Tag Archives: International Ice Patrol

Titanic Weekly News Roundup

August is nearly here and summer is in full bloom. Titanic news has been quiet. There are still news stories out there about the Premiere Exhibitions bankruptcy and the possible sale of Titanic artifacts.  Analysts hope Premier  is able to get out of the hole it is in. Ditto for the shareholders who are hoping that at long last perhaps the company will get back on track.

Of course the debate raging in some circles is over Titanic artifacts. Premier has a difficult time trying to sell them before as the salvage award restricts their sale and it comes with restrictions for the buyer. James Cameron is diving into the fray trying to raise money to buy them. The best outcome might be for some government or government backed entity to buy them. The huge price tag keeps most museums and institutions from really pursuing the matter. Of course all bets would be off should Premier decide to liquidate rather than reorganize.  And no one is talking about that right now.

The International Ice Patrol has for a long time depended upon planes to spot and help track icebergs. Their work is very important for everyone who transits across the North Atlantic. And thanks to their work, the threat of icebergs to ships has been greatly reduced. Now they are making changes. Instead of flying planes as much, the Ice Patrol is implementing the use of satellite technology to detect and monitor icebergs. The problem though is that satellite images only detect icebergs only 50% of the time compared to using planes. For the moment a combination of planes and satellite images are going to be used to monitor icebergs. (Keeping an Eye on What the Arctic Throws Down Iceberg Alley,newsdeeply.com,21 July 2017)

Molly Brown was one of the people that became well known after Titanic sank. Her 150th birthday was recently celebrated at her home in Denver, Colorado. As befitting her style, it was celebrated as a block party. Food, entertainment and tours of her home (now a museum) were done. She was quite a gal.

Have a great Sunday everyone.


Titanic Tidbits

1)The 103 anniversary of Titanic sinking was commemorated in Belfast with a traditional wreath laying ceremony and a moment of silence. According to the Belfast Telegraph, there were many international visitors present. The International Ice Patrol held its yearly memorial service as well and dropped a wreath from a plane over the spot where Titanic sank.
Sources:
1. Titanic Memorial Service At Belfast City Hall Marks 103rd Anniversary Of Sinking(15 April 2015,Belfast Telegraph)
2. Coast Guard International Ice Patrol Commemorates Sinking Of Titanic(15 April 2015, Military.com)

Photo:public domain
Photo:public domain

2)30 James Street (Albion House) which once housed the White Star Line offices in Liverpool, had special tribute dinner that included many connected to Titanic. The descendents of Carpathia captain Arthur Rostron were amongst those present at the dinner. All 63 rooms of the Titanic themed hotel were opened and those who had proven connections were given a free overnight stay. The hotel has received favorable reviews on several online review sites.
Source: Titanic Sinking Anniversary Marked At Tribute Evening(15 April 2015,Liverpool Echo)

Public Domain
Public Domain

3) Father Thomas Byles perished on Titanic remaining aboard to pray with fellow passengers. There is a call to have him proclaimed a martyr of the church, the first step towards possible sainthood. Father Graham Smith calls him “an extraordinary man who gave his life for others.”
Source:Titanic Priest Father Thomas Byles ‘Should Be Sainted’(12 April 2015,BBC)

Public Domain
Public Domain

4)After being fully restored by the Nomadic Charitable Trust,the last remaining ship of the White Star Line has been transferred to Titanic Belfast. The Nomadic was used to ferry passengers in Cherbourg, France to Titanic.  After its use with White Star ended, the former ferry ended up as a restaurant and then left to rot before being brought to Belfast to be restored. Though open for the past two years, it now is formally part of Titanic Belfast.
Source:Titanic Belfast Takes Over SS Nomadic(9 April 2015,BBC)

5)The Peoria Riverfront Museum has secured Titanic:The Artifact Exhbition as an exhibit in 2016. It will run from 12 Nov 2016 until March 2017.
Source: Peoria Riverfront Museum Secures Titanic Exhibit For 2016 (13 April 2015, Journal Star)

