium.

    Mixter is the leading producer on Great Lakes Shipwrecks documentaries for PBS.

    This event is free and open to the public.

  • 23 September 1779: “I have not yet begun to fight!”…

    On this day, 232 years ago, the 50-gun HMS Serapis engaged the Bonhomme Richard in the North Sea off Flamborough Head, England

    By Rob Almeida - gCaptain

    On this day, 232 years ago, the 50-gun HMS Serapis engaged the Bonhomme Richard in the North Sea off Flamborough Head, England. Skippered by Captain John Paul Jones of the Continental Navy, the Bonhomme Richard was devastated inthe initial broadside between the two ships, losing much of her firepower and many of her gunners.

    Captain Richard Pearson, commander of the Serapis, called out to Jones, asking if he surrendered. Jones’ famous reply: “

    I have not yet begun to fight !”

    With the wind dying, and the decks of both ships strewn with the carnage of battle, the two ships became hitched together with grappling hooks. Sharpshooting sailors (Marines) in the rigging slowly picked off the the English sailors one-by-one.

    Following a crippling broadside from the Continental Navy frigate Alliance, one that reportedly damaged the Bonhomme Richard as much or more so than the Serapis, Captain Pearson realized the futility in continuing the fight and tore down his colors, surrendering the Serapis.

    Full story...


  • Man to unveil underwater film of Wales’s famous shipwreck

    Royal Charter

    From Flintshire Chronicle

    Never-seen-before underwater footage of Wales’s greatest shipwreck will be premiered next month – thanks to the work of a Flintshire couple.

    The steam clipper Royal Charter, which was built in Sandycroft, was smashed against rocks off Moelfre, Anglesey, by the storm of the century – a Force 12 hurricane – with the loss of least 459 passengers and crew on October 26, 1859.

    The ship was returning from Melbourne to Liverpool and laden with gold.

    The film will be shown by diver Chris Holden, from Higher Kinnerton, who is treasurer of the Chester Branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC).

    Chris and his wife Lesley wrote of one of the definitive works on the tragedy – Life and Death on The Royal Charter.

    He will show the video as part of a lecture on the 2,719-ton Royal Charter at the Chester Grosvenor Museum on October 25 – the eve of the 152nd anniversary of the tragedy.

    Mary Tetley, chief executive of the British Sub-Aqua Club, said: “Chris and Lesley have done a phenomenal job in researching the story of the Royal Charter and the lecture will give us a new and fascinating insight into this maritime catastrophe.”

    Along with unseen footage, the showing will be the first opportunity for many to see artefacts from the wreck.

    Chris, who has dived the wreck since 1982, will also have at his talk Raymond Agius, a direct descendant of the heroic crewman Joseph Rogers (born Guze Ruggier in Malta), who – incredibly – managed to swim ashore with a rope helping to save lives.

    Twenty-one passengers and 18 crew survived.



  • Titanic necklace stolen from Denmark exhibition

    Titanic artefact

    BBC News 

    A necklace that belonged to a passenger on the Titanic has been stolen from an exhibition in Denmark.

    The gold-plated necklace was part of a temporary display of artefacts from the ill-fated ocean liner at Copenhagen's Tivoli park.

    Police are investigating and Tivoli has offered a reward of 1,000 euros (£870) for its recovery.

    It is believed the necklace belonged to first-class US passenger Eleanor Widener, who survived the 1912 sinking.

    More than 1,500 passengers and crew died when the Titanic foundered in the North Atlantic after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage. 

    "The showcase has not been broken into and the alarm didn't go off," Tivoli spokesman Torben Planks said.

    "It is pretty embarrassing," he added.

    Exhibition owner Luis Ferreiro said the necklace was insured for 14,000 euros but was so well known he doubted it could be sold on.

    "It was very important piece. The artefacts tell stories about the people aboard," he told the Associated Press.

    The Widener family were among the richest families on board the Titanic.

    The travelling exhibition includes china, ships' fittings and other items recovered from the famous shipwreck.

  • York expert to examine Lusitania finds

    A porthole from the wreck of the RMS Lusitania

    From York Press

    The expertise of a York conservator has been called upon by a team hired to examine new discoveries from a famous shipwreck. 

    Ian Panter, principal conservator at York Archaeological Trust, is heading to Ireland to work on items recovered from the underwater remains of the passenger ship RMS Lusitania, which sank off the Irish coast in 1915.

    The latest finds – a telemotor, which was part of the ship’s steering mechanism, its telegraph and four portholes – were retrieved from the hull of the vessel last week in almost 330ft of water.

    Mr Panter is also currently working on the Swash Channel wreck, the UK’s largest maritime archaeology project, from which a 400-year-old merman is currently on display at the DIG exhibition at York’s Hungate site, and has worked on two cast-iron cannons at the Tower of London recovered from the Elizabethan shipwreck off Alderney.

    He said: “The Lusitania’s telegraph will, I hope, provide evidence of the very last command given to the engine room by its captain immediately after being hit by a torpedo. It could therefore shed more light on the events surrounding the so-called ‘second explosion’ which some people claim to have seen.”

    Full story...

  • Captain Morgan finds marketing gold sponsoring salvage

    By Jennifer Sokolowsky - Brand Channel

    Any old alcohol brand can sponsor a sports event or an arena, but Captain Morgan spiced rum has found a more unique opportunity: the underwater exploration of a ship thought to belong to Admiral Sir Henry Morgan – the rum brand’s notorious namesake – that sunk off the coast of Panama in 1671 along with four other ships.

    The announcement that Morgan’s flagship, the Satisfaction, had been found by a team of divers and archaeologists led by Texas State University was made earlier this month, while Captain Morgan parent Diageo sent out its own press release announcing its sponsorship of the project.

    But Captain Morgan offered a grant to the archaeologists last September, after the team recovered six iron cannons from a nearby site also believed to be from one of Morgan's ships and additional funding was needed to explore the surrounding sites.

    Captain Morgan called the sponsorship opportunity “a natural fit” and did not miss the chance to drive its brand message home: “Captain Henry Morgan was a natural-born leader with a sense of adventure and an industrious spirit that the brand embraces today," said Tom Herbst, Brand Director, Captain Morgan USA.

    Captain Morgan’s sponsorship of an underwater archaeological project is not the first such corporate venture– Sony and Intel sponsored Project Shiphunt earlier this year to allow a group of Michigan high school students to discover an historic sunken ship in The Great Lakes using Sony VAIO laptops – but it is garnering some powerful publicity, with most stories about the find prominently mentioning the rum and its sponsorship of the watery dig.


  • Judge: Salvage firm has title to Titanic artifacts


    By Larry O'Dell - NewsOK

    A federal judge on Monday granted a company title to fine china, ship fittings and other artifacts worth about $110 million that it recovered from the Titanic in a half-dozen perilous expeditions to the famous shipwreck.

    U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith in Norfolk issued the order a little over a year after ruling that RMS Titanic was entitled to full compensation for the roughly 5,900 artifacts. In her August 2010 ruling, Smith postponed deciding whether to give RMS title to the artifacts or sell them and turn the proceeds over to the company.

    Brian Wainger, an RMS attorney, did not immediately return voicemail messages.

    Smith's ruling requires RMS to comply with "covenants and conditions" the company previously worked out with the federal government, including a prohibition against selling the collection.

    The conditions, which accompanied last year's ruling, also require RMS to make the artifacts available "to present and future generations for public display and exhibition, historical review, scientific and scholarly research, and educational purposes."

    Premier Exhibitions Inc., the Atlanta-based parent company of RMS, has been displaying the Titanic artifacts in exhibitions around the world. The items include personal belongings of passengers, such as perfume from a maker who was traveling to New York to sell his samples.

    According to the covenants, RMS is required to meet professional standards for preservation of the artifacts. RMS will be allowed to sell or otherwise dispose of individual items only if they are deemed of no cultural, historical or aesthetic value, or are in such poor physical condition that they cannot be restored.

    The Titanic sank on its maiden voyage on April 15, 1912, killing more than 1,500 of the 2,228 passengers and crew. An international team led by oceanographer Robert Ballard located the wreckage in 1985 on the North Atlantic seabed, about 400 miles off Newfoundland, Canada.

    Full story...

  • Expert to take Titanic wreck photos

    From Tyrone Times

    The man who discovered the wreck of the Titanic is to return to its final resting place to capture fresh images of the ship for a new £100 million visitor attraction in Belfast.

    Dr Robert Ballard will journey two-and-a-half miles to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean next month to film the mangled stern section, which broke off from the rest of the liner as she sank on her maiden voyage in 1912.

    His footage will enable Belfast's Titanic Signature Project, which is under construction in the same docklands where the ship was built, to show visitors the first complete image of the wreck which Dr Ballard discovered in 1985.

    Details of the underwater venture emerged as the team building the project - which will be the world's largest Titanic attraction - briefly opened its doors to show off progress to date.

    Live streamed pictures of all future submarine trips to the wreck will also be broadcast in the centre from April next year when it opens just ahead of the 100th anniversary of the sinking.

    Project manager Noel Molloy said the underwater map was only one unique feature of many set to be housed in the eye-catching white-panelled building, which is modelled on the Titanic's bow.

    Full story...

  • Mainers bond over Andrea Doria shipwreck connection

    Bob Wallace of Penobscot shows photos he took 55 years ago of the sinking Italian luxury liner "Andrea Doria", which was rammed by a Swedish liner while en route to New York from Genoa
    Photo Richard Glueck 

    By Nick McCrea - Bangor Daily News

    A chance meeting in November in a New Jersey rest stop parking lot between two Mainers — one a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and the other a shipwreck buff — led them to bond over an Italian liner that sank 55 years ago.

    Bob Wallace, 75, of Penobscot, who retired in 1973 after a 20-year Coast Guard career, saw another driver getting out of a car with a Maine license plate. The two struck up a conversation.

    The other Mainer, Richard Glueck of Winterport, noticed a Coast Guard decal on Wallace’s truck, which led to a discussion of Wallace’s career.

    One of Wallace’s most important memories, he said Thursday, was the morning of July 26, 1956, when the 80-foot Coast Guard cutter he was on, the Evergreen, responded to calls that the Andrea Doria of the Italian Line had been rammed by the Swedish liner Stockholm late the previous night off Nantucket, Mass.

    “[Glueck] happened to be an Andrea Doria buff who was just 6 years old when it happened,” Wallace said.

    When the Evergreen, which had been pulled from oceanographic research to help with the rescue effort, arrived at the wreck site, Wallace grabbed a camera and snapped pictures as the Andrea Doria slipped beneath the waves.

    Full story...

  • Dangers of diving at famous shipwreck

    By Brian Crandall - Turn to 10

    A total of 46 people died when the Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria collided with another ship off Nantucket 55 years ago this week.

    Just a day before Monday's anniversary, a diver died while exploring the wreck. Sixteen divers have lost their lives at the site.

    NBC 10 talked to dive expert Michael Lombardi, the diving safety officer at the University of Rhode Island, about the dangers of diving at the Andrea Doria site.

    "It's deep, dark, and cold. It's also covered with fishing nets, trawl lines, fishing lines. So there are lots of entanglement hazards. The currents are also extremely strong out there," Lombardi said.

    Lombardi said he believes many divers who visit the site are not qualified to do so.

    Lombardi has been diving all over the world, to much greater depths than the Doria, but he has not gone to the Dorea site.

    "If you have a need to go to a place like that, then you go. I think, unfortunately now, people are seeking adventure, seeking a thrill. The Doria's been considered analogous to Everest for mountain climbers. So, it's kind of like the conquest in diving. And to me, you can't justify putting your life on the line for a conquest," Lombardi said.

    Another diver died Thursday near a different shipwreck off Montauk, N.Y. He was reportedly diving off the same charter boat that the Andrea Doria victim was diving from on Sunday.

  • Diving for answers: what happened to 'Lusitania' ?


    From Brian O'Connell - The Irish Times

    This month an 83-year-old American will travel to Co Cork to supervise perhaps the last big expedition to the wreck of the Cunard Liner torpedoed in 1915. What is he looking for, and has he a chance of finding it ?

    ‘In a sense, Lusitania is a much bigger story than Titanic , and the links to the local area are more concrete,” says Gregg Bemis, the American millionaire who owns Lusitania .

    “Titanic was a romantic matter because it was man against nature. In the case of Lusitania you have politics, war, intrigue and this horrible disaster. So, really, what we’re talking about is man against humanity rather than man against nature.”

    For more than 40 years Bemis has dreamed of discovering what exactly was in the cargo hold of the Cunard liner. Munitions ? Priceless art ? Jewels ?

    This summer he hopes to find out, as he leads possibly the largest and perhaps the final expedition to the famous shipwreck, which has lain off Co Cork since it was torpedoed during the first World War, leading to the deaths, according to a best estimate, of about 1,200 of the almost 2,000 passengers and crew who are believed to have been aboard.

    Bemis has dived to the wreck of the Lusitania twice before, in 1993 and 2004. Critics have questioned his motives, claiming that he is intent only on finding valuables that may have been on the ship. The art collector Hugh Lane was aboard, and rumour has it that he had several lead-cased masterpieces with him.

    Bemis says the chances of finding anything of value are very slim, and points out that although he can keep anything he retrieves that relates to the ship or its previous owners, he is not allowed to recover anything that belonged to passengers.

    The real value of the expedition, according to Bemis, lies in trying to answer the controversial question of whether or not Lusitania was carrying munitions as well as passengers.

    As a seafaring town that sent many young men to wars, Cobh had known its share of tragedy. But little had prepared the town for Friday, May 7th, 1915, when a German U-boat sank Lusitania 18km off the Old Head of Kinsale. Many fishermen set out from Cobh (then Queenstown) to help with the rescue effort, but about 770 of the passengers died, including almost 100 children.

    The sight of bodies piled high in the morgue under Cobh’s town hall must have lived long in the collective consciousness. For years afterwards letters arrived from relatives of the victims, thanking locals for trying to save them or for helping to identify bodies.

    Full story...

  • 'Virtually Raising the Titanic': New 3-D images

    By Steve Szkotak -  Associated Press

    Scientists showed some never-before-seen images of the Titanic in a Virginia courtroom Thursday, unveiling dramatic three-dimensional views of the rusting hulk and the ghostly images of the sea floor where the ship sank almost a century ago.

    The Titanic struck ice while making its maiden voyage on April 12, 1912, about 400 miles off Newfoundland, Canada. More than 1,500 of the 2,228 passengers and crew perished as the liner plunged into the deep.

    The images taken from a remote-controlled submersible vehicle were shown to a judge Thursday amid an ongoing salvage claim involving the world's most famous shipwreck.

