Those incredible images of the stricken ship quickly made their way around the world.
And as always, when these things happens, round-the clock news channels were busy reporting "in real time" while looking for new angles to develop the story (and fill air time).
BFM TV - true to its stated desire to bring a "dynamic" US or UK-style presentation to French news reporting - was as usual fast off the mark, pointing out that April would mark the centenary anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.
"How come a ship equipped with modern technology to ensure safety could experience a similar fate to that of the Titanic?" the channel asked.
Cue report with expert to "compare and contrast".
Except in its haste to slap something up on the screen, BFM managed to make the simplest of blunders which, in these days of the Net, remains there for everyone to see.
(screenshot from BFM TV report)
As the footage rolled of the Titanic leaving harbour to begin it maiden voyage back in 1912, BFM happily and helpfully informed those watching that just a few days after setting sail, it hit an iceberg.
All when and good, only some gormless newsroom twerp clearly hadn't done their research properly before putting together the report and instead decided to change the ship's UK point of departure.
Perhaps one Hampton was very much like another in the mind of someone who knew no better, but a simple search would have ensured that the channel didn't quite look so idiotic as it informed viewers that... well see for yourself.
For the non Brits among you or those who aren't that hot on UK geography, grab a map of Britain to find just how much of a coastline Northampton has.
Hint - none.
It's a major market town in the landlocked shire which carries its name.
Northampton Ordnance Survey OpenData
"Dynamic" was one of the adjectives used in the launch of BFM TV back in 2005.
Perhaps it should also remember another that featured in the PR campaign - "Intelligible".