Everett-based team plans manned expedition to Titanic

by: KIRO 7 News Staff Updated:

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An Everett-based research and exploration company will conduct the first-manned submersible expedition to the Titanic since 2005.

The seven-week research mission – in May 2018 – will depart from Newfoundland, Canada.

OceanGate says the goal of the mission is to assess the condition of the wreck and document — but not collect — artifacts at the protected site. Its survey expedition team will use the latest subsea imaging technology and a newly built manned submersible to assess the condition of the shipwreck.

 “Since her sinking 105 years ago, fewer than 200 people have ever visited the wreck, far fewer than have flown to space or climbed Mount Everest, so this is an incredible opportunity to explore one of the most rarely seen and revered landmarks on the planet”, said Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate.

Experts from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts are also taking part. They hope to generate a 3D photographic model of the wreck using modern subsea imaging technology.

“Our subsea imaging techniques allow us to systematically document the wreck and debris field and then create a nearly lifelike digital model without disrupting any artifacts or habitat”, said Bill Lange, director of the AIVL at WHOI. “This expedition provides the best opportunity for us to see the wreck first hand, and document the gaps in our knowledge of the wreck.” 

The doomed British luxury liner sank on April 15, 1912, after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, killing more than 1,500 people.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.