6)Barrie Clarke solved a mystery of where some Titanic headstones came from. When Halifax decide to replace a stone marker, they could not identify where it came from. Enter Clarke, a professor at Dalhousie University, who decided to play a sleuth. His journey to find the quarry was not easy since many closed long ago. Eventually he found it and testing proved the granite matched the headstones in Halifax .
Source: Titanic Gravestone Mystery Led To Five Year Search(22 April 2015,CBC)

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Thursday Titanic News

Titanic Belfast (side view) Image:Prioryman (Wikipedia)
Titanic Belfast (side view)
Image:Prioryman (Wikipedia)

1. Last Letter Ever Written On Titanic Arrives In Belfast To Go On Display As Part Of Five Year Loan(25 Mar 2015,Belfast Live)
The historic artefact, written by a mother and daughter who survived the ship’s sinking but was never sent, is being loaned to the attraction for five years. It will go on display in Titanic Belfast after Easter. The official handover will take place on Wednesday morning. The letter was written by Essex-born Esther Hart and her seven-year-old daughter Eva just eight hours before the ship hit an iceberg and sank in April 1912.

Photo:Public Domain
Photo:Public Domain

2. Titanic Never Leaves The Minds Of International Ice Patrol Crew(23 Mar 2015,BusinessTelegram.com)
McGrath, a commander in the U.S. Coast Guard, heads the International Ice Patrol and it’s their job to make sure the tragedy isn’t repeated. And since 1913, when the patrol started, no ship heeding its warnings has struck an iceberg.”That is why we do what we do, to keep that from happening again,” she said. Given current weather patterns, this year may be a busy one for her crew.

3. Call To Honour Hatfield Man Who Died In Titanic Sinking(23 Mar 2015,Welwyn Hatfield Times)
Now, namesake Dennis Gunn, who lives in North London, has called on authorities to honour the “poor lad” with a plaque at a suitable place in the town. He said: “I wonder if the citizens of Hatfield know about him even, or if anybody is interested in him. “I’d certainly start the ball rolling myself, financially.“

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Titanic News: Titanic Exhibition At South Florida Science Center Draws Huge Numbers, International Ice Patrol Holds Titanic Memorial

South Florida Science Center & Aquarium Photo:Joe(Wikipedia)
South Florida Science Center & Aquarium
Photo:Joe(Wikipedia)

1. The Palm Beach Daily News reports that the recent Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition at South Florida Science and Aquarium was the most successful exhibition in its history. 61, 158 people attended the center during its run compared to 28,270 last year. Revenue from ticket sales during the exhibition’s run totaled $535,000. The exhibition itself cost $350,00 but was offset by grants and after expenses South Florida nets $500,000. “The exhibition drew a geographically wider audience than previous exhibits. We had a lot of visitors from out of town, and the second element was the Titanic exhibit’s appeal not only to kids but to adults and to seniors — a much wider age range than we’ve seen in the past,” said Matt Lorentzen, chairman of the governing body overseeing South Florida Science and Aquarium.
Source: ‘Titanic’ Called Most Successful Exhibit For Science Center(28 April 2014,Palm Beach Daily News)

International Ice Patrol Photo:U.S.Coast Guard
International Ice Patrol
Photo:U.S.Coast Guard

2. The International Ice Patrol had its annual memorial ceremony on 16 April to remember those who perished aboard RMS Titanic in 1912. One of the significant changes resulting from it was the creation of the International Ice Patrol to prevent such catastrophes from occurring again. And except for 2 world wars, the IIP has continuously operated and no loss of life has resulted from an iceberg collision in the areas it patrols. Data is collected via air reconnaissance and ship reports. Data is fed into into a computer at the IIP operations center to provide predicted iceberg locations for ships at sea. The U.S. Coast Guard administers the IIP under legislation enacted by Congress in 1936. The IIP Operations Center is in New London, Connecticut while the air reconnaissance aircraft operate out of Newfoundland.
Sources:
1. Ice Patrol Holds Titanic Ceremony(28 April 2014,The Day)
2. International Ice Patrol (U.S. Coast Guard)
3. International Ice Patrol (Wikipedia)

