Pictures from new expeditions to the Titanic show increasing deterioration of the famed shipwreck, according to Washington-based OceanGate Expeditions, which is making its first journeys with its Titan submersible to the site.
“These changes are distinct and notable, including the missing Gorgonian Hydroid from the rail of the bow, OceanGate said this week after Titan made its latest dive, according to GeekWire.
The mast has collapsed and there is increasing debris scattered at and around the site, which is 12,500 feet deep.
In a press release last month, OceanGate announced it had completed its first dive to the site of the ship, which went down in April 1912.
The Titan submersible is made of carbon fibre and titanium and is the “world’s only privately owned submersible capable of taking five crewmembers into the deep ocean, and is the result of a decade of development,” the press release stated.
Fun fact: The Titan submersible travelled by land 3,945 miles before reaching it's destination at St. Johns, Newfoundland for the 2021 Titanic Survey Expedition. pic.twitter.com/kcT1AvA0T7
— OceanGate Expeditions (@OceanGateExped) June 29, 2021
“We had to overcome tremendous engineering, operational, business, and finally Covid-19 challenges to get here, and I am so proud of this team and grateful for the support of our many partners,” Stockton Rush, OceanGate’s chief executive and founder, said last month.
He was the pilot of the debut dive, while Scott Griffith served as co-pilot and former French naval commander PH Nargeolet, who has visited the Titanic more than 30 times, served as a mission specialist.
“This recent dive in Titan to the Titanic wreck is one of the most memorable dives I have ever done,” Mr Nargeolet said last month. “Being able to participate in the deployment and operation of such a groundbreaking sub and launch system reminded me of the challenges that my team overcame and the determination that they exhibited in the development of the Nautile over 35 years ago.”
OceanGate made its final Titan dive of the summer on Saturday but plans to continue making expeditions and using its state-of-the-art technology to document the deteriorating state of the wreck on a yearly basis to gather a more comprehensive understanding of how it is faring.
The Titanic hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean, about 400 miles off Newfoundland, Canada, on its maiden voyage from the UK to New York, with 2,200 people aboard. Only around 700 people survived after the vessel was plunged into freezing waters of 28 degrees Fahrenheit (-2.2 degrees Celsius.)