Dining Room Windows


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The issue surely is one of archaeology, and where one lets sentiment draw boundaries. Nobody objects, so far as I can see, to archeologists salvaging, say, Spanish galleons, although these are grave sites where people died horribly. Titanic is different only because it is recent; so we connect with the people personally, and we also still have with us examples of their technology, artifacts etc., so there is no historical reason for salvage beyond the fact that it is the Titanic. So whether or not you salvage is a matter of where you think historical interest shades into prurience. I don't think disturbing the dead comes into it - we do it all the time; sticking endoscopes into mummies etc. Which reminds me, Jake, I think they have recently found some rather nasty fungal spores in mummies which may well account for a couple of Tut-associated deaths (Discovery channel again!), and I think it is probably better not to believe in things like mummies' curses in the 21st century.
 
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Brian R Peterson

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>>Also, the World Trade Center is in the process of being cleared away & new foundations for other buildings are being laid. This doesn’t mean they are destroying a sacred site, but rather moving it to a more appropriate place where access to items of interest are easier to those who wish to see them.<<

The remains of the World Trade Center are only 30 some years old and have not been subjected to super high water pressure, salt water and bacteria to weaken them, ergo the WTC remains would be in far better condition, and not being 12,500 under water, far easier to transport and salvage. I have no qualms with the WTC being moved around and displayed as the steel is structurally sound and can handle the wear and tear, the remains of the Titanic on the other hand being brittle, cannot.

>>For all we know, if technology had been better in 1912 it probably would have been raised as you see their earlier plans to do so<<

I'll give you that one, however even if they had raised the ship they lacked the modern knowledge and technology to properly preserve it, so odds are you would not be permitted to board her to see "what happened in her rooms and on her decks."

>>I say take the opportunity before it's too late, and bring much of the Titanic as possible, up to the surface.<<

This my dear Matt, is one reason it is becoming "too late" for the Titanic, with all the dives and salvages on her, we are loving and remembering the ship to death. We all know how she sank, we all know who died, we all have seen the magnificent artifacts that have been recovered in the past, but she has reached a point where she is becoming unable to support her own weight and further dives and salvages would only speed the imminent total collapse of the hull. The time has come where we need to let the graceful lady lay in peace.

>>The issue surely is one of archaeology, and where one lets sentiment draw boundaries. Nobody objects, so far as I can see, to archeologists salvaging, say, Spanish galleons, although these are gravesites where people died horribly. Titanic is different only because it is recent; so we connect with the people personally, and we also still have with us examples of their technology, artifacts etc., so there is no historical reason for salvage beyond the fact that it is the Titanic<<

I disagree on this as well. Spanish Galleons being salvaged doesn’t raise any objections because 9 times out of 10 the salvagers can only search the debris field because either there is not enough left of the ship itself to explore, or if the hull survived, they know;

One: the ship is extremely delicate and must be handled with extreme care

Two: not to try to pluck load-bearing structures out of place, such as the frame for a stained glass First Class Dining Saloon window, no matter how spectacular it would look in a museum or how well it would represent the dead.

The fact that it is "just the Titanic" doesn’t really have prescience here, nor does sentiment rather just other people like me who realize salvaging the hell out of the Titanic to commemorate the dead and better tell the story etc. is destroying her (Fact: like it or not)

Moral: Leave The Titanic Alone!

Best Regards,

Brian
 
Oct 17, 2002
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I have to say that the World Trade Center was just a comparison. And, Brian, I tend to agree to leave it alone. However, I think we all want the Titanic and her spirit to live on and I think that in an increasingly visual society, the best way to do that is to have as many spectacular artifacts as possible to display and teach future generations the marvels of, not only the Titanic, but of an entire era.

Drew
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Titanic is different only because it is recent; so we connect with the people personally,<<

And that when you get down to it is the real issue. It's recent and personal. Were the wreck a few hundred years old with nobody about with a personal connection, this debate wouldn't even be going on.