Titanic 102nd Anniversary News

Each year it is always interesting to see what Titanic news is generated on the anniversary of Titanic’s sinking. As usual we have the memorials. And usually we get at least one story of someone claiming a new take on Titanic. This year it was researchers at Sheffield University who proclaimed that 1912 was not so bad a year after all for icebergs. I guess when you have run out of things to say (which seems impossible considering Titanic), your left debunking whether or not the icebergs of 1912 were really unusual or not. Missing so far, but it still early, is some conspiracy theory. I was at least hoping someone would make a Bermuda Triangle link of some kind or that it had something to do with the lost continent of Atlantis.  Bigfoot has yet to make an appearance and of course Nessie (Loch Ness monster) could also be made part of Titanic lore.

Before the news roundup begins, the Titanic community recently lost Ed Kamuda. Ed was one of the founders of Titanic Historical Society back in 1963. He was drawn to Titanic forever after he saw the 1954 movie Titanic starring Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck. He began corresponding with Titanic survivors and getting them to share their recollections of what happened aboard Titanic that night. The organization attracted other Titanic enthusiasts and researchers and began publishing its own magazine, the Commutator. And he Ed got to know Dr Robert Ballard, who in 1985 helped discover the wreck. He was a vocal opponent of salvage and joined with Ballard and others trying to preserve the wreck as a grave. Perhaps the greatest adventure was being asked, along with others from the society, to consult with James Cameron on his Titanic film. He and his wife were cast as extras in that movie. Ed considered a dream come true to walk on the decks of the ship created for the movie. He was 74 when he passed away last Sunday after suffering a long illness. He will be missed by the Titanic community and he has made a lasting impact inspiring many to learn the Titanic story. Although he would have been too humble to ever admit it, it was because of organizations like Titanic Historical Society that kept Titanic alive and now more well known then ever. RIP.

Canada
Remembering the Titanic in Midland(16 April 2014,News Barrie)
Conroy is the Captain of the S.S. Keewatin and says the ship has played an important role in opening up northern Ontario and connecting eastern Canada to the prairies. In addition to raising money for the Keewatin, part of Tuesday’s event is to welcome an exact replica of the Titanic – a model ship that took 30 years to build and will now become the centerpiece of a new museum aboard the S.S. Keewatin. “When people come to the museum they can get a feel for maritime history through all these model ships,” adds Conroy. There will be about 110 model ships in the museum, all donated by people from across the country. The S.S. Keewatin opens for the season on May 10th and all of the proceeds raised from Tuesday night’s dinner will go towards repairing and restoring the old steam ship.

Tale Of Halifax Titanic Survivor Told Through Song(14 April 2014,Truro Daily News)
That was all she needed to narrate the sinking of the Titanic as lived by Hilda Mary Slayter.Peppard’s performance Living Titanic was part of an event put on by the Titanic Society of the Atlantic at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in downtown Halifax to commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the luxury liner’s sinking. Born and buried in Halifax, Slayter was the only Atlantic Canadian survivor aboard the ship that went down April 15, 1912.Peppard, a musical oral historian focusing on women’s truth, discovered Slayter’s story and decided to make history come alive. She brought the performance to Colchester County back in the summer of 2012. She blended her training as an artist with her research skills to create the musical. Slayter’s family gave Peppard access to Slayter’s journals, allowing her to narrate the performance in Slayter’s own words.

