Mutual destruction

The tragic sinking of the British ocean liner RMS Titanic off Canada’s Newfoundland on 15 April 1912 is considered the greatest shipping disaster in history.

Titanic was touted as unsinkable by its builders but on its maiden voyage from England to New York City, it hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean, damaging its hull. Water entered the luxury ship and it sank in less than three hours, killing 1,500 passengers and crew members. A total 706 people were rescued and survived, though all of them are probably already dead by now.

The maritime tragedy lived on in the public consciousness through the many poems, books, documentaries, and movies about the ship that were produced. The accident reignited public interest after the Titanic’s wreck was found 3.86 kilometers below the ocean in 1985, 73 years after the sinking. It inspired more documentaries and movies, including the 1997 blockbuster “Titanic” that starred Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet.

The 110-year-old shipwreck still attracts explorers, the latest of which is its shooting by OceanGate to create high-resolution photos and videos of the sunken relic, CNN reported.

Ironically, one ship closely associated with the Titanic did not get as much attention.

The British merchant steamship SS Mesaba was also sailing in the North Atlantic on 12 April 1912 and its crew warned their counterpart in the Titanic about floating icebergs.

Unfortunately, the warning never reached the bridge of the Titanic, leading to the accident, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

The ignominy of the Titanic sinking left the Mesaba largely forgotten despite experiencing the same fate as the ship that it had warned six years later.

Researchers at Bournemouth University and Bangor University in the United Kingdom announced last month that they found the wreck of the Mesaba at the bottom of the Irish Sea, Smithsonian reported.

They used the shipwreck imaging technology called multibeam sonar to scan 7,500 square miles of the dark Irish Sea bottom and identify 273 sunken vessels there, including Mesaba.

The Mesaba ended up in a watery grave not because of accident, however. It was torpedoed in 1918 by a German submarine while traveling from Liverpool to Philadelphia and sank in St. George’s channel, killing 20 people aboard, including its commander, according to CBS News.

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