The wreck, which is owned by John Moyer Expeditions, now lies 70-80m deep, having flattened to the seabed as it has deteriorated. Local salvage laws permitted divers to recover artefacts and the ship’s bell, safe, helm and compass are among items that have been recovered, but the wreck has claimed the lives of some 18 divers over the years.
The challenging diving conditions, including strong currents and low visibility, are said to have inspired developments in technical-diving.
****** ANOTHER DEEP and deteriorating north Atlantic liner wreck, the Titanic, has been visited by OceanGate Expeditions in the first of a number of planned dives with its five-person Titan of Titanic submersible.
The shipwreck was last dived in 2019, when Victor Vescovo’s Triton submersible Limiting Factor carried out five dives.
OceanGate says it wants to document rates of decay, examine marine life, map remaining artefacts and develop a 3D image of the entire wreck. It is funding its activities by taking tourists or “mission specialists” paying up to US $150,000 a time on its expeditions.
The 3.8km-deep dives are carried out from support vessel Horizon Arctic. OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush piloted the submersible on the first dive while the mission specialist was former French naval commander PH Nargeolet, who had already visited the Titanic more than 30 times.