Where is the Titanic?
The sinking of the Titanic was without doubt one of the most dramatic and talked-about events of the twentieth century.
In terms of the numbers that perished, terrible tragedy though it was there were many, many more devastating incidents that occurred during that century which generated but a mere fraction of the interest as did the meeting of the “unsinkable” ocean liner with an iceberg on that fateful evening on 14th April 1912.
Nevertheless the fascination aroused by the combination of this awe-inspiring vessel meeting its demise in such a sensational fashion, and the deeply flawed nature of the evacuation and rescue procedures exacerbated by such absurdly class-based segregation, have provided the inspiration for countless books, articles, documentaries and films.
Whilst it is undoubtedly the case that key events will have been misrepresented and certain happenings associated with the tragedy romanticised or even invented, the testimony of hundreds of survivors has enabled us to form a fairly vivid picture of what actually did occur on that fateful night.
It would be, however, another 73 years before the precise location of the wreckage would be determined. Those who have asked “Where is the Titanic?” finally received their answer when it was discovered by Dr. Robert Ballard.
Dr. Ballard told a press conference on 9th September 1985: “The Titanic lies in 13,000 feet of water on a gently sloping alpine-like countryside overlooking a small canyon below. Its bow faces north and the ship sits upright on the bottom. There is no light at this great depth and little life can be found. It is a quiet and peaceful and fitting place for the remains of this greatest of sea tragedies to rest. May it forever remain that way and may God bless these found souls.”
We now know that the bow and stern sections of the Titanic broke into two and lie some 600 feet apart. But it is the location of intensely heavy items such as the boilers which, unlike the parted sections of the vessel, will have plummeted swiftly and vertically to the sea bed which give us the most accurate indication of precisely where it went down.
Previous expeditions to locate the wreckage had been unsuccessful largely because of a disparity between the final reported position of the vessel on the night it sank and the point at which it actually disappeared beneath the surface of the ocean. Although this disparity would appear only to have been in the region of around 13.5 miles, it was enough to thwart those whose efforts preceded those of Dr. Ballard.
Where is the Titanic? 49° 56’ 49” W, 41° 43’ 32” N. Or about 450 miles east of New York.
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