    Scientists who took part in a 2010 expedition to the North Atlantic wreck site said the images are the most extensive and highest quality ever taken of the Titanic.

    The expedition also fully mapped the 3-by-5-mile wreck site, which is located 2 1/2 miles below the ocean's surface.

    The experts said the entire debris field has now been documented for the first time.

    The new images will ultimately be assembled for public viewing, scientists said, and to help oceanographers and archaeologists explain the ship's violent descent to the ocean bottom.

    It is also intended to provide answers on the state of the wreck, which scientists say is showing increasing signs of deterioration.

    The findings were presented in a federal courtroom in Norfolk where a salvage claim is still being decided 26 years after the Titanic was discovered by oceanographer Robert Ballard.

    The most striking images involved the 3-D tour of the Titanic's stern, which lies 2,000 feet from the bow.

    Attorneys and court visitors donned 3-D glasses as a camera in a remote-controlled submersible vehicle skimmed over the stern, seemingly transporting viewers through scenes of jagged rusticles sprouting from deck, a length of chain, the captain's bathtub, and wooden elements that scientists had previously believed had disappeared in the harsh, deep ocean environment.

    The images were gathered last year using submersibles that were either tethered to a research vessel or programed to skim the ocean floor — "mowing the lawn," in the words of one scientist.

    The scientists said previous sonar and optical images were random and akin to snapshots, while the expedition strived to record and map every inch of the wreck and its resting place using the latest recording technologies.

    Individual images are stitched together in a mosaic process to create large-scale, almost panoramic views of the wreck.

    "We have an image of everything. That's what's important," said William N. Lange of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. "This has never been done before in the deep sea."

    The cameras did not probe the interior of the wreck.

    The 2010 expedition, which included many veterans of past Titanic expeditions, was organized by RMS Titanic Inc.

    The company has exclusive rights to salvage the Titanic, and has gathered nearly 6,000 objects from the once-opulent cruise ship. They are valued in excess of $110 million.

  • The shipwreck of the Bencoolen - history of Bude

    Wreckage of the SS Bencoolen on Summerleaze beach, Bude circa October 1862

    By Ralph Gifford - Culture24

    On the north coast of Cornwall, just a few miles from the Devon border, sits the seaside town of Bude. Like many coastal towns in the county it is now a place living off the revenue brought in by throngs of tourists who come to enjoy its expansive and beautiful beaches.

    But Bude originally grew because of its small harbour, offereing sailors refuge against the North Atlantic when its seas grew too treacherous to safely leave port.

    To get into the harbour the boats had to navigate a small channel which could prove equally as dangerous as the wind and waves of the sea.

    Across the centuries, the residents of Bude have been witness to more than their fair share of shipwrecks. However one ill-fated ship, the Bencoolen, has played a part in the town’s history like no other.

    Having set sail from Liverpool for Bombay on October 21 1862, the fully-rigged, 1,415-ton cargo vessel came into difficulty when it met gale force NNW winds, breaking its main mast and leaving the captain unable to steer. At roughly 3pm the Bencoolen grounded in huge seas on Summerleaze beach, Bude, just metres from safety.

    The sea was too rough to launch the lifeboat, so the rocket brigade quickly set to work. The rescuer's efforts were in vain, as the extract below, from 1881's A Picturesque Guide to North Cornwall, records:

    “In five minutes the rocket apparatus was put to work; the first rocket fell short, the next failed, the third fell over the ship where the despairing crew huddled on the poop.

    Full story...


  • NOAA commemorates the 100th birthday of RMS Titanic

    The Titanic as it left on its first & final voyage from Southampton

    From NOAA News

    The world’s best known shipwreck turns 100 today. Maritime historians generally consider the date of a ship’s launch to be its “official birth date” and the Belfast, Northern Ireland, shipyard of Harland & Wolff launched RMS Titanic on May 31, 1911. Once afloat, RMS Titanic was then completed by shipyard workers before setting out on its tragic maiden voyage nearly a year later.

    The 100th birthday of Titanic is a landmark event in that the wreck is now considered an archaeological resource site as defined under the United States Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

    After it struck an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912, the Titanic became the catalyst for the development of international law on safety of navigation, including the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, as well as for the establishment of the International Maritime Organization, a United Nations agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and prevention of marine pollution by ships.

    The wreck of RMS Titanic was discovered in 1985 by a joint U.S.-French expedition in more than 12,400 feet of water in the North Atlantic. In recognition of the discovery of the wreck site and its historical and cultural significance, Congress passed the RMS Titanic Memorial Act of 1986.

    The legislation authorized the negotiation of an international agreement and the adoption of guidelines to designate the site as an international maritime memorial to those who lost their lives. Negotiation of this international agreement by the U.S., France, Canada, and the United Kingdom was concluded in 2000.

    While the international agreement has not yet entered into force, NOAA developed the guidelines in 2001, and mounted two scientific expeditions to the wreck in 2003 and 2004 with a variety of partners.

    Full story...

  • Blackbeard fever hits North Carolina after anchor raised

    One of four anchors from Blackbeard's ship discovered more than a decade ago off NC's shore

    By Kathy M. Newbern and J.S. Fletcher - The Raleigh Telegram

    The summer blockbuster "Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides," has Captain Jack Sparrow, played by Johnny Depp, going up against the notorious Blackbeard and boarding his flagship Queen Anne’s Revenge.

    After watching the film opening night, back at our oceanfront room at The Sheraton Atlantic Beach, we marveled just how close we are to the real deal here on the Crystal Coast.

    Blackbeard’s actual ship sank in 1718 right off the coast here, not far from Fort Macon. Its discovery in 1996 caused a stir; national attention refocused on the shipwreck Friday morning when one of four anchors was brought to the surface. It weighs 3,000 pounds.

    And now, some of the ship’s excavated “treasures” are about to be shown to the public in a new exhibit (no, not gold, but pieces of pirate history).

    Talk about timing — North Carolina researchers and tourism promoters are ecstatic.

    The new Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge Exhibit opens June 11th at Beaufort's North Carolina Maritime Museum unveiling nearly 300 exhumed relics from the 90-foot frigate.

    Regarding the film, Claire Aubel, the museum’s public relations coordinator, said no one from Hollywood contacted the museum. “So how did they get their concept of Queen Anne’s Revenge?” she asked with a laugh and a shrug. Movie makers live by their own rules, kind of like pirates.

    Not so at the museum. Here, the documented recovery has been painstakingly slow, and true. At the wreck site, 40-50% of the artifacts are now “off the ocean floor,” she says. “That leaves us with another 50% roughly to get up by 2015, which is our goal. It’s completely weather dependent as you might imagine.”

    Full story...

  • Blackbeard's Revenge: UNCW, CFCC star in real-life pirate saga

    Items found at the Queen Anne's Revenge site 
    Photo Ken Blevins

    By Jason Gonzales - Star News

    On Friday, Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge will be resurrected on the big screen in the fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean" film, but a less flashy event next week could signal something more historic.

    That's when the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources will attempt to retrieve a 3,000-pound anchor from the Queen Anne's Revenge shipwreck in the waters near Beaufort.

    Buried in 20 feet of water, the notorious pirate Blackbeard's prized flagship has sat since June 1718. Both Cape Fear Community College and the University of North Carolina Wilmington will help pull the anchor to the surface on May 26.

    Linda Carlisle, secretary of the state cultural resources department, said it will be a historic day for North Carolina during a press conference Wednesday at UNCW's Center for Marine Science.

    "I can assure you when the anchor is brought up next week, it will be an event of international significance," she said.

    The nearly 300-year-old shipwreck was discovered in 1996 by Intersal Inc., a marine recovery and consulting company. Since then, archaeologists have been able to recover more than 250,000 artifacts.

    Many of those artifacts are on display at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort.

    Carlisle said the state is hoping to find private funding to help pull up the wreck by 2013.

    "(We) really need the extra funding and are looking for those private dollars," she said.

    Full story...

  • Titanic's unknown child given new, final identity

    A photograph of the baby Sidney Leslie Goodwin, who is now believed to be the Titanic's unknown child 
    Photo Carol Goodwin

    By Wynne Parry - Live Science

    Five days after the passenger ship the Titanic sank, the crew of the rescue ship Mackay-Bennett pulled the body of a fair-haired, roughly 2-year-old boy out of the Atlantic Ocean on April 21, 1912.

    Along with many other victims, his body went to a cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where the crew of the Mackay-Bennett had a headstone dedicated to the "unknown child" placed over his grave.

     When it sank, the Titanic took the lives of 1,497 of the 2,209 people aboard with it. Some bodies were recovered, but names remained elusive, while others are still missing. But researchers believe that they have finally resolved the identity of the unknown child -- concluding that he was 19-month-old Sidney Leslie Goodwin from England.

    Though the unknown child was incorrectly identified twice before, researchers believe they have now conclusively determined the child was Goodwin. After his recovery, he was initially believed to be a 2-year-old Swedish boy, Gösta Leonard Pålsson, who was seen being washed overboard as the ship sank.

    This boy's mother, Alma Pålsson, was recovered with the tickets for all four of her children in her pocket, and buried in a grave behind the unknown child.

    The effort to verify the child's identity using genetics began a little over a decade ago, when Ryan Parr, an adjunct professor at Lakehead University in Ontario who has worked with DNA extracted from ancient human remains, watched some videos about the Titanic.

    "I thought 'Wow, I wonder if anyone is interested or still cares about the unidentified victims of the Titanic,'" Parr said.


  • Titanic inquiry plan set for $165,000 Henry Aldridge & Son auction in May

    From Paul Fraser Collectibles

    An annotated technical drawing of the Titanic used in the 1912 British investigation is attracting collectors

    A plan of the Titanic used in the inquest into its sinking in 1912 is coming to auction later this year.

    Valued at £100,000, the 33-foot long technical drawing is marked with arrows and notes, depicting where survivors of the disaster thought the iceberg had struck.

    It was used in the British Board of Trade's inquiry between May and July 1912, which began just weeks after the disaster.

    96 witnesses were called to the investigation, including crew members and maritime experts, which concluded that excessive speed was to blame.

    Only three passengers were questioned - all of them first class travellers.

    The plan will go on display at Belfast City Hall over the Easter weekend before being sold by auctioneer Henry Aldridge & Son on May 28.


  • 'Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition' coming to Detroit before Grand Rapids next year

    A re-creation of the Grand Staircase's first and second landing at "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition" at the Metreon in San Francisco in 2006

    By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk - Mlive

    Remember the Titanic?

    How about “Titanic: the Artifact Exhibition” ?

    In March, Grand Rapids Public Museum, announced it would be first in the state to host the exhibition of 300 artifacts from the infamous ship, opening in November 2012.

    But The Henry Ford announced today – the 99th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic – that it would open the exhibition in March 2012 at the institution formerly known as Greenfield Village and The Henry Ford Museum.

    That means the exhibition will be in the Detroit area on the 100th anniversary of its sinking early on morning of April 15, 2012 in the north Atlantic on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City.

    Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford, said the institution is thrilled to bring the exhibition to the Detroit area.

    “Known as one of the greatest innovations from that era, this ship was ahead of its time with its top notch engineering, modern equipment and luxuries,” Mooradian said. “Touted by the media as the ship that was 'virtually unsinkable,' no one could believe the magnitude of this disaster that occurred in April of 1912.”

    The story is well-known from James Cameron's 1997 film, “Titanic,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, which included actual footage of the ship on the ocean's floor.

    “It's an exhibit that really takes you to another place in time,” said Rebecca Westphal, museum's director of marketing and customer experience, in March. “It really brings (the wreck) to a personal level in many ways.”


  • Shipwreck still fascinates local diver

    By Paul Leighton - Salem News

    The USS New Hampshire was a wreck before it became a wreck.

    The ship burned and sank during a training exercise on the Hudson River in 1921.

    The next year, its recovered hull was being towed to the Bay of Fundy to be dismantled for its copper and bronze fastenings when it again caught fire. It sank, for the final time, near Graves Island off Singing Beach in Manchester.

    It might have been an inauspicious ending for the once-grand vessel, the last of the U.S. Navy's 74-gun battleships. But all these years later, the ship retains its allure for Norman "Dugie" Russell.

    Russell, 72, began diving to the ship in 1961, drawn by the spikes and pins and sheeting that had been forged at Paul Revere's foundry in Canton and kept the 2,633-ton boat together.

    After more than 200 dives, he put his quest on hold until 20 years ago, except for one aborted and nearly fatal attempt last year. But as he told an audience of about 40 people in a recent talk at the Beverly Public Library, he plans to go back again this summer.

    "The lure of this ship, I can't let go," he said. "It became kind of an obsession for me."

    Russell, a retired court officer from Beverly, has salvaged thousands of pounds of copper and brass and tons of timber from the New Hampshire over the years. He has crafted the material into hundreds of items — cribbage boards, coffee tables, lamps, clocks, mantelpieces, jewelry — and sold them to retailers and individuals.



  • The sinking of the Titanic - 99 years on

    By Emma McFarnon - The Independent

    Tomorrow will mark the ninety-ninth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, which killed 1,517 people and remains one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters in history.

    The ship, designed by some of Britain’s most experienced engineers, and boasting extensive safety features, sank in the early hours of 15 April 1912, just four days into its voyage from Southampton to New York.

    The ill-fated voyage began on 10 April 1912, with Captain Edward J. Smith at the helm. Boasting a swimming pool, gymnasium, squash court and Turkish bath, the Titanic was unrivalled in luxury and elegance.

    Compliant with the regulations of the time, the ship set off with lifeboats barely sufficient for half the 2,228 people on board.

    Just four days later, at 11.40pm, the ship struck an iceberg 400 miles off Newfoundland, Canada. Less than three hours later the Titanic plunged to the bottom of the ocean.

    The overwhelming majority of victims, who died of hypothermia, were crew members and lower-class passengers.

    Before survivors even arrived in New York, investigations were underway to discover what had gone wrong. The United States Senate launched an inquiry on 19 April.


  • Leading mission to map the Titanic

    Oceanographer David Gallo

    By Sheradyn Holderhead - Adelaide Now


    Oceanographer David Gallo still can't believe he is leading a team of researchers to map the Titanic in its watery grave.

    Dr Gallo, who was in Adelaide this week, thought the story about the discovery of the ill-fated liner in 1980 would "die down almost immediately" so he stayed away from it.

    But last August, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution special projects director led a team on a 20-day expedition to the shipwreck. It was billed as the most scientific mission to the site.

    "This past summer, I found myself as expedition leader on an expedition to Titanic with the goal for the first time of making a map, starting to treat it as an archaeological site," Dr Gallo said, speaking at the Australian International Documentary Conference.

