A salvage firm has received approval from a judge in Virginia to remove the telegraph machine from the famous Titanic wreck that was used to send distress signals when the liner sank more than 100 years ago.
Salvage company RMS Titanic Inc.’s plan to retrieve the Marconi wireless telegraph has sparked controversy, with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration among those who have fiercely opposed the mission. NOAA argued in court documents that the telegraph is likely surrounded “by the mortal remains of more than 1,500 people,” and should be left alone.
RMS Titanic Inc. submitted a 60-page plan to retrieve the telegraph, which is believed to still sit in a deckhouse near the doomed ocean liner’s grand staircase. The company said an unmanned submersible would slip through a skylight or cut the heavily corroded roof to retrieve the radio. A “suction dredge” would remove loose silt, while manipulator arms could cut electrical cords.
Titanic hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. ship's time on April 14, 1912, and sank just over two hours later with the loss of more than 1,500 lives. The wreck, which is lying on seabed at a depth of 12,467 feet, is approximately 350 miles south of Newfoundland.