Monday, July 27, 2009

The Search for the Titanic Wreck

When the ship that was once called 'unsinkable' went to her watery grave in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912 a search immediately began for the Titanic wreck. The closest ship in the area, the Carpathia, had received the Titanic's distress call and responded immediately that they were coming hard to the rescue of the sinking ship.

Despite pushing the Carpathia's engines to their limits, the commanders of the Carpathia were unable to reach the Titanic in time.the ship sank less than three hours after striking a massive iceberg; quickly sinking beneath the calm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

The White Star Line immediately chartered a ship to head out to the site of the Titanic wreckage. When recovery ships arrived, numerous bodies were still floating in the area. Only 330 bodies of the more than 1,200 people who perished were found. In 1912 the sinking of the Titanic spawned worldwide interest and more than a few people proposed methods for raising the Titanic within days of the tragedy. The principle persons interested in raising the Titanic ship were wealthy survivors of the tragedy. The technology of the time, however; was not sufficient to locate the Titanic wreckage, let alone raise it from the depths.

During the next sixty years, various individuals and groups continued to propose methods for raising the Titanic wreck. It seemed that even decades after the disaster, the history of the Titanic continued to haunt the world and curiosity regarding the fate of the ship remained insatiable. Many of the theories proposed to raise the Titanic wreck were sound enough, while others were completely farfetched. Each of the proposals had one major flaw. As of yet, no one had been able to locate the Titanic wreckage. By the time the Carpathia arrived just before dawn, all that was left to be seen were life boats, bodies and debris. Speculation abounded, yet no one could correctly identify where exactly on the ocean floor the Titanic rested.

In the early 80's a wealthy Texas man became obsessed with locating the ship's grave. Technology had been significantly advanced by this time and the Texas billionaire remained determined to find the ship. Despite many efforts over the next few years the location of the Titanic wreck remained mired in mystery.

Titanic wreck

In the summer of 1985 several American and French scientists sailed for the last known location of the Titanic before it sank, hopeful of finally locating the wreckage. After sixty plus years the world had become skeptical that the location of the ship could be found. Many scholars even suggested that the wreckage has disintegrated over the years and was now impossible to locate. Never the less, the search team was determined and for weeks they used a state of the art sonar system to scour the depths of the ocean floor, searching for any sign of the ship's debris. Two months later, on September 1, 1985 the sonar picked up definitive signs of debris thousands of feet below the water. The elusive search was finally over. The Titanic wreck had been discovered. The bow and the stern of the Titanic were found almost 2000 ft apart.

Since that monumental day numerous search teams had returned to the area and ever advancing technology has allowed scientists to recover items from the ship's debris and film incredibly detailed underwater shots of the tragic ship. While suggestions have been made to raise the Titanic, as of yet she remains in the exact location where she finally came to rest early on the morning of April 15, 1912.


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