    "Everything up until that point . . . was pretty much designed in terms of the documentary world to capture the highlights of the bow, the bridge, one or two artefacts. It was always the same path. It was almost like a Disneyland ride - the bow, the bridge; no one had ever treated it as an archaeological site."


  • Titanic makes Winnipeg debut

    From Global News

    It was the most infamous maritime disaster in history.

    The luxury liner Titanic sank 99 years ago with more than 1,500 people were lost in the icy waters of the north Atlantic.

    But artifacts from the shipwreck are about to go on display in Winnipeg for the first time.

    "The ship handles beautifully, it is designed for performance and above all safety," said Lowell Lytle, playing the part Capt. Edward J. Smith.

    He has even gone to the bottom of the ocean to recover artifacts.

    Out of the 190 artifacts on display, including pots, men's socks and even a replica first class suite, nine have never been seen before.

    "As you go to the first class cabin you'll hear symphonic music, as you go downstairs to the machine area, you're hearing the roar of the motor," said Kevin Donnelly, vice President and General Manager of MTS Centre.

    There is even a local connection as 30 people from Manitoba or immigrating here were aboard the ship. Seven survived.

    The Manitoba Museum has their belongings.

    "There were some very wealthy people living in Winnipeg in 1912 and they were part of the jet set of the times group of people," said Curator Sharon Reilly.

    When you come aboard the Titanic in Winnipeg, you'll get a boarding card with the name of a passenger and their class. You can see where they slept and at the end you'll find out if you survived or not.


  • Demandan en EE.UU. a Colombia por US$17 mil millones

    El edificio de los tribunales del Distrito de Columbia en la capital de Estados Unidos

    Nelson Fredy Padilla - El Espectador

    La empresa norteamericana Sea Search Armada denuncia el incumplimiento de un fallo de la Corte Suprema que le reconoció la mitad del tesoro del galeón San José.

    Ante un tribunal del Distrito de Columbia, en Washington, fue instaurado el pasado 7 de diciembre un caso contra la República de Colombia por no cumplir un fallo de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, que desde 2007 concedió a la firma estadounidense Sea Search Armada (SSA) derechos sobre el 50 por ciento del tesoro del galeón San José, hundido por los ingleses en 1708 en cercanías de las Islas del Rosario y considerado el más valioso de la Colonia.

    Según la demanda de 41 páginas conocida por El Espectador, el abogado de SSA en Estados Unidos, James S. DelSordo, solicitó a la justicia norteamericana una indemnización de 17 mil millones de dólares “por concepto de daños, costos para promover esta demanda, honorarios de abogados y cualquier otro tipo de desagravio que juzgue apropiado el Tribunal”.

    SSA se presentó ante la Corte Federal como “una corporación de Delaware que se dedica al negocio de salvamento oceánico por todo el mundo” en litigio “con un estado extranjero sin inmunidad”.

    El abogado de la firma en Colombia, Danilo Devis, le dijo a este diario que la acción judicial es consecuencia de tres años de negativas del gobierno de Álvaro Uribe Vélez a realizar conjuntamente el rescate del famoso galeón, a pesar de que la Corte Suprema, en fallo de julio de 2007, decidió que aunque el naufragio puede ser patrimonio cultural de Colombia, los bienes que sean considerados como tesoro deben ser repartidos por partes iguales entre el Gobierno y SSA.

    También se apoya en lo establecido por la Convención de Ginebra de 1958 sobre Plataforma Continental, zona en la que estaría la nave a mil pies de profundidad.

    Como lo ha revelado este diario desde hace dos años, la norteamericana es una de las multinacionales cazatesoros (junto a Plioenician Exploration Limited y Odyssey Marine Explorations) interesadas en cerca de 1.100 naufragios coloniales ocurridos en el mar Caribe colombiano, y desde finales de los años años 80 es reconocida por los tribunales colombianos como la descubridora de la localización del San José.

    Entonces, durante los primeros debates sobre el tema en el Congreso, se aseguró: “el valor del tesoro es de 10.000 millones de dólares, tal la conclusión de los investigadores: el más grande tesoro en la historia de la humanidad”.

    SSA basa sus aspiraciones en estos cálculos, en los manifiestos de carga, en los costos de exploraciones y demandas a lo largo de 20 años y en el posible saqueo del tesoro. Alega que debido a que Colombia reveló las coordenadas del hundimiento, sus pérdidas se han incrementado.


  • Finding shipwrecks uplifting experience

    By Melissa Tait - The Record

    While the Titanic is probably the world’s most famous shipwreck, our own backyard — more specifically the Great Lakes — holds some incredible sunken stories.

    Scuba diver and shipwreck enthusiast Jim Kennard was at The Museum on Saturday speaking as part of the Titanic speaker series.

    Using side-scanning sonar — a sophisticated form of underwater radar — Kennard has shone a light into the cold darkness of the shipping graves at the bottom of the massive lakes.

    One light shined a bit brighter than the rest when Kennard, and his partner Dan Scoville, discovered a wreck in May 2008 off the southern shore.

    In 1780 the HMS Ontario, a 22-gun British warship carrying 122 people including about 30 Canadian crew members, sank in Lake Ontario during the American Revolution.

    Kennard remembered how his “heart was in is throat” when a final pass of the torpedo-like sonar passed within six metres of the ship’s 228-year-old main masts.

    It was the oldest shipwreck discovered on the Great Lakes, and a TV production company is now working with Kennard and Scoville to tell the story.

    Kennard has found over 200 wrecks using side-scanning technology in and around the Great Lakes, but he said this discovery was different.

    “We knew it was a war grave,” Kennard said.

    He said there was “silent reverence” instead of high-fives when the ship was discovered.

    Kennard shared a lot of high-fives over 35 years of shipwreck hunting, beginning in the early ’70s when he built the first non-commercial side-scanning sonar technology available within 800 kilometres of his home in Rochester, New York.

    The sonar is towed by a boat or submarine, and shoots pulses perpendicular to the ground instead of down toward the ground like traditional sonar. This creates an image of the sea floor that is remarkably clear, but it’s not a perfect technology.

    “I chased a school of fish around for two hours once,” Kennard said.

    “The darned thing kept moving on me.”

    A retired electrical engineer, Kennard still calls shipwreck hunting a hobby, but it’s a hobby that has seen his name printed in the New York Times connected with “Holy Grail” find like the HMS Ontario.

  • New species of rust-eating bacteria destroying the Titanic

    From Our Amazing Planet

    Rusticles, formations of rust similar to icicles, are speeding up the deterioration of the famous shipwreck.

    Researchers at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Canada have been examining the bacteria eating away at the remains of the famous ship as it sits on the ocean floor.

    Using DNA technology, Dalhousie scientists Henrietta Mann and Bhavleen Kaur and researchers from the University of Sevilla in Spain were able to identify a new bacterial species collected from rusticles (a formation of rust similar to an icicle or stalactite) from the Titanic wreck. The iron-oxide-munching bacterium has fittingly been named Halomonas titanicae.

    The bacteria have critical implications for the preservation of the ship's wreckage.

    "In 1995, I was predicting that Titanic had another 30 years," Mann said. "But I think it's deteriorating much faster than that now. Perhaps if we get another 15 to 20 years out of it, we're doing good ... eventually there will be nothing left but a rust stain."

    The wreck is covered with rusticles; the knob-like mounds have formed from at least 27 strains of bacteria, including Halomonas titanicae.

    Rusticles are porous and allow water to pass through; they are rather delicate and will eventually disintegrate into fine powder. "It's a natural process, recycling the iron and returning it to nature," Mann said.

    For decades following the ship's sinking in 1912, the Titanic's final resting spot remained a mystery. Discovered by a joint American-French expedition in 1985, the wreck is located a little more than 2 miles (3.8 kilometers) below the ocean surface and some 329 miles (530 km) southeast of Newfoundland, Canada.

    In the 25 years since the discovery of the wreck, the Titanic has rapidly deteriorated.


  • Hi-tech robots search ocean floor for ancient shipwrecks

    By Laura Allsop - CNN

    Once lost to the deep, shipwrecks lying on the ocean floor are now accessible thanks to cutting-edge submersibles.

    Autonomous and remotely operated vehicles are capable of trawling the ocean floor at depths of up to 6,000 meters, to document ancient and recent shipwrecks, and recover key objects.

    "RMS Titanic" is the most famous shipwreck to be visited by these vehicles. A recent expedition brought back images documenting the current state of the ship, nearly 100 years after it sank following a collision with an iceberg.

    Impressive 3D-HD images of the ship's bow show it looking relatively intact, though seemingly dripping with eerie stalactites created by rust-eating microbes.

    Alex Klingelhofer is the Vice President of Collections at Premier Exhibitions, Inc., which puts on exhibitions such as "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition," currently on at the O2 Centre in London.

    It is also the parent company of RMS Titanic, Inc., which has exclusive recovery rights to "Titanic."

    Klingelhofer told CNN that the primary goal of the recent expedition was to "map the wreck, and recover as much information as possible, so that we could really examine what the 'Titanic' site is."

    She continued: "A lot of the scientific information and imagery that we recovered during this expedition will be compared with what we already have from previous expeditions, and hopefully we will arrive at some sort of guess-timation of its condition."

    The plan to digitally map the ship is part of a virtual preservation project that Klingelhofer hopes will protect the ship for future generations.

    Though famous, "Titanic" is not alone; the ocean floor is littered with wrecks that are frequently visited by submersible robots.


  • Mystery, debate still surround sinking of Edmund Fitzgerald

    Frederick Shannon made seven dives in 1994Photo Kathleen Galligan

    By Eric Lawrence - Detroit Free Press

    Great Lakes explorer Frederick Shannon retired from diving about five years ago because of declining health.

    The 64-year-old former police officer, who lives near Flint, Mich., is best known for his explorations of the wreckage of the sunken freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald. He spent about $75,000 to lease a two-man submarine to make seven dives into Lake Superior in July 1994.

    Many family members of the 29 crewmembers lost when the ship sank on Nov. 10, 1975, were unhappy when he ventured to the wreck site. They were even more upset when he announced that a body could be seen and that he intended to release photos showing the discovery.

    Shannon further angered many family members in 1995 when he sued to prevent the removal of the Fitzgerald's bell so it could be placed on display at the shipwreck museum in Whitefish Point in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. He lost the suit. 

    As the 35th anniversary of the Fitzgerald's sinking approaches Wednesday, Shannon says he now has a better appreciation for the pain felt by the crew's relatives.

    "If removing the bell from the Fitzgerald brought solace to the families, I'm all for it," he says. "I think they needed a physical thing for closure, and what better than the heart of the ship, which was the bell."

    The Edmund Fitzgerald's wreckage sits 530 feet below Lake Superior's surface. There are two large, intact sections at either end, but the middle was broken into pieces. The ship sank during a storm about 17 miles from Whitefish Point.

    It's one of thousands of shipwrecks that dot the Great Lakes, but it's easily the most famous, thanks in large part to Gordon Lightfoot's 1976 ballad, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

    It's not clear why the big ship sank as it traveled from Superior, Wis., on its way to Zug Island near Detroit with a load of taconite pellets, or iron ore.

    Theories on the sinking's cause abound. The uncertainty even prompted Lightfoot to alter his lyrics slightly this year after watching a documentary on the accident that suggested a rogue wave was to blame. Lightfoot eliminated a reference to a hatchway failure and the suggestion of human error.


  • Coral Springs man to join Titanic ghost-hunting trip

    By Robert Nolin - Sun Sentinel


    Far out in the bleak North Atlantic, waves roll restless over the spot where RMS Titanic lies more than two miles down on the ocean floor.

    But ghost hunter William Brower of Coral Springs, a self-educated expert on the Titanic, believes more than waves mark the grave of the world's best known shipwreck. Eerie voices of its doomed passengers, he contends, still can be heard on the salty wind. And Brower intends to capture them.

    He's one of nearly 20 paranormal investigators who want to mount a spring expedition to where the massive liner sank nearly 100 years ago. They plan to deploy special microphones to record the spectral echoes — cries of fear and despair, perhaps — imprinted on the site by the more than 1,500 people who died there.

    "I think it will be dramatic," the 35-year-old author and freelance writer said. "We're probably going to hear people screaming for help."

    The Titanic Endeavor Tour, headed by Matthew "Sandman" Kelley, a paranormal researcher from Markleysburg, Pa., will charter a boat to the shipwreck 960 miles east of New York and try to invoke the spirits of those who died there. Expedition members will dine from the Titanic's menu, observe a memorial service and strain to detect, through psychic sensitivity or special equipment, traces of souls who haunt the site.

    The goal is to record electronic voice phenomenon of spirits who linger at the site. EVP, in which microphones record silence from which researchers later discern voices upon playback, is becoming a popular paranormal research tool.

    "We're going to get a lot of emotion, a lot of people looking for their loved ones, a lot of people realizing they're never going to see their loved ones again," said Kelley, 42, a retired truck driver. "It's going to be very sad."

    Not everyone in the paranormal community supports the Titanic mission. Terra King, a believer who writes about the paranormal for an online website, said seeking EVPs in places such as battlefields or disasters is "disrespectful and unethical."

    "Too many groups who are searching for the voices of those who have died are downright ghoulish," King said via e-mail. "This expedition falls within this category. Trolling the North Atlantic for EVPs is ridiculous."

    Brower, who wrote a book on the Titanic and for years performed a one-man show about the disaster, said people can react strongly over paranormal research. "It's a very, very controversial science," he said.

    Kelley said his team will operate with respect. "The Titanic is now part of our history," he said. The expedition "is going to be a form of closure."


  • HMS Victory cannon 'rare example', says expert

    HMS Victory

    From BBC News

    The 41 bronze cannon discovered with the HMS Victory shipwreck in the English Channel are "extremely rare examples", an expert has said.

    The ship, the predecessor to Lord Nelson's Victory, sank in a storm on 5 October 1744 with all hands. Charles Trollop, a historical expert, said the ship was built at a "seminal moment in the history of gun founding".

    The fate of the ship and the remains of the more than 1,000 crew are the subject of a UK public consultation.

    Mr Trollop made the comments after examining the two cannon brought to the surface by Odyssey Marine Exploration, the company that found the wreck in May 2008, to establish the identity of the shipwreck.

    He said: "As a result of the normal practice of melting brass guns down for re-use, very few cannon from this pivotal era survive for study.

    "[Admiral Sir John] Balchin's Victory is thus a highly unique site in the history of naval ordnance: the only wreck site of a First Rate Royal Navy warship with an intact collection of cannon known in the world."

    Mr Trollop said changes in the top naval personnel, naval tactics and the move from casting in brass to iron made the snapshot of history uniquely important.

    His research found the Victory was the last British naval vessel fitted with a full complement of purpose-made brass cannon.


