The ship that sent a warning to the Titanic before the liner sank has been identified as lying in the Irish Sea.
In 1912, the merchant steamship SS Mesaba was crossing the Atlantic and sent a radio warning message to the Titanic.
The message was received but never reached the deck. Later that night, the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank during its maiden voyage, claiming 1,500 lives and becoming the world’s most infamous shipwreck.
SS Mesaba continued as a merchant ship for the next six years before being torpedoed during a convoy in 1918.
Using state-of-the-art sonar, researchers at Bangor University have finally been able to identify the wreck with certainty and have revealed its position for the first time.
How was the wreck discovered?
For marine archaeologists, multi-beam sonar has the potential to be as impactful as the use of aerial photography for landscape archaeology, he writes EurekAlert.
Multibeam sonar allows such detailed mapping of the seafloor that details of the superstructure can be revealed on the sonar images.
The SS Mesaba was one of 273 wrecks in the Irish Sea that were scanned and compared with the UK Hydrographic Office database and other sources.
The ship was initially misidentified
101 wrecks were believed to be unidentified, but the number of newly identified wrecks was much higher, as many of them, including the SS Mesaba, had been misidentified in the past.
“Previously, we could dive a few sites a year to visually identify wrecks. The unique sonar capabilities on Prince Madog allowed us to develop a relatively inexpensive means of examining wrecks. We can connect this to historical information without expensive physical interaction with each site. This should be of key interest to marine scientists, environmental agencies, hydrographers, heritage managers, archaeologists and maritime historians,” said Innes.