How deep could an ROV go inside Britannic


K

Ken hogan

Guest
I was wondering, does anyone here have any idea how far an ROV could be taken into the Britannic? Is it possible to go into the enginering spaces or even into some rooms that are not acessible on the titanic? I have a huge interest in Brittanic given her relative good condition and depth. I would love to see her explored and documented the way Titanic has been. It's a crying shame that no one has taken interest in her as a ship in her own right because she's a sister of Titainic and that's the primary reason many people even talk about her. Nothing agaist the Titanic, but Britannic deserves to be treated better. Another Quick question, could divers go deep inside the wreck? And if so were can we find these crazy divers, willing to risk life and limb to explore the ship?

Ken
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Jan 14, 2001
226
5
171
Hello Ken,

There is a major problem that makes the use of a ROV for the exploration of the Britannic quite risky.The wreck is mostly covered with fishing nets and many of the entrances are obstructed by debris.If a ROV gets trapped it would very difficult to bring it back to the surface.

Take a look at this video:
part2attica tripod com/video3.htm

There is a really close view near the end where you can actually see a fishing net covering Britannic's rudder.

Divers are the only solution in order to explore the interiors.However this is very dangerous even for experts.Swimming inside limited areas loaded with the gas tanks and with poor lighting conditions-not to mention the debris obstructing the way-is not the maximum of safety.Lack of orientation can be fatal in this case.

However I know for certain that in 1976 Cousteau and some members of his team actually swam inside the area of the Grand Staircase.I was told that Cousteau wore just a simple diving suit and nothing more to protect him from the low temperatures.But Cousteau was a unique diver and don't forget that each dive was lasting about 5 minutes due to the limitations of the diving equipment used at that time (today divers can stay about 15 minutes using special suits and a mixture of three gasses,plus special devices -called rebreathers- which can re-use part of the air consumed by the diver).In 1998 an american diver using a rebreather managed to enter in the firemen's tunnel but he was not able to advance up to the water-tight door because of the debris.

Hope I've answered some of your questions.

Regards,
Michail
 
J

Joshua Miller

Guest
Hi Guys. I am just wondering how intact the grand staircase is on the Britannic and if there are any photographs of the area.

Thanks,

Josh
 

Eric Sauder

Member
Nov 12, 2000
403
14
171
Hi, Michail:

When I visited Britannic on the Ballard expedition in 1995, there were surprisingly few fishing nets around the wreck. Yes, there was the one that is still on the rudder and perhaps three or four others scattered around the wreck. All were fairly small, however, and could easily be avoided. They posed no threat to an ROV. Unless the situation at the wreck has changed considerably over the last six and a half years, I don't really see nets being any obstacle to using an ROV on site like Ballard did.

You wrote: "...many of the entrances are obstructed by debris."

That's true, but most of the debris we saw blocking the entrances was all "soft" organic material that could be easily cleared away. There are plenty of openings on the wreck -- both in the superstructure and the hull -- through which an ROV could easily pass if it were small enough in order to explore the interior of the wreck. The problem with the ROV that Ballard used is that it was too large. If someone wants to take the ROVs Cameron used on Titanic, I'd bet they could get some spectacular footage inside the ship. Look at what Cameron brought back from over 12,000 feet.

"If a ROV gets trapped it would very difficult to bring it back to the surface."

That's actually a fairly common misconception. If you were talking about Titanic, that would be true, but even there, Cameron was able to retrieve the ROV that became trapped inside the ship. It took a while, but they finally got it. During the Lusitania expedition in 1993, the ROV Jason became entangled in fishing nets, and a diver was simply sent down to cut it free. The same could be done on Britannic if the ROV became trapped because she is only 400 feet down.

I would really like to see Cameron take an interest in visiting Britannic and Lusitania because he seems to be the only one who visits wrecks with a clear idea of what needs to be done. Everyone else seems to plod and poke but doesn't really accomplish much. And no matter how difficult, Cameron doesn't usually stop until he gets what he wants.

Eric Sauder
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Jan 14, 2001
226
5
171
Hi Eric,

Thanks for your very interesting message.Most of us had the impression that the existence of fishing nets was a major problem during the 1995 expedition but it seems it was the size of the ROV that was prohibitive after all.