    The finding of the ship 100km away from Les Casquets rocks meant the blame for the ship's loss could not necessarily be due to an error by the crew or its commander, Admiral Sir John Balchin.

  • Author Claims Steering Error Sank the Titanic


    By Robert Mackey - thelede.blogs.nytimes.com

    The granddaughter of a senior member of the Titanic’s crew has revealed in a new book what she describes as a family secret kept for decades: that a simple steering error caused the ship to strike an iceberg and sink during its maiden voyage in 1912.

    Louise Patten, a novelist whose new book, “Good as Gold,” mixes fact and fiction, told The Telegraph that her grandfather, Charles Lightoller, the senior surviving officer from the shipwreck that killed 1,517 people, told his wife that the man steering the ship when the iceberg was spotted had simply turned the wheel the wrong way.

    “Instead of steering Titanic safely round to the left of the iceberg, once it had been spotted dead ahead, the steersman, Robert Hitchins, had panicked and turned it the wrong way,” Ms. Patten said.

    She added that her grandfather, who went on to become a war hero, “was lying” when he told investigators looking into the cause of the wreck that he had no idea what had happened. Ms. Patten said that the ship’s captain and first officer told Mr. Lightoller, the second officer, about the steering error after the crash but he had concealed the truth to protect the reputation of his employer.

    Ms. Patten also said that the steering error was caused by confusion about the difference between orders given for the steering of steamships and sailing ships. The novelist told Peter Stanford of The Telegraph:

    Titanic was launched at a time when the world was moving from sailing ships to steam ships. My grandfather, like the other senior officers on Titanic, had started out on sailing ships. And on sailing ships, they steered by what is known as ’tiller orders’ which means that if you want to go one way, you push the tiller the other way.

    It sounds counterintuitive now, but that is what tiller orders were. Whereas with ‘rudder orders,’ which is what steam ships used, it is like driving a car. You steer the way you want to go. It gets more confusing because, even though Titanic was a steam ship, at that time on the North Atlantic they were still using tiller orders.

    Therefore [the first officer, William] Murdoch gave the command in tiller orders, but Hitchins, in a panic, reverted to the rudder orders he had been trained in. They only had four minutes to change course and by the time Murdoch spotted Hitchins’s mistake and then tried to rectify it, it was too late.

    Asked to comment on the new theory by Britain’s Channel 4 News, Sally Neillson, a great-granddaughter of the steersman, Robert Hichins, said there “is no way on earth” it is correct. Ms. Neillson, who is working on a book about her great-grandfather, “Hard-a-Starboard,” due to be published in 2012 for the 100th anniversary of the disaster, claimed to have new theories of her own to be divulged later. She told Channel 4 News:

    Hichins had 10 years experience, seven of those as a quartermaster. He sailed the Titanic for four days before the accident, during which he did shifts of four hours on, four hours off. He would have steered the vessel during these times, so been familiar with the systems. He knew ships. These were experienced men, a very experienced crew. I completely disagree with this theory.


  • How the Titanic tore apart

    The bathtub and shower plumbing in Captain Edward Smith's private bathroom - RMS Titanic Inc.

    By Alan Boyle - cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com

    Experts are still analyzing their newly made 3-D maps of the Titanic shipwreck site, but they can already see that the great ship’s breakup was messier than most folks, including "Titanic" film director James Cameron, may have thought. “It wasn’t quite the way Cameron showed it in his movie,” expedition co-leader Dave Gallo observed.

    In a post-expedition interview, Gallo said the fates of the 1,517 people who died in the 1912 tragedy were never far from his mind — especially when a doll’s arm turned up on the HD video from the seafloor.

    Gallo and his colleagues spent weeks sailing back and forth between the research vessel Jean Charcot's port in St. John's, Newfoundland, and the North Atlantic spot where the Titanic went down. The expedition was interrupted by two hurricanes, Danielle and Igor, leading to last week's earlier-than-expected end.

    Gallo, a researcher at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, said he considered this the first purely scientific mission to the Titanic since the original survey of the site in the mid-1980s. Numerous voyages have been conducted in the intervening quarter-century, but "all of those have had science as a sidebar," Gallo told me.

    "The primary mission of most of those was either recovery of artifacts, by RMS Titanic, or adventure tourism, with Deep Ocean Adventures," he observed. "Sure, they all came back with exciting images, but was that science? No."

    Chris Davino, president of RMS Titanic Inc., said the past month's expedition was aimed at bringing together experts in deep-sea diving and salvaging with the scientific experts from Woods Hole, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and elsewhere. "It resonated more with me when I was out there that what we did will have real implications for deep-sea exploration and wreck-site archaeology," Davino told me. "The tools that these experts brought to bear are game-changing."

    The expedition's primary aim was to use robotic vehicles equipped with cameras and sonar devices to create unprecedented maps of the Titanic. The survey covereed a 3-by-5-mile area — with high-resolution, 3-D mapping of the central 1-by-1.5-mile box. "We achieved our primary objective," Davino said.


  • Saving cannons with electrolysis at Blackbeard shipwreck site

    By Scott Pickey - Wwaytv3

    Three hundred years on the ocean floor can be pretty rough on a body.

    The Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources will dedicate its fall dive to treating some large bodies of iron in the Atlantic Ocean. Researchers, from Sept. 22-Oct. 29, will be on wreck site of the likely Queen Anne’s Revenge (QAR), Blackbeard’s flagship, which sank in 1718 near Beaufort.

    They will try to change the electrochemical process that corrodes iron in saltwater by applying anodes, skinny aluminum rods, to the objects as they are in situ (in the original place).

    A dozen cannons, 6 feet to 8 feet long and weighing 700 pounds to 1 ton, will undergo the treatment. So will three large anchors, 11 feet to 13 feet long and weighing an estimated 1,800 pounds.

    “It’s imperative that we stop the damaging effects of salt water on these treasures,” says QAR Archaeological Field Director Chris Southerly. “This is a good alternative to help stabilize them when in laboratory space is not available.”

    The archaeologists will work in the mid-ship area and are completing full recovery at the shipwreck site. To date, more than 700,000 artifacts have been recovered.

    Many are undergoing conservation at the QAR Conservation Laboratory at East Carolina University in Greenville. Others are exhibited at the N.C. Maritime Museum in Beaufort, the repository for QAR artifacts.

    Water and wind conditions will affect greatly the on-site work. Ocean swells can delay diving, and already Hurricanes Igor and Julia are roiling the seas. Currently the water temperature of a favorable 79° is more appealing than the 10° cooler of late October.

    The shipwreck was located in 1996 by Intersal, Inc. of Florida by Operations Director Mike Daniel through research provided by Intersal president Phil Masters.


  • Titanic quest turns to new territory

    By Alan Boyle - MSNBC

    Researchers have returned to the site of the Titanic shipwreck, after a break that was forced by Hurricane Danielle. Now they're turning their attention from the well-known hulk's bow to its stern, to take a look at areas of the debris field that haven't been studied since the Titanic was rediscovered in 1986.

    The research vessel Jean Charcot began its high-definition, 3-D survey of the underwater site last month, with the aim of documenting the historic wreck in unprecedented detail before it disintegrates.

    NBC News' Kerry Sanders was in on the adventure when the first pictures were beamed up from robot vehicles operating two and a half miles beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. (In comparison, the remotely operated vehicles involved in the response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill were a mere mile down.)

    Unfortunately, Hurricane Danielle's storm track came a little too close for comfort, and the Jean Charcot had to head back to port in Newfoundland at the end of August. This week, the team sailed back to resume their survey.

    Expedition Titanic's two autonomous underwater vehicles (nicknamed Ginger and Mary Ann, after the "Gilligan's Island" women) and its camera-laden remotely operated vehicle have been back in the water already, although the seas were too choppy for remote operations today.

    Among the shots that have shown up on the expedition's Facebook page are eerie pictures of the officers' cabins and the first-class promenade deck.

    In a video clip, research specialist Bill Lange (who was involved in the 1986 rediscovery expedition) discusses the shift in operations from the ship's bow to its stern. The plan laid out by Lange calls for spiraling out from the stern section and checking a list of high-interest targets.

    "We hit this one, we're covering new ground, because no one's looked at this since '86," Lange said.


  • Titanic wreckage to be raised digitally by new 3D map

    By Laura Roberts - Telegraph

    But now researchers believe they will be able to raise the Titanic - digitally - after amazing High Definition images were beamed back from its final resting place.

    Images originally designed to give scientists an insight into how long it takes for wrecks to disintegrate are to be turned into a 3D map of the wreckage. 

    It will mean people could one day be able to take a 3D tour of the shipwreck. Using state-of-the art HD robotic cameras and sonar, scientists have been able to take the clearest pictures yet of the ship. 

    And they were amazed to find it is far better preserved than was previously thought, despite nearly a century underwater.

    "In many ways we are raising the Titanic digitally. It's a new way of archiving these special wrecks.

    "I'm just excited about one day being able to put on some 3D glasses and see the wreck as it," said Susan Avery, President and Director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, whose scientists are working on the site with RMS Titanic Inc.

    Thousands of images and hours of video were taken by robots for Expedition Titanic two and a half miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic - just over 370 miles from the coast of Newfoundland - using the latest high definition cameras and sonar technology.

    The team will return next month for two weeks before compiling the footage into the 3D map which is likely to take more than a year. It had been thought that the front of the ship was on the verge of collapse but the birdseye view shows the bow, railings and anchors are all still in tact. 

    The largest passenger steamship in the world collided with ice on April 14, 1912, during her maiden voyage and sank with the loss of 1,517 lives.

    Dr Avery added: "It could be that there are some new ecosystems living on the Titanic. We will understand better how these wrecks decay and how long we have to preserve records of them."

    The new images have found evidence of rusticle - rust formation similar to an icicle or stalactite - growth on the starboard side of the bow including one of the anchors and covering portholes. Oceanographers, who began working at the site two weeks ago, have been forced to return to Newfoundland due to high seas and winds brought on by Hurricane Danielle. 

    On their return they will assess the rate of deterioration of the wreck to see how fast it is decaying.


  • Droycon Bioconcepts diving to study the Titanic

    By Doyle Fox - Leader Post

    Lori Johnston and Sean Frisky won't be looking for the fictional necklace named "The Heart of the Ocean" when they dive down in a midget submersible vehicle to see the legendary British ocean liner Titanic in September.

    No, Johnston and Frisky will be representing Regina-based Droycon Bioconcepts and studying the bacteria and other contributing factors to the degradation of the Titanic.

    "Most of the wrecks I've studied, including the Titanic, are designated graveyards," said Johnston, a microbiologist by trade. "We are not there as treasure hunters — everything we do is noninvasive."

    Johnston has visited shipwrecks all over the world, including the Titanic's sister ship HMHS Britannic as well as the German battleship Bismarck. However, she first made the four-kilometre dive to see the world famous shipwreck.

    "On my first dive, we came in contact with the bow and my first thought was 'this is a massive ship and beautiful'," Johnston said. "It wasn't harsh looking, it had a very soft feel."

    Johnston, a University of Regina graduate, has made five dives to study the Titanic with renowned local scientist Roy Cullimore. Together, Johnston and Cullimore studied the bacteria that is eating away the iron on the Titanic.

    "The degradation rate is basically the recycling process of nature — you can try to manage it, but it would be very difficult," Johnston said. "It's more interesting to see nature take its course."

    In 2002, Johnston placed steel platforms built by IPSCO in the degradation "hot-spots" of the Titanic in hopes of discovering the rate at which the ocean liner is degrading.

    Frisky, president of Regina's Ground Effects Environmental Services, said he and Johnston will measure, compare and analyze the "rusticles" left on both the Titanic and on the steel platforms.

    "Rusticles are up to six metres long and they look like icicles on the side of the ship," said Frisky, who is readying for his first dive to Titanic.

    "If there looks like there is enough (rusticles) to give us significant data, we will bring them up," Johnston said.

    Johnston is also excited at the prospect of determining how much electricity can be generated from the rusticles and bacteria on the Titanic.

    She believes the bacteria can generate over one watt of electricity and can potentially be the key to harnessing a greener source of power.

    Aside the from the scientific aspect of the excursion, Johnston still marvels at the human element of the Titanic.

  • Titanic Is Falling Apart

    Emory Kristof - National Geographic

    By Brian Handwerk - National Geographic News

    Slipping beneath the waves on April 15, 1912, the R.M.S. Titanic famously disappeared from view until 1985, when it was rediscovered on the bottom of the North Atlantic. 

    Now, scientists say, the legendary liner—beset by metal-eating life-forms, powerful currents, and possibly even human negligence—could be vanishing for good.

    Titanic is falling apart.

    Already explorers have documented caved-in roofs, weakening decks, a stern perhaps on the edge of collapse, and the disappearance of Titanic's crow's nest—from which lookout Frederick Fleet spotted history's most infamous iceberg.

    "Everyone has their own opinion" as to how long Titanic will remain more or less intact, said research specialist Bill Lange of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.

    "Some people think the bow will collapse in a year or two," Lange said. "But others say it's going to be there for hundreds of years."

    With Lange as optical-survey leader, a new expedition sets sail Sunday from St. John's, Newfoundland — roughly 350 miles (560 kilometers) from the ship's 2.4-mile-deep (3.8-kilometer-deep) resting place.

    The goal: to virtually preserve Titanic in its current state and to finally determine just how far gone the shipwreck is, and how long it might last.

    "We're trying to bring the actual hard data to the people who can make those determinations," Lange said.

    The 20-day Expedition Titanic will use remotely operated submersibles to complete an unprecedented archaeological analysis of the two- by three-mile (three- by five-kilometer) debris field, including Titanic's two halves. The ship's bow and stern separated before sinking and now lie a third of a mile (half a kilometer) apart.

    Thousands of high-resolution photos and video will be combined with acoustic and sonar mapping data to form a 3-D replica of the site, allowing scientists and armchair explorers to probe it in detail. (Explore a 2004 photomosaic of the Titanic wreck.)

    Some photos will reveal never before seen parts of Titanic, organizers say. Other images, when compared to evidence from earlier years, will help experts gauge the rate of the wreck's deterioration.

    Expedition Titanic will gather hard data too, for example by measuring the thickness of the ship's hull and by hauling up and examining experimental steel platforms placed at the site.

    In addition, scientists will take readings of the surrounding water to uncover its ability to support marine life—a prime cause of Titanic's deterioration.

    P.H. Nargeolet, co-leader of Expedition Titanic, made more than 30 submersible dives to the Titanic site in the 1980s and '90s—and saw it decline all the while.

