The ship that sent an iceberg warning to the titanica before the ocean liner sank, and which was sunk during World War I, has been identified in the Irish Sea.
In 1912, the merchant steamship SS Mesaba was crossing the Atlantic and sent a warning message by radio to the Titanic. The message was received, but never reached the bridge. Later that night, the large, supposedly unsinkable vessel struck an iceberg and sank on her maiden voyage, claiming 1,500 lives and becoming the shipwreck most infamous in the world.
The SS Mesaba continued as a merchant ship for the next six years before being torpedoed while in a convoy in 1918.
Using state-of-the-art multibeam sonar, Bangor University researchers were finally able to positively identify the wreck and revealed its position for the first time.
For him marine archaeologist, multibeam sonar has the potential to be as impactful as the use of aerial photography for landscape archaeology. Multibeam sonar enables mapping of the seafloor in such detail that details of the superstructure can be revealed in the sonar images.
The SS Mesaba was one of 273 shipwrecks that lie in 7,500 square miles of the Sea of irelandwhich were scanned and cross-checked with the UK Hydrographic Office wreck database and other sources.
It was thought that 101 shipwrecks they were unidentified, but the number of recently identified wrecks was much higher, as many, including the SS Mesaba, had been misidentified in the past.
Details of all the shipwrecks have been published in a new book, Echoes from the Deep, by Dr Innes McCartney of Bangor University, made while at Bournemouth University. “The results of the work described in the book have validated the multidisciplinary technique employed and is a ‘game changer’ for marine archaeology,” she said in a statement.