Drain The Titanic – The most famous shipwreck in the world, RMS Titanic, lies nearly 2 half miles (4 kilometres) down in the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean nearly 400 miles (650kms) from the nearest land. Since the discovery of the wreck in 1985, there have been numerous expeditions to the site, but until now, no one has ever recorded the full extent of what really remains on this remote area of seabed. Now, over a century on from her tragic loss we are able to reveal the overall wreck site: we will virtually drain the Titanic. Spectacular new visualisation techniques will depict this ‘draining’ process – and offer viewers a ringside view for the emergence of the wreck from the waves – the first time since April 15th 1912.
This is only possible because of the detailed survey of the entire wreck site by an expedition of top oceanographers, maritime archaeologists and visualization experts under the aegis of one of the legal steward of the ship, RMS Titanic Inc. Where previously only small areas of the wreck site had been studied, with the entire area scanned by side scan and multi-beam sonar, AUV’s (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) and ROV (Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle) mounted high definition cameras the true mystery of how the Titanic lies on the seabed is revealed.
We will see the bow and stern as they sit 2,000 feet apart intersected by a debris field of the ship’s contents and passengers’ possessions. Virtual fly-pasts enable us to explore the wreck site and re-examine some long-standing mysteries. New science is painting a clearer picture of how the Titanic actually sank: different theories are emerging on how and when she actually broke apart and what has happened to the wreck in the course of a century underwater. And with this information not only do scientists have a phenomenal resource for tracking the status of the wreck it also means we can look into the future and see the eventual fate of the ship they thought was unsinkable.
1) The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia declared RMS Titanic, Inc. salvor-in-possession of the wreck and the wreck site of the RMS Titanic in 1994. RMS Titanic, Inc. is the only entity allowed to recover artifacts from the wreck site The Titanic Mapping Project was established by RMS Titanic, Inc. to scientifically investigate the wreck of RMS Titanic as an archaeological site. A key part of the investigation was the RMS Titanic, Inc. funded expedition in 2010 to conduct the first comprehensive survey of the wreck site. In collaboration with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and using state of the art side scan sonar, multi beam sonar and digital imaging using Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) along with Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) mounted with 3D High Definition video, the survey was carried out during a 26 day period during August and September, 2010. The expedition was conducted in cooperation with the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the National Park Service Submerged Resources Center. Data processing was provided by the Advanced Imagery and Visualization Laboratory and Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and by the Remote Sensing & GIS unit at Michigan State University
2) RMS Titanic’s trials were scheduled for 10am on April 1st, 1912 but high winds called for a last minute cancellation and postponement. 6am, April 2nd: the weather is calmer and the Titanic proceeds to her sea trials. The trials will establish that the ship is seaworthy, and that the deck and engineering crew are competent to operate vital equipment. The ship will undergo turning and speed tests. Compasses will also be adjusted. The last tests are raising and lowering of the anchors. British government officials are satisfied that the Titanic is ready for sea, and the ship is given a Passenger Certificate. White Star believes that the ship satisfactory and accepts delivery from Harland & Wolff. At 8pm the anchors are hoisted up and the Titanic departs for Southampton for final provisioning of coal, water, food, bedding, & table service. She arrives shortly after midnight, April 3rd.
3) On the 10th of April the Titanic departs Southampton and arrives at Cherbourg, France later that day. From Cherbourg she travels to Queenstown (now Cobh) County Cork, Ireland, arriving on the 11th at 11:30am. Two hours later the Titanic leaves Queenstown on her maiden and final voyage. The Titanic is on route to New York City, but strikes an iceberg south of Newfoundland at approximately 11:40pm on April 14th. On April 15th, at 2:20am the Titanic sinks beneath the waves. Less than two hours later, RMS Carpathia (which is sailing from New York) begins rescuing survivors from Titanic's lifeboats. These survivors arrive in New York on the Carpathia on the evening of April 18th.
4) The RMS Titanic had three classes in which to house the 1,316 passengers on board - first, second, and third. First class contained aristocracy and wealthy families (325 people in total). Prices per person ranged between £26 (£2,670/US$4,100 in today’s money) for a modest inboard cabin to £870 (£89,370/$137,500) for the Parlour Suite with Private Promenade. Second class included mostly those who had been successful through their own labour, such as tradesmen, teachers, and farmers (285 altogether). Fares in second class were typically between £10 (£1,025/US$1,575) and £13 (£1,335/US$2,050) per person – the difference being the more expensive option involved the presence of a porthole in the cabin. Third class was for the poorer members of society and included a large number of Europeans and others emigrating to the United States (706 people combined). The average ticket price per person in third class was £7 (£720/$1,100 in today's money).
