Titanic News

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

Latest Titanic News July 2012

Titanic Exhibit In San Diego(21 Jul 2012, OCRegister)

Museums around the world are marking the anniversary of the April 15, 1912, incident, made even more famous by the 1997 movie "Titanic." A major local commemoration is the virtual voyage at San Diego Natural History Museum. When you buy a $27 ticket aboard the Titanic, you are assigned the name of an actual 1912 passenger and walk through exhibit galleries that explain how Titanic came to be, some of the personalities aboard the vessel's celebrated maiden voyage, how she met her demise and how artifacts being salvaged from the ocean floor are keeping Titanic's legacy alive. You view some 200 artifacts, including passengers' personal belongings, raised from the deep. The exhibit runs through Sept. 9.

Clive Palmer reveals detailed plans for Titanic II(17 Jul 2012, Herald Sun)

The outspoken businessman said a casino would most probably be restricted to first class passengers only to ensure those who could not afford to lose money didn't. "There'll be some sort of screening (process)," Mr Palmer said. We'll be in international waters so we'll probably be able to stop pensioners coming without breaching any legislation." He said the replica of the ill-fated Titanic would feature a number of key differences including the addition of a "safety deck" with "proper lifeboats".

As Titanic's Discoverer Does Research At Sea, Armchair Explorers Can Watch Online(16 Jul 2012, Washington Post)

Bob Ballard, who discovered the Titanic in 1985, is a shipwreck-finding machine. Now you can watch his crew search for ancient wrecks through the eyes of the machines that do the real work. This summer, as Ballard and his exploration ship Nautilus sail the Black and Mediterranean seas, armchair explorers can watch online atwww.nautiluslive.org. As a rotating crew of 100 scientists and educators search for Byzantine-era ships and sample ocean life, live video from two remotely operated vehicles — the classically named Hercules and Argus — will take viewers to the seafloor in real time. Outfitted with a high-speed data link, the Nautilus is the only exploration ship in the world bringing the public along for the ride.

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Halifax Served As Final Port For Many Titanic Victims(15 Jul 2012, Nashua Telegraph)

We stood in a light misty rain at the bottom of a gentle rise at the upper end of the Fairview Cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Ahead of us, four rows of mostly identical gray granite markers curved inward to come to a point at the top of the rise. Our tour guide, a gentlemanly, kilt-wearing Scotsman named Doug, said the curve was deliberate, to indicate the prow of a ship. Each marker bears the date April 15, 1912, the date these 121 people died on the steamship Titanic. Each marker has a name, if known, and many aren’t, and a number that indicates the order in which the body was found. Since some bodies were so badly damaged that they were buried at sea and some were removed by family members, the numbers exceed the 149 buried in Halifax. Perhaps being there in the rain was appropriate: It’s a sad place, but a well-kept, revered spot.

Unsinkable Molly Brown's 145Th Birthday Shared With Community, Family(15 Jul 2o12, Denver Post)

It wasn't the woman in the white Victorian gown and satin gloves who drew the most looks at Molly Brown's 145th-birthday celebration Sunday but the woman in a red shirt and jeans — Brown's great-granddaughter. Helen Benziger, 61, joined the crowd celebrating her great-grandmother's birthday at the Molly Brown House Museum in Denver. "This is the most amazing thing that she could have dreamed of," Benziger said. "She would love it if she knew that this many people, a hundred years later, still came here and held her in such great esteem." The event included children's activities, tours of the home — saved from demolition in 1970 — historic presentations and cake.

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Premier Exhibitions 1Q Profit Up, Attendance Rises(12 Jul 2012, Businessweek)

Premier Exhibitions, known for its 'Bodies' shows and Titanic exhibit, posted a 9 percent jump in first-quarter net income as it held more events and operated on more days during the period. The Atlanta company earned $1.2 million, or 2 cents per share, for the three months ended May 31. That compares with $1.1 million, or 2 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 19 percent to $11.5 million from $9.7 million.

