ABOVE THE ABYSS
It’s 6:00 a.m., and the first hints of light on the horizon reveal scattered clouds in a gray sky and the flecks of whitecaps on the ocean’s dark surface. I’m aboard the Russian research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh. We’re slowly steaming in a wide circle, barely making headway in the rolling sea. For the last week, we’ve kept the same course, 368 miles southeast of St. John’s, Newfoundland, constantly retracing our wake on this patch of ocean, far from sight of land.
Featureless it may be, but this area of ocean is famous because of what happened here on the late evening and early morning hours of April 14 and 15, 1912. Two and a quarter miles below us, at the bottom of the sea, lies the wreck of Titanic. And in a few hours, I will slowly descend to the ocean floor, sealed in a small deep-sea submersible, to visit the wreck in the freezing, pitch-black, crushing depths.
Ever since Titanic’s shattered hulk was discovered in 1985, only about a hundred people have made the risky dive into the abyss to visit it. That’s far fewer than the number of humans who have flown into space.
The name itself says it all: Titanic. The second of three enormous steamships designed and built to be the world’s largest, Titanic was the epitome of an age of confidence and achievement. The ship was 882 feet, 9 inches long, with a beam or width of 92 feet, 6 inches. From her keel to the top of her funnels, Titanic towered 175 feet, and the distance from the waterline to the boat deck was the same as a six-story building. The hull displaced or weighed 66,000 tons. Each steel plate that went into the hull was 30 feet long, 6 feet wide and an inch thick.
The wreck itself, deep down in the eternal darkness of the bottom of the North Atlantic, has continued, as author Susan Wels points out, “to fire and torment the public’s imagination.” “The location of her sinking,” said Wels, “an imprecisely known patch of the Atlantic, vacant and menacing… became part of the world’s geography. Unknown and unreachable, her abyssal grave and her fatal voyage obsessed dreamers and adventurers for more than seven decades.”
When the news of finding Titanic, by the joint French-U.S. team of Jean-Louis Michel and Robert Ballard, was announced in the early morning hours of September 1, 1985, the world’s press provided, at first in brief snippets, and then in more detail, images and information from the bottom of the Atlantic. From a few simple views of the bow and a single boiler to dozens of images of empty decks, empty lifeboat davits and scattered debris, the eerie scenes gave immediacy to what was, for a new generation, a distant and abstract tragedy. Robert Ballard himself felt it, just hours after his euphoria over finding the wreck faded. “It was one thing to have won—to have found the ship. It was another thing to be there. That was the spooky part. I could see the Titanic as she slipped nose first into the glassy water. Around me were the ghostly shapes of the lifeboats and the piercing shouts and screams of people freezing to death in the water.”
The wreck of Titanic, in all its twisted, rusting splendor, like many other historic sites—Pompeii, Tutankhamen’s tomb or other shipwrecks—gives people a “temporal touchstone.” In this case, it is a time machine that provides a physical link to the “night to remember.” I’ve joined other viewers of many television specials, the IMAX film Titanica and James Cameron’s movie Titanic to watch as submersibles and cameras pass various spots mentioned in the history books and survivors’ accounts. The crow’s nest where lookout Frederick Fleet picked up the telephone and gave warning of an iceberg. The boat deck with its empty lifeboat davits. The remains of the bridge, where Captain Edward John Smith was last seen. But being an archeologist who has spent two decades exploring the seabed and lost shipwrecks, I wanted to see this wreck for myself. Zegrahm DeepSea Voyages, a subsidiary of Zegrahm Expeditions in Seattle, Washington, has offered adventurers the opportunity to participate in Russian scientific dives to the wreck of Titanic since 1998. The price—$35,500 in 1999—was out of my range, but Zegrahm offered me the chance of a lifetime. As a lecturing archeologist and “team leader,” I could join the year 2000 scientific expedition and get a dive, if I would share my experiences and observations with my fellow passengers.
At the heart of the research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh’s operations are two extraordinary submersibles, Mir 1 and Mir 2. “Mother ship” to the two subs, and a floating workshop and scientific platform, Keldysh is the center of Russia’s deep-sea program. The participation of Mir 1and Mir 2 in the IMAX film and Cameron’s Titanic made both submersibles famous, as well as Keldysh and her crew. Their star status notwithstanding, the men and women of Keldysh are excellent scientists and technicians whose work has advanced the frontiers of science. The ocean covers two-thirds of the planet, yet during the last century of oceanographic research, humans have gained detailed knowledge of only 5 per cent of its depths.
