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Raise the Britannic

Discussion in 'Sinking and Wreck' started by Ken hogan, Feb 27, 2002.

  1. Ken hogan

    Ken hogan Guest

    Okay before you get out the rope and lynch me, please hear me out. I've come up with an Idea. Since we would all like to know much much more about the inside of the Titanic, and being as such as the Olypic has long been turned into cheap inport cars, the only viable option we have is the Brittanic. Okay, here goes. The Britannic is is 400 feet of water in greek waters. she lies off the island of Kea. (im can't remember how far right now) She has a hole in her the size of detroit, and is laying on her port side. Okay, now ill deal with the problems. A- as she was converted into a hospital ship, she is now the property of the british Gov. B she's in greek waters and the greeks are bullheaded about everything. If we could somehow get permission from both the English and the Greeks to raise her, we could then begin recovery operations. Before you call it grave robbing you should know that the ship was empty when it went down. the only people killed were killed when thier boats got too close to the propellers, were sucked in and chewed up. so Even though people did die, nobody went down with her so, I dont consider her a gravesite (again dont lynch me right yet) The first problem would be to right her, without the damaged bow falling off. then we would bring her up, clean her up and then explore her. now i Know she has alot of differeces from the big T but still would'nt it be awesome to walk into the engine room and finally be able to see with our own eyes what the big Ts engines looked like? well im done. feel free to rip me apart at your leisure, and if you lynch me please don't use nylon rope as it burns somethin' feirce.
  2. Adam Leet

    Adam Leet Member

    Looks like you have a few of the big problems considered, though you don't realize how bull-headed the Greek and British governments would be about a shipwreck, especially the Greeks. Keep in mind, Britannic is in a heavily-trafficked shipping lane, and a salvage operation mounted to raise her would involve blocking that lane. Needless to say, that would not please the Greek transportation authorities.

    Besides the obvious financial and logistical challenges, there is also the condition of the wreck itself. Yes, it is shallow, and in fairly good shape for her age and position. We do not know her integrity enough to even consider raising her, however. Remember, she is on her starboard side, and is not exactly sitting on the very surface of the mud. You would have to consider the suction force of the mud, not to mention the wayward bow, which is held in place by only a few frames and plates. There is simply no way of knowing whether she could be righted to an even keel, let alone brought to the surface. The risks are simply too great.

    As far as divers and others are concerned, Britannic is explorable where she is. True, she's in 400 feet of water, but that's child's play compared to the 12,400 foot depth her sister is in.

  3. Ken hogan

    Ken hogan Guest

    True enough Adam I do know how bullheaded the greek government can be and you are correct, we don't know her structural integraty, but however couldn't experts be sent down to determine her strength. I have devised a way to rasie her i won't post it however, as it sounds farfected. but using my method, the ship would be subjected to very little if any stress. however the ship would be subjected to enourmous tempuratre changes. Interested yet? well if anyone would like to know (drumroll please) "The hogan Salvage method for big honkin' ships" please post a message. and ill tell ya. (remember it sounds crazy but it uses natural forces to rasie the ship. not rams or cables in fact the water itslef is one if not the prime ingrident in this little equasion.) hmmmmm Facinating.......
  4. Adam Leet

    Adam Leet Member

    If you're talking about encasing the ship in ice, you're right, it is a far-fetched scheme. It was suggested in "Ghost from the Grand Banks," and I could actually see it used their before it was used on Britannic. You would have to cool the water to well below freezing, and the equipment needed for it would be prohibitively expensive.

    As I said, though, between the Greek government, British Admiralty, Simon Mills, and Britannic's fragile condition (despite her seemingly good appearance,) you might as well forget any endeavour to raise the 48,000 ton wreck.

  5. I prefer to use real manila hemp for hangings. Properly stretched out and lubricated, it doesn't have any spring at all when put to the practical use proposed. wink.gif

    That aside, I think you can forget raising the Britannic. Even in 400 feet of water, the logistics of getting anything on site massive enough and in quantities enough to do the job would be staggering, assuming (A dangerous passtime.) that the equipment that would be neccessary to do the job even exists.

    I wouldn't be fooled into thinking that the structure is sound either. She's been immersed in salt water for close to 87 years and that's devestating to steel. Aside from where you would get the billions of dollars needed to do the job...perhaps more to cover research development, testing and evaluation of any new technologies needed, there is still the conservation issue. Even if the hull is sound, it wouldn't remain so for very long once exposed to air. It would only be a matter of time befor it started to cave in on itself.

    Seems to me that the wreck could be easily explored using technical diving equipment and/or ROVs, and at substantially less cost and risk.

