107 #101: The wreck of the Titanic may one day be raised

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FALSE (probably). The wreck of the Titanic really is a wreck, as Dr Robert Ballard discovered at 1.05 a.m. on 1st September, 1985. Titanic is lying in pitch darkness under 12,460 feet of water, which generates a pressure of 6,000 lbs per square inch on the seabed. She is torn into two huge pieces 1,970 feet apart, each with its own debris field over 2,000 feet long, containing much of Titanic’s mid-section and contents. There is therefore no possibility of her eventual triumphant arrival into New York, such as that which was depicted in the 1980 film, Raise The Titanic.

Given Titanic’s poor condition and her extreme depth, current technology is nowhere near advanced enough to be able to raise her on anything like a commercial basis. The discovery of the Titanic was estimated to cost a total of $15 million dollars in 1985, given the equipment which was used. The expedition was funded by the combined resources of the US Navy, the French government and the National Geographic Society. If Titanic ever did get raised, it would be for the love of her, not the money. But as we wait for new technologies to develop which would make this a practical possibility, Titanic is rusting away on the seabed. The wreck is deteriorating relatively rapidly due to the activity of marine organisms which are actually eating the steel and leaving it streaming down the sides of the ship in deposits which Ballard dubbed ‘rusticles’, because they look like icicles made of rust.

The exploration of Titanic is also playing a part in her deterioration, with damage being caused by activities such as submersibles landing on her deck. However, RMS Titanic Inc. raised a 17-ton portion of the hull in 1998 and it’s likely that some other very large pieces may yet be raised, including a recently discovered, intact, but detached, complete section of Titanic’s double bottom. These pieces may yet tell us a lot about Titanic’s break-up, and the wreck may one day reveal more details about the exact nature of her collision.
Perhaps most valuably of all, what remains of her wreck will always serve as a tangible reminder of the price we pay for overconfidence.

If you’d like to read the full book of101 Things You Thought You Knew About The Titanic…But Didn’t!, or any of my other books on Titanic, please visit my Author Page on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/tim-maltin/e/B005LNHYEQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_1

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