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Current news and events about the RMS Titanic, including exhibitions, artefacts, films and documentaries and historical information about the Titanic

Two Titanic Classics: A Night to Remember and Titanic on Bluray

The sea is a fierce and cruel opponent to be decisively mastered. It's the unpredictable element; the highway for the Artie's counter-offensive against inquisitive and adventurous man. Its weapons are the iceberg and the ice-floe. Twenty tidewater glaciers along the west coast of Greenland are launching platforms for a barrage of giant icebergs that make an annual descent on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, which were among the heaviest traveled shipping lanes in the world. After calving from the glaciers the icebergs spend a winter at Melville Bay, a second winter at Cape Dier and reach the Grand Banks (1800 miles away) the following spring and summer. The danger period to shipping was from April to July, the height of the tourist season.

The public outcry at the Titanic disaster led to the institution of the International Ice Patrol, maintained by the United States Coast Guard. It was a cooperative effort of the United States and Canada on this side of the Atlantic, and seven other major maritime nations that subscribed to the International Convention for the Safety of Life At Sea. The last convention (before these films were made) were negotiated in 1948 and came up for renewal in 1960. The International Ice Patrol began operations in February each year when the iceberg calving season began. The patrol area covered an area about the size of Pennsylvania off the Grand Banks. Headquarters are at Argentia, Newfoundland, where cutters and B-17's were based and from which 24 hour patrols are carried out to sight and report bergs and ice floes. Ice reports were broadcast twice daily and listened to religiously by transatlantic steamer and air traffic. All commercial radio transmission ceased when ice information was broadcast, another result of the "Titanic" disaster, when commercial messages prevented receipt of vital information.

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