RIGHTS TO THE REMAINS Find out who owns the Titanic wreckTHE TITANIC tragically sank on April 14, 1912. The original owner was branded a coward after he escaped the sinking ship on a lifeboat.

Who owns the Titanic wreck? Here’s what to know

The Titanic, once known as the largest and most luxurious passenger ship of its time, now rests at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean as one of the most famous wreckages in the world. The ship, which was believed to be unsinkable, sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912 and has since become a symbol of tragedy and loss.

In April 2012, the Titanic was designated as a UNESCO cultural heritage site, recognizing its historical significance and the lives lost during the disaster. The ownership of the wreck is a complex issue, with the United States and the United Kingdom sharing management of the ship’s remains under Admiralty Law.

An international agreement between the US and UK, signed in 2003, outlined regulations for the preservation of the wreck and the recovery of artifacts. It stated that all artifacts should be conserved and curated in accordance with the agreement’s rules and kept intact as project collections.

RMS Titanic Inc, an American company, was granted salvage rights to the wreck by a United States Federal Court order in 1994. Since then, the company has recovered over 5,500 items from the wreck, with Frenchman Paul-Henri Nargeolet serving as the director of underwater research.

Tragically, Nargeolet died aboard OceanGate’s Titan sub after it failed to return from a mission to explore the wreckage in June 2023. The sub experienced a catastrophic implosion due to the intense pressure at extreme depths, leading to the loss of all five passengers on board.

Despite efforts to explore and study the wreck, experts believe that the Titanic will likely never be raised from the ocean floor. The wreck is split into two main pieces, located approximately 2,000 feet apart, and raising it would likely destroy what remains of the iconic ship.

The Titanic’s original owner, J Bruce Ismay, was on board the ship when it sank in 1912. Despite controversy surrounding his actions during the disaster, Ismay was largely shunned in the aftermath and the White Star Line, which he chaired, faced significant public backlash.

Today, the Titanic remains a somber reminder of the lives lost and the tragic events that unfolded on that fateful night in April 1912.


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