>>and we also still have with us examples of their technology, artifacts etc., so there is no historical reason for salvage beyond the fact that it is the Titanic.<<

Mmmmmmmmmmm....that's not *entirely* accurate. Yes, there are a lot of examples of 1912 art, technology and the like still around or documented and available for study. Unfortunately, quite a bit has been lost as well. Recent exploration of the wreck has coughed up quite a few surprises, such as inforation on the wireless installation which exceeds the corperate memory of the Marconi corperation. Also, quite a bit of the forensics analysis and debate that's on going even now simply would not have been possible were it not for exploration of the wreck and the recovery of samples of the steel.

Whether this justifies a lot of salvage overall is a very debatable point, but we don't know as much as we would like and the only way to gain some of the information that's needed is to go down and at least have a look.
 
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Matt Endacott

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I for one disagree with simply leaving the Titanic alone to collapse and destroy thousands of valuable items of history Brian.
With raising these items we can preserve the memory of the 1,500 victims and possibly find a reason to why they lost their lives. The debate can go on forever, but it seems they were swift to act in removing the TRADE CENTER and recovering as much as possible for public display. I think the main reason why there is such an objection in recovery missions is that it has sat at the bottom of the Atlantic for so long earning itself the name of a 'grave yard', where as if the bodies were recovered in 1912 it would be simply a hulk of twisted iron, miles under the surface.
The ONLY way the Titanic will live on into history is if she herself can be preserved on land for the public to see.
 
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Brian R Peterson

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Hi Matt!

With all due respect I think you are missing the point here, salvaging the Titanic is destroying the Titanic - and since you are so adamant about preserving her I would think this fact would horrify you.

With every dive made to the wreck the Titanic gets weaker and weaker, and I know I certainly do not want a crew of salvagers to get killed when the hull collapses for something as futile as a stained glass window.

The USS Arizona is salvageable, but you do not see divers plucking belt buckles and china from the wreck, it all relates back to respect for the dead and on the Titanic there is little to none.

Best Regards,

Brian
 
Jul 9, 2000
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1)Salvaging the Titanic may be destroying the Titanic, but the iceberg did a pretty fair job of starting the process. Time and salt water corrosion are well on they're way to finishing the job that human error started.

2)Every dive made to the wreck makes the Titanic weaker sez who??? I've seen this kicked around by the newsies citing scientists who are conveniently unnamed, but I haven't heard from one qualified metaluurgist who supports that claim. I have heard from one...Tim Foecke...who publicly said it's bovine excreta right here on this forum.

3)You're not going to see anybody trying to salvage trinkets from the USS Arizona for two reasons;
a)Warships remain the property of the government which owns them, and the US Navy has some very strightforward policies on protecting the wrecks of US warships.
b)The ship is also a war grave and cemetary in it's own right. Survivors from the USS Arizona who pass away are still having their ashes interred there.

Either way, anybody who molests the wreck would be committing a felony.

Mind you, I'm not saying that I'm for or against salvage/conservation of the Titanic or Titanic artifacts per se, but I simply believe that the a lot (though not all) of the arguements offered against it are kind of weak.
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Let me contribute something about recovery of the stained glass windows. There currently exists no ROV that can a) reach the area and b) have the tools necessary to remove and recover the window. Jake and Elwood had the freedom to explore the wreck's interior because of their compactness. The main reason why they were so small was because each only carried a camera and the machinery necessary to propel and control the robot. If you start adding manipulator arms and the like, then the ROV grows too large to reach a room as deep inside the wreck's interior as the Dining Saloon. Also, current recovery methods wouldn't lend themselves to a careful removal and transport of the window...the window probably wouldn't survive the trip out of the hull.

One day, technology may improve to the point where recovery of this window might be feasible, but that day is not in the immediate future. Once the technology has been developed, Cameron's path to the Dining Saloon will have to be re-evaluated, because the wreck's interior is continually changing.

