Titanic In Canada, the US, and the UK, notably Southampton, England, where it set sail, and St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, the city closest to where it sunk, its history has sparked a blockbuster movie and a booming tourism economy.
A select few have purchased an even closer look by making the 3.8km drop to the Titanic crash site itself, some paying up to $250,000 (£197,700) for the pleasure. The sector pulls millions of people to museums and monuments throughout the world.
Current moral and safety concerns regarding the Titanic excavation enterprise have been heightened by the deaths of the five persons onboard OceanGate’s Titan submarine, which officials claim exploded after a catastrophic malfunction. This might affect future expeditions to the debris.
The Titanic tourists have long been accused of turning a tragedy into a spectator sport, according to the heirs of those who were on board the ocean ship.
According to Jean Legg, who spoke to the BBC, “If people wish to pay their respects to Titanic and the many who lost their lives, that’s fine.” “But in my opinion, the Titanic ought to be left alone… All those who have lost their lives should be thought of as resting in her.”
On the Titanic, Sidney Daniels, Legg’s father, served as a third-class steward. Daniels managed to stay alive the night it sank by diving into the ocean and swimming to a lifeboat. When he passed away in 1983, he was 18 years old and thought to be the final living crew member.
Some people are also drawing parallels between the recent tragedy on board the Titan and the arrogance of the Titanic, which was infamously promoted as being “unsinkable.” Following the sub’s loss of communication last week, allegations that OceanGate, the firm in charge of the expedition, had not adhered to industry norms for design and classification surfaced.
“Just as Titanic taught the world safety lessons, so, too, should Titan’s loss,” said Charlie Haas, head of the historical organization the Titanic International Society.
The Titan wasn’t even close to becoming the first ship to descend to the Titanic. In 1998, Deep Ocean Expeditions began operating cruises, with each ticket costing $32,500. Later, businesses like Bluefish, RMS Titanic Inc., and Blue Marble Private (in conjunction with OceanGate) conducted their own journeys.
However, RMS Titanic Inc. hasn’t undertaken a trip since more than ten years ago, and neither Deep Ocean Expeditions nor Bluefish have since 2012.
Since submersibles travel across international waters, no one regulatory authority is in charge of enforcing ship and safety regulations. However, a lot of businesses voluntarily choose to have one of numerous organizations certify their ships.
There are just ten marine vehicles capable of delving to Titanic-level depths, according to Will Kohnen, head of The Marine Technology Society submarine committee.
Except for the Titan, “all of them are certified,” he told Reuters.
OceanGate, the business that built the Titan, had jumped into Titanic exploration more than any other company.
The firm, which Stockton Rush co-founded in 2009 but perished on board the sub, has 18 dives scheduled for this year alone, according to its website. Rush, who through marriage was connected to those who perished on the Titanic, had claimed that the trips were aiding study by capturing the degradation of the debris.
But he has also been charged with disobeying safety instructions in the name of technical advancement.
Rush was charged with misrepresenting Titan as a DNV-approved vessel in a 2018 letter from the Marine Technological Society to OceanGate.
The company’s tactics, according to the letter, are “experimental” and “could result in negative outcomes (from minor to catastrophic) that would have serious consequences for everyone in the industry,” according to The New York Times.
It was unable to reach an OceanGate spokesperson for comment.
Many have demanded more regulation of the submersible business in light of the current catastrophe, as well as caution over any upcoming visits to the Titanic debris.
Tim Maltin, a Titanic specialist, advised travelers to postpone diving to the remains until additional information regarding what transpired with the Titan sub is discovered.
Maltin stated, “We need to ensure that any vessels that go down there with fee-paying passengers…[are] certified to deeper depths than they will be put through.
The British Titanic Society’s Caroline Heaven concurred.
She told the BBC, “I see no use in even considering the hazardous voyage to the wreck. The risks are too significant, the surroundings are too confined, and there is not much visibility when one gets to the disaster.
Others, though, say that if visits to the buried ship end permanently, history would be lost. The disaster site was visited by 91-year-old novelist and Captain Smith impersonator Lowell Lytle in 2000 with RMS Titanic Inc. Lowell Lytle described the event as “amazing.”
He told the BBC, “I admire the folks who say we should simply leave it and not do anything. “However, there will be generations that will never see…the Titanic-related items.”
An whole sector centered on submersible and submarine tourism has emerged as a result of the global interest in deep-sea exploration.
In Australia, those who are wearing helmets and safety gear can walk on the ocean floor. Couples may go on an underwater adventure at the Lovers Deep hotel in St. Lucia for as little as $150,000 per night, complete with a private chef and butler. Many of the passengers on these types of journeys are referred to be “citizen scientists” who are gathering data and photographs for study.
But Alan Whitefield, the director of Silvercrest Submarines, warned that what happened on board the Titan would undoubtedly have a negative impact.
He predicted a “knee-jerk reaction” from the general public but predicted a recovery for the submersible business.
According to Mr. Whitefield, “it’s like the airline industry.” “Everyone is on edge for the following several weeks if a jet crashes someplace. However, after a few months, everyone resumes flying since they have forgotten about it.