The Titanic sank in the North Atlantic's busy shipping lanes and in the days after the sinking passing ships, such as the German ship Bremen, were reporting sightings of bodies and wreckage. The White Star Line quickly made arrangements for the recovery of the victims. This grim task fell to the Canadian port of Halifax in Nova Scotia, as the closest large port to the Titanic's last known position.
The cable-repair ship Mackay-Bennett was based in Halifax and sailed from there on 17 April. She carried her usual crew, despite the type of work they were expected to undertake. Additionally she carried a minister and undertaker. She also carried quantities of ice for preserving the bodies, along with coffins and canvas bags for the victims.
The first bodies were recovered by the Mackay-Bennett on 21 April. The recovery process would not have been a pleasant task. The bodies had been at sea for a week and were in a state of decomposition. Although the sea temperature was low, which ordinarily might slow decomposition, exposure to prolonged sunlight would raise the body's temperature, advancing the rate of decomposition. Other bodies showed evidence of trauma caused by the sinking: bruising, crushing and wounds worsened by exposure to the elements.
It was quickly realised there were more bodies than she could deal with. The White Star Line responded by contracting the cable-repair ship Minia, which was at sea at the time, to go and assist the Mackay-Bennett. She promptly returned to Halifax and set out to sea again on 22 April, arriving three days later, whereupon the Mackay-Bennett returned to Halifax.
On 6 May the Minia returned to Halifax and was relieved on the same day by the Montmagny, a vessel owned by the Canadian government. She returned to Louisbourg, Nova Scotia on 13 May before returning to sea to continue her search, finally returning to Halifax on 23 May.
A fourth and final ship, the passenger and cargo ship Algerine, left St John's in Newfoundland on 16 May. She continued searching for bodies for three weeks before ceasing her search, thereby ending the official recovery effort for victims of the Titanic.
Use the map controls to locate and view all the memorials listed in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Memorials are shown on the map and listed in order northern-most memorials first, listed east to west, southern-most memorials last. Pan the map left, right, up and down using your mouse cursor or touch device; click or touch the zoom controls to narrow and widen your search area. Click or touch to select any of the markers to learn more about each Titanic memorial. Sites close to each other may have their markers clustered together, so increase the zoom to see each individual map marker.