One of the most stunning observations of this year’s diving expedition to RMS Titanic is the discovery of the mast collapsing since the Ballard expedition. Nautical Research Group was the first to break the news about the significant collapse in the mast just about the crow’s nest where Frederick Fleet made the infamous statement, “Iceberg, right ahead”. This series of photographs are the first that document this observation that occurred sometime between June 2004 and July 2005. Using our photometric analysis from 2003, we ascertained that this section of the mast was in serious danger of collapse and it took less than two years for this event to occur. The metal sections of the mast are starting to peel and the integrity of the steel is crumbling. At no part of our analysis have we observed that this collapse was caused by anything other than natural decay. Further examination of the mast show that there are other portions of the steel casing within the mast that have similar natural decay. Because of the collapse just above the bell stanchion of the crow’s nest area, the remainder of the mast distal to this break has shifted and the mast top has fallen from the boat deck area, near the bridge, down towards A-deck as shown in our final photograph. From a peripheral view, the mast looks like a huge water slide with the upper portions of the mast coming off the forecastle of A-deck down to the decking of where the cargo winches, windlass and cargo hatches are located.
These high-quality digital photographs were taken this summer while diving with Russian pilot Genya Cherniev in the MIR II submersible. To access these new photographs, as well as other Titanic photographs, scientific research paper and accompanying PowerPoint presentation go to our corporate website at http://www.nauticalresearch.com and within the text of this home page select the link entitled Educational Services. This will bring you to our educational page where all this valuable information can be viewed and downloaded for personal use only. I will be placing new photographs from various sections of RMS Titanic every week so you might like to syndicate our site to be notified of the latest news. Next week, we will be publishing the latest photographs that show the officers quarters, promenade and Marconi room areas.