It has been more than a century since the British liner sank after hitting an iceberg shortly before midnight on April 14, 1912. The devastating event left more than 1,500 dead, but its wreck was not discovered until 1985 during an expedition. sponsored by the US Navy. The ship was found split in two by underwater archaeologist Robert Ballard after his top-secret reconnaissance of the wreckage of two nuclear-powered attack submarines, the USS Scorpion and the USS Thresher.
But Channel 4’s “Titanic: Into the Heart of the Wreck” explained how, using an underwater robot called “Argo,” Mr. Ballard uncovered the “doomsday” scenes around the Titanic.
The narrator said: “During his expedition, explorer Robert Ballard found himself overcome with emotion.
“As he glided over the field of debris around the wreck, he discovered a multitude of small items and personal effects strewn on the ocean floor.
“It brought home the magnitude of the lives lost.”
Speaking during the documentary, Mr. Ballard detailed the gruesome scenes that unfolded before his eyes.
He added: “All that was left of the human signature was their shoes – all around the Titanic are pairs of shoes.
“These are the gravestones and I didn’t expect to be touched by them.
“I went there totally under control, so to speak, and I was blown away.
“It was a very moving experience that I did not expect.”
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The series went on to discuss how the personal belongings of the passengers are a reminder of the scale of the disaster and the lives lost.
He added: “A vast field of objects stretched out before Ballard’s eyes.
“Hundreds of thousands of items are spread over less than two kilometers from the bow and stern of the ship.
“The jumble of personal belongings of passengers mixed with giant machines testify to the violence and the drama of the shipwreck.
“Part of the debris field is nicknamed Hell’s Kitchen, because of the many kitchen utensils spat out.
“Sections of the hull lay all around.
“Deeply moved by this apocalyptic site, Ballard has vowed to preserve the wreckage as a sanctuary for the lives lost.”
Since its initial discovery, the Titanic wreck has been revisited numerous times by explorers, scientists, filmmakers, tourists and rescuers, who have recovered thousands of objects from the debris field for conservation and l public exhibition.
The condition of the vessel has deteriorated significantly over the years, mainly due to an accelerated rate of growth of iron-eating bacteria on the hull.
Many Titanic artifacts have been recovered from the seabed by RMS Titanic Inc, which is on display around the world and in a permanent display at the Luxor Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.
The wreck of the Titanic falls under the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.
This means that all states party to the convention prohibit the looting, commercial exploitation, sale and scattering of the wreck and its artifacts.