In the nineteenth century, scientists dropped dredges and nets to grab samples from the deep, while divers wearing heavy helmets, thick rubberized canvas suits and lead-weighted boots walked the shallower depths. In 1930, the first submersible to go deep, William Beebe’s round steel bathysphere, made a 3,280-foot dive off Bermuda, suspended on a steel cable from a surface ship. It was followed in the late 1940s and 1950s by bathyscaphes—self-propelled undersea vehicles with tanks for buoyancy and ballast. In the 1960s, the Cold War with Russia inspired the development and construction of deep submersibles, as the ocean depths became a strategic frontier. The famous Alvin, as well as France’s Nautile, both deep-ocean submersibles developed during the Cold War, were involved in the earliest dives on Titanic. Back home, at my own Vancouver Maritime Museum, is another Cold War-era submersible, built in 1968: Ben Franklin is capable of diving to 3,280 feet and staying down for thirty days, the largest deep-diving submersible ever built.
Mir 1 and Mir 2 were built in Finland in 1985–87 at a cost of $25 million each, for Russia’s Shirshov Institute of Oceanology. The builder, Rauma-Repola, was awarded the contract after the United States pressured the Canadian government to block the sale of Vancouver-built Pisces submersibles to the Soviets. Each 18.6-ton Mir is an engineering marvel capable of diving to (and returning from) depths of up to 4 miles. The heart of each sub is a 6-foot diameter nickel-steel pressure sphere 1½ inches thick. Inside that small sphere, three persons—a pilot and two observers, as well as life-support equipment, sonars and the sub’s controls—have to fit. It is a tight, cramped workspace.
After we load our gear, Keldysh clears the harbor of St. John’s and begins the twenty-hour cruise to the Titanic wreck site. We arrive in the early morning hours of September 1. The crew of Keldysh prepares for the dive by dropping three acoustic transponders around the wreck to help the two Mirs to navigate and to give mission control aboard Keldysh an indication of where we are 2¼ miles below them.
Five days of diving—a total often dives, each with two passengers and a Russian pilot—follow. As we slowly circle this famous patch of ocean, I stare out over the dark blue water and then up at the clear night sky, the stars burning brightly, unobscured by city lights. I can’t help thinking about what happened at this very site eighty-eight years ago. Ballard was right when he said this is a spooky spot on the ocean. The power of the human imagination, and the fact that I am exactly where the tragic events happened, bring to mind that ill-fated ship poised on the brink of her final plunge, the silently bobbing bodies, deck chairs, broken wood and steamer trunks. The next morning, some people confess that during the evening they came up on deck, or like me, looked out of an open porthole, and felt the impact of being here—it was an emotional moment. Those of us who will be diving in the subs are wondering how we will feel, how we will react, when we reach the ocean’s floor and see Titanic.
In conversations with the other divers and participants, the motive for their presence on the expedition is a constant and early question. Each of us wants to know why the others chose to do this dive. One motive is historical interest—a British non-diving passenger is a keen student of Titanic’s history, and many others have more than a passing acquaintance with the ship’s famous story. Another is that it is an opportunity to participate in the exploration of a shipwreck and to see a part of our world that few ever visit. There is a powerful intellectual curiosity afoot, stoked not just by this famous shipwreck but also by working with a top team of scientists and technicians to experience first hand these amazing submersibles and to view the ocean depths. By volume, the sea covers 99.5 per cent of our biosphere, with 78.5 per cent of that taken up by deep ocean.
There is probably more diversity of life in the deep sea than on land, and the opportunity to see some of that life, as well as the very real possibility of discovering a new species through observation as the subs drop through the water, interests a few of the diving passengers. For others, there is the rarity of what we are about to do. And for most, if not all, there is the passionate desire to learn more, to connect with the past, by visiting the wreck in person and not just seeing it on film. This is a visit to an undersea museum and graveyard, made all the more powerful by the nature of the tragic event that left the wreck and its scattered contents as a moment in time.