    Between 1987 and 1993, Nargeolet observed the gymnasium roof corroding and collapsing as well as the upper promenade deck deteriorating. On an early '90s dive he saw that the crow's nest—previously seen still attached to the forward mast—had disappeared altogether, apparently damaged to the point where it snapped off and fell to an as yet unidentified location (interactive Titanic wreck diagram).

    "In some places I saw a lot of difference, and in others almost nothing visible has happened," said Nargeolet, director of underwater research for RMS Titanic, Inc., a for-profit corporation that has retrieved Titanic artifacts for traveling exhibitions.

    "For example, the stern section was the most destroyed part of the ship when it sank, and now most of the stern section is collapsed," he said. "The bow is pretty narrow and the strongest part of the ship, and it's still in relatively good condition."


  • Titanic expedition maps wreck site

    Titanic - AP

    By Aaron Gouveia - Cape Cod Times

    Imagine swimming through the wreckage of the RMS Titanic, peeking in portholes and seeing artifacts from nearly 100 years ago sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

    And you don't even have to get wet.

    Creating that scenario is the goal of a group of scientists, including researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, who leave today on a 20-day expedition. They will use the latest in sonar technologies, acoustic imaging and high resolution video to create a virtual 3-D map of the Titanic wreck site that will eventually be accessible online.

    "It's revolutionary in that we'll be using new technology to create the first archaeological site map of the Titanic," said David Gallo, WHOI's director of special operations.

    The project is being led and funded by RMS Titanic Inc., the company with salvage rights to the Titanic and the wreck site.

    Scientists at the oceanographic institution originally found the Titanic two miles beneath the ocean's surface in 1985. But 25 years later, the improvement in underwater technology is staggering, Gallo said.

    Using a combination of remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles, Gallo said advanced sonar will scan the ocean floor around the crash site while a combination of acoustic imaging and WHOI-made 3-D high definition cameras record the area.

    REMUS (Remote Environmental Measuring UnitS), a torpedo-shaped autonomous vehicle that travels in predetermined patterns to collect data, was also developed at WHOI and will be one of the mission's main tools.

    The end result, said Gallo, will be merging all the different technologies to form a mosaic virtual map that will provide the clearest, most precise images of Titanic ever recorded.

    Titanic, which is split on the ocean floor, has been visited in the past to retrieve artifacts, but Gallo said half of the crash site has never been explored. The best part, he said, is that it is not just scientists who will see it all first-hand.

    "Not only will we see a lot of things we've never seen before, but down the road the public will be able to explore for themselves," Gallo said. "No more looking over James Cameron's shoulder."

    In addition to creating a boundary map and charting the exact physical position of the ship, researchers will also document artifacts found within the Titanic and, with luck, gain new insights into the details of the sinking after the massive vessel struck an iceberg on April 15, 1912.

    Scientists will also examine the structural integrity of the fragile iron ship, which has been eaten away by microbes. The microorganism samples could potentially allow researchers to better understand the process of so-called biodeterioration and give scientists an idea of how long the Titanic will remain intact.

    Gallo said there is little doubt the wreck has been beneficial to sea life, but this trip will allow all the animals residing in and around the Titanic to be catalogued.


  • Retracing the Titanic for posterity

    Associated Press

    By Peter Schworm - Boston.com

    A team of top scientists, launching what is billed as the most ambitious and advanced survey of the Titanic, sets out next week to map in photographic detail the entire wreck site, and reconstruct in electronic form the ruins scattered on the seabed.

    By melding photographs, high-definition video and computer imaging, scientists — including experts at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute — plan to create a three-dimensional computer model that will allow scientists and members of the public to “swim’’ through the wreckage online, as though they were at the site more than 2 miles below the ocean surface.

    “We can raise the ship virtually,’’ said James Delgado, the expedition’s principal investigator and president of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology. “The data you can capture is incredible.’’

    Scientific research on this scale, Delgado and others said, has never been attempted at these depths, where the pressure is more than 400 times that on earth’s surface, and the temperature never moves far from 39 degrees. There is no sunlight and little life.

    Since the wreckage was discovered in 1985, expeditions have focused on recovering relics from the world-famous shipwreck and capturing footage of its sundered bow and stern.

    The upcoming 20-day voyage, scheduled to set forth from Newfoundland Sunday, is far more ambitious, a groundbreaking attempt to probe nearly every aspect of the site, from the giant ship’s iconic bow to the colonies of microbes eating away at its iron hull. The mission will also catalog the countless artifacts strewn across the ocean floor.

    Using the latest sonar and computer-imaging technologies, researchers will be able to record the site with new detail, clarity, and accuracy. They hope the pioneering effort will provide a blueprint for future deep-water exploration.

    “We’ve never had the ability to map with such precision,’’ said David Gallo, a leader of the expedition from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who estimates that as much as 40 percent of the vast site has never been surveyed. “We’re going to treat it like an archeological dig, and that’s never been done before at these depths.’’


  • Dropping anchor to engineer a Titanic re-creation

    The 16-tonne anchor constructed by engineers to replicate that on the ill-fated Titanic

    From The Star

    It's the world's most famous shipwreck, lying on the sea floor two and a half miles below the surface of the storm-tossed Atlantic Ocean.

    But a team of Sheffield engineers have been bringing memories of the Titanic back to life - by creating an exact replica of the mighty ship's anchor.

    The project at Sheffield Forgemasters was commissioned by Channel 4 for a new five part series to be shown this autumn, titled We Built Titanic.

    Weighing approximately 16 tonnes, the anchor is the result of more than six months of meticulous planning, casting, forging and machining at the company's Brightside Lane base.

    Researchers for the series discovered that Forgemasters was the only company in the UK capable of manufacturing the heavy components required for the anchor.

    The finished product will be hammer tested - a tradition Edwardian method which uses a 10lb sledge hammer to test its durability - before being transported for display in Netherton, Dudley, where the original anchor was manufactured in the early 20th century.

    Roger Richardson, director of the foundry at Forgemasters International Ltd, said: "The anchor has been a very rewarding project to work on.

    "The Titanic was the most famous ship in modern history, its story captivates people all over the world and to be involved in recreating part of that story is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

    "At Forgemasters we still use some of the traditional techniques and processes that would have been used to make the original anchor, but we combine these with some of the most state-of-the-art technology and equipment in the world."


  • Norfolk judge grants salvage award for Titanic artifacts

    Atrefacts from the Titanic - Associated Press

    By Tim McGlone - The Virginian-Pilot

    A federal judge has granted a salvage award to the company that maintains thousands of Titanic artifacts, but it remains unclear how the company will collect the estimated $110 million value of the pieces.

    U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith late Thursday issued an opinion granting RMS Titanic Inc. an award equal to 100 percent of the fair market value of the artifacts.

    But she said she will take up to another year to decide "the manner in which to pay the award," according to a court filing.

    RMS Titanic Inc. and its parent, Premier Exhibitions Inc., has been battling in court for years to get title to about 5,500 Titanic artifacts that were lifted from the North Atlantic during company-run salvage operations over the past 20 years.

    The federal court here, in the 1990s, awarded the company salvor-in-possession status, meaning the company had exclusive rights to salvage Titanic artifacts. But the court has maintained a tight control over what the company could do with the objects, including strictly prohibiting selling them.

    The Titanic sank in the North Atlantic in 1912 on its maiden voyage. The company plans an expedition to the wreck site next week. Company-hired scientists will assess the deteriorating condition of the shipwreck.

    The fate of the Titanic artifacts has been the subject of a federal court case here for more than 15 years. Smith heard six days of testimony last fall to help her determine the value of the artifacts.

    Premier officials expected the ruling to come in two parts. The judge could have made the extreme decision to award the company nothing, or a percentage of what appraisers pegged as the artifacts' value.


  • New Titanic expedition will create 3D map of wreck

    On 08 April 2012, The Titanic Memorial Cruise will carry the same number of passengers as Titanic

    By Steve Szkotak - Associated Press/Breitbart

    A team of scientists will launch an expedition to the Titanic next month to assess the deteriorating condition of the world's most famous shipwreck and create a detailed three-dimensional map that will "virtually raise the Titanic" for the public.

    The expedition to the site 2 1/2 miles beneath the North Atlantic is billed as the most advanced scientific mission to the Titanic wreck since its discovery 25 years ago.

    The 20-day expedition is to leave St. John's, Newfoundland, on Aug. 18 under a partnership between RMS Titanic Inc., which has exclusive salvage rights to the wreck, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. The expedition will not collect artifacts but will probe a 2-by-3-mile debris field where hundreds of thousands of artifacts remain scattered.

    Some of the world's most frequent visitors to the site will be part of the expedition along with a who's who of underwater scientists and organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    Organizers say the new scientific data and images will ultimately will be accessible to the public.

    "For the first time, we're really going to treat it as an archaeological site with two things in mind," David Gallo, an expedition leader and Woods Hole scientist, told The Associated Press on Monday. "One is to preserve the legacy of the ship by enhancing the story of the Titanic itself. The second part is to really understand what the state of the ship is."

    The Titanic struck ice and sank on its maiden voyage in international waters on April 15, 1912, leaving 1,522 people dead.

    Since oceanographer Robert Ballard and an international team discovered the Titanic in 1985, most of the expeditions have either been to photograph the wreck or gather thousands of artifacts, like fine china, shoes and ship fittings. "Titanic" director James Cameron has also led teams to the wreck to record the bow and the stern, which separated during the sinking and now lie one-third of a mile apart.

    RMS Titanic made the last expedition to site in 2004. The company, a subsidiary of Premier Exhibitions Inc. of Atlanta, conducts traveling displays of the Titanic artifacts, which the company says have been viewed by tens of millions of people worldwide.

    "We believe there's still a number of really exciting mysteries to be discovered at the wreck site," said Chris Davino, president of and CEO of Premier Exhibitions and RMS Titanic. "It's our contention that substantial portions of the wreck site have never really been properly studied."

    RMS Titanic is bankrolling the expedition. Davino declined to state the cost of the exploration other than to say it will be millions of dollars.

    The "dream team" of archaeologists, oceanographers and other scientists want to get the best assessment yet on the two main sections of the ship, which have been subjected to fierce deep-ocean currents, salt water and intense pressure.

    Gallo said while the rate of Titanic's deterioration is not known, the expedition approaches the mission with a sense of urgency.

    "We see places where it looks like the upper decks are getting thin, the walls are thin, the ceilings may be collapsing a bit," he said. "We hear all these anecdotal things about the ship is rusting away, it's collapsing on itself. No one really knows."

    The expedition will use imaging technology and sonar devices that never have been used before on the Titanic wreck and to probe nearly a century of sediment in the debris field to seek a full inventory of the ship's artifacts.


  • Titanic exhibition a rare treasure

    By Karen Rallo - South Bend Tribune

    Want to get a personal glimpse into one of the most notorious maritime disasters ?

    Then take a trip down U.S. 31 to visit “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” Sept. 25 through January at the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis.

    More than 5,400 artifacts have been recovered, following seven expeditions to the site of the Titanic’s final resting place, according to Cheryl Mure, vice president of education for Premier Exhibitions Inc.

    RMS Titanic Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Premier Exhibitions Inc., is the only company permitted to recover objects from the wreckage.

    The company was granted possession rights to the luxury liner, which is scattered in pieces some 12,000 feet beneath the sea, by a United States federal court in 1994.

    The exhibition seeks to transport visitors back to the time of the voyage with room re-creations, says Mure.

    “There’s even an iceberg to touch and feel just how cold the water was on that night. Over 240 artifacts really tell the story. They hold hundreds of memories of the passengers, crew and the ship. That’s what makes it so remarkable,” Mure explains.

    Mure went on to say that the artifacts are exhibited in the very condition they were found in.

    “We don’t restore, we conserve them to prevent any further decay or deterioration,” she explains.

    Personal items like a gold wristwatch or a man’s bowler hat give visitors a sense of the various travelers, rich or poor.

    “Who did they belong to? What was he like? Where was he going? These are real objects. This ship started out with such hope and expectation, especially for over 700 immigrants,” says Mure.

    Upon entering the exhibition, visitors will be given a replica of an actual boarding pass with the real name of a passenger who boarded the Titanic. After completing the tour, visitors will go to the Memorial Gallery to learn if the passengers named on their boarding passes survived or perished when the Titanic sank, according to Mure.


  • Searching for sea treasures

    By Nathan Bruttell - Today's News-Herald

    Pitch black, icy water, 230 feet below the surface and inside a 54-year-old collapsing ship.

    That combination would scare most people, but for Havasu resident Joel Silverstein, the dive down to the famous Andrea Doria shipwreck is as good as it gets.

    “You have to be able to work in the dark, you have to be able to work alone and you need a fair amount of resolve.

    This is a very dangerous location and fatalities do happen,” said Silverstein, vice president and COO of Havasu’s Tech Diving Limited. “Sometimes it’s flat calm and perfect down there. Other days it’s a washing machine.”

    But the famous ocean liner shipwreck that sunk in 1956 after colliding with the Swedish liner Stockholm in the waters off Nantucket still gives up treasures, Silverstein said.

    On June 25 aboard Capt. David Sutton’s R/V Explorer on the Silverstein/Sutton 2010 Andrea Doria Expedition, New Jersey divers Ernest Rookey and Carl Bayer located and recovered the “crow’s nest bell” from the Andrea Doria. The bell is considered to be “one of the most significant finds in the history of the wreck,” Silverstein said.

    “This is an outstanding and historic find,” said Silverstein, the expedition leader during the find, in June. “In my 18 years of diving the Doria, this is probably the most significant artifact found.”

    Andrea Doria historian and author Gary Gentile, who found the wreck’s stern bell in 1985, was also aboard the Silverstein/Sutton expedition.

    “There was never any proof that a crow’s nest bell existed until today,” said Gentile in June.

    Gentile has been diving the wreck since 1974 and has more documented dives on the Andrea Doria than any other diver, according to a press release. Fewer than 1,000 divers have visited the wreck from all over the world and 13 have lost their lives.

    Silverstein said the dangers, depth, isolation, freezing temperatures and strong currents have combined to earn the Andrea Doria the nickname as “the Mount Everest of dives.”

    “The danger and the intrigue of finding something significant make it one of the most famous dives in the world,” Silverstein said, adding that he’s made 14 dives on the wreck since 1992. Silverstein’s wife and Tech Diving Limited President Kathy Weydig has made several dives as well.

    “We take a lot of precautions before heading out and safety is our absolute first priority. Finding artifacts is actually easier now than it used to be because it has collapsed and they’re just spilling out. Most divers don’t enter the inside anymore.”

    Finding the crow’s nest bell was a combination of “great skill and a little bit of luck,” Silverstein said.

    The 75-pound bronze bell, which holds the Andrea Doria name, was largely covered in sand and debris on the ocean floor when Bayer and Rookey first saw it.