Regarding the entrances:If I'm not mistaken, there is a big door low on the portside,from which a ROV or some divers can easily enter but I don't know how far they can continue from there.In addition,if a diver tries to clear the soft organic material the visibility will be instantly reduced to very low values.I still think that the exploration of the complex interiors is a dangeroys task even for experienced divers.

The information regarding the trapped ROVs is new to me.Why Ballard was so reluctant to use the ROV inside the Britannic then?Maybe because there were no divers in order to free the ROV in case of an emergency?

I fully agree with you regarding Cameron's involvement and his great skills.Let's hope that he'll take an interest in exploring the wreck and present it to the big public.

I'm also thinking for ways to boost interest for this great liner.In my honest opinion the "virtual underwater museum" project has many problems.The technology may be available but what about the costs?.The sofisticated water-proof cameras must be installed in the wreck (dangerous)by qualified divers,then the wreck must be connected to a receiving base at Kea (possibly by expensive fiber optics)which would have to transmit the informations to the internet.Not to mention the problems with maintenance.Who will pay for all this?

I have a more simple idea:What about using a tourist submarine?They are safe,they can easily dive to that depth,maintenance is not complex,they can easily pay off their operational costs (using 90% of their passenger capacity and a ticket price of just 100$) and they can be used in other places too.The major problem will be to find a company or an organization (THS or Woods Hole) who would be interested to buy -or even rent- one for diving to the Britannic.It seems more logical to me.I would surely pay 100$ in order to see the "forgotten sister" from THAT close!

What do you think?

Best regards,
Michail
 

Adam Leet

Member
May 18, 2001
346
4
173
"The information regarding the trapped ROVs is new to me.Why Ballard was so reluctant to use the ROV inside the Britannic then?Maybe because there were no divers in order to free the ROV in case of an emergency?"

As Mr. Sauder has pointed out, the ROVs Ballard used were simply too large to fit through the openings. I also agree with him that Cameron would be the one to film and document Britannic, and perhaps Lusitania. His attention to detail is staggering, and it's possible Ken Marschall would have to revise his paintings of that wreck, as he has already done for Britannic.

Parks? Mr. Sauder? Anyone want to elbow Cameron to film Britannic for another documentary?


Adam
 
Jan 14, 2001
226
5
171
Hi Adam,

There are openings (see my reply above) that are large enough even for a big ROV.My guess is that Ballard decided to be cautious since he didn't have diver support.

Regards,
Michail
 

Remco Hillen

Member
Jan 6, 2001
322
9
171
Hello Michail,

I've seen the documentary of Ballard's expedition, and I remember a scene when Ballard tried to enter the large hole in the bow with an ROV.
He withdrew the ROV because he was afrait that the wires from the ROV to the 'command station' would be damaged by the bended/damaged steel plates.

Manouvering an ROV inside Britannic would be rather tricky I can image.
When you move an ROV through Titanic, let's take a large room, you have the width of the room which is on the sides of the ROV and the pilot can compare plans and vision to see where he goes.
But on Britannic the height of the decks is the space that the ROV has on it's sides.
The room to manouvere is just a smaller because she is on her side.

A new expedition to Britannic would be fabulous.
And I don't mean a diving expedition but a Britannic expedition.

Regards,
Remco
 
K

Ken hogan

Guest
Do ya think they could get into the boiler rooms and the engine compartment? Or what about the squash court or swimming bath? are the easily acessable?
 

Remco Hillen

Member
Jan 6, 2001
322
9
171
Hello Ken,

To be honest, I don't really know how far today's technology is able to enter Britannic.
Nowadays ROV's are smaller that the ones that Ballard used during his expedition.

But I'm afrait that most of the rooms which are located deep inside the ship, like the swimming pool and the squash court, are very difficult to reach.
The fact that she is on her side certainly doesn't help, and it will be quite a mess on most places; wires and debris will be everywhere.

Perhaps they are able to peek inside Boilerroom #5, but that all depends on the amount of damage in the area.
And unfortunatly very little is known about that(to me at least)...people who where on the expeditions might be able to tell something.
It has to be quite a mess considering the force of the explosion.

Regards,
Remco
 

Similar threads

Similar threads