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A month after the Titan submersible implosion, a memorial ceremony for Paul-Henri Nargeolet, one of five people who died, is due to be streamed live on Wednesday, July 19th.

The French deep-sea explorer and Titanic expert lost his life along with businessman Hamish Harding, OceanGate owner Stockton Rush, and father and son Suleman and Shahzada Dawood during an expedition to visit the Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland on June 18th.

The ceremony is being hosted by RMS Titanic Inc, which was awarded salvage-in-possession status for the wreck of the Titanic in 1994.

“We, with the rest of the world, watched the devastating news unfold that our friend and colleague Paul-Henri Nargeolet (whom we fondly refer to as “PH”) had perished along with four other passengers in the Titan accident,” RMS Titanic Inc said in a statement.

“ Five men, husbands, fathers, sons- one just 19 years old perished together, and we, again, extend our condolences to the families and friends of those lost. We are all deeply mourning,” it said.

“After careful thought and consideration, RMS Titanic, Inc. has decided to host a private memorial ceremony for our PH Nargeolet on July 19, 2023, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm EDT (20h30 - 21h30 CEST), which will be streamed live to provide an outlet for the world-wide Titanic and oceanographic communities to remember our colleague and friend, and express our grief together,” it said.

“The in-person event will be closed to the public, but there is no registration necessary to watch and participate online,” it said.

The online link for participation is here

RMS Titanic Inc said it was also inviting people to share comments and memories of “PH” so they may be presented in a book to the family.

These can be recorded on this link 

Published in Titanic
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The “maverick design” of the Titan submersible made it more susceptible to implosion, the New York Times has said.

The material used for the submersible may also have been a factor, the newspaper says.

Five people – businessman Hamish Harding, OceanGate owner Stockton Rush, Suleman Dawood with his father, Shahzada Dawood, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet – died last month during a dive in the submersible to the wreck of the Titanic.

A New York Times report quotes Tim Foecke, a retired forensic metallurgist, as stating that the change in hull geometry from a tight sphere to a lengthy tube may have contributed to Titan’s catastrophic failure.

“A spherical hull distributes the stress evenly, making it the best shape for resisting the compressive forces of the abyss,” the newspaper says.

Any other shape will “tend to deform unevenly”.

A larger hull needs to be stronger and thicker to withstand the same pressure as a smaller one, Foecke explained.

Experts who spoke to the newspaper compared Titan to Alvin, a research submersible with an all-titanium hull which has completed more than 4,500 dives since 1973.

It notes that OceanGate created most of Titan’s hull out of carbon fibre, rather than the conventional titanium used for Alvin. Experts said the risky design saved money.

Titan’s hull was larger and held two more passengers than Alvin, which fits three. In three years of dives, OceanGate charged up to 250,000 US dollars per person to visit the Titanic.

Read more in the New York Times here (subscription required).

Published in Titanic
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A number of calls have been made for the Titanic shipwreck and grave site to be left alone following the recent loss of five lives in the Titan submersible implosion.

Pakistani businessman and son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood; British businessman Hamish Harding; French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet; and Stockton Rush, the CEO of the vessel’s operator, OceanGate Expeditions, all died in the incident some 400 miles east of Newfoundland, Canada.

As reported by the Belfast Newsletter, a number of Titanic enthusiasts in both Northern Ireland and abroad have said the loss of life should lead to a review of how the wreck of the Titanic is treated.

Stephen Cameron, author of the book Titanic: Belfast’s Own, told the News Letter: “It's extremely sad, and my thoughts would be with the families of those who were lost”.

"But I've always said this from the word go, from when it was discovered: leave the thing alone. It's a grave site,” Cameron said.

"On what's left of the ship's bridge are plaques from everybody who has been down to it. It's disgraceful, to be perfectly honest with you,” he told the newspaper.

In a statement published online, Charles Haas, president of the Titanic International Society, said it was “time to consider seriously whether human trips to Titanic’s wreck should end in the name of safety, with relatively little remaining to be learned from or about the wreck”.

“Crewed submersibles’ roles in surveying the wreck now can be assigned to autonomous underwater vehicles,” he said.

“The world joins us in expressing our profound sadness and heartbreak about this tragic, avoidable event,” Haas said.

The late OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush had visited Belfast, and his company posted a photo online showing him in the old dry dock in the Titanic Quarter.