  • 25th anniversary Of Atocha shipwreck discovery

    From cbs4

    Twenty-five years after Mel Fisher and his crew located the shipwrecked Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha off Key West, treasures and artifacts are still being discovered under the leadership of Fisher's son Kim Fisher and grandson Sean Fisher.

    Meanwhile, to commemorate the find's 25th anniversary on Tuesday, July 20, rare Atocha artifacts are being debuted at the Key West museum established by Mel Fisher, who died in 1998.

    The Atocha, carrying gold, silver and other riches from the New World home to Spain, sank in a 1622 hurricane.

    Mel Fisher and his crew, including his wife and their children, spent 16 grueling years searching for the wreck site. They discovered the $450 million "main pile" of treasure and artifacts July 20, 1985, in approximately 55 feet of water 35 miles southwest of Key West.

    Underwater archaeologists and divers recovered gold and silver coins and bars, contraband emeralds, jewelry, cannons and other weapons, pottery and unique navigational instruments from the site.

    But according to the Atocha's manifest, much remains undiscovered.

    "Twenty-five years ago we found 47 tons of silver, but since then we've been looking for the rest of her," said Sean Fisher, who was then age 7 and is now vice-president of the family enterprise.

    "There's still another 130,000 silver coins and over 400 silver bars that we haven't found."

    The wreck also yielded significant information about the Spanish empire and 17th-century shipboard life.

  • Mahogany Ship search extends into space

    By Matt Neal - The Standard

    Two men have claimed to have found the fabled Mahogany Ship on the same day - in two different locations. 

    Ross Poulter, a Warrnambool chef, spoke to The Standard last week to detail his theory about the wreck's resting place. Less than an hour after that interview took place, Rob Simpson, of Boronia, contacted The Standard suggesting that he too had found the lost ship.

    Both men have used Google Earth to help them find their locations for the legendary wreck, which has been suggested to have been everything from a Portuguese caravel to a Chinese junk to a colonial-era English vessel.

    Mr Poulter's research began with the "Stewart position" - a longitude and latitude reputedly found in a religious book many years ago that is well-known to previous Mahogany Ship hunters.

    But while many people have been looking for the wreck in the dunes, to account for the shifting sands of time, Mr Poulter believes the wreck lies "two to two and a half miles east of Gormans Road ... and roughly a cricket pitch length out to sea".

    "It's about three feet under the sea but the hull outline is as plain as day," Mr Poulter said.

    Some wooden beams he found in the nearby dunes, just metres away from where he said the submerged ship's hull lies, were tested and turned out to be messmate or eucalypt, but Mr Poulter is undeterred.


  • Two N.J. divers find historic Andrea Doria bell at famous shipwreck site

    By Grace Chung - The Star-Ledger

    Two New Jersey divers sent waves throughout the wreck-diving community with the discovery of what is believed to the "bridge bell" from the historic shipwreck of the Andrea Doria, the luxury Italian ocean liner that sunk in 1953 off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts.

    Ernest Rookey, of Jackson, and Carl Bayer, of Hillsborough, were part of an expedition team diving on the wreck when they made the find 240 feet below the ocean's surface.

    Both men were diving the Andrea Doria for the first time as last minute fill-ins on the expedition after two other crew members dropped out.

    “This is an incredibly significant find,” said expedition group leader, Joel Silverstein, of Arizona. “Think of it like finding a needle in a haystack.”

    The bell, which weighs about 75lbs and stands two feet tall, is one of the few artifacts which has the ship’s name engraved on it.

    The last major discovery was made when the stern bell was discovered by a group led by Gary Gentile in 1985, according to Silverstein.

    The Andrea Doria, which was once considered Italy's flagship, has attracted thousands of divers since 1953, but most only go down one or two times "just to say that they went there,” said Silverstein.

    Many consider it the Mount Everest of SCUBA diving because of the remote location and challenging conditions, Silverstein said.

    Even among divers in the “core group” who have made multiple trips to the wreck, most only return with a few pieces of china, glassware, or portholes, said Silverstein, who has made 56 dives on the Andrea Doria wreck since 1992.


  • In the Archives: Ypsi's Submarine Diver

    The Atlantic

    By Laura Bien - The Ann Harbor chronicle

    In the summer of 1852, $36,000 in cash and gold bars lay in a locked safe 165 feet deep on the floor of Lake Erie.

    Worth $920,000 today, the riches lay within the wreck of the steamship Atlantic. So did more grisly testimony of the shipwreck’s victims, estimated as ranging from 130 to over 250. The deaths represented about a third of the 576 travelers packed onto a steamship meant to accommodate far fewer.

    The era’s stream of immigrants pouring west made a profitable trade for passenger steamers traveling the Great Lakes.

    The Atlantic was the fastest one of all, speeding to Detroit from Buffalo in just 16-and-a-half hours. A towering steam engine churned huge paddle wheels on either side of the vessel.

    Despite her power and 267-foot-long brawn, the Atlantic succumbed when she was struck on the night of Aug. 20, 1852, by the Ogdensburg, a ship from a rival ferry line.

    In the chaos and panic that ensued as the Atlantic began sinking, several of the lifeboats swamped when they hit the water.

    Some passengers grabbed cushions or anything buoyant and jumped in the water. The Ogdensburg circled back and picked up about 250 survivors from the water.

    Immigrants among the rescued traveled on into the new world with no possessions, and some, according to survivor Amund Eidsmoe, one of the 132 Norwegians on board, went in a half-naked state to Milwaukee.

    In that city, a collection was taken up for their benefit. Eisdsmoe received $30 and a suit of clothes.


  • Titanic's treasures travel the world

    Titanic - One News

    From AAP

    She never completed her maiden voyage, but the Titanic's treasures are travelling the world.

    Already seen by 22 million people in 72 cities in the United States and Europe, Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition features more than 280 treasures that lay deep in the North Atlantic Sea for 73 years inside one of the most luxurious liners ever constructed.

    There is an imposing steel first class "D" deck door originally mounted to the hull through which passengers would hurry to reserve the best tables in the dining room. Chamber pots sit beside chandeliers, gold watches alongside wool socks. 

    Visitors can enter the recreated spaces of the Grand Staircase, and accommodation from the first- and third-class cabins. There is also an iceberg for the intrepid to touch. 

    US-based RMS Titanic (RMST) has made seven expeditions to the shipwreck site since 1987, amassing more than 5,500 pieces for restoration and preservation.


  • Students dive into mystery of Civil War submarine Hunley

    By Betty Klinck - USA Today

    Part of the story is solid. Part of it remains a mystery.

    What is certain is that on the night of Feb. 17, 1864, the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley sank the USS Housatonic in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina to become the first submarine to sink a ship during combat.

    Then the Hunley itself literally sank into oblivion when it went down with its crew of eight. The resting place of the Civil War submarine, which had remained a mystery for more than century, finally was discovered in 1995 off Sullivan's Island.

    But before the submarine sank, the story goes, it flashed a blue light to Confederate soldiers on the shore to signal success.

    But as this part of the story comes from second- and third-hand accounts, it "gets a little fuzzy," says archaeologist Mike Scafuri of the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in Charleston, where the recovered Hunley is on display.

    Nobody knows whether the signal was supposed to be made directly after the attack or as the Hunley approached shore, Scafuri says. And another question remains: Could a lantern have produced a strong enough light for the soldiers to see?

    To try to answer the question of the mysterious blue signal, 12 students at Hamburg (Pa.) Area High School are building three replicas of the submarine's lantern in the school's metal shop.

    Retired history teacher Ned Eisenhuth and retired shop teacher Fred Lutkis began the project after expressing interest last summer in the history of the Hunley to the Lasch Conservation Center. Before they retired, Eisenhuth and Lutkis had worked with students at Minersville (Pa.) Area High School to create replicas of a Viking burial sled and a medieval cart.

    These will be the only true replicas of the Hunley's lantern, Eisenhuth says. Next month, the school plans to donate the best replica of the lantern to the conservation center, which has been studying the submarine since it was excavated in 2000 with help from the Friends of the Hunley Organization.


  • Titanic attraction remarkably engaging and respectful

    By Bruce C. Steele - Take5

    As I enter the newly opened Titanic museum, I'm handed a boarding pass.

    The good news is I've been assigned the identity of Isidor Straus, the wealthy founder of Macy's department store. He and his wife, Ida, stayed in one of the best first-class suites on the ship.

    It's the room where Jack draws a nude portrait of Rose in James Cameron's movie. And it's faithfully reproduced on the second floor of the museum.

    The bad news is I'm one of the 1,517 people who perished when the ship hit an iceberg and sank at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912. The outside of “Titanic: The World's Largest Museum Attraction,” as it's called, is a huge, half-scale reproduction of the front half of the ship, apparently about to sail across Parkway, Pigeon Forge's main drag.

    But beyond the goofball exterior is a remarkably informative, entertaining and, yes, respectful museum. In addition to its treasure trove of authentic artifacts — a deck chair, Mrs. Astor's actual life jacket, a crew member's penknife — it recounts in detail the lives of dozens of the ship's passengers who might otherwise have been forgotten.

    “I like to say whether you're 5 or 95, you're going to enjoy this experience and how it pays tribute to those who were on board,” said John Joslyn, who owns and created the attraction with his wife, Mary Kellogg. “It tells their story.”

    The research is impressive — and unique, since much of it is driven by the artifacts on hand.


  • Central School field trip-goers view shipwreck

    From Wicked Local Cape Cod

    Back in 1746, the famous HMS Somerset was built in England to be a British Man of War ship. It wrecked off the cost of Truro Nov. 2, 1778. Back in 1775, ‘’hardly a man is now alive that still remembers’’ the British warship floating off of the Charlestown shore.

    But on April 20, 2010, the Truro Central School 5th grade class went to Race Point Beach in Provincetown and hiked about two miles into Truro to see the remnants of the wreck of that same British warship.

    With the crashing waves and the beautiful blue skies, we made it just in time for low tide and saw the ribs sticking out of the sand. The remains were beautiful.

    After braving the white, explosive waves to take some pictures, we all emerged with frozen toes. It was absolutely amazing to touch an important part of history, to feel something that people sailed on 232 years ago.

    It was astonishing to know that the ship that we touched was the same ship that Paul Revere rowed past in a small rowboat on his fateful midnight ride.

    Our visit also just happened to be the day after that famous day- April 19- what we now know as Patriot’s Day.



  • New Anzac memories for HMS Centaur

    By Robert Blackmore - ABC Sunshine Coast

    Now that the location of the sunken hospital ship the Centaur is known, this Anzac Day will hold a special significance for the relatives of those who lost their lives in 1943.

    Now that the location of the sunken hospital ship the Centaur is known, this Anzac Day will hold a special significance for the relatives of those who lost their lives in 1943.

    As Australians all over the world prepare to remember our lost diggers during Anzac Day memorials and dawn services, the memory of the Centaur will begin a new phase.

    For more than 60 years the exact location of the World War II hospital ship torpedoed by the Japanese of the South East Queensland coast had not been known. However with the site now found by ship wreck hunter David Mearns and images of the Centaur being made public, the 268 people lost when it sunk in 1943 can be remembered with a new sense of closure.

    The shipwreck was found last December and a wreath will be laid during Sunday's service at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast. Centaur Association president Richard Jones says this Sunday's Anzac Day will have added significance for the friends and relatives of those killed in the Centaur sinking.

    Mr Jones says there is now a feeling of relief since the wreck was found and this Sunday's ceremony will have extra meaning for people who lost someone.

    "In the past they participated in Anzac Day marches, but it's always been, 'well, we know it happened but we don't know where they are' and that question's been settled once and for all," he said.


  • Sunken Treasure Ship of Playa de Oro Beach Manzanillo

    SS Golden Gate

    From Manzanillo Blogger

    146 years ago on the Sunday evening of July 27, 1862 this beautiful beach provided a much different scene. The surf was up that afternoon, viciously beating the shores.

    Reflected in the violent waters was the inferno of flames pouring out of a nearby wrecked ship.

    The very waves that surfers now carve were strewn with the battered bodies, wreckage, and gold that had fallen overboard.

    The screams of the drowning burning men must have been terrible, covered over only by the roar of the unrelenting surf and explosions from the nearby shipwreck.

    How did this happen ? It was the middle of the American Civil War. The boat was the S.S. Golden Gate, one of the fastest paddle steam ships on the West Coast.

    338 passengers and crew, along with a reported $1.4 million in gold were sailing on a voyage from San Francisco to Panama. They never made it.

    When the S.S. Golden Gate was just 15 miles off the shore of Manzanillo Mexico it was reported that there was a fire in the engine room. Since they were only a short distance away from the safety of shore the ship headed towards the beach.

    The spot where they landed was at a rock called Pena Blanca.

    The passengers were ordered off into lifeboats, but many never made it.

    The fire spread rapidly, quickly engulfed the entire ship in an inferno of flames. The survivors were forced to jump overboard, putting themselves at the mercy of the currents and violent waves. Many died in the relentless surf, too weak and injured to make it to shore.

    When help finally arrived 204 of the passengers and crew of the S.S. Golden Gate had already died. The ship itself was completely destroyed by the flames and pounding seas.

    The massive iron boxes that had contained the golden treasure sunk down into the sand were quickly buried.

  • The strange mystery of the ship and the cursing stone

    HMS Wasp

    From the Derry Journal

    The six survivors of the sinking of the HMS Wasp at Tory Island in 1884 were given a rousing welcome when they got to Derry afterwards.

    Was the shipwreck the result of a catalogue of errors - or were dark otherworldly forces called up by the islanders ? 

    Ken McCormack investigates. Did the Cursing Stone of Tory sink the Wasp ?

    It is one of the country's great unsolved mysteries. How could a sound ship, in familiar waters and in good weather conditions, be lost on rocks at Tory Island ?

    Despite an Admiralty enquiry, no logical reason has ever been given. On Tory the story is still as alive as it was on that fateful night of September 1884. And you'll meet island folk who'll tell you outright that HMS Wasp perished because Tory's famous 'Cursing Stone' was turned against the vessel.

    HMS Wasp was a 145 foot long gunboat powered by steam and sail. She was built in 1880 and based in Queenstown (Cobh, Co.Cork) with a complement of sixty crewmen. Her main functions were to convey parties for fishery and lighthouse inspections or other official duties.

    And while she had delivered relief foodstuffs to the offshore islands, she also had the more distasteful task of ferrying bailiffs and constabulary for rent collections and evictions.

    The talk on Derry Quay was that the sailors were not at all happy with these missions to the islands. Certainly such raids were the source of major discontent – landlords and the agents of officialdom were despised in equal measure and not welcome on Tory or anywhere else along the coast.