Personally, I would like to see the Marconi motor-generator set recovered. With Titanic's alternator, motor, and discharger restored to operating condition, we could actually hear Titanic's spark (her "voice") once again. There is no similar set in existance today (the only two 5-kW Marconi sets known to still be with us are both underwater)...it would be a unique artefact from both the ship and her time period. Unfortunately, a portion of the Officers' Quarters deckhouse roof would have to be cut away in order to extract this heavy machinery (which is, in addition, bolted to the deck). That doesn't worry me too much, as 2001 images of the roof over the Silent Room show gaping holes opening up on their own accord. In fact, I would be very dismayed, but not surprised, to learn that the roof over the Marconi rooms has already collapsed on its own, which might frustrate any future efforts to salvage any of the Marconi apparatus.

Parks
 
Jun 11, 2000
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I didn't know about the Marconi set, and I must say I can quite understand why its recovery would be worthwhile - it's back to archaeology again. Recovering things you don't have any longer, and which add to human understanding of human history. I can't see how exhibiting pieces of Titanic crockery comes into that category. We had a Titanic exhibition in London this summer of that sort of thing - I didn't go. Re Spanish galleons, whether or not the ship still exists does not affect the point I was making - salvors rootle around the sites salvaging artifacts with nobody objecting because 300 Conquistadors died there. Here in the UK, where in some places you can't build anything without unearthing Roman remains or old cemeteries, we have developed policies for evaluating the permitted disturbance based on the archaeological value of the site - it's not easy, and nobody claims it is always logical and ethical, but they do try. Re the WTC, I'm not sure I understand why it was mentioned. There are so many reasons why the site had to be cleared, and most of them are entirely humanitarian and, surely, to do with the fact that there were 3000+ people there whose relatives could not have lived with them being left in Manhattan.
 
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Matt Endacott

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Parks,
with the discussion of 'disrespect', i find removing an entire piece of the ship's roof to access the wireless MUCH more significant than removing plates & windows!
I see totally tearing off the wireless room ceiling a stupid act. Not only are you removing a piece of the ship's support, your creating a large open gap that once protected the contents of the room for 91 years!
Im sure you'll agree, a humble window will do less damage than an entire ceiling!
And Monica, the argument of archaeology you present i feel untrue. In my understanding, you were stating crockery had no significance in being displayed. I think you'll find some people can link to as little as a piece of coal to the great ship. The fact that it was actually there, that people who died used it, that it took the plunge to the bottom of the ocean and sat there for 91 years and today, bears marks of that fateful night. I think people would be more interested in a knife, fork or plate from the Titanic than the Marconi set, as you stated, they are no longer in existence , meaning people can't relate to them aswell as humble every-day items. Someone who is not as familiar with the Titanic as many of us would see the set and really make the legend of the Titanic seem further away in the past, in an era not as advanced as their own, meaning they also lose the sorrow for those who are dead.
People can connect better with items they are familiar with, items those who died in 1912 were familiar with - creating a distant but touching feeling of sadness.
 
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Matt Endacott

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Sorry,
and also monica (WORLD TRADE CENTER)
the reason the issue was raised was that if a site like the World Trade Center can be cleared and new buildings established there was just stating there was no reason to why the Titanic couldn't be raised as removing the Trade Center wasn't disrespectful but more sensible as they removed items of interest (eg. bricks, glass, hats ect.) to museums to present to the public.
I feel if it were possible to raise the Titanic, it wouldn't be disrespectful to do so, it would really be a better idea as it could be taken to a place where the public could view her (again since 1912) and connect first-hand with the ship. People connect better with items they can touch, rather than reading in books.
 
