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- United States Navy officer, oceanographer and underwater archaeologist
It is 36 years since the sunken remains of the Titanic were discovered 13,000ft underwater.
The famous ship, built in Belfast, sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April, 1912, after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
More than 1,500 people died in the tragedy, still the deadliest peacetime sinking of a superliner or cruise ship.
It wasn’t until 73 years after its sinking that the first new images of the Titanic were released, to worldwide interest.
On 1 September, 1985, the ship's wreck was discovered about 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
The joint US-French team that discovered the ship was led by former US navy officer Robert Ballard, who had already made a previous, unsuccessful expedition to find the Titanic in 1977.
The Titanic was finally found with the help of a remote-controlled deep-sea vehicle called Argo, which was equipped with sonar and cameras and towed behind a ship, and a robot called Jason tethered to it that roamed the sea floor and took close-up images.
Eventually, Ballard dispensed with sonar, instead concentrating on using Argo’s cameras.
After a week of searching, on Sunday, 1 September, 1985, images captured by Argo appeared on the screens of research vessel Knorr. One of the images was identified as a boiler.
The next day, the main part of the wreck of the Titanic was located and Argo sent back the first pictures of the ship since it sank 73 years earlier.
Ballard would go on to make 11 dives to the wreck in a three-man submarine.
He revealed that the ship had split in two, but that many of its features were surprisingly well-preserved.
Oceanographers found hundreds of thousands of pieces of debris in a two-square-mile radius around the ship.
After the initial discovery of one of the ship’s boilers, the crew on board Knorr began to celebrate and a bottle of champagne was opened.
But Ballard later said: “We were embarrassed we were celebrating.
“And all of a sudden we realised that we should not be dancing on someone’s grave.”
He wrote after the discovery: “It was one thing to have won – to have found the ship.
“It was another thing to be there. That was the spooky part. I could see the Titanic as she slipped nose first into the glassy water.
"Around me were the ghostly shapes of the lifeboats and the piercing shouts and screams of people freezing to death in the water.”
Ballard has voiced his opposition to attempts to salvage artefacts from the ship.
He said: “The Titanic lies now in 13,000ft of water on a gently sloping alpine-like countryside overlooking a small canyon below.
“There is no light at this great depth and little life can be found. It is a quiet and peaceful place – and a fitting place for the remains of this greatest of sea tragedies to rest. Forever may it remain that way.”
The wreck has been deemed too fragile to be raised and is now protected under a Unesco convention.
Watch: Deep-sea dive to Titanic reveals ship is 'rapidly deteriorating'