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A bloodstained life jacket from the legendary Titanic ocean liner, which
A bloodstained life jacket from the legendary Titanic ocean liner, which sank nearly a century ago, has been sold at Christie's in New York for $68,500, the auction house said on Thursday.

The life jacket, one of six known to exist from the doomed liner, is likely to have floated away as the Titanic sank and is believed to have never been worn as the shoulder straps are still intact.

Life jackets were usually cut off Titanic passengers after they were found. The head of the Christie's auction, Gregg Dietrich, said that the oil and blood stains could have been appeared as the vest drifted at sea amid the wreckage.

"It is obvious that it has been in the water for a period of time, which would account for the absence of any printed marking and the presence of oil and possibly blood stains," the auction house said on its website.

The ship, carrying 2,200 people, sank in 1912 in the Atlantic Ocean during its maiden voyage between the British port of Southampton and New York, after it struck an iceberg. At least 1,496 people were killed in the world's greatest maritime tragedy, and some 306 bodies were recovered.

A Canadian farmer, John James Dunbar, found the Titanic life vest during the cleanup of the shoreline after the passenger ship sank off Newfoundland. The jacket had been kept in a trunk by the Canadian family for 96 years.

The identity of the winning bidder hasn't been disclosed. Last year, the auction house in London sold another Titanic life jacket for $119,000.


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