5) First class passengers aboard the Titanic had a swimming pool, Turkish Bath, squash court, and gymnasium at their disposal. The first class swimming pool on F Deck was heated and one of the first ever to be installed in an ocean liner. The Turkish Bath on F Deck included a steam room, a hot room, a temperate room, a shampooing room, and a cooling room. It also included electric beds which applied heat to the body through lamps. The squash court was on the lower deck, G Deck, and players were charged two shillings or fifty cents (£10.25/US$15.75 in today’s prices) for approximately one hour of game time. Other passengers could watch the games from an observation gallery one deck above. The gymnasium on the Boat Deck included an electric camel, electric horse, cycling machines, and a rowing machine. The gym was segregated, with ladies permitted use only between 9am and noon. Both the squash court and gymnasium were under the supervision of professionals.
6) The class in which a passenger travelled greatly affected their chance of survival during the Titanic disaster. According the British Board of Trade Inquiry, out of the 325 first class passengers onboard, 203 survived, a survival rate of 62%. Out of 285 second class passengers, 118 survived, a survival rate of 41%. There were 706 passengers in third class and only 178 of them survived the disaster. The survival rate of third class was a dismal 25%, less than half of that of first class.
7) The expression, 'women and children first' was taken seriously on board the sinking theTitanic. The survival rate for women aboard the Titanic was 74%. For children it was 52% and for men it was a lowly 20%. Children in first and second class were the luckiest of all passengers, with a near 100% survival rate (though there were only 30 children in those classes) although one first class child, Lorraine Allison did in fact die. The worst survival rate aboard the Titanic was that of men in second class, of which only 8% of the 168 individuals on board were rescued.
8) It had been suggested that the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg during a year that was particularly dangerous for icebergs in the North Atlantic. In 2014, scientists revealed that, after consulting a century of iceberg counts, 1912 overall was an average year for frozen obstructions. The United States Coast Guard data shows that in 1912, the year the Titanic sank, 1,038 icebergs crossed south over the 48th parallel and sea-ice rarely went south of the 46th parallel. The Titanic’s location was near the 41st parallel. The number of 1912 icebergs is slightly higher than average, but still below the most extreme years on record. Although the year in which the Titanic sank was unremarkable for icebergs, the month in which it sank (April) definitely was. April and May are the peak months for iceberg hazards in the North Atlantic and in 1912, April had almost two and a half times more icebergs than any other time that year.
9) In 2010 the discovery of a new species of bacteria found on the wreck of the Titanic was announced. The new species was named Halomonas titanicae and is one of a group of highly specialized and diverse extremophile bacteria that live by consuming iron and other minerals from the sunken ship's metal structure. These bacteria are part of a complex group that form one of the most characteristic features of the wreck, the rusticles, so called when they were first discovered in 1985 because they had the appearance of icicles but were made of ‘rust’. Rusticles on the Titanic were the first investigated in 1996 by Dr Roy Cullimore, then of the University of Regina in Canada.
10) The RMS Titanic had two sister ships (ships of virtually identical design) the RMS Olympic and HMHS Britannic. The Olympic enjoyed a long career which included service as a troopship during the First World War and as a civilian ocean liner. The Olympic was retired in 1935, due in part to profit losses incurred by the Great Depression. The Britannic was launched in February 1914, but because of the outbreak of the First World War, never actually carried paying passengers. She was requisitioned by the British navy and converted into a hospital ship going into service in 1915. But like the Titanic, Britannic suffered a devastating fate. On November 21st, 1916, Britannic hit a submerged mine allegedly laid by the German submarine U73 in the Kea Channel, off of the Greek Island of Kea. Within 55 minutes she had sunk, three times faster than the Titanic. Of the 1,125 people on board, all but thirty survived. She now lies in 120 metres of water, and is the closest that most people can ever get to diving anything equivalent to the Titanic.