Jun 11, 2000
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Well, Matt, I don't know. But I'll try. The roof of the radio shack isn't supporting anything, and it's falling in anyway. The window is probably supporting more, and anyway it seems fairly impossible to get it out, shame though this may be to some people. People salvage the crockery simply because they can - it's in the debris field. That doesn't make it of real archaeological value, though as you say, it may well allow people to connect with a disaster they find fascinating. If I had to put money on it, though, I'd bet people would connect a damn sight more hearing Titanic's working radio set than they would with a saucer. The WTC still isn't relevant as they did not clear it away in order to fill the world's museums. They cleared it away (a) to reach and identify the victims for the sake of the relatives (b) for reasons of hygiene and safety and (c) because it's Manhattan. I don't think it would be especially disrespectful to raise the Titanic either, but only because I don't believe in applying sentiment to one historical grave site, but not to another. But I do think one should respect the wishes of the living if possible, so I would endorse the US Navy's approach to the Arizona. In 150 years' time, they may well salvage it, because it will be archaeology and there will be nobody there to connect personally with it. Re raising the Titanic, well we can't. Which is why you need policies, and to have the discipline to leave some things where they are in case future generations can do more, learn more etc. I doubt if it will happen in the case of Titanic, because of the site degradation, but that's just the way it is.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Matt, that ceiling is not a load bearing structure which is supporting anything and is already in a state of collapse that's only going to accelerate. That Marconi set that Parks is talking about would be a valuable...read that to mean "priceless" artifact from a time gone by.

It may well be a moot point since nobody seems to have any plans to try and recover this machine, much less attempt to restore it. Not that I know of anyway, but then nobody has a reason to invite me to any staff meetings. Still, this is something I wouldn't mind seeing happen. If any one part of that ship cries out for recovery and restoration, then..in my opinion...this irreplacable Marconi set is it.
 
Mar 3, 1998
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<font color="#000066">I see totally tearing off the wireless room ceiling a stupid act. Not only are you removing a piece of the ship's support, your creating a large open gap that once protected the contents of the room for 91 years!

Before you throw around a word like "stupid," you should ensure that you are fully aware of all the factors involved with this issue. The thin metal roof over the Marconi rooms is opening up on its own accord as we speak. If it hasn't happened already, it will -- and I guarantee this will happen -- collapse inward like the section of roof did over the Gymnasium. Physically removing that danger would do more to protect the Marconi apparatus underneath than leaving it be.

You are correct in one sense...that roof has protected the apparatus underneath for almost a century. But things don't remain static down at the wreck...the wreck itself is constantly changing. What was protection in the past is now a danger to a vital historical link to the ship's past. If we can recover any part of Titanic's Marconi apparatus, then we should do so before it becomes buried or crushed.

We learned a lot about the Marconi apparatus when Cameron explored the interior of the Silent Room in 2001. I built a re-creation of the room based on the information he brought back (the first version of my re-creation was shown in the "Ghosts of the Abyss" book...I am currently working on an updated version, portions of which you will next see in an upcoming issue of the Commutator). However, I estimate that we have only about 75% of the information I need to complete the room in the minutest detail. I would welcome the chance to study the apparatus close-up on dry land. More so, I think everyone would benefit from seeing and hearing Titanic's restored Marconi transmitter speaking again. If you will recall the hoopla over the steam whistles, imagine what it would be like to hear again the same spark that carried Titanic's death cries. If that wouldn't help people connect with the tragedy, I don't know what will!

<font color="000066">Im sure you'll agree, a humble window will do less damage than an entire ceiling!

No, I wouldn't agree. You are evidently overlooking the effect that the currents that continue to flow within the wreck would have on the Dining Saloon interior if one or more windows were removed. Those currents have, over the course of the last century, eroded some of Titanic's fine detail (especially wood paneling) from the interior walls/bulkheads, leaving only the steel (actually, those same currents are now opening up holes in the steel walls themselves, as can be seen in the forward wall of the elevator machinery room). The strength of the currents can most dramatically be seen in the rusticle growth coming out of the elevator shafts...some of it extends far out into the corridor at an almost horizontal angle. The Dining Saloon is a dead-end...the aft portion got "pinched" during the event. As a result, there's minimal current flow through that area. If one were to start removing windows, then water would be free to flow from the GSC through the Dining Saloon and out the new openings. The paneling on both the walls and ceiling would begin to suffer the same erosive effect as other exposed areas already have inside the wreck. The roof over the Marconi rooms is rapidly losing its ability to protect the artefacts within, but the windows down in the Dining Saloon are still protecting the surviving paneling there. I wouldn't base a decision to remove or leave the Dining Saloon windows solely on this argument, but since you chose to address it from that perspective, I have responded in kind.