Driving the need to visit the wreck now is a concern over reports that Titanic is deteriorating rapidly. A USA TODAY story, published just before we departed, quoted scientists who think that Titanic will collapse within two years. There is also a concern that the ongoing salvage of Titanic’sartifacts by RMS Titanic Inc., an American salvage firm, is diminishing the “time capsule” effect of the wreck. Since 1987, RMS Titanic Inc. has made over a hundred dives and pulled nearly six thousand artifacts from the sea.
RMS Titanic Inc. is seeking to cover the costs of its dives through public displays of these artifacts, as well as film deals and souvenir sales that include small pieces of coal from Titanic’s bunkers. Recently, the company, which has no museum or permanent home for the collection, raised the possibility of selling the artifacts. While that sale idea has been blocked, for the time being at least, by the U.S. courts, there is a risk, whether through nature or by human activity, that the opportunity to explore the ultimate Titanicmuseum—the shipwreck site itself and the associated artifacts—is at risk.
DIVING ON TITANIC: A DAY TO REMEMBER
We assemble in the lab at 9:30 a.m. Mir 1 is loading, and we watch as the huge crane picks up the submersible, swings it over the side and then, timing the waves, lowers it into the water. As the support boat Koresh (“friend” in Russian) comes alongside, a Zodiac roars up and a wet-suited diver leaps out from it onto the partially awash Mir. After unhooking the huge umbilical that connects Mir to the crane, he fastens a towline and straddles the sub, riding it as Koresh pulls it clear of Keldysh. Then he unhooks the towline, and, as the Zodiac quickly swoops in, he makes a flying leap into it as Mir 1 starts her dive.
Now it’s our turn. My dive partner is Scott Fitzsimmons, president of Zegrahm. After a quick chat with Anatoly Sagalevitch, the senior scientist, and our pilot, Evgeny “Genya” Chernaiev, we climb up the ladder one by one, at 9:45 a.m. At the top, two technicians take our shoes (no shoes are allowed inside in order to keep the sub’s delicate electronics dust-free) and hand us our gear as we lower ourselves through the narrow hatch. A thick rubber O-ring is positioned on the hatch’s tapered rim to make a watertight seal. Looking at it, I can’t help but think about the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. Faulty O-rings doomed Challenger and her crew in a disaster caused by an over-reliance on technology—and many observers have compared Challenger to Titanic. I take a hard look at the O-ring but am reassured by the careful inspection that the Russian crew give it.
Scott follows me in, and we take up positions on either side of Genya as he preps the sub for launch. We lie, half-flexed, on narrow padded bunks that have me tucking my feet into a crowded corner between cables and stowed gear. The crew lowers the hatch and Genya secures it, then he folds up the internal ladder and locks it over the hatch. He switches on life support, and as the air gets richer with oxygen, the muffled bumping above us signals the arrival of the crane. Peering out the tiny view ports, we watch the deckhands unshackle the cables that hold Mir 2 to the deck, then we rise up and over the gunwale. It is a smooth ride, and not until we hit the water do we feel any movement. We roll with the waves as Koresh tows us clear of Keldysh. Genya reaches overhead and floods our ballast tanks with 3,300 pounds of sea water, then suddenly, just 9 feet beneath the waves, the sub stops rolling. We’re dropping now, at a rate of about 105 feet a minute, slowly picking up speed as we free-fall all the way down to the ocean floor. The slow spin of the sub’s compass shows we’re spiraling, just the way that water does when it goes down a drain.
It’s hot inside the sub—about 75° F—and as we fall, Genya rechecks the systems. Only one small light is on, and Genya is playing light jazz on the CD player. In two minutes, we pass 213 feet, the maximum depth I’ve reached as a scuba diver. Scott exchanges a grin with me—we’re looking forward to hitting bottom in a couple of hours. The feet click away on the electronic display behind me, and we both watch at 492 feet as the last light disappears from the water. Light blue gave way to dark magenta, but now it is pitch black outside. The light from inside the sub dimly outlines the manipulator arm and video camera mounted near my view port, and as I watch it, I notice the occasional flash of a bioluminescent sea creature as we continue to fall.
At 10:50 a.m., we reach 6,560 feet. Genya switches on the powerful external lights for a check and examines the motors of Sergeytch, our small remotely operated vehicle (ROV), in its external “garage.” The ROV is a small robot camera linked to Mir 2 by a cable. It has not worked all week, and technicians spent long hours fixing a thruster problem so that we can get some close-in interior photos of Titanic. All systems are “go” as Genya fires up Sergeytch and tries the thrusters. At 11:17, Mir 2 reaches 9,840 feet, and Genya turns on the sonar and pings the seabed below us. At 11:42, Genya starts Mir 2’s thrusters, and we slow to lightly touch down at 11:45.