11) British shipping company White Star Line created the RMS Titanic and her two sister ships. The company was founded in Liverpool, England in 1845 and originally focused on trade between Great Britain and Australia, spurred on by the discovery of gold in Australia. Towards the end of the 19th century, immigration from Europe to the New World began to surge and White Star Line capitalized on the trend. By the early 1900s White Star Line had transported thousands of migrants across the Atlantic. In 1907, in response to ships being built by their biggest competitor, the Cunard Line, the White Star Line developed the Olympic class liners which included the Titanic. Despite the loss of the Titanic in 1912 White Star Line continued to be at the forefront of the ocean liner industry. However, when demand for ocean travel sharply declined in the years leading up to the Great Depression the company faced serious economic losses. In 1927 White Star Line was purchased by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. RMSPC also ran into financial troubles and in 1933 in order to save both companies White Star was merged with their former rival, Cunard, In 1998 Cunard was acquired by the Carnival Corporation & plc, which is now one of the world's largest cruise ship operators.
12) At least 7 major feature films have been made on the sinking of the Titanic, the first one “Saved from the Titanic’ being produced and released only 29 days after the sinking in 1912 and starring actual survivors. ‘ A Night to Remember’ produced in 1958 based on Walter Lord’s bestselling book is widely regarded as being one of the most accurate portrayal of the disaster on celluloid. And ‘Titanic’, James Cameron’s spectacular movie produced in 1997 and re-released in 3D in 2012, is one of the most expensive films ever produced at US$200 million but earned that back and much more in huge box office receipts. The 1980 film, ‘Raise the Titanic’ wasn’t so successful, its relative failure at the box office is said to have contributed to the demise of British film producers – ITC Entertainment. When asked about the finances of the film (which had an estimated $40million budget but only realised a fraction of that when released) producer Lew Grade, remarked ‘Raise the Titanic, it would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic’.
13) Titanic related memorabilia can be found in the most unlikely places. In 1935, when the Olympic was being broken up on the River Tyne in the North East of England an enterprising hotelier bought the panelling, mirrors, ceiling and stained glass windows from the Olympic’s first class lounge and parts of the aft first class staircase and incorporated them in his hotel, the White Swan in Alnwick, Northumberland. Identical to the design found in the Titanic this is this probably the closest people can have of experiencing the high life that is so much part of the Titanic story. The lounge was described at the time as "a magnificent salon, pronounced by many persons as the finest room ever built into a ship. It is more suggestive of a state apartment in a palace than a room on shipboard." The equivalent lounge on Titanic was described by The Shipbuilder magazine as a place where, during voyages, "passengers will indulge in reading, conversation, cards, tea-drinking and other social intercourse." It disintegrated during Titanic ' s sinking, releasing many wooden fragments to float to the surface while strewing metal fittings across the sea bed.
Written and Directed by
Producer and Director of Photography
SEAN DAVID McNAMEE
Production Co-ordinator (Canada)
Graphics and Visual Effects
COMPANY X STUDIOS
With contributions by
Co-Director Titanic Mapping Project
Director of Maritime Heritage, NOAA
Director of Special Projects
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
GIS & Remote Sensing Analyst
Michigan State University
Director of Titanic Research
RMS Titanic, Inc.
Co-Director Titanic Mapping Project
Advanced Imaging and Visualization Lab
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Vice President of Collections
RMS Titanic, Inc.
Droycon Bioconcepts Inc.
Droycon Bioconcepts Inc.
RMS TITANIC, INC.
With Thanks to
DROYCON BIOCONCEPTS INC.
MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
NATIONAL GEOPHYSICAL DATA CENTER
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION
WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION
AIVL, WHOI ARCHIVES
DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY, INC.
NATIONAL ARCHIVES UK
RMS TITANIC, INC.
BOB SITRICK PRODUCTIONS
THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
For National Geographic Channels
KEVIN TAO MOHS
For Discovery Canada
Produced With the Assistance Of
The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit
A United Kingdom-Canada Treaty Co-Production
Produced by MALLINSON SADLER PRODUCTIONS Ltd and
NORTHERN SKY ENTERTAINMENT Ltd
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNELS and DISCOVERY CANADA
© 2015 MALLINSON SADLER PRODUCTIONS Ltd and NORTHERN SKY ENTERTAINMENT Ltd
All Rights Reserved