Unveiling the Titanic’s Secrets: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Releases Rare Video Footage from the First Submersible Dives”
In 1985, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) led a team in partnership with Institut français de recherche pour l’exploitation de la mer (IFEMER) to discover the remains of the RMS Titanic on the ocean floor, nearly 75 years after it sank. The discovery marked the beginning of a new era in underwater exploration, as efforts to locate and salvage the Titanic had been ongoing since its sinking in 1912.
In 1986, WHOI returned to the wreck site with a three-person research submersible called Alvin and a newly developed remotely operated vehicle named Jason Jr. This expedition marked the first time humans laid eyes on the ship since its ill-fated voyage. Alvin and Jason Jr. were able to penetrate the wreck and return with iconic images of the ship’s interior, proving the capabilities of new underwater imaging and navigation systems and spurring significant advancements in the development of deep-sea exploration technology.
On February 10, 2023, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the blockbuster film “Titanic,” a remastered version was released. To coincide with the occasion, WHOI is releasing 80 minutes of rare video footage from the 1986 expedition. The release of the video footage highlights the remarkable achievement of the team in bringing iconic images of the ship back to the surface and telling an important part of a story that spans generations and circles the globe.
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James Cameron, explorer, filmmaker, and ocean advocate, praised WHOI’s efforts to release the footage, saying that the human stories embodied in the great ship continue to resonate more than a century after its loss. The WHOI-led expeditions to the Titanic have contributed significantly to the entire ocean research community, proving the capabilities of new underwater technology and advancing the development of deep-sea exploration.