Washington Post Receives 'Adorable' Letter From Fifth Graders Correcting Mistake In Titanic Story(11 Jul 2012, Huffington Post)

After publishing an April roundup post of Titanic books, Washington Post contributing editor Dennis Drabelle received the most adorable correction ever from an unlikely source -- a fifth grade class from Burning Tree Elementary School in Bethesda, Md., Poynter reports. Drabelle had initially written that Titanic collided with the iceberg on April 15 -- something the youngsters refuted with an adorable correction written on a large letter. “Based on our research,” wrote Mrs. Reed’s fifth-grade class, “the Titanic hit the iceberg shortly before midnight on April 14, 1912.” Whoops!

Rare Titanic Rescuers' Medal Up For Auction(10 Jul 2012, This is Bath)

The medal is believed to be the rarest of its kind – only a few were made and the one being sold by auctioneers Aldridge & Sons in Wiltshire later this month is the most senior to be sold. It was given to the Carpathia’s second officer, James Bisset and is a gold medal of thanks – it’s only the second gold medal to be offered for sale anywhere in the world in the past 25 years. “It’s thought to be the most senior officer’s medal ever to go under the hammer,” said Andrew Aldridge, from the Devizes firm.

Titanic in Photographs (Titanic Collection)

Ready For A Titanic Feast?(9 Jul 2012, The Sunshine Coast Daily)

Food and wine lovers with a sense of history will be in their element from Monday July 30 to Sunday 5 August when the 'Titanic Culinary Journey' sets sail at Palmer Coolum Resort. The lavish menus from the world's most famous ship, the RMS Titanic, will be lovingly recreated by Palmer Coolum Resort's skilled chefs during a romantic culinary celebration that will encapsulate breakfast, lunch and dinner at the resort's sumptuous restaurants. While guests indulge their tastebuds from the delectable menus, imagery and entertainment will complete the experience by showcasing the extravagance that was so prevalent in maritime travel during early 1900s.

Memorial Plaque For Titanic Workers(7 Jul 2012, Belfast Telegraph)

A memorial plaque in tribute to eight shipyard workers who lost their lives during the construction of the Titanic has been unveiled. First Minister Peter Robinson unveiled the memorial erected outside the club rooms of Harland and Wolff Welders’ Football and Social Club in east Belfast.

New Exhibit Gives Residents Up Close Look At Titanic(7 Jul 2012, WACH)

The South Carolina State Museum has a new Titanic exhibit; which has been a popular one so far this summer. The exhibit includes over 100 artifacts found from the actual ship wreck; from dishes to clothing to purses; even beds. There is also a movie showcasing how it was built until it sank. Another unique feature is a fake iceberg for people to touch. It shows just how cold the water was that froze most of the passengers to death.

Titanic Discoverer Locates Turkish Pilots Shot Down By Syria(4 Jul 2012, Telegraph.co.uk)

The discovery of the two corpses on the seabed could help to settle an argument over whether the plane was shot down in international airspace or over Syrian territorial waters. Turkey recruited the services of Robert Ballard, a renowned oceanographer who discovered the wreckage of the Titanic in 1985, to locate the remains of the F-4 Phantom and its two missing crew members. The bodies of Gokhan Ertan and Hasan Huseyin Aksov were located by the MV Nautilus, an American deep-sea exploration vessel led by Mr Ballard. The boat is now attempting to retrieve the remains of the two men. The wreckage of the plane itself has yet to be found. Turkey will hope that its retrieval will boost its case that Syria shot the aircraft down deliberately and without warning in international airspace -- although it has acknowledged that the plane probably drifted into Syrian waters when it crashed.

Titanic Souvenirs And More At Old Museo Maritimo(3 Jul 2012, ABS CBN News)

Video of Titanic artifacts and related items at Old Museo Maritimo in Pasay City, Phillippines.

"Titanic" director makes first solo dive to Earth's deepest point

At 5:52 p.m. ET Sunday (7:52 a.m. Monday, local time), James Cameron arrived at the Mariana Trench's Challenger Deep, members of the National Geographic expedition have confirmed.

His depth on arrival: 35,756 feet (10,898 meters)—a figure unattainable anywhere else in the ocean.