The deep-sea submersible Mir 1 being lowered to dive on Titanic. James P. Delgado
We’re at a depth of 12,465 feet. That’s 2 % miles down, the average depth of the world’s oceans, and the deepest I’ve ever been. The pressure outside the sphere is 6,000 psi. If we spring a leak, we won’t live long enough to worry about it. Outside Mir 2, in a net bag lashed to a sonar, we carry some forty Styrofoam cups as souvenirs for the crew and passengers on Keldysh. The intense pressure collapses and shrinks the cups, complete with the written inscriptions and decorations people have added to them, to less than half their original size. But this environment, though perpetually dark and crushing, does support life. The seemingly barren, yellow-white clay and silt bottom is the habitat for some species, including a large, ashy gray rattail fish that slowly swims before us as Genya lifts the sub off the bottom and we start moving forward. The sonar, reaching ahead of us, clearly shows the sharp angle of Titanic’s bow 1,640 feet away in the dark.
We start to climb a mound of tumbled clay. Suddenly, without warning, a wall of rusting steel looms out of the darkness. It fills the view ports as our bright lights pick out the edges of the hull plates and the rivers of rust bleeding from them and onto the seabed. The mound we have climbed was created when Titanic’s bow slammed into the seabed and ploughed it up as she slid along, until the thick clay arrested the motion of its long fall from the surface. Genya slowly pilots Mir 2 up past the huge anchor, still in its hawse pipe, then here we are, at the tip of the bow made famous by Leonardo DiCaprio’s “king of the world” exuberance and his lingering kiss with Kate Winslet in the movie Titanic. The size of the massive spare anchor nestled atop the bow stuns me. It is bigger than our sub, and despite seeing numerous photos and videos of it, nothing has quite prepared me for the scale of the anchor—or the ship.
We pass over the bow, the anchor chain, the capstans with their brass covers, the No. 1 cargo hold and the anchor windlass. We stop for an hour at the cargo hold, latching on to the edge of the hatch with one of Mir’s arms. Genya switches on the tiny ROVSergeytch and sends it down into the hold. Despite working perfectly earlier, the ROV now has a problem. One of its thrusters is not working, and try as he can, Genya cannot easily maneuver Sergeytch. But we do get a view of the inside of the wreck. It is a rust-filled cavern, with dangling rusticles everywhere. We cannot penetrate far in without fear of losing Sergeytch, though, so finally Genya slowly backs it out and returns it to its small “garage.” We fire up our motors, unhook from the hatch and continue our dive.
Forward of the windlass rests the broken base of the ship’s mast, and we follow the steep angle of the fallen mast up into the gloom. An open oval hatch in the mast marks the location of the crow’s nest. We shine a light in, and see the rungs of the ladder that the lookouts once climbed to reach this perch. I think of the opening act of the drama that started here at 11:40 on that long-ago evening—“Iceberg, right ahead!” Then we pass over the folded arms of the cargo cranes and stop, hovering, over the bridge deck.
The ship’s bridge is gone, either smashed by a falling funnel or swept away by the sea as Titanic sank. Captain Smith was last seen here, and I think of the scene in the film where he locks himself in and gazes in horror as the cold green sea presses against the windows, with just the creaking of the dying ship to keep him company before the glass shatters and the sea engulfs the bridge. Now, all that remains is the brass telemotor, or steering gear, the wooden sill of the bridge’s bulkheads, and a tangle of electrical wires from the lights and controls. Five brass memorial plaques and a bundle of plastic red roses and ferns, placed here by other expeditions, are a powerful reminder that for a number of people, this ship is a gravesite.
There are other, equally affecting reminders of the tragedy. Lifeboat davits stand at the edges of the boat deck, their empty falls a silent indictment of too few boats and boats lowered in haste only half full. Proceeding along the port-side boat deck, we come to a davit lying over the deck. Up until now, I have been intently observing, shooting photos and focusing on the physical reality of the wreck. But I realize this is not just any davit. This is the davit for lifeboat No. 8. What happened at this exact spot on the deck is one of the great and haunting stories of that night. Isidor and Ida Straus, with their maid, came to this boat. Mrs. Straus and the maid climbed in, but Mr. Straus could not, of course, given the rule of “women and children first.”
