The company that owns the exclusive salvage rights to the Titanic wreck and the ship’s artifacts filed in federal court Saturday with a map of the surrounding seafloor showing where searchers found the twisted remains of the Titan submersible.
The map, a mosaic of sonar images that were annotated by experts from the company, RMS Titanic Inc., helps indicate how close the ship was to its intended destination when the disaster struck.
It is very likely that the vehicle imploded on the morning of Sunday June 18, killing all five crew members. RMS Titanic’s director of underwater research was on the tourist submersible’s last dive as a guest of Titan’s owner OceanGate.
The map of the seabed, attached to a legal presentation as an exhibit, it shows the ghostly outline of the Titanic’s bow section. It’s one of the wreck’s most celebrated features because deep explorers over the decades have revealed the bow and forward rails to be in relatively good shape, standing upright and almost proud in the inky dark.
In an interview, Brian A. Wainger, a lawyer from El Salvador, rms titanic inc., said that the map was based on private and public information that the company has. He added that he had shared the seafloor map with the US Coast Guard, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and that neither federal agency had raised any concerns about the accuracy of the depiction.
“We think this is reliable data,” Wainger said.
In his July 8 court filing, Mr. Wainger also noted that the Marine Board of Investigation, the arm of the Coast Guard investigating the disaster, will wrap up its detective work in approximately 12 to 18 months and then hold a public hearing. where witnesses will provide information. sworn testimony.
The story of the Titanic is well known. After hitting an iceberg on her maiden voyage in 1912, the luxury liner broke in two and sank more than two miles across the North Atlantic to its frozen bottom.
The wreck of the Titanic was located in 1985, and in 1994 the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, located in Norfolk, Virginia, salvage rights granted to the RMS Titanic. As a designated salvor, defined as a person or group engaged in the recovery of a ship or articles lost at sea, the RMS Titanic is supervised by the court, which has long overseen shipwreck recovery cases.
Headquartered in Atlanta, the company uses its salvage operations for a number of purposes, including organizing traveling exhibits of Titanic artifacts.
The map on file with the company shows a large dotted circle, labeled “Titan Debris Field”, in an area to the right, or starboard side, of the Titanic’s intact bow section. The map does not provide other details, such as the size of the field. The map, however, calls out the approximate location. The Coast Guard, when it announced June 22 that the submersible Titan had suffered a catastrophic implosion, said the debris field was located about 1,600 feet from the Titanic’s bow.
jessica sanderspresident of RMS Titanic, said the map of the seabed was included in the legal filing as part of the company’s obligation to keep the court informed about its activities and, in this case, how it had cooperated with Titan’s investigation into the hours and days after. the submersible disappeared.
“We try to help,” he said in an interview. “We gave them this map” so that researchers could better understand the features of the seafloor around the Titanic and thus have a better chance of separating information about rocks and natural outcroppings from possible evidence of the ship itself or its wreckage.
Ms Sanders said the map was developed in part by her employee who died in the Titan disaster: Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, a French expert on submersibles and a world authority on the Titanic, who was trying to make his 38th dive among the wreckage. “So part of it was his,” she said, referring to the map. She added that a memorial service for Mr. Nargeolet will be held in Paris next week.
Rob McCallum, the founder of EYOS Expeditions, who led seven trips to the sunken liner, said the map showed no unexpected features or clues. “Nothing unusual stands out,” he said in an interview. The wreckage of the Titan submersible, he added, “is essentially where it was supposed to be.”