Reaching bottom after a 2-hour-and-36-minute descent, the National Geographic explorer and filmmaker typed out welcome words for the cheering support crew waiting at the surface: "All systems OK."

Folded into a sub cockpit as cramped as any Apollo capsule, the National Geographic explorer and filmmaker is now investigating a seascape more alien to humans than the moon. Cameron is only the third person to reach this Pacific Ocean valley southwest of Guam (map)—and the only one to do so solo.

Hovering in what he's called a vertical torpedo, Cameron is likely collecting data, specimens, and imagery unthinkable in 1960, when the only other explorers to reach Challenger Deep returned after seeing little more than the silt stirred up by their bathyscaphe.

After as long as six hours in the trench, Cameron—best known for creating fictional worlds on film (Avatar, Titanic, The Abyss)—is to jettison steel weights attached to the sub and shoot back to the surface. (See pictures of Cameron's sub.)

Meanwhile, the expedition's scientific support team awaits his return aboard the research ships Mermaid Sapphire and Barakuda, 7 miles (11 kilometers) up. (Video: how sound revealed that Challenger Deep is the deepest spot in the ocean.)

"We're now a band of brothers and sisters that have been through this for a while," marine biologist Doug Bartlett told National Geographic News from the ship before the dive.

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Full Titanic wreck site is mapped for 1st time

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. (AP Photo/RMS Titanic Inc.)

(AP) SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine - 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."

The mapping took place in the summer of 2010 during an expedition to the Titanic led by RMS Titanic Inc., the legal custodian of the wreck, along with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Falmouth, Mass., and the Waitt Institute of La Jolla, Calif.

James Cameron to dive to ocean's deepest point

They were joined by other groups, as well as the cable History channel. Details on the new findings at the bottom of the ocean are not being revealed yet, but the network will air them in a two-hour documentary on April 15, exactly 100 years after the Titanic sank.

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What sank the Titanic? Scientists point to the moon

A hand out image released May 19, 2003 shows a photo of the Titanic. REUTERS/Christie's  NMB/JV

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO | Tue Mar 6, 2012 3:30pm EST

(Reuters) - A century after the Titanic disaster, scientists have found an unexpected culprit for the sinking: the moon.

Anyone who knows history or has seen the blockbuster movies knows that the cause of the transatlantic liner's accident 100 years ago next month was that it hit an iceberg.

"But the lunar connection may explain how an unusually large number of icebergs got into the path of the Titanic," said Donald Olson, a Texas State University physicist whose team of forensic astronomers examined the moon's role.

Ever since the Titanic sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912, killing 1,517 people, researchers have puzzled over Captain Edward Smith's seeming disregard of warnings that icebergs were in the area where the ship was sailing.

Smith was the most experienced captain in the White Star Line and had sailed the North Atlantic sea lanes on numerous occasions. He had been assigned to the maiden voyage of the Titanic because he was a knowledgeable and careful seaman.

 

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Grandson of Titanic survivor tells his story in Coventry

Phillip Littlejohn

Phillip Littlejohn

THE grandson of a Titanic survivor was in Coventry yesterday to share his grandfather’s harrowing story.

Phillip Littlejohn has joined the Titanic Heritage Trust to hold a series of talks in the city on what really happened on the night the infamous ship sank.

Phillip’s grandfather, Alexander James Littlejohn, was a first class steward on the ship.

He survived when he was told by one of the chief officers to row one of the lifeboats to safety.

Phillip, who is a patron of the Coventry-based Trust, said: “Before Cameron’s Titanic film there were only the enthusiasts who were interested in it, but the film generated the public interest, and since then I have tried to tell people about the real stories.

“My grandfather always described himself as fortunate but like most Titanic survivors he didn’t talk about it.

"That was so typical, especially of the men who survived because they felt they shouldn’t have survived when women and children were still on board.

"Grandfather didn’t tell any stories. He didn’t even tell my father so the only way we knew anything was from the newspaper account.”

The only time Phillip’s grandfather spoke about his survival was during a detailed interview with the Daily Telegraph newspaper in May 1912.

