The ship which sent an iceberg warning to the Titanic before the ocean-liner sank has been found in the Irish Sea
Researchers from Bangor University have identified the Mesaba’s wreck and located her last resting place using cutting-edge multibeam sonar.
The technology can map out the seafloor and reveal structural details.
The Mesaba was one of 273 shipwrecks that were scanned and cross-referenced with other sources, including the UK Hydrographic Office’s database of wrecks, in the 7,500 square miles of the Irish Sea.
Along with huge ocean liners and tankers, they also include trawlers, cargo ships, and submarines.
Mesaba – like Titanic, built in Belfast – was torpedoed by German U-boat U-118 while making a convoy voyage from Liverpool to Philadelphia.
Twenty lives were lost, including that of the ship’s commander and a young able seaman from Wrexham.
Dr. Innes McCartney of Bangor University’s new book, Echoes from the Deep, contains information about every wreck.
Dr. McCartney called the research a “game-changer” in marine archaeology and predicted that it will be useful to environmental organizations, marine scientists, and historians.
“Previously we would be able to dive to a few sites a year to visually identify wrecks,” he said.
“The Prince Madog’s unique sonar capabilities has enabled us to develop a relatively low-cost means of examining the wrecks. We can connect this back to the historical information without costly physical interaction with each site.”
We have also been looking at these wreck sites to better understand how objects on the seabed interact with physical and biological processes, which in turn can help scientists support the development and growth of the marine energy sector, said Dr. Michael Roberts, who oversaw the sonar surveys at the university’s school of ocean sciences.