It was 11:35 p.m. on April 14, 1912. The Titanic, on her maiden voyage, was steaming about 400 miles south of Newfoundland's Grand Banks. Unlike the waves that roiled the fishing grounds the night Andrea Gail met her end, the seas were calm the last night of Titanic's life.
Location of the Grand Banks, off the coast of Newfoundland. Image online, via The Canadian Encyclopedia.
Without binoculars, the men in the crow's nest could not see the iceberg until it was too late. Wireless operators at Cape Race, Newfoundland, picked up the distress signal from the Titanic.
One of the Canadian operators, Robert Hunston, made a log of all the transmissions he heard that night. Titanic's wireless operator gave her position: 41.46N, 50.14 W. She was just 400 miles away from the Cape Race station.
When the Titanic sank, she remained undiscovered for years until Dr. Robert Ballard and his team found her again. Her final resting place is 41 degrees 44 minutes north, 49 degrees 57 minutes west. Compare that to the last-known location of the Andrea Gail: 44 N, 56.4 W. The locations are just a few hundred miles apart!
Location of Titanic's gravesite. Image online, courtesy NASA.
Another disastrous event occurred at practically the same spot where the Andrea Gail gave her last coordinates. In 1929, an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale occurred off the coast of the Grand Banks. It's epicenter was at 44.5 North, 56.3 West. The earthquake produced an enormous Tsunami that killed 29 people. It was the greatest number of deaths caused by an earthquake in Canada. The Tsunami was detected as far away as Portugal and South Carolina.
Three catastrophic events in less than 80 years have all occurred near the same location in the North Atlantic.
Little did the crew aboard the Andrea Gail know, as they left Gloucester Harbor in September of 1991, that within six weeks their ship would never be found and they too would share the cold waters of the North Atlantic graveyard. (The link takes you to the Coast Guard's report on the Andrea Gail and includes pictures of the ship. It is in pdf format.)
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