Theories that the ill-fated Titanic was unlucky to hit a berg on its tragic maiden voyage in 1912 have been put on ice by Sheffield University academics.
It’s often been suggested that the North Atlantic that April night was clogged with an exceptional number of icebergs due to lunar or solar activity.
But city researchers have found that wasn’t the case - and that the risk of icebergs is actually higher now.
Using data on iceberg locations dating back to 1913 – recorded to help prevent a repeat of the Titanic disaster – they have shown that 1912 was a significant ice year but not extreme.
Professor Grant Bigg, who led the project, said: “We have seen that 1912 was a year of raised iceberg hazard, but not exceptionally so in the long term.
“The year 1909 recorded a slightly higher number of icebergs and more recently the risk has been much greater – between 1991 and 2000 eight of the ten years recorded more than 700 icebergs and five exceeded the 1912 total.”
He added: “As use of the Arctic increases in the future with the declining sea-ice, ice hazards will increase in water not previously used for shipping. So the iceberg risk is likely to increase in the future.”