Where Did the Titanic Sink?
It's well-known that the Titanic sank as a result of a collision with an iceberg, but what you might not know is where it sank. Where exactly was the Titanic when she plunged below the ocean's surface? What was her last port of call? Where was she headed? How far was she from her final destination when she sank?
When Did the Titanic Sink?
The Titanic disembarked on her maiden voyage on April 10th, 1912. Mere days later, the ship collided with an iceberg. Sometime in the early morning hours of April 15th, she slipped under the icy waters (which were roughly 28° F) of the North Atlantic. Over 1,500 passengers and crew (including the captain) perished.
When Was the Wreckage Located?
It took researchers years to find the Titanic's wreckage. She was not seen again until September of 1985 when researchers on the vessel Knorr were able to identify debris from the ship's boilers.
Where Was the Titanic Found?
Research teams were initially hindered by the fact that the Titanic's final resting place was nowhere near the location of her last distress call. After searching for the wrecked vessel for some time, Dr. Robert Ballard found the first remnants 13 miles southeast of the location of the final distress call.
As it turns out, the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean roughly 400 miles (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.
A Mark on an Iceberg
An iceberg with a red streak of paint along its base was found on April 15th, 1912, close to where the Titanic sank some 12 hours earlier.
Where Is the Titanic's Wreckage?
As the Titanic was sinking, the bow and stern separated as a result of structural stresses on the ship. This caused the vessel's contents to be strewn across the ocean floor in a debris field spanning roughly 2000 feet.
The bow of the Titanic, which comprises the largest piece 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 of the ship's boilers was at 41°43'32" N, 49°56'49" W. The Titanic made her final distress call from 41°46' N, 50°14' W.
Where Was the Titanic Going?
The Titanic started her journey in Southampton, England headed toward Cherbourg, France. From Cherbourg, the Titanic sailed to Cobh (then known as Queenstown), Ireland. After leaving Cobh—her final port of call—the Titanic made her maiden voyage across the Atlantic bound for New York, USA.
How Far Was the Titanic From Her Destination When She Sank?
By the time she collided with the iceberg, 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 17th, 1912. The ill-fated voyage across the icy waters ended approximately 1000 miles from New York. The Titanic was within mere hours of the Lightship Ambrose and only about 375 miles due south of Newfoundland when she had her fateful rendezvous with the drifting chunk of ice that caused her demise.
How Deep Is the Titanic's Wreckage?
The Titanic currently rests in mud and sediment on the ocean floor approximately 12,415 feet (2.35 miles) below the surface. That's incredibly deep! The pressure and frigid temperature at this depth make exploration and excavation efforts extremely difficult, dangerous, and costly.
Map of the Titanic's Route
What Is Being Done to Preserve The Titanic's Remains?
While freezing cold temperatures have, to some extent, helped preserve the Titanic, she is nevertheless starting to decay and fall apart. Roofs have begun to cave-in, decks have started to grow weaker, and the stern may soon collapse. Because of this, many deep-sea expedition teams are doing what they can to help preserve the ship.
The vessel is currently undergoing sonar mapping, which will later 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 recovered and 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
Where is the Titanic now?
The Titanic is still at the bottom of the ocean, in its final resting place.Helpful 32
© 2012 Melanie Palen