Where Did The Titanic Sink?
Where the Titanic sank
The Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean roughly 400 miles (that's 640 km) southeast of the coast of Newfoundland. The bow of the ship was found at 41°43'57" N, 49°56'49" W and the stern was located at 41°43'35" N, 49°56'54" W.
It's well-known that the Titanic sank as a result of a collision with an iceberg1, but what you might not know is where it sank. Where did it sink in relation to her last port of call? What was her last port of call? Where was the Titanic headed? How far from her destination was the Titanic?
The Titanic slipped under the icy waters (roughly 28° F) of the Northern Atlantic ocean in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912. It took researchers years to find the Titanic wreckage. She was not seen again until September of 1985 when researchers on the vessel Knorr were able to identify debris of the boiler.2 Research teams had been hindered by the fact that the Titanic's final resting place was nowhere near the location of her final distress call. After searching for the wrecked vessel, Dr. Robert Ballard found the first remnants of the ship located 13 miles southeast of the location of the last distress call.3
Where the Titanic is Located
As the Titanic was sinking, the bow and stern separated due to the structural stress placed on the ship. This caused the contents of the ship to be strewn across the ocean floor in a debris field spanning roughly 2000 feet.
The bow of the Titanic, which is the larger section of the wreckage, was found at 41°43'57" N, 49°56'49" W. The ship's stern was located at 41°43'35" N, 49°56'54" W. The final resting place for the ship's boilers is at 41°43'32" N, 49°56'49" W.
The Titanic made her final distress call from 41°46'N, 50° 14'.
These coordinates show there is a fairly wide sprawl of the wreckage.
Where Was the Titanic Going?
The Titanic started her journey in Southampton, England and headed toward Cherbourg, France. From Cherbourg, the Titanic sailed to Queenstown/Cobh, Ireland.
After leaving her final port of call of Cobh, Ireland, the Titanic made her maiden voyage across the Atlantic set to arrive in New York.
The Titanic had already covered more than half of her journey from Cobh and was set to dock at Pier 59 in New York on April 17, 1912.4
The ill-fated voyage across the icy waters ended approximately 1000 miles from New York. However, the Titanic was only within hours of the Lightship Ambrose and only about 375 miles due south of Newfoundland when she had her fateful rendezvous with drifting ice.
Where the Titanic traveled
How Deep is the Titanic Wreckage?
The Titanic currently rests in mud and sediment on the ocean floor, approximately 12,415 feet (2.35 miles) below the waves. That's really deep! The pressure at this depth, paired with the frigid temperatures, makes any exploration and excavation very difficult, not to mention expensive!
Preserving the Titanic
While freezing cold temperatures have, to some extent, helped preserve the Titanic, she is starting to decay and fall apart. Roofs have started to cave-in, decks are becoming weaker, and the stern may even collapse. Because of this, many deep-sea expedition teams are doing what they can to preserve the ship.
Currently, the ship is undergoing sonar mapping which will be used to form a 3D replica of the wreckage. This replica will be used by scientists in order to better study the ship.
Perhaps someday, we will have the technology to bring both the bow and stern of the Titanic to the surface. Currently, many objects from the ship, including coal, metal, dishes, and items owned by the ship's passengers are being brought to the surface. Imagine being able to see the ship in its entirety!
Official investigation report - the sinking of RMS Titanic (PDF) (1 ed.). London: The final board of inquiry. Retrieved 4 Feb 2018.
Ballard, Robert D. (1987). The Discovery of the Titanic. New York: Warner Books.
Ballard, Robert D.; Hively, Will (2002). The Eternal Darkness: A Personal History of Deep-Sea Exploration. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
"Titanic Ship Listing". Chris' Cunard Page. Retrieved 4 Feb 2018.
Questions & Answers
© 2012 Melanie Shebel