Dr. Robert Ballard describes his latest expedition to the wreck of the RMS Titanic. Images of the wreck show the ship is still in good shape, despite large buildups of rust.
New Images Released of Titanic Expedition
JOHN HART, anchor:
For three-quarters of a century this chandelier has swung back and forth darkened and unseen near the ocean floor. Tonight, breath-taking pictures of the sunken Titanic.
ANNOUNCER: NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.
HART: Good evening, Tom is off tonight. I’m John Hart. There aren’t many catastrophes that have haunted the imagination the way the Titanic has for 74 years ever since the ship that was to be “unsinkable” sank on its maiden voyage after hitting an iceberg off the coast of New Finland. As of tonight the imagination has less to do as the first pictures from inside the sunken Titanic become public. Lisa Meyers has the report.
Voice of Dr. ROBERT BALLARD: It’s been transformed into another ship. It has the vestiges of the Titanic but it’s now a ship of the deep.
LISA MEYERS, reporting:
Although the bow and anchor boom stand erect, Captain Robert Ballard says most of the Titanic is draped in rust.
Voice of Dr. BALLARD: Coming up the side of the ship you can see these iron-cicles that hang down like giant icicles of - of rust. Up through the promenade, looking in through the promenade windows and rising up to the deck above an overhead lifeboat davit with its block as we disturb these rust-icles and they fall down like a rain of iron.
MEYERS: On their third dive researchers got their first look at the ship’s interior.
Voice of Dr. BALLARD: Now having landed on the boat deck we deploy Winston Jr. who takes a copa - close-up inspection of one of the electrical winches and then proceeds down the staircase and into the inner compartments. On the second and third deck we see this crystal chandelier.
MEYERS: Each dive from the Atlantis to - lasts up to nine hours, five of which are consumed riding the submarine Alvin to and from the wreck. Today, for the first time, researchers explored the large debris field and the stern of the ship, which they believe was broken into pieces as the ship sank. Although photographs show winches, portholes, brass fittings and other items of value, Ballard said he’s no longer worried about a salvage effort.
Dr. BALLARD: I’m very convinced now that no attempt would ever be made to try to salvage the ship itself. It’s buried deep into the bottom. The bowel section is 30 to 40 feet into the bottom, all the way up to the base of the anchors.
MEYERS: Before he leaves, Ballard plans to leave two plaques aboard the Titanic. One asks any who may come after to leave her undisturbed. The other memorializes those who died. Lisa Meyer, NBC News, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
HART: The expedition reported, with some relief, there was no evidence of any of the 1,503 people who went down with the Titanic 74 years ago.
Titanic, RMS, Robert Ballard, Ship, Wreck, Sunken, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Submarine, Atlantis II, Alvin, Cameras, Images, Pictures, Robot, Bow, Stern, Expedition, Exploration, Explorer, Research, Jason, Jr., Underwater, Salvage, Preservation, Rust, Iron, Brass, Decay, Discovery, Atlantic, Ocean, Deep, Sea, Sinking, Memorial