Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Experts to discuss the history, romance and intrigue of sunken ships

Penn State Live

University Park, Pa. -- There are only a few divers that have traveled through icy waters to visit the famed Titanic shipwreck, whose sinking in 1912 has captivated millions around the world.

But through a virtual presentation at Penn State that includes raw footage, the public can join shipwreck expert David Bright in the slow descent to the bottom of the Atlantic where the wreck is located.

Bright is just one of the shipwreck experts who will be discussing their experiences during the Nautical Research & Shipwreck Symposium on Saturday, Nov. 13 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Bright will guide symposium attendees through an exploration of such features as the intact bow section, the huge engines and a debris field where personal effects and distinctive articles from the ship can be found. He will also point out the parts of the historic vessel that are rapidly deteriorating.

Other experts at the event will share more stories of famous lost ships.

Leading maritime lawyer Peter Hess, who successfully challenged the federal government's exclusive access to the Civil War-era U.S.S. Monitor, also known as the Ironclad for its metal composition, will provide a look at the Union vessel that foundered off Cape Hatteras in 1862.

David Zenni, who has appeared on the Discovery and History channels, will discuss the RMS Empress of Ireland, in which more than 1,000 died when it sank in the frigid waters of the Saint Lawrence River in 1914.

And author and deep-sea diver Gary Gentile will give the account of the Andrea Doria, which sank off the coast of Nantucket in 1956.

Preregistration is required by Nov. 10. Tickets are $5 for students (K-graduate) and $10 for nonstudents.

The symposium is an outreach program of the Eberly College of Science.

For more information on the symposium, visit

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