This image, taken by a crew member of RMS Carpathia - Titanic survivors' rescue ship - depicts both an iceberg and a very large area of ice in the vicinity of Titanic's wreck site. The description for this image, by the Library of Congress (where it is maintained), provides more details: "View from S.S. CARPATHIA of iceberg which sank the Titanic." Although the photo makes it appear that the ship is approaching a shoreline, this location is actually hundreds of miles from shore. It is the ice, on the water's surface, which looks like a coastline. Online, courtesy Library of Congress.
Lay people, who would otherwise have no opportunity to view what is at the bottom of the sea, have also been able to marvel at what’s left of the once-magnificent ship. Captain Smith’s cabin, the port-side propeller, and part of the debris field are 2 1/2 miles underwater, but we can see them today because of remote camera exploration.
The most significant questions, of course, cannot be answered by examining wreckage and artifacts. Why the ship was traveling at “excessive speed,” into a known area of ice, is something historians and people will ponder for years to come.
As a result of so many lost lives, however, rules and regulations were changed. Ships, for example, now require both sufficient lifeboats and practice drills.
Located in an area of the North Atlantic where mariners continue to see icebergs, dive crews can only operate at the site for a few months each year. Their ability to retrieve artifacts is therefore very restricted.
Some folks, like Dr. Ballard, think that’s just fine.