He died in 1949 when Phillip was five.

Now Phillip uses the newspaper article to hold talks and lectures on what his grandfather had to say about that tragic night when more than 1,500 people died.

Phillip is also the only relative of a Titanic survivor to have dived down to the ship wreck site. “Going to the wreckage was amazing,” added Phillip, 68, from Maidenhead, Berkshire.

 “I have studied the ship so often so I knew what to look for when I got down there but I didn’t expect to see so many shoes.

“Everybody would put their shoes outside their cabins for cleaning so when the ship split in half the shoes poured out.

Costa Concordia vs. Titanic: Do They Compare?

The hectic evacuation of the sinking cruise liner Costa Concordia has been compared with the likes of the disastrous Titanic disaster. In fact, Swiss survivors even told the newspaper La Tribune de Genève that Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On," the theme song to the 1997 film "Titanic," was playing in their dining room as the ship hit the rocks.

So how do the two shipwrecks match up? While the loss of life on the Titanic was much worse than on the Costa Concordia, even the Titanic's poorly planned evacuation may have been less chaotic than the one off the Tuscan coast. By the numbers, here's a side-by-side look at the two cruise ship disasters:

Date of wrecks: The Titanic went down on April 15, 1912. The Costa Concordia capsizedon Jan.13, 2012.

Size of ships: The Titanic was 882 feet and 8 inches long (268 meters) and had a tonnage of 46,000. The Costa Concordia was larger, with a tonnage of 114,500 and a length of 951 feet and 5 inches (290 m). The width of the Titanic was 92.5 feet (28 m), compared with 118 feet (36 m) for the Costa Concordia.

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Bragging rights: The Titanic was the largest ship of her day. The Costa Concordia had the largest spa center ever built on a cruise ship.

People on board: 2,201 people were aboard the Titanic when it sunk, and 4,200 were aboard the Costa Concordia.

Cause of wreck: The Titanic famously hit an iceberg on its starboard side in the middle of the North Atlantic, while the Costa Concordia struck a rock on its port side when the captain brought the ship in close to the Tuscan island of Giglio in the Mediterranean Sea.

Lifeboat capacity: The Titanic's lifeboats could have carried no more than 1,178 people. Nowadays, according to the International Maritime Organization, ships are required to have plenty of lifeboat space, with enough lifeboats hanging off the port side to accommodate half of the passengers, enough on the starboard side to accommodate the other half, and room for 25 percent more of the ship's passengers in inflatable rafts stored on board. [Titanic Quiz: Fact or Fiction?]

"The Costa Concordia had sufficient lifeboat space, as far as we know, by the regulations she operates under," said Charles Weeks, an emeritus professor of marine transportation at the Maine Maritime Academy, and a member of the Titanic International Society. Unlike the Titanic, which lacked sufficient staff at lifeboat muster points, the Costa Concordia seemed to have crew supervision at the lifeboat stations, he said. The delay in lowering the lifeboats, which occurred about 45 minutes to an hour after the ship hit the rocks, may have been the captain's call, he said.

"There may have been a perfectly valid reason why he waited so long," Weeks told LiveScience. "You don't want to put lifeboats in the water while the ship is still making way. That can be very hazardous."

Time it took to sink: The Titanic went down over a period of two hours and 40 minutes. The Costa Concordia began listing about 20 minutes after it hit a rock near Giglio Island and was completely on its side within about three hours.

Depth of the wreck: The Titanic lay on the seafloor 12,460 feet (3,798 m) below the surface. The Costa Concordia essentially ran aground and is now half-submerged — the ship is unable to float in water less than 26 feet (8 m) deep.

Temperature of water: The passengers of the Titanic unlucky enough to end up in the water likely perished in a few short minutes, as the water temperature was just 28 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 2 degrees Celsius).

According to Accuweather, the air temperature when the Costa Concordia crashed was in the mid-to-low 40s Fahrenheit. The water temperature was in the mid- to upper-50s. In 50-degree water, hypothermia sets in quickly; boating guides put the time at about 60 minutes until exhaustion or unconsciousness, with death following within three hours.

