Sunday, January 22, 2012

Manx Company Prepares for Titanic Encounter by Adrian Darbyshire

   The bow of the Titanic on the seabed and, below, arriving at Southampton ahead of her ill-fated maiden voyage

AN Isle of Man-based deep sea research and exploration company is taking bookings for what could be the last ever diving expedition to the Titanic.

This expedition will be particularly poignant as this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.

Ramsey-based Deep Ocean Expeditions has organised multiple dives to the wreck over the past decade – but this year’s expeditions will be its first since 2005.

It doesn’t come cheap. The price of the 14-day trip, including an eight to 10- hour dive tour of the Titanic in one of two Russian Mir submersibles, comes to just under $60,000 a person.

Fewer than 150 people have ever visited the remains of the Titanic which were discovered in 1985 by oceanographer and marine biologist Dr Robert Ballard.
But those adventurers lucky enough to book a place on the Centenary Expedition will descend 12,500 feet to the bed of the North Atlantic and explore the ghostly wreck – seeing with their own eyes the Titanic’s lookout, bridge, telemotor and other artefacts that played a defining role in the greatest maritime disaster of its age.

Due to high demand for what is likely to be the firm’s last dive to the Titanic, four trips have been organised in July and August this year for the Titanic Centenary Expedition which is in partnership with the PP Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, part of the Russian Academy of Science.

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