<font color="#000066">People connect better with items they can touch, rather than reading in books.

You said this twice, and I am in complete accord. I want to recover Titanic's "voice," which would be impossible without first removing a featureless (thanks to previous submersible landings, which have flattened the only two items of interest in the area) section of damaged and disintegrating steel. Why, then, do you call my suggestion "stupid"? I'm sorry, but you're sending a mixed message...assuming of course, that you have considered the issue and studied the area as thoroughly as I.

Parks
 
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Matt Endacott

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Parks, i must apologize , i had no right to call your thoughts 'stupid' and apologize sincerely if you took my message offensively , plus i had no idea you worked on the Ghosts of the Abyss project, i hope you accept my apology.
Also, you got me wondering after mentioning the gymnasium. Does anyone know if any equipment in the gym is in good enough condition to be raised? And also, in the Silent Room - would it be possible that inside any cupboards (if any) there would lye any intact wireless messages, as i am aware many pieces of paper have already been found inside the TITANIC intact?
Best Regards,
matt e
 
Jul 12, 2003
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After reading through this thread I had so many thoughts converging onto one another. (Forgive me if I sound like I am running in circles).

I don't think we should (or are really able to) raise the Titanic. She has been in over 2 miles of ocean water for over 90 years. I am sure after hitting the ocean floor she buried herself probably even deeper into the sediment. You would have to dig her out from that alone. Plus, you don't know what parts of her with break down severely when exposed to air.

Enough artifacts have been recovered to give us contact with her. It's not that I wouldn't like to see more artifacts but I also still see it as a gravesite and should be treated respectfully. What is still down down can perhaps be considered the "headstone" of those who did not survive.

Just because other ships have been restored and reused, doesn't mean you can do that with the Titanic. Did any of those other ships sink in 2 miles of water and sit there for 90 years before we brought them up? Time passage makes a difference.

TWC is another matter. While the sinking of the Titanic and the destruction of TWC are both tragedies, they are separate. What I mean is Titanic was a collection of errors and miscalculations, not at all intentional. TWC was a definite intentional act to destroy. In the incident of TWC, I think a nice memorial is more respectful. Having a museum display built around the destruction of the TWC, to me, is too close to glorifying the terrorism. What can you really put in a museum or exhibit like that....a brick, a squished computer, etc.

This may sound ridiculous, but I don't want any "terrorists" (wherever they are and whoever they are) to see that we built a museum around what they did but instead I would rather they see that we remember the people we lost. I don't even see a problem with dedicating a new building to the memory of those who passed...you know with a plaque or something special.
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Matt,

The roof over the Gymnasium failed completely and came down as essentially one large piece, burying the exercise equipment underneath. Previous to this, glimpses through the Gymnasium windows showed that at least some of the equipment survived the sinking relatively intact and could have been raised. Now, there's really no chance...the 2001 video revealed that the failed roof flattened the room and everything in it. Ken Marschall has been preparing "outtakes" from the 2001 expedition (shots which weren't included in "Ghosts of the Abyss") for an upcoming issue of the Commutator and he includes a breath-taking composite of images which, when pieced together, shows the extent of the devastation in the Gymnasium.

