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Veteran titanic divers discover previously unseen details on port side anchor

Titanic's port side anchor

By Rory Golden

Every dive to the wreck of the RMS Titanic is an opportunity for discovery, and I believe we’ve made an important one this year.

I came down to the media room after a dive, and two of OceanGate’s media personnel waved me over.

“Hey Rory, come and take a look at this,” they said and pointed to footage of the ship’s portside anchor. “We think we see markings on it.”

I asked them to slow down the clip, searching in the righthand side of the screen. What do you see on the anchor’s fluke on the right-hand side?

Bear in mind that this image was not taken with a specific goal in mind other than showing Mission Specialists a close-up view of the wreck. The sub pilot later told me he had no idea that the anchor would have had markings on it. But among the decades of rusticles, it’s clear that there’s something there.

What letters do you see?

Let’s change the image to black and white and turn up the contrast. You’ll notice the squat lobster did not change color because he was already white.

Now the letters are a tad easier to make out: H-I-N-G-L-E-Y.

I believe we have discovered something here. I believe that we’re looking at the markings of Noah Hingley & Sons Ltd. Now, the anchor was made of several different components made by several manufacturers. Noah Hingley & Sons Ltd in Netherton, near Dudley, United Kingdom is known for making the ship’s 15-ton center anchor; for a time, it was the world’s largest anchor ever forged by hand.

Hingley also produced part of the two port and starboard anchors. The flukes probably would have been cast would have been cast in a mold of sand, and the mold impression would’ve have been made by a wooden mold with the letters reversed. There is a replica of an anchor in Dudley that shows the name “Hingley” in a similar spot on that anchor to the markings we see on the the Titanic’s anchor on the wreck.

I’ve been studying the wreck for decades and have completed multiple dives, and I can’t recall seeing any other image such as this, but of course I stand to be corrected if I am wrong.

My friend and fellow Titanic dive veteran PH Nargeolet – who has made 37 dives to the wreck – has not seen this on any previous dives he’s been on either.

It’s moments like this that make you pause and reflect on the significance of what we’re doing out here in the middle of the North Atlantic and the tragedy that occurred 110 years ago.

Yes, the wreck is beautiful and exciting to explore – simply diving that deep in the ocean is a thrill and an accomplishment in itself – but it is also a memorial to those who lost their lives in the sinking and a reminder of those touched by the tragedy.

Exploring the wreck with new technology reveals details of the ship that we once only knew from history books and photographs. There will no doubt be more discoveries made after the marine biologists, eDNA scientists and archaeologists have had time to study all the imagery, footage, and samples captured and collected during the 2022 Titanic Expedition.

OceanGate Expeditions continues to honor the ship’s legacy by documenting the wreck in a way no one else can, Mission Specialists make this important work possible. I’m glad to play a part in this study of the Titanic because it is unlike any other that has come before.

Plus, it’s the ultimate dive that only a handful of people have ever had the opportunity to be a part of.

Editor’s note: If you would like to join one of our dive teams to see what you can discover, connect with us on our How To Join page: oceangateexpeditions.com/how-to-join. We are already booking Mission Specialists for the 2023 Titanic Expedition and beyond.

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