An unused life jacket from the doomed transatlantic cruise ship “Titanic,” which struck an iceberg in 1912 and sank, fetched 68,500 dollars at auction at Christie’s in New York late Wednesday.

The cork-filled life preserver – still largely intact, but stained and torn in parts – was thought to have been found by farmer John James Dunbar on the Halifax shoreline after the passenger ship sank off Newfoundland in April, 1912.

The liner sank during its maiden voyage from the British port of Southampton to New York when it hit an iceberg, causing some 1,500 people to die.

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About 700 people are believed to have survived the sinking, one of the worst maritime disasters ever.

There is still huge public interest in Titanic memorabilia as the sinking of the ship, which had been billed as unsinkable, caused such a loss of life and was one of the first world-wide news events

Maritime specialist Gregg Dietrich said the jacket – believed to be one of six remaining – appeared to have been unused because the shoulder straps were still intact.

Titanic passengers tended to have had their life preservers cut off to ease removal from their damaged skin.

Mr Dietrich said that the cork filling the jackets was so heavy that many of the survivors and victims of Titanic were found to have broken their jaws on them when they hit the water after jumping from the ship. Source : reuters

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