The Titanic’s wreckage has never been fully explored. More so, less than 200 people in the world have managed to see the remains of the ship from a close distance. Oceangate is now offering a rare opportunity to a few citizens to go 3,800 meters (12,467 feet) below the ocean’s surface and explore the historic site.
Submersible owner and operator, OceanGate Inc., has announced that it will undertake its inaugural Titanic Survey Expedition in 2021. The only privately-owned, 5-crewmember submersible capable of going to these depths, OceaGate’s Titan will transport experts, researchers as well as citizen scientists trained as Mission Specialists, on a series of deep-sea research missions.
The scale of the wreckage is so large that it will take several years to document all the details.
For starters, six missions have been scheduled for the summer of 2021 from May to July. Each mission will carry up to 9 citizen scientists along with oceanographic scientists, archaeological researchers and Titanic expedition veterans.
Each citizen will undergo training and will help with navigation, maintenance and cataloguing the historical finds.
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In 1912, ship-to-shore wireless was in its infancy and although used by many ships it was still considered a convenience rather than a necessity. To spot icebergs at night, lookouts often relied on moonlight to illuminate the white foam of waves breaking against the bergs. Unluckily, April 14th was a beautiful, clear night with a moonless sky. The unusually calm seas meant there were no waves to spot at the base of the icebergs. To make matters more difficult, the binoculars in the crows nest were missing. Lookout Frederick Fleet first saw the Titanic’s fatal iceberg as a small mass in the distance. He immediately rang the three-bell alarm and telephoned the bridge. First Officer Murdoch ordered, “Hard a’ starboard. Stop all engines.” The Sinking At 11:40 p.m. ship’s time on April 14, 1912, four days into the crossing, Titanic hit an iceberg. The collision caused the ship’s hull plates to buckle inwards along her starboard side and opened six of her sixteen watertight compartments to the sea, filling the ship with water. Over the next two hours and forty minutes, Titanic would break apart and sink beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean – eventually coming to rest on the seabed at a depth of 3,800 meters (12,500 feet). The next morning, the liner Carpathia rescued 712 survivors. Tragically, 1,496 passengers and crew were lost. Subsequent inquiries attributed the high loss of life to the insufficient number of lifeboats and inadequate training in their use. For many, the tragic fate that befell Titanic would come to mark the passing of the opulence and hubris of the Edwardian era. #onthisday #history #titanic #rmstitanic #nowyouknow #iceberg #ocean #shipwrecks #april14 #onthisdayinhistory #historyphotographed
Throughout the annual survey, dive teams will collect images, video, laser scans and sonar data to provide an objective baseline of the current condition of the wreck. This baseline will be used to assess the rate of decay over time and help document and preserve the historic maritime site.
The mission will include an 8 day voyage from St. John’s, Newfoundland followed by 8 to 10-hour dives in the submersible to reach the wreck-site.
OceanGate Expeditions is currently accepting applications from citizens interested in undertaking the rare experience in 2021 and 2022. Click here to apply.