International Ice Patrol remembers Titanic victims

New London The U.S. Coast Guard International Ice Patrol dedicated three wreaths this morning to be dropped near where the RMS Titanic sunk years ago.

The Titanics maiden voyage ended tragically in the late evening of April 14, 1912, when the ship struck an iceberg. It took less than four hours for it to sink, and more than 1,500 of the 2,200-plus passengers died in the North Atlantic.

Every year we remember and honor those lost with Titanic with a wreath drop near her resting place, Lt. Cmdr. Gabrielle McGrath, deputy commander of the International Ice Patrol, said during the brief ceremony outside the units New London offices.

Chaplain Kyle Fauntleroy dedicated the wreaths, which will be dropped as close to April 14 as possible from a Coast Guard plane during an iceberg reconnaissance flight. Five Ice Patrol members left today for the deployment.

In response to the Titanic disaster, the worlds major maritime powers convened the first meeting of the International Conference on the Safety of Life at Sea in London in 1913. The conference helped lay the groundwork for the International Ice Patrol.

With the exception of World Wars I and II, the IIP has routinely patrolled the shipping lanes to protect lives, ships and commerce traveling between Europe and North America.

Plans are already underway for commemorating the centennial anniversary of the Titanics sinking.