Item 2005.002.06.001 - Return to the Titanic/ Titanic Drury - 1981: Grimm Harris Expedition

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Return to the Titanic/ Titanic Drury - 1981: Grimm Harris Expedition

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  • Moving images

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Jack F. Grimm Productions, US : Titanic 1981.

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  • 1981 (Creation)
    MacInnis, Joseph B.

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Physical description

1 videocassette: VHS

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Dr. Joe MacInnis, C.M. MD. FRCP. (Hon) LLD. (Hon), earned a medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1962 and was awarded a research position at the University of Pennsylvania to begin what would become his pursuit for the following three decades: the study of the physiology and psychology of men and women in undersea conditions. Between 1964 and 1970 he worked as the medical director of Ocean Systems Inc., the world's largest diving and underwater engineering company. In 1970, Dr. MacInnis participated in the research and writing of Canada's first national ocean policy. During this time, he initiated the first of eleven diving expeditions to study the systems and techniques needed to work safely under the ice in the near-freezing waters of the Arctic Ocean. In the next decade, his team would make more than 1,000 dives and construct the world's first undersea polar station, the Sub-Igloo.
In 1978 Dr. MacInnis led the team that discovered, explored, and filmed the HMS Breadalbane, a three-masted British barque crushed by the ice in the Northwest Passage in 1853. Located in 340 feet of water 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the HMS Breadalbane is the world's northernmost known shipwreck. Shortly after the discovery of the Breadalbane, Dr. MacInnis turned his attention to the most infamous shipwreck of all - the Titanic. He made two dives to the bow and stern of the Titanic between 1985 and 1991, and was co-leader of the two million dollar project to film the ship in IMAX format. In 2005, he joined James Cameron on a dive that produced a 90 minute live broadcast from some of the last unseen rooms of the ship.

Dr. MacInnis is involved in a number of community service projects that reflect the wide range of his interests, supporting both scientific and artistic ingenuity and the protection of the environment. He has been awarded five honorary doctorates, the Queen's Anniversary Medal, the Admiral's Medal and the country's highest honour, the Order of Canada. He regularly lectures on topics of leadership and teamwork, and continues to publish on his underwater discoveries.

For additional biographical information, see

Custodial history

Scope and content

A documentary account of the Grimm/Harris expedition: Titanic 1981. Using sonar & other modern scientific instruments, scientists, oceanographers & film makers battle the forces of water & wind in their second attempt to locate the Titanic. The focus of the documentary is on the technology required to search for and hopefully record the ship. This is the second of two expeditions, the first was: Titanic 1980 and has also been released by the title: Search for the Titanic.

The Titanic, a passenger ship, sunk during her maiden voyage in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15,1912, two hours and forty minutes after a collision with an iceberg on April 14, 1912. Over 1 500 people perished. The shipwreck was discovered by a team led by Robert Ballard and Jean Louis Michel in 1985.

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  • eng

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Digital file available.

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Original records are not accessible/viewable using the equipment in the reading room. Digital copies may be viewed onsite

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Inscribed on top label: '1981 - TITANIC/ DRURY'

General note

Notes from initial viewing: opening credits 'Titanic 1981 Inc. presents © Return to the Titanic'
/hosted by James Drury, on the 1981 Grimm-Harris expedition to the Titanic
/JD introduces each scientific team member; crew discusses navigation and search theories; launching transponders; animation of how transponders work; crew analyzes architectural plans of T.; launch and animation of deep tow sonar
/bringing in deep tow due to rough and rainy weather conditions; film designed by Kodak; crew has note from T. passenger (Jack Stewart?) found in champagne bottle, passed down through his family; Mark Olson and Anita responsible for pressure proof housing for color video camera; broken part on deep tow - part must be flown in
/scuba divers prepping for filming dive - fear of 'bad air' in tank
/recovering video sled from ocean - crew watches dark, grainy video, sees outline of what might be T.'s propeller blade - compared with blade from the Oceanic
/closing credits - list of sponsors
Cinematography and sound: Nik Petrik, Mike Harris, and Jack Cosgrove
Music: Dale Schacker
Host narrator: James Drury
Written by: James Drury
Produced and directed by: Mike Harris
Executive producer: Jack Grimm

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