The RMS Titanic sank on 15 April 1912, with more than 1,500 people lost. In 1985, the wreckage was found and photographed at a depth of 12,500 feet, by a French-American expedition led by Robert Ballard. The next year, Woods Hole's submersible Alvin made the first manned dives at the site. Since then, nearly 150 manned dives have been made there, using submersibles owned by the French and Russian governments (the Nautile and two Mirs, respectively).
In 1987 the American "Titanic Ventures LP" group, used the Nautile for the first salvage operation, recovering 1,800 artifacts. Since that time, the Nautile has made more than 90 dives to remove nearly 5,000 items. Most are on display at three exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and Japan. The Russians' Mir submersibles have made more than 45 dives for filming projects, including James Cameron's Oscar-winning movie, "Titanic."