The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) has released a trove of previously unseen video footage from the first human visit to the wreck of the RMS Titanic.

Sunk on 15 April 1912 after striking an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City, with the loss of more than 1,500 souls, Titanic remained undiscovered despite a number of attempts to locate her, until a team led by Dr Robert Ballard of WHOI and Jena-Louis Michel of the Institut Français de Recherche pour l’Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER) found the wreckage on 1 September, 1985.

In July 1986, Ballard returned to the Titanic in the three-person submersible, DSV Alvin, partnered with a remote operating vessel (ROV) Jason Junior, which would explore the ship’s interior – the first time humans had laid eyes on the Titanic in almost 75 years.

The 80-minutes of previously unseen footage was released to mark the 25th anniversary and re-release of James Cameron’s blockbuster movie Titanic, and also comes just a few days after the death of Emory Kristof, who helped to develop the imaging equipment that captured the first images of the sunken liner in 1985.

‘More than a century after the loss of Titanic, the human stories embodied in the great ship continue to resonate,’ said explorer and filmmaker, James Cameron. ‘Like many, I was transfixed when Alvin and Jason Jr. ventured down to and inside the wreck. By releasing this footage, WHOI is helping tell an important part of a story that spans generations and circles the globe.’

Unseen video footage from the first Titanic dive – DIVE Magazine