In the News

Ismay Family House For Sale
 - September 1999

Ismay Family HouseHere is your chance to own an incredible part of the Titanic heritage. Thomas Ismay's House situated just north of Liverpool in Crosby (UK) is now being auctioned.

Beach Lawn House, from 1865 to 1922 was the home of the Ismay family, owners of the White Star Line. After leaving Beach Lawn House, the family moved to Dawpool, Cheshire, though this house has now been demolished as has Bruce Ismay's birthplace Enfield House, leaving Beach Lawn House the only remaining residence of the Ismays.

For more information visit the link below:


Carpathia Wreck Found
 - September 08, 1999

Treasure hunters say they have found the wreck of the Carpathia - the ship famed for rescuing survivors from the doomed liner Titanic in 1912.

Graham Jessop said his company, Argosy International Ltd, found the wreck on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean earlier this week about 185 miles off the southwestern English coast of Land's End. Carpathia rests in 600 feet of water.

"She is in reasonably good condition for a wreck of that age", Jessop said. "She is in one piece and she is upright."

The 13,000-ton Cunard Line ship rescued 705 survivors from the Titanic disaster on the morning of April 15, 1912, after its radio operator picked up a distress signal from the Titanic, which sank after hitting an iceberg.

The Carpathia's captain, Arthur Rostron, managed to push the ship to a speed of 17 knots - two knots faster than its capacity - in a desperate race against time to reach the foundering Titanic.

The Carpathia sank six years later, when during World War I, it was torpedoed twice by a German U-boat off the south coast of Ireland while traveling from Liverpool, England, to the United States. Five people died, but 215 survived.

"We will continue to explore the wreck but we have been blown in by the tail-end of the hurricane which is still there at the moment," said Jessop. "As soon as the weather allows we will be returning to the wreck to do more extensive work.

Jessop, 42, who lives in Normandy, France, is the son of Keith Jessop, who found the wreck of the HMS Edinburgh in the Arctic Ocean in 1981 and raised the Russian gold that sank with her.

Titanic breaks silence after 87 years
 - February 20, 1999

Almost 87 years ago, Titanic's voice was silenced after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic ocean. Upwards of 80,000 people gathered Saturday in St. Paul, Minnesota to listen to the sounding of one of Titanic's bronze whistles recovered from the ocean floor in a 1993 expedition. The 750-pound, 2-foot steam powered whistle was originally attached to the forward funnel and according to some experts, last sounded at 12:15 am, April 15, 1912. Others believe that the whistles blared for the last time at noon, April 14, 1912 during a routine test.

The whistle-blowing ceremony took place outside of Union Depot where "Titanic - The Exhibit" is being held. The whistle, was sounded in two 10-second blasts about two minutes apart. To avoid damaging the whistle, compressed air was used instead of steam and the air pressure was lower than it was designed to withstand. The whistle, along with other artifacts recovered from Titanic are on display through April 30th.

Click here to listen to Titanic's whistles

Below is an e-mail I received from Barb and Dave Shuttle. They were fortunate enough to witness the blowing of Titanic's whistles. I would like to thank both Barb and Dave for sharing their experience with us. I think that their writings captured the mood beautifully. Here is how they described this historic event...

"Amazing, moving, unbelievable, heart-wrenching, and about 100 other adjectives that I can't even begin to describe - that's what hearing Titanic's whistles was like.

The whistles were damaged in the sinking and, consequently, they couldn't be blown with steam, so compressed air was used instead. They also couldn't blow them at "full steam", fearing additional damage. But let me tell you, they were just as amazing! You could literally FEEL them vibrating. The sound was much lower, much more melancholy than we had imagined it would be and was extremely harmonious...each of the whistles blowing a different note, combining to form a very low chord.

The whistles most likely won't be blown again. They don't want to damage them. So it was really a thrill to be a witness to this little bit of history. It's easy to read about history or to recreate pieces of it, but to actually HEAR a piece of history was something we'll never forget. We heard Titanic's voice. That sound will remain with us forever.

It was almost surreal to think that we were hearing the same whistles that Henry and all Titanic's other passengers heard almost 87 years ago. It was as if the voices of the 1500 plus souls who lost their lives with the ship joined together to say "Remember us." Needless to say, there weren't many dry eyes in the audience, ours included.

I wish all those people who are opposed to recovery could have been there. I think hearing those whistles might have gone a long way to make them reconsider that opinion".

Click here to read Barb's opinion on recovering Titanic's artifacts.

Morse Code is Over and Out
 - January 31, 1999

For those in peril on the sea, "dot-dot-dot dash-dash-dash dot-dot-dot" once spelt out SOS -- the universally recognized call sign for a ship in distress.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) set February 1, 1999 as its target date to replace dots and dashes with a satellite system known as the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System. The new system has been slowly phased in since 1992.

After the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, the great seafaring nations installed Morse code as the standard communication for ships at sea. The SOS distress signal was adopted at an international conference convened three months after the Titanic sank. According to the IMO, the signal was adopted because it was an easily recognizable letter sequence - three dots, three dashes and three dots - and not because SOS stood for anything such as "save our souls" or "save our ships".

The new system is mandatory for all international freighters over 300 gross tons, all passenger vessels and self-propelled oil drilling units. Coastal freighters, most fishing boats and pleasure craft are exempt. However, Lloyd's List, a maritime industry newspaper published in London, estimated in December that a quarter or more of the world's ships still had not been fitted with the necessary equipment, which costs a minimum of $30,000. Panama, which has the world's largest registry of ships, has announced fines of up to $10,000 for ships which fail to comply Lloyd's List reported.

Distress signals are beamed from a ship to an Inmarsat satellite, which relays the alert to a rescue-coordinating center station on the ground. The locating system can pinpoint the location of a ship signaling for help and is accurate within 200 yards, the IMO says.

"Morse is a system that has played an incalculable part in the development of trade and history itself, but it has now died of old age," said Roger Cohn of the International Maritime Organization.

Morse code was invented in 1832. In 1899, the first shipwreck was reported by Morse Code in the English Channel..

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