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The wreck of the SS Mesaba steamer that tried to warn the Titanic has been found

Explorers have found the wreck of the SS Mesaba steamer in the Irish Sea, which tried to warn the Titanic of icebergs. A very interesting discovery has been made by researchers at Ireland’s Bangor University, who have identified the wreck of the steamer SS Mesaba. The vessel, which was sailing in a convoy bound from
Published: October 6, 2022 - 09:00
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 01:22
The wreck of the SS Mesaba steamer that tried to warn the Titanic has been found

Explorers have found the wreck of the SS Mesaba steamer in the Irish Sea, which tried to warn the Titanic of icebergs.

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A very interesting discovery has been made by researchers at Ireland’s Bangor University, who have identified the wreck of the steamer SS Mesaba. The vessel, which was sailing in a convoy bound from Liverpool to Philadelphia, was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine SM U-118. As a result of these actions, twenty crew members of the SS Mesaba were killed.

archival photo of the steamer SS Mesaba

Message from SS Mesaba

However, it is worth going back six years and citing another episode in history in which the aforementioned steamer played its part. In 1912, a message was sent from the deck of the SS Mesaba, in which the steamer’s captain warned the crew of the… RMS Titanic of the threat from icebergs. Unfortunately, as it later turned out, this message never reached the bridge of the Titanic. Therefore, today we can only speculate what the night of April 14-15, 1912 would have been like if the warning had been delivered.

Search for wrecks in the Irish Sea region

Extremely experienced wreck expert Dr. Innes McCartney and a scientific team from Bangor University used a high-precision multibeam sonar, and a Prince Madog RV unit, to search. What’s more, they described the device as key to the search for any wrecks. All because of the device’s relatively low cost and the precision it offers.

Sonar scan of the sunken wreck of the steamer Mesaba

Multibeam sonar is an effective and inexpensive tool for wreck imaging and should be a key component for scientists, environmental agencies, hydrographers, heritage managers, marine archaeologists and historians reads the official statement.

Scientists scanned a total of 273 wrecks with sonar. Among the objects examined were the wrecks of various ships, cargo ships, submarines and other vessels that rest on the bottom of the Irish Sea. With this data, they directed their steps to the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO).

Many of these wrecks are in deep water, plus there is no light down there, so you can’t see much at all said Michael Roberts, a marine geologist at Bangor University.

Multibeam sonar therefore proved to be an ideal tool to show the wrecks sunk in the depths as accurately as possible. The collected research material will certainly now be developed and can provide a lot more information. It can be said that the discovery of the SS Mesaba, is just the tip of the iceberg.

Photo: Bangor University


Without a doubt, in 2021 one of the most important diving events in Poland was the expedition to the wreck of the steamer SS Karlsruhe. You will read more about it in the 19th issue the DIVERS24 quarterly magazine! The digital version of the magazine is available free of charge, while the printed version you can buy in our online shop.

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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