    In the 1880s Derry was a thriving city and popular with the crew of the Wasp. She berthed at the port frequently throughout 1883 as did her sister ship HMS Valiant. And such were the high spirits on one visit that the sailors of both vessels opted to have their photographs taken at Hugh Kerr's new studio in Carlisle Road. How strange fate is – I'm sure both sets of crewmen never suspected they'd be in the throes of a major disaster within a year.

    It happened that early on the morning of Sunday 21 September 1884 HMS Wasp left Westport in Mayo with instructions to sail up the coast to Moville on the Foyle to collect personnel for evictions on Innistrahull Island just off Malin Head.

    The crew of the Wasp were familiar with the passage and the trip was going well as the small hours of the following morning approached.

    More to read...

  • Human Rights court rules against Vrow Maria divers

    Vrow Maria

    From Helsingin Sanomat

    The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a claim made by a group of divers against the Finnish state concerning a ship that sank in Finnish waters in the 18th century.

    The court ruled against the divers who found the wreck of the Dutch ship, the Vrow Maria, off the southwest tip of Finland.

    According to the ruling, Finland did not violate the divers’ rights by forbidding them from raising the sunken ship wreck, or from taking objects found in it.

    The divers felt that as sea rescuers, they would have the right to monetary compensation for finding the Vrow Maria. They felt that Finland had treated them unfairly, and had favoured the Maritime Museum of Finland.

    The Vrow Maria went down in the waters of Nauvo while en route to St. Petersburg.

    The discovery of the wreck in 1999 led to a dispute between the finders and the National Board of Antiquities.

    The lengthy legal battle that followed was a test of how legislation on ancient artefacts should apply to objects found under water.

    The sunken vessel was found by the Pro Vrow Maria association, under the direction of professional diver Rauno Koivusaari.

    The finders stipulated that they were engaging in maritime rescue, as defined under maritime legislation, when they brought up three clay pipes, one ceramic bottle, a seal, and a zinc ingot from the vessel in 1999.

    They also felt that in accordance with maritime legislation, they were entitled to rescue compensation, and that as the first on the site, they were entitled to the salvage of the entire cargo.

    The claim was rejected by Turku District Court in 2004. In the following year, the Turku Court of Appeals agreed that the wreck and its cargo are property of the state, in accordance with the law on antiquities.

    The Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on the matter in November 2005, after which the plaintiffs appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.




  • The SS Georgiana lost and found


    Lee E. Spence

    From Nashua Telegraph

    Today (March 19th) in 1863, the SS Georgiana, reportedly the most powerful cruiser built for the Confederate Navy, failed to make it past the Federal Blockading Squadron and into Charleston, SC.

    The ship’s desperate crew was forced to beach the Georgiana and flee, after which the Union forces set the wreck on fire. As this was the ship’s maiden voyage, the Confederate forces were less than encouraged by this outcome.

    By all accounts, the Georgiana was a beautiful ship, outfitted not only for war but for the raiding of enemy merchant vessels (a practice known as privateering).

    She was 226 feet long, with space for up to 14 guns, and powered by a steam engine that turned a propeller 12 feet in diameter. Her cargo holds were extra roomy, able to accommodate more than four hundred tons of cargo.

    For her maiden voyage today in 1863, the Georgiana was loaded up with merchandise, munitions, medicines, and (supposedly) 350 pounds of gold. None of the cargo made it to its intended destination, with everything but the gunpowder sinking to the bottom of the sea along with the Georgiana.

    The gunpowder, as you may imagine, was consumed when the ship was set on fire by the Union forces. There was so much gunpowder on board that the Georgiana burned for three days (punctuated by intermittent explosions) before it finally sank.

    Exactly 102 years later in 1965, 18-year-old E. Lee Spence discovered the sunken Georgiana while diving. He didn’t have to go very deep – the ship’s boiler is a mere five feet under the surface.


  • Nazi wreck puts Berlin at odds with salvager

    Graf Spee

    From The Local

    The Admiral Graf Spee, the German "pocket battleship" scuttled to Uruguay in 1939, is caught in the middle of a struggle between the businessman salvaging it and the German government, which wants to prevent its commercialization.

    "We always proposed a serious historical and cultural destiny" for the remains of the Graf Spee while "contemplating fair compensation" for the work and investment made to recover its remains, Alfredo Etchegaray, the businessman, told AFP.

    During a visit to Montevideo this week, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said his desire was "to prevent the remains of the symbols of the Nazi regime from becoming commercialized."

    "What we want really is to reach a constructive deal," he said, adding that Germany was prepared to support the presentation of the remains "in a historical context, like a museum."

    In 2006, divers hired by Etchegaray recovered an imposing Nazi bronze eagle measuring 2.8 meters (nine feet) wide by two meters high and weighing 350 kilogrammes (770 pounds) from the stern of the Graf Spee.

    Two years earlier, they had come up with a 27-tonne rangefinder used to direct the ship's cannons. And in 1998, a 155 millimeter (six-inch) gun from the ship's secondary armament was salvaged.

    The underwater salvage group planned to bring up more cannons and other pieces of the Graf Spee, but were barred from doing so by a Uruguayan government decree.

    After the recovery of the Nazi eagle, with its outspread wings and swastika, Germany sent a note to the Uruguayan foreign ministry claiming ownership of the Graf Spee and opposing continuation of the salvage work.


  • Team finds lost U.K., Japan coins


    Coins from Ertugrul

    From the Japan Times

    A Japanese-Turkish research team announced Monday the discovery of a British-minted gold coin and a Japanese silver coin from a Turkish warship that sank 120 years ago off Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture.

    "Still there should be lots of gold coins" inside the ship Ertugrul, said Tufan Turanli, who heads the underwater archaeological team.

    The gold coin, dated 1856, measures 2.2 cm in diameter and weighs 8 grams.

    Ertugrul, a 76-meter wooden ship of the Ottoman Turks, sank in a typhoon in 1890 after the Turkish delegation on board delivered a message and decoration to Emperor Meiji.

    Of the 650 crew members, 69 were rescued by local residents. The rescue has become a symbol of Japan-Turkey friendship.

    The gold coin was retrieved at a depth of 12 meters. The team, which launched a three-year survey in 2008, has already discovered about 5,800 items from the wreck.

  • Titanic artifacts exhibit an amazing adventure

    By Amy Robinson - Sunday Gazette Mail

    When I was in the third or fourth grade, I purchased Robert Ballard's "Exploring the Titanic: How the Greatest Ship Ever Lost Was Found" at a school book fair, thus beginning my interest in the Titanic. In fact, for several years, I wanted to be a marine archaeologist and go on expeditions like Ballard.

    So when I found out that my family vacation this fall would include a day in Las Vegas, where the Luxor Hotel houses "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition," I was very excited.

    This was the chance to see in real life what I'd only seen in pictures.

    Your experience starts before you even enter the exhibit hall, when the ticket taker hands you a "boarding pass." On the back, there is a profile of a Titanic passenger.

    At the end of the exhibit is a memorial that lists all the ship's passengers. You can see what your fate is.

    I was first-class passenger Margaret Brown -- aka The Unsinkable Molly Brown, so I knew from the start that I survived. We learned at the end that, of my family, my sister survived but my parents perished.



  • Wreck may hold clue to nation's discovery

    Kieran Hosty

    By Steve Meacham - Smh.com.au

    Did American whalers discover the east coast of Australia before Captain Cook ?

    That is the intriguing question a crack team of maritime archaeologists, divers and marine scientists hope to answer when they sail tomorrow for a remote reef 450 kilometers off the coast of Queensland.

    The expedition leader, Kieran Hosty, describes the 200-year-old mystery of Wreck Reef as one of the great untold sagas of our maritime history.

    The story began in 1803, after Matthew Flinders had completed his epic circumnavigation of Australia and was returning to England. He was a passenger on HMS Porpoise, a 10-gun sloop under the command of Lieutenant Robert Fowler.

    The ship was traveling in convoy, accompanied by Cato, an armed cargo ship, and Bridgewater, a cargo ship owned by the East India Company.

    But disaster struck close to midnight on August 17 when Porpoise hit an uncharted reef in the dark. Fowler ordered a cannon to be fired to warn the other ships.

    In the confusion Cato and Bridgewater were heading for a catastrophic collision until Captain Park, on the Cato, changed course, even though that meant hitting the reef about 400 meters from the Porpoise.

    More to read...

  • South Pole explorers to drill for Sir Ernest Shackleton's whiskey



    Sir Ernest Shackleton


    By Simon Johnson -Telegraph

    Explorers are planning to recover a rare batch of whiskey lost during explorer's ill-fated voyage to the South Pole a century ago.

    Two crates of the now extinct “Rare Old” brand of McKinlay and Co whiskey have been buried in the Antarctic ice since Shackleton was forced to abandon his polar mission in 1909. 

    But Whyte & Mackay, the whiskey giant that owns McKinlay and Co, has asked a team of New Zealand explorers heading out on a January expedition to return a sample of the drink for a series of experiments. 

    The team intends to utilise special drills to free the trapped crates and rescue a bottle from the wreckage, which is believed to have been discarded 97 miles from the pole.

    If they cannot retrieve a full bottle, they are hoping to use a syringe to extract some of the contents.

    The sample will then be brought home to Richard Paterson, Whyte & Mackay's master blender, who intends to replicate the famous old whiskey.


  • Bones of English sailor from disastrous expedition returned to U.K.

     By Randy Boswell - Canwest News Service

    More than 160 years after his death in the Canadian Arctic during the ill-fated Franklin Expedition, the bones of an English sailor — among the only human remains ever repatriated from the disastrous 19th-century search for the Northwest Passage — have been laid to rest once more during a solemn rededication ceremony in London attended by Canada's High Commissioner, James Wright.

    The service, also attended by Parks Canada's top marine archeologist, Robert Grenier, followed the refurbishment and relocation of a monument dedicated to the sacrifice of the expedition's 130 members, who perished in the late 1840s after their ships — the Terror and the Erebus — became locked in ice near Nunavut's King William Island.

    The 20-year search for the ships commanded by Sir John Franklin yielded various artifacts and the graves of several of the doomed crewmen, including that of Lt. Henry Le Vesconte.

  • Officials from Titanic Historical Society in Springfield shocked


    Edouard S.Kamuda

    By Ray Kelly - Massachusetts Live.com

    Leaders of the Indian Orchard-based Titanic Historical Society reacted with shock on Monday to news that another salvage mission to the world’s most famous shipwreck is under consideration.

    “Oh, God,” said Edward S. Kamuda, president of the 4,000-member international society. “I was under the impression that they were going to lay off of this.”

    The first expedition to the North Atlantic wreck site since 2004 was revealed in a filing by RMS Titanic Inc. in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, Va., where four days of hearings are scheduled this week on the company’s claim for a salvage award.

    U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, a maritime jurist who considers the wreck an “international treasure,” will preside over the hearings. They are intended to establish legal guarantees that thousands of Titanic artifacts remain intact as a collection and forever accessible to the public. Some pieces have ended up in London auction houses.

    Lawyers for RMS Titanic Inc. confirmed a possible expedition in 2010 to the Associated Press, but declined to discuss the plans in detail.

    More to read...

  • Titanic expedition possible in 2010

    By Steve Szkotak - Associated Press

    The company that has exclusive rights to salvage the Titanic is planning a possible expedition to the world's most famous shipwreck in 2010.

    The first expedition to the North Atlantic wreck site since 2004 is revealed in a filing by RMS Titanic Inc. in U.S. District Court, where four days of hearings are scheduled to begin Monday on the company's claim for a salvage award.

    Lawyers for RMS Titanic Inc. confirmed the expedition plans but declined to discuss them in detail.

    "That is something that is being looked at right now but it's not in any way a done deal," attorney Robert W. McFarland said in an interview. He said the company would have more to say at this week's hearing.

    U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, a maritime jurist who considers the wreck an "international treasure," will preside over the hearings.

    They are intended to determine a salvage award and establish legal guarantees that thousands of Titanic artifacts remain intact as a collection and forever accessible to the public. Some pieces have ended up in London auction houses.

    The 5,900 pieces of china, ship fittings and personal belongings are valued in excess of $110 million and are displayed around the world by Premier Exhibitions Inc., an Atlanta company. RMS Titanic is a subsidiary of Premier.

    The Titanic sank on its maiden voyage in international waters on April 15, 1912, and has been subject to competing legal claims since an international team led by oceanographer Robert Ballard found it in 1985. Since then, RMS Titanic has retrieved artifacts during six dives.

    Courts have declared it salvor-in-possession — meaning it has exclusive rights to salvage the Titanic — but have explicitly stated it does not own the 5,900 artifacts or the wreck itself.

    At the hearings this week in Norfolk, lawyers for RMS Titanic will essentially seek title to the artifacts and a monetary award for its salvage costs. More than a dozen experts will be called to support the company's claim, according to a court filing.

    In seeking a salvage award, RMS Titanic will have to document the labor it devoted to its previous expeditions, the risks incurred during the 2 1/2-mile trips beneath the Atlantic to the Titanic wreck site, and the preservation efforts and archaeological value of the wreck and its contents, among other factors.

    Smith, the judge, has drawn upon the government to help craft covenants to keep the artifacts preserved, intact as a collection and available to the public.

    She is mindful of the Titanic's place in history and the 1,522 people who died when it went down after it struck ice nearly a century ago, based on her previous statements from the bench.

    "I am concerned that the Titanic is not only a national treasure, but in its own way an international treasure, and it needs protection and it needs to be monitored," the judge told lawyers in the case nearly one year ago.

    If the court agrees to RMS Titanic's request, the company could sell the entire collection to a museum with court approval. The company has said it has no plans to do so. The judge will also consider a competing claim.

    Douglas Faulkner Woolley, a British citizen, challenges RMS Titanic's legal claim to the wreck site and plans his own salvage operation. Lawyers for RMS Titanic declined to discuss the competing challenge.

    International protections have been sought for the Titanic almost since the wreck was discovered.

  • Expert to unfurl the majestic tale of the Titanic

    By Helen Jardine - BDA Sun

    More than two decades ago he was collecting jewellery from the deck of the RMS Titanic, two and a half miles beneath the ocean's surface.

    Last week he was discussing climate change and space travel with Buzz Aldrin - the second man ever to walk on the moon.

    This week ocean explorer, doctor and author Joe MacInnis is in Bermuda to give a talk on the exploration and salvage of one of the world's most famous shipwrecks.

    "Titanic is one of those wonderful, extraordinary, majestic stories that everybody can project themselves into," Dr. MacInnis said. "People wonder where they could be on that ship and ask themselves, 'what would I have done on that night?'"

    Dr. MacInnis went on his first dive of the Titanic in 1987, when he says he had an "extraordinary experience".