Former president of the Belfast Titanic Society Una Reilly, said she hopes that “sense will rear its head again” and that the grave site should be “left in peace”.

Read the Newsletter here

Published in Titanic
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Rescuers are racing against the clock to locate and retrieve a tourist submarine that’s gone missing while on a dive to view the Titanic wreck site.

According to The Irish Times, prominent maritime experts and explorers are among the five people on board the mini submarine which lost contact with the surface less than two hours after going below on Sunday afternoon (18 June).

The missing vessel is OceanGate’s Titan, which since 2021 has been running expeditions for paying guests to the wreck of the ill-fated, Belfast-built ocean liner some 4km below the North Atlantic, as previously reported on

Search teams from the US and Canada are combing the area some 600km off Newfoundland in a “complex” operation as it is unknown whether the mini sub has surfaced or remains on the ocean floor.

And time is of the essence as officials believe the sub’s crew may run out of air between Wednesday (21) and Thursday (22 June).

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Titanic

The first full-size digital scan of the Titanic shipwreck lying 3,800 metres down in the Atlantic has been created using deep sea mapping.

As BBC News reports, the scan was carried out in the summer of 2022 by Magellan Ltd, a deep-sea mapping company, and Atlantic Productions, which is making a documentary about the project.

The team used submersibles, remotely controlled by a team on board a specialist ship, which took more than 700,000 images from every possible angle.

Over 200 hours were recorded surveying the length and breadth of the wreck, with the aim of shedding new light on what caused the ship to sink with the loss of 1,500 lives in 1912.

The shipwreck was discovered by North American oceanographer and marine geologist Robert Ballard in 1985, around 650km off the Canadian coast.

Ballard had been working with France’s Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer and was on board the US Navy research ship Knorr.

Magellan's Gerhard Seiffert told BBC News it was the largest underwater scanning project he had undertaken.

"The depth of it, almost 4,000m, represents a challenge, and you have currents at the site, too - and we're not allowed to touch anything so as not to damage the wreck," he explained.

Irish diver Rory Golden, who is preparing for his fifth expedition to the ship, described the level of detail in the 3D images as "extraordinary".

In an interview with RTÉ Radio’s News At One, Golden said that “the bow section is the most recognisable feature”.

“The stern section is a mess. It's a very dangerous area; the images show that it's just a tangled mess of metal and steel,” he said.

"The bow plunged into the seabed, and the bow is something that people recognise, and it's still quite intact," he said.

"The stern area is the area which more or less exploded when it hit the bottom, and all the debris and artefacts are scattered around that area,” Golden said.

"To see the whole imaging like that done in such a vast expanse on the seabed is a unique experience for anyone to see," he said.

The BBC News report is here

Listen to Rory Golden’s interview on RTÉ Radio News at One here

Published in Titanic
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A remarkable video including rare and previously unreleased footage reveals some of the first ever views of the wreck of the Titanic.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, the feature-length posting on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s YouTube channel comprises uncut footage from a 1986 expedition to the site led by Robert Ballard, just months after the RMS Titanic’s final resting place was found.

The oceanographic team famously explored the site with a three-person submarine named Alvin, and captured images of its interior with and ROV called Jason Jr.

In a statement accompanying the film, Hollywood director and noted deep-sea exploration enthusiast James Cameron said: “By releasing this footage, WHOI is helping tell an important part of a story that spans generations and circles the globe.”

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Titanic
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Harold Cottam was a 21-year old radio operator who was on duty on the night of April 14th, 1912 on board passenger ship RMS Carpathia when he received a Morse code message he would never forget.

Nor would the world, for Cottam was the telegraphist who picked up the first distress call from the RMS Titanic.

The RMS Carpathia was about four hours away from the Titanic, and steaming in the opposite direction towards the Mediterranean.

Its captain Arthur Rostron, changed course – which meant heading for ice - and took a number of measures to increase speed while ordering the crew to prepare food, blankets and medical care for any survivors.

The lesser-known story of the Carpathia’s role in rescuing 705 Titanic survivors has been recalled by Belfast author and illustrator Flora Delargy, whose grandfather and great grandfather both worked in the Belfast Shipyards where the Titanic was built.

