Earlier this year, crewed submersible exploration company OceanGate Expeditions partnered with Newfoundland ocean tech success stories Horizon Maritime and SubC Imaging for their inaugural expedition to survey the world’s most famous shipwreck, the RMS Titanic.
Situated about 600km (370 miles) off the south coast of Newfoundland, Titanic sank in 1912, when she collided with an iceberg during her maiden voyage.
A team of experts aboard the state-of-the-art offshore support vessel Horizon Arctic is working to capture the site of the Titanic in more detail than ever before, as scientists are speculating the shipwreck will have disintegrated entirely within the next 30 years. These efforts are intended to assess the decay of the wreck over time and help to document and preserve its submerged history for future generations.
“We are excited to be providing the Horizon Arctic for the inaugural Titanic Survey Expedition, conducting this operation from our home port in St. John’s,” says Sean Leet, CEO, Horizon Maritime. “Our crews have unmatched training and experience in subsea support operations. While we have supported many complex subsea operations over the years, supporting the team making these dives to the iconic resting place of the Titanic is an exceptional honor. We are looking forward to working with the OceanGate Expeditions team and participating in these on-going missions that will document and preserve a fascinating aspect of our Atlantic Canadian heritage,” continues Leet.
The expedition will be the first of an annual series that will document the condition of the wreck, the debris field, and the marine life found there.
Crucial to these efforts is the Rayfin SubC 4K camera mounted to the exterior of the 5-person Titan submersible. Advanced SubC Imaging cameras and lights will be used throughout the expedition, allowing the crew to capture stunning detail of the iconic wreck at a depth of 3.8km (2.37 miles).
“SubC Imaging has pioneered the way subsea images are collected and we couldn’t be happier about this alliance as we embark on our survey expedition,” said Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate. “With the first ever 4K images of Titanic, we can share this wreck with the world with a clarity that has never been seen before.”
Documenting the debris field and creating a nearly lifelike digital model without disrupting the habitat or any artifacts is of top priority to the OceanGate crew. “We recognize that the entire site is a memorial and we undertake our expedition with great respect for those who died in the sinking,” said Rush. The expedition is to be conducted in accordance with NOAA and UNESCO guidelines for the preservation of underwater world heritage sites.
“Our mission at SubC is to continuously innovate the most technologically advanced and capable video equipment for the offshore and subsea markets,” said Ron Collier, VP of Business Development, SubC Imaging. “The opportunity to work with OceanGate on this expedition fits perfectly with our goal of revolutionizing the way subsea imaging is conducted.”
Preliminary video footage of the inaugural survey expedition can be viewed here with additional footage to be released in the near future.
Main photo courtesy of NOAA/Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island (NOAA/IFE/URI).
Horizon Arctic photo courtesy of Horizon Maritime.
Titan submersible photos courtesy of OceanGate Expeditions.