Boy, 13, Becomes Youngest to Dive to Titanic

ByABC News

Aug. 12, 2005 — -- At the tender age of 13, Sebastian Harris now holds the honor of being the youngest person to dive to the Titanic.

He became the third generation of his family to descend to the site of the shipwreck when he went there with his father, Michael, a second-generation Titanic researcher, aboard a research vessel in the North Atlantic.

"It was cool," Sebastian told "Good Morning America" today. "It was really exciting."

But was he scared?

"No, not at all," he said. Speaking with teenage frankness, Sebastian said he thinks his upcoming first day of high school may pack more excitement than the dive.

But the dive will be hard to top. Father and son made the journey two-and-a-half miles down to the Titanic's burial ground, where they not only set a world record, but uncovered never-before-seen clues about the doomed ship's demise on April 14, 1912.

It was an adventure story come to life, as they boarded a Russian research vessel. They prepared for the dive, then climbed aboard the Mir 2 submersible and plunged into the aquatic abyss.

It took hours to descend through dead black water so cold it's called liquid ice. As they went lower, pressures on their craft increased. To illustrate the extent of the deep-sea pressures near the Titanic, Michael Harris displayed a standard-sized styrofoam coffee cup that had been hardened and compressed to the size of a shot glass or large thimble.

The two said they made a discovery that could reveal answers about what happened that night, 93 years ago, when 1,502 people aboard the ship died.

"I was able to find a new debris field about 900 meters south of the stern, which shows where the Titanic started to break up," Michael Harris claimed.

He also theorized that the newly found wreckage showed the iceberg that doomed Titanic not only tore the fatal gash in the ship's side, but it also may have smashed the ship's bottom, dropping out some of the debris and letting in water.

Inside the submersible, father and son shared a moment, while outside robotic arms placed a memorial plaque on the bridge -- the spot where the Titanic's captain learned that his ship and passengers were doomed. They spent about eight hours examining the doomed vessel.

They will be recognized in the 2006 edition of the "Guinness Book of World Records," set to be released Monday.

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