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1985: Titanic wreck captured on film

VIDEO : First pictures of the sunken Titanic

The first pictures of the wreck of the Titanic have been released 73 years after the liner sank with the loss of 1,500 lives.

The wreck was discovered three days ago by a joint American-French expedition lead by the explorer Dr Robert Ballard.

The ship is lying at a depth of 2.5 miles (4 km) and was filmed by an unmanned submarine called Argo.

Enhanced images taken from the film have allowed researchers to identify the ship's boilers sitting on the sea bed.

The research team have sent down more colour cameras, but say they have no plans to attempt to salvage the wreck or explore its contents.

Scrapyard

A survivor of the sinking, Eva Hart, said she was relieved they were not planning to disturb the site.

"I feel that it's my father's grave, and the grave of 1,500 people," she said.

Salvage expert Kendall McDonald said it would be impossible to raise the hull from that depth.

"It couldn't withstand any kind of lifting... It's a scrap yard", he told the BBC.

It has taken two ships, the assistance of the US Navy, a huge amount of sophisticated equipment and eight weeks of searching to make the discovery.

In Context
Dr Ballard returned the following year on a US Navy vessel and made 11 dives to the wreck in a three man submarine.

Many more expeditions have visited the Titanic since, despite objections from some survivors and their relatives who believe the site should be left untouched.

In 1994 a US court granted the New York-based company RMS Titanic, Inc. exclusive salvage rights to the wreck.

Eva Hart died in 1996 aged 91.


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