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?

Remembering the Titanic: major improvements in marine safety

Titanic Ad PosterOn the night of April 14th 1912, after a successful sea trial, the RMS Titanic sank during its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. The ship hit an iceberg right before midnight and was engulfed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean by 2.20 on April 15, becoming the deadliest maritime disaster of all time.

Nowadays, onboard electronic equipments make this kind of accident almost impossible. New radars, such as Furuno FAR 2xx7 series, offer an ultra-high definition of surroundings. MaxSea TimeZero paired to a Furuno FAR Radar offers a great overlay feature which allows easily displaying and understanding of radar information.

If Titanic was equipped with MaxSea TimeZero and a Furuno FAR radar, the iceberg would have appeared on screen for sure.

Radar Overlay - Furuno FAR 2xx7 series Radar and MaxSea TimeZero

Here is the display of the exact sinking position, according to coordinates found on the internet:

Titanic sinking in the North Atlantic Ocean on MaxSea TimeZero

After the death of more than 1500 people, some safety practices were modified or adopted such as:

  • Free Guide: 10-point safety checklist before sailingEnough lifeboats for everyone: Many of the recommendations pronounced by both the British and American Boards of Inquiry were included into the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) passed in 1914. They stated that ships had to carry enough lifeboats for those aboard, mandated lifeboat drills would be implemented and lifeboat inspections would be conducted.
  • Radio watch 24/7: the US Radio Act of 1912, along with the SOLAS, required ships to maintain contact with close vessels and coastal onshore radio stations, and that radio communications on passenger ships would be operated 24 hours along with a secondary power supply.
  • Unequivocal Distress Rockets: the SOLAS stated that the firing of red rockets at sea must be interpreted as distress signal only.
  • International Ice Patrol’s threat monitoring: the SOLAS led to the creation of an US Coast Guard agency in charge of monitoring and reporting on the location of North Atlantic Ocean icebergs that could be threatening to transatlantic sea traffic.
  • Safer Ship design: double hulls and higher bulkheads were among the changes implemented in ship design for increased safety.

If you want to know more about MaxSea TimeZero’s radar overlay and radar compatibility please refer to our MaxSea TimeZero range page.