Loss of life: Only 711 of the passengers aboard the Titanic were rescued, resulting in adeath toll of 1,514, according to the British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry. The most recent reports show 11 Costa Concordia passengers were confirmed dead, with 21 still missing.

Fate of the captain: Edward J. Smith, the captain of the Titanic, went down with his ship. His body was never found.

The Costa Concordia captain, Francesco Schettino, is under intense scrutiny for allegedly abandoning ship while passengers were still on board. A transcript of a phone conversation between Schettino and a coast guard officer reveals the officer insisting Schettino return to the ship, and the captain refusing. Schettino is now under house arrest and is being investigated for manslaughter.

The standard of the captain being the last person to leave a crippled ship serves two purposes, Weeks said. First, it's the captain's job to take care of everyone else on the boat. Second, if a captain stays with a damaged ship, he can protect the ship owner's interests. If the captain is still on the boat, the owners can arrange a towing contract to get the vessel back to port, Weeks said. If the ship is abandoned, it must be salvaged, which can be a more complicated and costly process for the owners.

Big evacuation foul-ups: Hundreds of Titanic passengers never had a chance at survival, given the lack of lifeboat space available. Not only that, but a U.S. inquiry into the disaster found that the evacuation process was a mess: There was no system for loading the boats, and many of the boats went down partially filled (though there was space for 1,176 people on the boats, only about 700 made it onto one). Additionally, the loss of life would have been much worse had the weather have been rough, the panel found. With the lifeboats suspended 70 feet (21 m) above the ocean, rough waters would have made lowering them without smashing them against the ship impossible.

On the other hand, all reports indicate very little panic during the Titanic evacuation, at least not until the very end. This is likely because most passengers didn't realize the seriousness of the situation, Weeks said. There are reports of passengers refusing to get on the lifeboats, choosing instead to stay in the warmth and light of the doomed ship.

The same cannot be said of the Costa Concordia evacuation, which survivors describe as chaotic. "It was every man for himself," one survivor told French News outlet France 24. Crew members reportedly panicked and jumped aboard lifeboats before passengers.

The Costa Concordia listed to one side, in contrast with the Titanic, which tilted forward, her bow in the water. That may have made the Concordia sinking seem more dramatic than the sinking of the Titanic, at least from the perspective of those on board.

"A ship that lists to one side is far more dramatic than a ship that trims down by the head," Weeks said.

The evacuation of the Costa Concordia was delayed, with passengers initially informed that the ship was having a minor electrical problem. There had been no evacuation drill onboard — it was scheduled for Saturday — so passengers were confused. Many of the crew did not speak Italian and could not communicate with their charges. Some cruise-goers reported being on lifeboats captained by waiters and other support staff.

Weeks said reports of the crew's behavior still needed confirmation, but said that such a situation is not without precedent. The cruise ship Oceanus, for example, sank off the South African Coast in 1991.

"The social director wound up overseeing the evacuation of the passengers," Weeks said. "The captain and certain members of the crew went off in the first lifeboat."

Cruise accident "like a scene from Titanic" says passenger

cruise ship sinks(Updated 8:10AM EDT) After running aground off the coast of Italy Friday night, an unknown number of passengers are reported dead as a luxury cruise ship sinks and dawn reveals details of the tragic accident.

"It was like a scene from the Titanic,'' journalist Mara Parmegian on board for what was to be an 8 day Mediterranean sailing told the ANSA news agency.

Costa Cruises Costa Concordia ran aground on a sand bank near the Italian island of Giglio, Italy sending water pouring in through a 160-foot gash in the hull and forcing the evacuation of over 4000 passengers and crew on the ship.

"We were having dinner aboard when we heard a loud noise, like that of the keel being dragged over something," passenger Luciano Castro told Italian state radio early Saturday reports ajc. The lights went out "and there were scenes of panic, glasses falling to the floor," Castro said.

Castro said it was reported that some passengers jumped into the sea in an attempt to swim to nearby Giglio island. Evacuation efforts were apparently complicated by the position of the listing ship, according to a Costa Cruises blog post.

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