UK/Northern Ireland
Titanic Hotel Liverpool To Open In June At Stanley Dock(17 April 2014,Liverpool Echo)
Confirmation that the much-anticipated Stanley Dock hotel will open in the summer has been welcomed by Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson – but fellow hotel-owners remain wary. The 153-room site has faced criticism from local businesses for its chosen name, The Titanic Hotel, which bears obvious similarity to the rival 30 James Street – The Home of the Titanic. That city-centre Signature Living hotel, which opened recently, has claimed Stanley Dock’s choice of name will confuse visitors. Lawrence Kenwright, owner of the Home of the Titanic, said: “We have no links to this other venture. “I’m concerned that people arriving in the city will confuse the two hotels, and in the end that could be bad for business for both.” Stanley Dock development director Pat Power said the name Titanic Hotel Liverpool “cements” the project’s link to the Titanic Visitor Centre in Belfast and other themed hotel’s to be opened across the UK.

For information about the 30 James Street hotel (formerly known as Albion House where White Star Line had its offices), go to http://www.rmstitanichotel.co.uk/

Titanic Disaster Dead Remembered(15 April 2014,Belfast Telegraph)
Each year on the day of the April 1912 tragedy, a solemn ceremony is held at the memorial garden where all 1,512 victims are listed on bronze plaques. As well as relatives of Irish victims, relations of a number of international passengers who died travelled to today’s event in Belfast. President of the Belfast Titanic Society John Martin, whose great uncle Dr John Edward Simpson – one of the liner’s two doctors – died on board, said many people retained an interest in the ship. “Some with a direct family connection to people on board, some who were perhaps related to people who built the ship and then there are others who are more interested in why she sank and all the disaster management type of aspect of the story, so it’s important for a lot of people,” he said.

United States
Titanic Remembered On 102nd Anniversary, Echoes Some Of The Deadliest Maritime Disasters In The Last Century(17 April 2014,Tech Times)
As the ill-fated ocean liner Titanic is remembered on the 102nd anniversary of its sinking, it’s worth looking back through history and understanding how notable maritime disasters have long plagued us. While the scale of the Titanic disaster should not be discounted — more than 1,500 lives were lost when the “unsinkable” liner hit an iceberg and sank into the cold Atlantic waters — it has been dwarfed by some other sinkings, even in the 20th century. For the acknowledged deadliest ship sinking in history, you have to look at World War II, when around 9,000 people died in the torpedoing and sinking of a German ocean liner, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Tasked with evacuating both German military forces and civilians as Soviet forces moved toward East Prussia in the waning days of the war in 1945, it ran afoul of a Russian submarine on January 30 and was sent to the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

Coast Guard Reflects On Titanic Anniversary(16 April 2016,DVIDS)
During the annual ceremony, Coast Guard Cmdr. Keith Shuley, chaplain of the Coast Guard Academy, dedicated floral arrangements in remembrance of the more than 1,500 passengers who died. Every year, the IIP conducts a ceremony to remember the passengers and crew who lost their lives as a result of the Titanic sinking.  A special moment of silence was held to honor Edward Kamuda, president and founder of the Titanic Historical Society, who died April 13, 2014.

Titanic 102nd Anniversary: A Look At How Safety Features In Ocean Liners Have Developed Over The Last Century(16 April 2014,Tech Times)
The Titanic sank 102 years ago, on 16 April 1912, killing more than 1,500 people, becoming one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters in history.  The “unsinkable Titanic” was plagued by several design flaws that led to revolutions in ocean liner safety.  Over 2,200 people were on-board the Titanic when the largest ship of the day set out on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Late on the night of 14 April, the ship famously hit an iceberg, creating a gash cross the bow of the craft. The mighty ocean-going vessel began taking on water, as passengers scrambled for life rafts.  White Star Line, the company that operated the ship, decided only 20 lifeboats would be carried on the craft, enough for just 38 percent of the full capacity of the Titanic. Legally, the company was only required to carry just 16 of the life-saving devices.  The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, passed in 1914 in the wake of the Titanic disaster, requires all passenger ships to carry enough lifeboats for all passengers. Mandatory lifeboat drills of all passengers aboard ships is also required due to the Titanic tragedy.

