RMS Lusitania Shipwreck Anniversary

On May 7th, 1915, the RMS Lusitania cruise liner sank in 18 minutes after being torpedoed by a German submarine, the U-boat U-20.

Lusitania sinking anniversary - shipwreck

The Germans claimed that it was a legitimate military target, whereas the British argued that it only carried civil passengers. For many years, the latest was the accepted version and, spite of wartime secrecy and a propaganda campaign to ensure all blame fell upon Germany, a 2008 diving expedition revealed that the Lusitania was loaded with a large quantity of war materials.

Lusitania sinking - underwater image
© Ken Marschall all rights reserved

That explained the rapid sinking of the ship that led to the tragic death of 1.198 people, only 18km off the Old Head of Kinsale, in the Irish coast.

Here’s a MaxSea TimeZero screenshot showing the sinking spot (51°25′N 8°33′W according to Wikipedia) with an image of the lighthouse nearby posted by a MaxSea user through Panoramio:

Lusitania sinking anniversary - Old Head of Kinsale

Among the victims were 120 American citizens, a fact that triggered the entering of the US into the First World War. The exploration team, financed by American businessman Gregg Bemis, estimates that around 4 million rounds of US-manufactured Remington .303 bullets lie inside the Lusitania at a depth of 91 meters. Besides the only torpedo who hit the hull, some of the 764 survivors reported a second explosion which might have been munitions going off.

These two images show the same spot in raster and vector chart format (we’ve explained the difference in a recent post). Here it is displayed in raster 2D:

Lusitania sinking anniversary - MaxSea TimeZero Raster 2D

And here goes the vector 2D:
Lusitania sinking anniversary - MaxSea TimeZero Vector 2D
This post has taken into account different sources. Do you have a different version?

The added value of 3D display in the Costa Concordia case

In order to analyze more in detail Giglio Area and Costa Concordia capsizing, we have decided to locate Costa Concordia with a real size scalable icon.

As you can see below, the Costa Concordia ship is too big to navigate in such a narrow place.

Even if we’re still not certain about the exact point of impact at the moment, it’s likely that it was close to Isole le Scole:

Costa Concordia ship in 2D (C-MAP by Jeppesen chart)

Here is a 2D display of the most probable impact zone. In 2D mode, we understand that this place is definitely made of shallow and rocky waters:

Probable impact area for the Costa Concordia ship in 2D (C-MAP by Jeppesen chart)

Probable impact area Costa Concordia 2D (C-MAP by Jeppesen chart)

3D mode brings added value to the chart information. It allows us to easily display and understand the prompt depth change. Let’s see the ship again in 3D:

Costa Concordia ship in 3D (C-MAP by Jeppesen)

And now, the depth of the potential impact area:

Probable impact area Costa Concordia 3D (C-MAP by Jeppesen)

Combined, 2D and 3D display modes give a better, more accurate and safer way to plan a route and avoid dangerous spots.

Costa Concordia shipwreck: focus on the navigation charts

In collaboration with our company, Fabrice Amedeo – journalist at French newspaper Le Figaro – published an article analyzing the navigation charts available in the tragedy’s area.

The study of the mapping is essential to understand this shipwreck. The commander of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino, had the following comments: “While we were sailing in cruising speed, we hit a rock. According to the nautical chart, there should have been sufficient water below us. ”

However, this claim was quickly checked and disproved by the Italian Coast Guard, which prompted us to investigate the area using the different MapMedia charts available, in order to have a better understanding of the accident.

The Bay of Giglio Porto, southeast of the island of Giglio off Tuscany, was the site of the accident:

Isola del Giglio, site of the Costa Concordia shipwreck

Zooming on the Raster MapMedia mm3d chart – based on the Italian hydrographic services information. The depth is about 10 meters: the draft of the Costa Concordia is 8.50 meters, so it was particularly risky to operate the ship in this area:

Isole Le Scole Raster MapMedia mm3d

With PhotoFusion function, which allows to overlay satellite information transparently on the same chart, we can appreciate how shallow is the water in this area:

Isole Le Scole Raster MapMedia mm3d + PhotoFusion

MapMedia mm3d C-MAP by Jeppesen data has exactly the same information in the area called “Isole Le Scole”:

Isole Le Scole C-MAP MapMedia mm3d

Finally, the 3D display of this MapMedia information confirms this particular shallow water environment:

Isole Le Scole 3D MapMedia

MaxSea International is deeply saddened after this terrible accident and expresses its sincere condolences to the families of the victims.