In the Marconi rooms, there is no chance of finding any paper products. There is evidence of a cupboard/cabinet in the Silent Room, but all that remains of it is just a corner lying on top of a debris pile in the port corridor just outside (the wall that defined the room is now gone). I wouldn't expect much paper to be in there, anyways...this cabinet was used to carry spare fuses/parts and the like. The bulk of the paper items (message flimsies, manuals, code book, etc.) were kept in the desk and on a wall shelf in the Marconi Room. That room was completely ripped apart during the sinking...there's nothing left there but the space heater (I believe...we never really got a close enough look to confirm), the accumulator charging switchboard, and a pile of unidentifiable debris in the aft port corner of the room. Yes, if any paper products were protected, they might have survived, but there is no evidence of any kind of protection in the Marconi Room. Instead, we have evidence that the entire room was thoroughly devastated during the sinking process. The reason why the transmitting set in the Silent Room survived intact is because: a) there was no skylight overhead to allow water entry as was the case in the Marconi Room; and b) the thicker, insulated walls of the Silent Room (meant for sound-proofing) evidently resisted the hydrodynamic forces acting inside the structure during the sinking. Whereas the walls of the Marconi Room were blown out and the contents of the room scattered, the wall-mounted equipment in the Silent Room gradually settled (in a couple of cases, so peacefully that they are still upright) as the walls there slowly disintegrated over time into nothingness. Again, you will see pictures of this in the upcoming issue of the Commutator.

I can't guarantee that no paper products remain in the area, but without any clues pointing to where some might be hidden, the chance of recovering any is just about zero.

Matt, I will take issue with just one more thing that you said earlier:

<font color="#000066">I think people would be more interested in a knife, fork or plate from the Titanic than the Marconi set, as you stated, they are no longer in existence , meaning people can't relate to them aswell as humble every-day items. Someone who is not as familiar with the Titanic as many of us would see the set and really make the legend of the Titanic seem further away in the past, in an era not as advanced as their own, meaning they also lose the sorrow for those who are dead.

Each of us is different. Titanic's Marconi Room has been my life since Cameron found the remains of the Silent Room in 2001. I've never felt closer to Titanic -- and in particular, the last moments of Phillips's life -- as I have while examining the interior of the Silent Room and re-constructing events from the evidence. Bride's last actions on duty came alive for me when I discovered the handle positions on the regulators and switchboards, along with the open discharger box. Together, they told a story we had never heard before...that of Bride adjusting the set in those last moments in order to keep the spark going when ship-supplied power began to fall below threshold. The open knife switch on the D.C. switchboard tells us that Phillips deliberately shut down the set before abandoning the space. This is not just fodder for techies..it should be of interest to us all. The mechanical detail that lies behind the story might not be of interest to many, but the story that comes out of it should be. And you can't have the story if you don't do the groundwork analysis of the evidence. Knowing what I know about the Marconi apparatus, I believe that even more stories (or at least explanations behind already-known stories) will come out of closer examination and restoration of recovered wireless equipment. For instance, I would like to raise the transformer, open the lid, lift out the transformer coils, and examine firsthand Phillip's repair work on the secondary on the night before the disaster.

Not all of Titanic's stories must come from the enquiry transcripts or personal rememberances...the wreck still has the capability to tell some stories, as well. We will never find the evidence that tells those stories if we don't look for it, wherever it may be. Some of these stories may even speak for those who couldn't speak for themselves afterward, like the open power switch that speaks to one of Phillips's last actions.

Yes, I was interested in the first plate and the first fork recovered, but have had little interest in the duplicate examples recovered afterward. Some one else may have an interest in them, and good for them. The only interest that I have in forks nowadays is the odd places in which some can be found...the "how did THAT end up THERE?" kind of thing. But, like I said, each of us has our own interest. One person's interest cannot even begin to answer all the questions. The only way that Titanic's puzzle will ever be pieced together is if we can realise a true synergy of everyone's area of interest. So, yes, raise the dinnerware, but don't neglect the Marconi apparatus if the opportunity presents itself. It won't be too awfully long before a lot of our current options will be taken away from us by the continuing disintegration of the wreck, so we can ill afford hesitation.

Parks

P.S. Just to be clear, I am only in favour of recovering artefacts that have the potential to provide us with information about the ship, the people who sailed in her, or the disaster itself. I am not in favour of raising objects just for the sake of bringing something up that belonged to Titanic, and the monetary value that would represent to some concerns. Similarly, I would carefully cut away a section of historically-insignificant metal in order to recover a historically-significant artefact within, especially if the metal to be cut away is disintegrating on its own and presents its own hazard to the worth of the wreck. That's just my personal opinion and I speak for no one else.
 

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