NOVA documentary For Eric Sauder


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Jan 14, 2001
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Hello Eric,

I've finally purchased the NOVA documentary and I really enjoyed it.Some of the underwater images are really spectacular (especially those of the funnels and of the giant hole near the bow).

My guess is that if you had followed Cousteau's route you would certainly have found if there was a mine anchor near the point of the explosion.In fact,tt seems that in 1976 Cousteau actually found the point of impact with the mine/torpedo.I quote from "Sea Classics" (Vol.11,Sept,1978):

"..Tantum reported that a search of the seabed behind the vessel revealed part of the keel and some ribs,blown out by the initial explosion..[...]From the point of the explosion to the wreck,the seabed is covered with rusty hospital beds,plieces of equipment,and ohter debris.[...]Also found on the sea bottom near the wreck were the brass ballast tanks of the lifeboats struck by the turning propellers..."

So we have three distinct points:The remains of the keel (point of initial explosion),the ballast tanks (point of the lifeboat incident) and the wreck.This way we can partially reconstruct Britannic's route towards her demise.

But Cousteau didn't find the two missing funels,located during the 1995 exedition.However Dr.Ballard failed to find the rest of the debris.This indicates that very different routes were followed-with Cousteau being luckier but less equipped to find out more.I think that Simon Mills was probably right and the exact point is more to the southwest.

Why there aren't more detailed images of the boat deck?All the documenataries I've seen localized their search along the hull,the bridge area,the giant hole and the stern.Wouldn't be equally interesting to see the rest of the superstructure?It seems to be in very good condition according to the Marschall drawings.

Best regards,
Michail
 
Jan 14, 2001
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Correction:I spoke of only three distinct points that could help to determine Britannic's route.This is clearly not correct since Mr.Tantum clearly describes a trail of debris leading to the wreck.

I meant that those three points indicate the 3 major moments of Britannic's sinking:The initial explosion,the sinking of the lifeboats and the sinking of the ship.

Michail,
 
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