Remembering The Victims From Ireland’s ‘Titanic Village’ At Absecon Event(15 April 2014,Press of Atlantic City)
Jim Curley has a small family link to the Titanic – his uncle married the niece of one of the 1,500-plus victims of the “unsinkable” ocean liner that didn’t survive its first Atlantic Ocean crossing. Curley’s distant relation by marriage, Mary Mangan, was one of 14 young people from the same area of Ireland who sailed on that doomed trip; 11 of those natives of “Ireland’s Titanic village” died when the ship rammed an iceberg and quickly sank 102 years ago today. But Curley, who lives in Long Beach Island’s nautical-sounding town of Ship Bottom, knows that millions of people with no personal ties to the disaster still have an enduring fascination with history’s most famous shipwreck. So when he gives a talk about the Irish connection to the Titanic – as he will tonight in Absecon, at a meeting of South Jersey’s Irish American Cultural Society – Curley can draw a crowd.

Local History: Titanic Survivor Died Mysteriously In Akron On Second Anniversary Of Disaster(13 April 2014,Akron Beacon Journal)
Fate caught up with Elizabeth Hocking as she stepped off a curb in Akron. Exactly two years after surviving the sinking of the Titanic, she met her destiny. A streetcar conductor flagged down two pedestrians at about 6 p.m. after seeing a woman sprawled on East Market Street in front of Akron City Hospital. The men were surgeons, Dr. Charles E. Norris and Dr. Charles W. Millikin, who carried the woman into the hospital. “When discovered, the woman was lying on what is known as the ‘devil strip,’ the space between the car tracks,” the Akron Evening Times reported April 15, 1914. “The only wound on her body was a deep cut on the back of the head. She was unconscious and never regained sufficiently to talk before the end came early this morning.” Police initially thought she was a mugging victim. Officers identified her after finding a water bill in her pocket. Eliza Hocking, 54, a widow who lived at 195 Gale St. on West Hill, was the matriarch of an English family who had sought a better life in the United States. They packed up their belongings in Penzance, Cornwall, and booked second-class passage in Southampton aboard the Titanic on April 10, 1912.

Monday Titanic News

Photo courtesy George Behe
Photo courtesy George Behe

1. Titanic II Update: The Australian drops a small zinger saying its development appearsto have slowed. No explanation is given for this statement or what they base it upon. They also note they were recently denied access to tour the CSC Jinling shipyard in Nanjing.

Source: Titanic II May Follow Original(15 June 2013, The Australian)

2. The Mystic Aquarium recently expanded its Titanic exhibit to include a gallery about the International Ice Patrol reports The Day. The unit, based in New London, is a small unit within the U.S. Coast Guard. Commander Lisa Mack believes it provides great visibility for the Coast Guard. “Our hope is that people find it interesting and learn something about our service.” Many people have no idea the Coast Guard tracks icebergs until they learn of it through such exhibits or research the Titanic story.

Source: Ice Patrol Increases Visibility With Inclusion At Aquarium’s Titanic Exhibit(14 June 2013, The Day)

3. From Ireland:Creating large scale models often pose a problem when you need to move them. 17-year-old Lorin Robinson had built a 7 foot long model of the ship but college is 15 miles away. So he called up a friend and using a trolley made from an old go-cart to move it from his room to Weston College in time for summer arts show. The set off after midnight hoping the roads would be quiet. Not so quiet as trucks roared past them and many street lights are no longer operating at that hour. Fortunately they got there and were spotted outside their classroom at 7:30 a.m. The model is now on display from 18-28 June. Hopefully they will have an easier time getting it back home.