The boat was not full, and there were no other women or children to load, but rules were rules. There was also a powerful social convention that would have branded Straus a coward had he climbed into that boat. But Mrs. Straus believed that their place was together. They had been married for more than fifty years, and so, filled with love, Mrs. Straus climbed out of that lifeboat and walked away with her husband, presumably back to their cabin to wait for the end together. In the James Cameron film, they are lying dressed in their coats, on their bed, holding each other and weeping as the cold sea pours in. As we drift over that davit, what happened to the Strauses ceases to be a story. It is real, as real as the deck and that fallen davit from the boat that they did not take to safety.
I have tears in my eyes as we pass over the davit. Some people think archeology is all about science, while others argue that it is about humanity. I tend to agree with the humanists, for though science does play in a role in what we do, we should never lose sight of the fact that the focus of our work is people. The power of Mrs. Straus’s sacrifice is a reminder of that, and as I cry, I notice I am not alone. The wreck of Titanic, down here in the darkness and silence, preserves a sense of immediacy and a link to tragedy, both large scale and individual, that you do not often experience.
We then rise, passing over the gaping doorways and windows of the officers’ quarters. Glass in the panes brightly reflects our lights. Ahead is the skylight that looks down into the Marconi Wireless Room, where the SOS was broadcast from the sinking ship. Here, some of the heroes of the disaster, like senior wireless operator Harold Bride, worked to the very end, trying to get help.
We turn around and move aft to where the first-class staircase, in all of its ornately carved splendor, once led below. At the edge of one deck, two chandeliers are visible, hanging from their wiring, a reminder of former elegance in this ruin. We follow the sloping deck to the break in the hull where the ship ripped apart as the stern rose high into the air. For years after the tragedy, some people argued that Titanic sank intact, while others insisted that the ship was torn apart. The arguments ended with the discovery of the wreck in 1985.
We descend to the seabed again, turning forward to look into the severed bow section’s boiler room. Here Titanic fractured: the torn and crumpled steel, the half crushed and twisted water and steam pipes, and the five massive boilers that rise before us as high as a three-story-tall wall, are impressive not only in their mass but in the gargantuan scale of the damage. The steel is deformed and stretched in some areas like saltwater taffy on a hot summer’s day. Other hull plates have jagged edges like a shattered porcelain plate. Everywhere is a tangled mess of electrical wires. As we edge along this open wound, we look up to see the towering mass of the decks above us. The danger of a sudden collapse and our burial in the debris spurs Genya to pull away at last and head out across the abyssal plain to examine the stern.
The debris field that lies between the two sections of the hull is an array of hardware, hunks of steel, lumps of coal and occasional items that speak to the splendor of the ship and the lives changed by or lost in the disaster. I see linoleum tiles, a ceramic sink bowl, plates, a section of brass bench and shoes. I also see a copper pan from the ship’s galley, looking amazingly bright after nearly nine decades in the sea. The shifting sands keep it polished, Genya suggests. I have been told that the debris field looks as if a small city exploded in space and rained down, and it is an apt description.
The bow section of Titanic is separated from the stern by some 1,790 feet. That distance seems to go on forever down here, but gradually, the pieces of debris get larger. We pass a crank from an engine that seems to be as big as an average family minivan, and then one of the ship’s boilers. Finally, we reach the stern. The stern is a mangled, deformed mass of steel, but in its wreckage we can discern the form of the hull as it swept back to the rudder, the deckhouses, a half-fallen cargo crane, the stub of a mast and the graceful curve of the poop deck. We edge forward to view the massive reciprocating steam engines. The cast iron is fractured because the cylinders, each the size of a large truck, imploded with the pressure of the sea as the stern sank. Nestled between the cracks and broken pipe is a beautiful ceramic teapot; its handle is intact but the spout is broken. Lighter debris, like the teapot, rained down for hours after the ship sank, falling onto the heavier wreckage that had plummeted to the bottom first.