    He explained: "I was with the French team and we were at the bottom of the ocean looking into the sediment and the pilot stopped the submarine and said, 'What's that?'

    "It was a small bronze statue of a woman with an uplifted arm, about three feet long. And we recognized it right away because it was such an iconic image - it was the statue that stood at the bottom of the grand staircase.


  • Mary Celeste discovery hints to a shady past

    The Mary Celeste

    By James Whittaker - BDA Sun

    A bottle of wine, discovered by scuba divers in the wake of Hurricane Bill, could help piece together an untold subplot of one of Bermuda's most storied shipwrecks.

    The corked bottle, dated 1853, was found amid the wreckage of the Mary Celeste - a steam-powered blockade runner used to transport guns to British forces during the American Civil War. And experts believe it could hint at the ship's role in a trans-Atlantic black market wine trade. 

    The ship went down off the South Shore in 1864 claiming the life of the cook, who is rumored to have scrambled below decks in a futile bid to retrieve his wages.

    The latest discovery, made by curator of wrecks Phillipe Rouja, hints at another role for the fated paddle wheel steamer.

    "It's not worth that much in itself, but what it tells us about the story is more pleasing," said Mr Rouja.

    "The wine had to have come from France, so while they were running guns it seems as though they were also running bottles of wine.

    "Somewhere there was probably a buyer for this. It speaks to a black market trade."

    The discovery was made in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Bill. The storm churned up the seabed around the wreck, exposing parts of the ship that had been buried under sand for years.

    "You usually cannot see the stern at all but this time it was completely exposed, right down to the keel."

    After making the find Mr Rouja immediately closed off the wreck to recreational divers. It is relatively unusual to discover new artifacts on Bermuda's shipwrecks, which have been heavily salvaged over the years, and he was keen to preserve the site.

    He had planned further archaeological dives in a bid to retrieve pieces of the crate and confirm his theory that the wine bottle was part of a larger order destined for sale in the South.


  • Shipwreck declared national historic site

    Empress of Ireland

    By Randy Boswell - Canwest News Service

    Nearly a century after the Empress of Ireland sank in the St. Lawrence River and took the lives of more than 1,000 passengers and crew, the wreck of the elegant luxury liner that represents Canada's worst maritime disaster has finally been declared a national historic site.

    The mammoth, Titanic-era cruise ship — once lamented as "the orphan of Canadian heritage" because its wreck site near Rimouski, Que., was plundered by divers for decades — is also famous for its role in transporting tens of thousands of immigrants to Canada during a pivotal period in the country's growth.

    Today, about one million Canadians are descendants of immigrants who arrived in this country aboard the 174-metre Empress of Ireland, which crossed the Atlantic Ocean regularly for about a decade before colliding with a Norwegian coal freighter in dense fog on May 29, 1914, and sinking in 30 metres of water.

    "This sea tragedy marked the memory of an entire generation, and we have to make sure that it is not forgotten," Environment Minister Jim Prentice, who oversees Parks Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board, said in announcing the designation. "It is important to allow every Canadian to know about this page of history and to honour those who lost their lives."

    More to read...

  • Queen bypasses Bermuda's celebration of four centuries of colonial history

    Sea Venture wreck

    From James Bone - Times Online

    The Queen is skipping today’s celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Britain’s oldest colony after a row with the island’s pro-independence leader.

    Bermuda is commemorating the shipwreck on July 28, 1609, of the Sea Venture, the flagship of a fleet sent to resupply the Jamestown colony in America.

    Sailors, including the crew of the visiting Royal Navy destroyer HMS Manchester, will re-enact the 150 settlers rowing ashore on what is now St Catherine’s Beach to start four centuries of continuous settlement of the mid-Atlantic island.

    Neither Queen Elizabeth II, the island’s sovereign, nor Ewart Brown, the elected pro-independence Premier, however, will be present for the celebrations.

  • Firm believes Lake Erie shipwreck is long lost vessel of Admiral Perry

    Lake Erie

    By Dave McKinley - WGRZ.com

    There are many shipwrecks beneath the waters of Lake Erie.

    But a salvage outfit called Northeast Research LLC believes one sitting in 176 feet of water 20 miles off the coast of Dunkirk to be of significant historical interest.

    "If it's the ship we believe it is, then it was built in 1797," said Northeast Research videographer Pat Clyne who has made several dives on what he now believes is the Caledonia, a warship once used by Admiral Perry in the war of 1812, and later refitted as a commercial schooner called the General Wayne.

    "Even if it isn't, it's still a turn of the century built ship in absolutely perfect shape," Clyne told 2 On Your Side.

    As they continue to pull up artifacts and do research to positively identify the vessel, they are also working on a plan to raise it and display it in a large aquarium on Buffalo's waterfront.

    It would be a monumental task both technically and financially. "Absolutely. It's never been done before in North America," Clyne said.

    While he says private funds will cover the millions needed to salvage the ship, he's been meeting with representatives of the federal, state and local governments to see if they're interested using grant money from the inner harbor project to bring it here and create what he insists will be an attraction to rival other national treasures like the Alamo and the Liberty Bell.


  • Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

    Piece if the Titanic

    By Peter Genovese - The Star-Ledger

    Of the 350 artifacts from the Titanic now on display at the new Discovery Times Square Exposition, the smallest items are the most touching and heartrending.

    Powder jars and perfume bottles. Pocket watches and shaving brushes. Stick pins and tie clasps. Handwritten letters, glasses and a booklet advertising Captain Collings & Sons hernia treatment. The booklet cover shows a sailor at the wheel of a ship and these words: I'll Steer You Straight.

    "A lot of the papers were preserved because of the quality of the leather in the bags and wallets," explains Alana Radman, leading a tour of "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition."

    The tanning process makes leather repellent to micro-organisms, which accounts for the treasure-trove of paper and other personal effects retrieved over the years from the RMS Titanic, which sank on April 15, 1912.

    More than 5,500 artifacts have been recovered from the wreckage to date; of the 350 pieces on display at the Discovery Times Square Exposition, 49 "have never been on display or seen by the public," according to exhibit spokeswoman Alison Sawyer.


  • Last US Titanic survivor is dead

    Last survivor passed away

    From BBC News

    The last American survivor of the Titanic wreck has died in the state of Massachusetts aged 99.

    Lillian Gertrud Asplund was five when the ship went down in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg. She was the last survivor of the tragedy with actual memories of the sinking on 15 April, 1912.

    The two final Titanic survivors live in England but both women were infants when they were rescued and are said to have no memories of the terrible night.

    Barbara Joyce West Dainton of Truro was 10 months old and Elizabeth Gladys "Millvina" Dean of Southampton was two months old.

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  • Les stars du Titanic donnent 30000 dollars à la dernière survivante

    Last survivor

    From Swissinfo

    Los Angeles - Les deux acteurs vedettes et le réalisateur du film "Titanic", ont donné 30.000 dollars à la dernière survivante du naufrage. Celle-ci est incapable de payer sa maison de retraite en Grande-Bretagne.

    La survivante, Millvina Dean, âgée de 97 ans, en est réduite dit-on à vendre sa signature pour payer ses mensualités à Southampton, la ville anglaise d'où a appareillé le "Titanic" pour son premier et dernier voyage en 1912.

    Millvina Dean n'avait que neuf semaines quand elle a embarqué sur le bateau avec sa famille qui espérait commencer une nouvelle vie aux Etats-Unis. Son père figurait parmi les 1517 victimes du naufrage du navire pourtant réputé insubmersible.

    Les deux acteurs, Leonardo DiCaprio et Kate Winslet, ainsi que le réalisateur, James Cameron, ont procédé à ce don pour répondre à un appel par voie de presse lancé le mois dernier par le photographe irlandais Don Mullan qui a réalisé des portraits de Millvina Dean pour une exposition, a expliqué lundi Ken Sunshine, le porte-parole de DiCaprio.

    Dans l'"Irish Independent", le photographe avait demandé aux trois célébrités de faire un don aussi élevé que le sien. Le film "Titanic", sorti en 1997, affiche la plus grosse recette cinématographique de tous les temps : à 1,8 milliard de dollars. Il a remporté onze Oscars.

  • Fate of Titanic, its treasures in US judge's hands

    By Steve Szkotak

    Nearly a century after the Titanic struck ice in the North Atlantic, a federal judge in Virginia is poised to preserve the largest collection of artifacts from the opulent oceanliner and protect the ship's resting place.

    U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, a maritime jurist who considers the wreck an "international treasure," is expected to rule within weeks that the salvaged items must remain together and accessible to the public. That would ensure the 5,900 pieces of china, ship fittings and personal belongings won't end up in a collector's hands or in a London auction house, where some Titanic artifacts have landed.

    The judgment could also end the legal tussle that began when a team of deep-sea explorers found the world's most famous shipwreck in 1985.

    The salvage company, RMS Titanic Inc., wants the court to grant it limited ownership of the artifacts.

    At the same time, a cadre of government lawyers is helping Smith shape covenants to strictly monitor future activity at the Titanic wreck 2 1/2 miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic. Amid evidence of the ship's deterioration, experts and government lawyers say the sanctity of the Titanic must be properly protected as a memorial to the 1,522 people who died when it went down.

    "For the most part, the value of Titanic is its history — and not from some pile of gold, silver and jewels," said Ole Varmer, an attorney in the international law office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, whose office has developed guidelines for the Titanic.

  • Tell us where HMS Victory lies - Alderney States President

    By James Varley

    Alderney’s President of the States has called for HMS Victory’s exact resting place to be revealed.

    In a letter to The Times, Sir Norman Browse, pictured, said independent confirmation was needed to say whether the 265-year-old wreck lay in British, French, international or Alderney waters.

    Sir Norman also suggested that the site be protected and asked the Ministry of Defence to ensure that professional archaeologists, working to archaeological rather than profit-seeking strategies, assessed the wreck.

    Earlier this month, Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration announced that it found the wreck of Victory last May. It had become separated from escorting vessels as they returned from fighting the French fleet off Portugal in 1744.

    According to Odyssey, the 175ft wooden man-of-war’s final resting place is around 100km from the Channel Islands. Before the announcement, however, it was thought that Victory sank off Les Casquets, west of Alderney.

    Victory, which went down with the loss of all 1,100 officers and ratings, provided the inspiration for the ship commanded by Admiral Lord Nelson several decades later.

    Sir Norman, who is chairman of the Alderney Maritime Trust, wrote: ‘Some years ago Alderney established a maritime trust to protect and excavate any wrecks discovered in its waters. The non-profit making trust hoped that one day it would find, study and excavate Victory.

  • WW1 French battleship Danton wreck found in deep water

    The Danton debris field      The Danton

    By Jonathan Amos

    A French battleship sunk in 1917 by a German submarine has been discovered in remarkable condition on the floor of the Mediterranean Sea.

    The Danton, with many of its gun turrets still intact, is sitting upright in over 1,000m of water. It was found by the Fugro geosciences company during a survey for a gas pipeline between Algeria and Italy. The Danton, which sank with 296 sailors still onboard, lies 35km southwest of the island of Sardinia.

    Naval historians record that the Danton's Captain Delage stood on the bridge with his officers and made no attempt to leave the ship as it went down.

    The French government is now keen to see that the site is protected. 

    "Its condition is extraordinary," said Rob Hawkins, project director with Fugro GeoConsulting Limited.

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  • Sub's fate is a cold case - Hunley closely guards it secrets

    By Bruce Smith

    It could be one of the nation’s oldest cold case files: What happened to eight Confederate sailors aboard the CSS H.L. Hunley after it became the first submarine in history to sink an enemy warship ?

    Their hand-cranked sub rammed a spar with black powder into the blockade ship USS Housatonic off Charleston on a chilly winter night in 1864 then disappeared.

    The Hunley’s fate has been the subject of almost 150 years of conjecture and almost a decade of scientific research since it was raised in 2000.

    But the submarine has been agonizingly slow surrendering her secrets.

    “She was a mystery when she was built.

    She was a mystery as to how she looked and how she was constructed for many years, and she is still a mystery as to why she didn’t come home,” said state Sen. Glenn McConnell, chairman of the S.C. Hunley Commission, which raised the sub and is charged with conserving and displaying it.

    Scientists hope the next phase of the conservation, removing the hardened sediment coating the outside of the hull, will provide clues to the mystery.

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  • France and US battle over shipwreck found in Great Lakes

    By Daniel Nasaw

    A ghostly length of timber protruding from the bottom of one of the Great Lakes has become the subject of a legal battle between France, the state of Michigan, and a private team of American explorers who say it is the remains of a French ship that sank more than 300 years ago.

    US divers who found the wreck believe it is the Griffin, a ship laden with furs, cannon, muskets and supplies that sank in 1679 in Lake Michigan, on a mission for famed French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle.

    They are working with French officials to establish its identity and prove it was on a mission for King Louis XIV. But Michigan says the wreck's location means it belongs to the state.

    "An early French ship goes down operating with the permission of the French king. There's a good chance there's skeletal remains inside the vessel," said Steve Libert, who found the timber he believes to be the Griffin's bowsprit. "Do you really think the people of Michigan own those skeletons of early French explorers?"

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  • Clifford unveils new treasure, tales from Whydah wreck


    From Banner Online

    There are 102 pirates buried somewhere in Eastham.

    The audience at the Salt Pond Visitor Center on Wednesday had that astonishing fact and more to ponder when underwater explorer Barry Clifford gave a talk about the history and discovery of the pirate ship Whydah.

    Clifford regaled the crowd of tour guides with stories of how he first heard of the pirate Black Sam Bellamy, how he came to unearth Bellamy’s lost vessel from the sandy sea bottom off Marconi Beach in 1984 and the many revelations that have accompanied his crew’s retrieval of the rare artifacts buried with the wreck.

    The tour guides had come to learn more about the Whydah Museum on MacMillan Pier.


  • Shipwreck to be marked 100 years on

    From dompost

    Dunedin maritime writer Bruce Collins is delighted Wellington City Council has responded to his request for a plaque to mark one of New Zealand's worst shipping disasters.

    The SS Penguin sank off the south coast of Wellington on February 12, 1909 with 102 people on board.

    While everybody got off the ship in the stormy conditions, there were only 30 survivors, including just one woman. All children on board died.

    Collins, a maritime writer who already had two books to his credit, was casting around New Zealand for other shipwreck stories and was surprised to find that one of the country's worst shipping disasters had never been documented. He wrote The Wreck of the Penguin.

    Collins wrote to Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast five years ago, pointing out that there are several memorials of the Wahine disaster, but none for the Penguin. Tonight Prendergast will unveil a plaque on a prominent rock at Tongue Point, close to where it is thought the Penguin hit rocks and foundered.

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