Famous Wrecks in the News: Black Swan, Vasa and Titanic

It’s been a busy few days for all you shipwreck enthusiasts! My favorite story would have to be the dramatic end to the Black Swan ordeal. Over the weekend, $500 million of shipwreck loot recovered by Odyssey Marine Exploration from the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes a few years back finally found its way to Madrid when a pair of Spanish C-130s hauled the 17 tons of silver and gold across the Atlantic. (I for one think it should have gone back to where it originally came from–Peru–but that’s for another day.)

A few days earlier, PRI’s The World had a fascinating story about the Swedish warship Vasa. Researchers have announced a new theory explaining why the Vasa sank on its maiden voyage. After years of detailed measurements, archaeologists Fred Hocker determined that the ship was lopsided (lots of workers using two different measurement systems) and had decks that were far too heavy, which made it dangerously top-heavy. As Hocker concluded:  “the design was simply flawed from the beginning.” With the sinking finally? explained, archaeologists will hopefully devote their full attention to preserving the ship for future generations.

And where would we be in 2012, without a Titanic story? (It is after all the ‘year of the Titanic.’) Sunday’s New York Times had a well-done article aptly titled “100 years on, the unsinkable Titanic.” Here we find a devoted Molly Brown impersonator, an accountant spending $11,000 for a 12-day anniversary trans-Atlantic cruise (they’re going to be floating over the wreck at the precise moment of the 100-year anniversary, wow!), as well as an incisive, if brief survey at Titantica. Well worth a read!


1 Comment

Filed under Shipwreck culture, Shipwreck Kitsch, Wrecks in the News

One response to “Famous Wrecks in the News: Black Swan, Vasa and Titanic

  1. Pingback: Shipwreck Tourism: On my blog’s birthday | Ships on the Shore

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