Source: Student Drags His Titanic 15 Miles(13 June 2013,Irish Independent)
(Link Not Provided To Republic of Ireland Newspapers Due To Paid Links Demand)

4. A new cruise facility will be built in the Titanic Quarter owing to the increased stopping of cruise ships that have generated £3.9m in visitor spending. £7m is going to be invested to allow passengers to disembark within walking distance of Titanic Belfast, the Pump House, and Nomadic.
Source: £7m Invested In Titanic Cruise Facility(13 June 2013, 4ni.co.uk)

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Titanic Musings

1. The International Ice Patrol recently celebrated its own centenary on 26 April. TitanicIcebergAuction16Dec2012Today it is taken for granted but back in 1912 there was no mechanism to determine if icebergs were a serious threat. Before the wireless, the only warnings would come from ships who passed through areas where icebergs were sighted and notified when they came into port. Sometimes passing ships might signal but you were on your own. Wireless made it possible to send warnings quickly to other ships but, as was learned afterwards, unless you have dedicated wireless staffing and such reports were immediately delivered to the bridge, it can end in a catastrophe.

At first the U.S. Navy did the initial patrolling after Titanic sank but could not provide ships in 1913. So the old Revenue Cutter Service (the predecessor of the U.S. Coast Guard) took on the task. However what was needed was international cooperation which was not always easy to get. Fortunately public opinion helped prod such cooperation along leading to the first International Conference on the Safety of Life at Sea in 1913. The convention was signed on 30 Jan 1914 and provided for derelict destruction, ice observation, and ice patrol service. The ice patrol service would patrol ice regions during the time icebergs were a threat and keep the trans-Atlantic lanes clear of derelicts the remainder of the year. The U.S., already involved in this aspect, was asked to undertake the management of the service and the 13 signatory nations would defray the cost. With the exception of wartime years, the patrol has been maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The countries that contribute to the International Ice Patrol are: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Poland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and United States of America. More detailed history can be found at the U.S. Coast Guard site or at Wikipedia .

2. Shades of Titanic? Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) chairs the Senate Commerce Committee and is making an inquiry into Carnival Cruise Lines. Of late they have been unlucky with the Triumph stranding and the Costa Concordia capsizing off the coast of Italy. So Rockefeller is looking into Carnival’s safety record. And he also asked Carnival if they would repay the U.S. government for assisting the Triumph in 2013 and for the 2010 stranding of Carnival Splendor. Carnival declined to reimburse citing that everyone must assist ships in distress and that duty does not require paying for such services. Rockefeller called this response “shameful” yet he knew that Carnival would respond this way. He is threatening hearings and legislation.

So what is going on? Well Carnival and nearly all other cruise lines are foreign flagged meaning they do not fly the U.S. ensign. And they are restricted under federal law (1886 Passenger Services Act) from going directly between two U.S. ports without first having stopped in a foreign port. Despite this restriction, the cruise lines make buckets of money for corporations that are located outside the U.S. which means they do not pay income taxes. They do pay lots of other taxes (like port fees and assorted other taxes). But many like Rockefeller think they ought to pay more for using U.S. ports and U.S. assets to help them in times of distress. The maritime unions are unhappy as well since the ship jobs go to non U.S. citizens. Rockefeller is no William Alden Smith, who presided over the U.S. Titanic hearings wanting to find out what happened and find liability against White Star. Rockefeller is just playing politics by trying to force cruise lines to fork over lots more money. And likely winning high marks for the maritime unions. Those unions ought to look at the laws and regulations that resulted in nearly every passenger liner not being flagged American.

Source: Carnival: No Reimbursement To US for Disabled Ship(15 April 2013,AP)

3. A Night To Remember (1958) is my favorite Titanic movie. It has also been released on Blu-ray in 2012. Like the regular DVD version, it has the excellent commentary by Ken Marschall and Don Lynch. It also has something not on previous versions: an interview with Titanic survivor Eva Hart. So if  you have Blu-ray, consider adding this to your movie collection.

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