Titanic is such a part of the mass-media world in which we live that my mind keeps flashing back to the various written stories and films. Here, inside the engine room, as I look at the teapot, I think back to a scene in the 1958 classic movie A Night to Remember.The chief engineer is talking to the men who are running the electrical system. The chief is asked, “How are things up top, sir? Any chance for us?” He stops and says, “Whatever happens, we’ve got to keep the lights going. I’ll give the word when it’s time to go, and then it’s every man for himself.” He pauses and goes on. “But it won’t be so bad, they say the Carpathia is on her way to us, should be here any time now.” As he leaves, the engineer in charge turns to his men and says, with a slight smile, “Well, let’s hope they’re right, eh boys? If anyone feels like praying, you’d
The bow of RMS Titanic at the bottom of the North Atlantic. James P. Delgado
better go ahead. The rest can join me in a cup of tea.” It’s just a movie, but I remember that scene of understated British heroism as I look at the teapot in the wrecked engine room.
Slowly, we pull back from the engines, past warped walkways, torn pipes and hanging wires. We turn, and Genya pilots us back to the stern. A narrow opening between the sea floor and the overhanging steel mass of the stern beckons us, and as Genya slowly pilots Mir 2 into the gap, we enter a rusting cave. I ask Genya what our clearance is. He glances at the sonar, makes a quick calculation, and answers that we have 20 inches of clearance from the bottom, and the same between us and the steel wreckage above. We edge in without a bump, stopping just ahead of one of Titanic’s 21-ton bronze propellers, half buried in the silt. Genya not only manages to get us in but extracts Mir 2 without a scrape, then takes us to the propeller on the other side of the stern. Despite Genya’s skill, the maneuverability of Mir 2 and the reassurance of looking at hull plates still covered with black paint and with very little rust, Scott and I breath a sigh of relief when we’re out.
Genya nudges the controls and we drift up past the tip of the stern, where the words “Titanic, Liverpool” once were. The edge of the poop deck, with its collapsed railing, marks the last piece of the ship to sink, and we stare silently, thinking of the struggling crowd of people who clustered here, hands grasping that railing, clinging on as the stern climbed higher and higher, then dropped into the deep. I also think of the ship’s baker, Charles Joughlin, who balanced himself on this rail, clad in a thick fur coat and drunk as a lord. He stepped off the rail just as the stern sank and reportedly didn’t even get his head wet. Lubricated by the alcohol and insulated by his coat, he was not killed by the cold water. He was pulled into a lifeboat and survived.
Before we start our ascent, we briefly tour the debris field around the stern, noting huge pieces of hull, a broken-off engine cylinder, a cargo crane, the ornate bronze end of a deck bench, wine bottles and plates. Off to one side is a pair of boots. Small, flat-heeled and calf-length, they are the boots of a working-class woman, perhaps a steerage passenger. They lie side by side and are still laced tight. We pass over them in respectful silence, for while the body is long gone, consumed by the sea, this is a place where one of Titanic’s dead came to rest. It’s much colder now, and I pull on a sweater, wondering as I do if it is really the lower temperature or what we’ve just seen.
My thoughts are on many things as Genya powers the thrusters and we start to rise, pumping seawater out of the ballast tanks all the way as the outside pressure relents, bit by bit, during the two-hour ride to the surface. We’re elated with excitement because of our visit to this undersea museum, historic site and memorial, but we’re also reflective and somber. After years of studying Titanic, reading the history books and watching hours of video of other dives, this dive has put all the pieces together for me.
We reach the surface at 6:50 p.m. After thirty minutes of bobbing and rolling on the surface, we rise dripping, out of the sea to land on the deck of Keldysh. At 7:25—after nine hours and forty minutes inside Mir 2, we step out into the last light of day. It feels good to breathe in the sea air and watch the sun set over the North Atlantic.
This place is more than a memorial, more than a museum. It is a place that, like a battlefield, the pyramids of Egypt, or the Forum in Rome, is a reminder of humanity’s achievements and the price we often pay in our quest. Titanic should not be left to the salvagers, nor should it be surrendered entirely to the dark solitude of the deep. We must keep the stories and the lessons alive and ever present.
Back in St. John’s, I pack my bags for a flight home to Vancouver. There, I repack my bags and prepare for a return trip to the east coast of Canada. A new venture I’m involved in, a documentary television series called The Sea Hunters, has started what we hope will be a long-running series based on Clive Cussler’s best-seller of the same name. We will search the world’s oceans for famous shipwrecks. While I’ve been out exploring Titanic, some of the crew members of The Sea Hunters have been searching for Carpathia, the ship that rescued Titanic’s survivors.