Rescuing Titantic book

Morse code, navigation tools, the different roles of the crew, how the ships found each other, and by-the-minute details of exactly what happened on this cold and fateful night are reflected in her illustrated text, which has received critical claim from British publication The Bookseller.

Incidentally, the Carpathia, a Cunard Line passenger steamship, was sunk six years later on July 17th 1918 off the south Irish coast after being torpedoed three times by German submarine U-55.

Flora Delargy spoke to Wavelengths about her debut publication, and you can listen below

Published in Wavelength Podcast
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A new illustrated story of quiet bravery tells in detail how the little ship Carpathia saved 705 passengers of the Titanic from the icy waters of the North Atlantic.

The intrepid little ship heroically changed course and headed straight into the frozen sea to help save as many people as it could.

Along the journey, you will learn all about Morse code, navigation tools, the different roles of the crew, how the ships found each other, and by-the-minute details of exactly what happened on this cold and fateful night.

Flora Delargy is an author and illustrator from Belfast who loves to bring to life true tales and events from the past. Her grandfather and great grandfather both worked in the Belfast Shipyards where the Titanic was built.

Published in Titanic
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Deep down, four miles beneath the surface of the North Atlantic, the wreck of Titanic is dying as Nature "takes it back to itself."

So says Irish diver Rory Golden who is taking part in the current expedition to the wreck site using the newest submersible in the world, Titan. But, he says, the part of the tragic liner most remembered by the public will survive – the bow.

Titan on the surface at the wreck siteSubmerisible Titan on the surface at the wreck site

That has evocative memories for me as I outline on this week's Podcast with Rory Golden.

The expedition has been eleven years in preparation by the privately-owned USA company, OceanGate, which was founded in 2009 with the aim of increasing access to the deep ocean. It required a lot of discussion with the Canadian authorities before the expedition was allowed proceed.

Seabed image from Titanic site  Photo: Rory GoldenSeabed image from Titanic site Photo: Rory Golden

Podcast here.

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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Dublin Bay diver Rory Golden will join the 2021 Titanic Survey Expedition starting in May going back to the wreck after a gap of 16 years, and taking part in a “sea bed” breaking scientific expedition.

Golden has over 44 years of dive experience and played key roles in Titanic expeditions and dives in 2000 and 2005.

Citizen explorers, known as Mission Specialists, will work hand-in-hand with Golden and other scientific, archaeological, and oceanographic experts throughout the expedition.

“I will never forget the first time I saw the Titanic. We were travelling along the flat ocean floor towards the ship and we came upon a wall of mud,” recalls Rory Golden. “We were at the forward section, near the bow, and we slowly rose up a steel wall that was covered in rivets and rusticles. Eventually we ascended over the top and there she was. It was a rush of emotion. She is massive and awe-inspiring. You are excited, amazed, and, at the same time, you feel a deep sadness for all those lost. It is unlike anything else I have experienced in over 40 years of diving. In the five short years between my dives to the Titanic the changes were dramatic. I’m anxious to bear witness to the deep ocean’s impact on this historic sight,” says Golden.

The bow of the Titantic Photo: Rory GoldenThe bow of the Titanic Photo: Rory Golden

Rory is highly regarded in the dive and Titanic communities. As a member of the Explorers Club and Vice Chair of the Great Britain and Ireland Chapter, he has been an active explorer, diver, and researcher dedicated to the preservation of Titanic history. We are proud and excited to welcome him to our expeditionary team for the 2021 Titanic Survey Expedition,” says Stockton Rush, President, OceanGate Expeditions. “His knowledge and previous documentation of this revered shipwreck will help us navigate the features of the wreck site and assess how quickly the wreck is decaying,” continues Rush.

Six missions scheduled for Summer 2021 will mark the inaugural expedition of a multi-year effort to preserve Titanic history for future generations and document the rate of decay of the important site. Using an array of high-resolution 4K cameras, a laser scanner, and sonar equipment, OceanGate Expeditions’ team will create a fully explorable photorealistic virtual 3-D model of the site.

Each participating citizen scientist will embark on 8-days at sea as a Mission Specialist crewmember and make one untethered 8 to 10-hour submersible dive as part of a 5-person team (sub pilot, subject matter expert, three mission specialists).

Each submersible dive team will spend several hours exploring the renowned Titanic wreck-site. The Summer 2021 Expedition schedule runs late-May through mid-July.

Published in Diving
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