    Michael H. Standart
  6. Ken -- Does your plan involve a tanker full of LNG (liquified natural gas) and a Bic lighter?

    --David G. Brown
  7. I have to agree with the impossibility of raising Britannic and personally I would rather see her left where she is even if it was possible to raise her without causing much damage.

    I came up with many of these reasons when I was writing about the wreck some time ago; I must agree with Adam and emphasize that the wreck's owner Simon Mills is positively anti-salvage, a stance which I heartily agree with.

    Best regards,

  8. Remco Hillen

    Remco Hillen Member

    Why would I want to experience Titanic, when I'm aboard Britannic? huh.gif

    -Indeed, it would be quite a problem to put her back on an even keel.
    She has been on her starboard side for quite a while, ships aren't build to do this.
    Putting her straight up would result in a considerable amount of damage.
    -'Without the bow falling off' It will fall off. There is a lot of destruction in this area, you'd have to remove the complete bow!
    -'Clean her up'. That should be interesting. Cleaning up a ship which has been under water for nearly 90 years. I'll get my toothbrush. crazy.gif
    -Explore her. That would be very interesting yes! Put me on that ship and I'm busy for the next few weeks!

    Anyway, as others have said, it's just impossible.
    The Greeks, English and Simon Mills won't cooperate, it's technically very difficult/nearly impossible, the costs will be much and much too high, how will you move a 'bow-less ship' to a harbor, and, what will you do with her if she's raised?
    Who will be interested, who will pay for her(harbor costs, maintenance etc.), what function will she have etc etc...

    I'd rather see a new expedition exploring Britannic like Cameron did with Titanic.

  9. Ken hogan

    Ken hogan Guest

    Okay guys, ya did'nt have to be so cruel well it was just a thought, nothin more. I know it's practally impossible i was just playing Devils advocate thats all. But in reality, does anyone know how far an ROV could go into the wreck? or since shes on her side would navigating the interior of the wreck be dangerous due to possible Disorintation? I know that the watertight doors are open, and that might make things eaiser for the operator, but what should we expect? I've seen the Nova special, and there is a website called Britannic 98' with some good photos of the bridge but the controls have encrustations all over them. Would things be cleaner deeper inside her? Also one last question. I saw that the Britannic had tiles on her wheelhouse floor. Did the Titanic have Tiles in her wheelhouse or were they on britannic alone? I would apprciate any response cruel or not. happy.gif Thanks,
    Ken hogan
  10. Logan Geen

    Logan Geen Member

    Slightly off topic I think a movie could be made about the Britannic disaster-it would be very interesting to see. BTW, Phil, could we get a Britannic area besides the Olympic one? About the Britannic being raised...I can't help but wonder what people would be able to do with her. It's little better off above then below and obviously it's not seaworthy. Very interesting topic.
  11. Adam Leet

    Adam Leet Member

    Try this one, Logan:


    It's a tossup between that and the 1996 Titanic CBS miniseries as the worst Titanic or Titanic-related film.

  12. Adam beat me to this one. The only redeeming feature of Britannic IMO was the CGI imagery of the ship. Beyond that, it ranks as one of the most forgettable films I've seen in awhile.

    Ken, I don't see where we've been cruel. There are just some hard facts regarding salvage of which a lot of us are aware. We discuss such things all the time here. An ROV could do quite a bit of exploration, and would only be limited to how far the umbilical cord could go and any wreckage in it's way. An example of what ROVs can accomplish is illustrated by the expedition out to the Titanic's wrecksite just last summer. Ken Marschall wrote a report on it which can be accessed at http://home.flash.net/~sparks12/z1912a.html

    I highly recommend it!

    Michael H. Standart
  13. Here, Here!
    I think it would be most wonderful if someone could get permission to send the ROV's inside Britannic.
    And yes, the "made for TV" movie sucked. Would be nice to see a real movie made out of her story.
    (My vote for a Violet Jessop movie again) LOL
    Or, a good documentary.
    Actually, I am surprised that Jim Cameron hasn't thought about using Britannic as his next shipwreck subject. I believe that he still plans a dive on the Bismark one day, as he didn't get to fulfill that project last summer.

    My .02

  14. > Hi!

    > Here, Here! I think it would be most wonderful if someone could get > permission to send the ROV's inside Britannic. And yes, the "made for > TV" movie sucked. Would be nice to see a real movie made out of her > story. (My vote for a Violet Jessop movie again) LOL Or, a good > documentary. Actually, I am surprised that Jim Cameron hasn't thought > about using Britannic as his next shipwreck subject. I believe that he > still plans a dive on the Bismark one day, as he didn't get to fulfill > that project last summer.

    What about a movie about Ada Garland? Or even Reverend Fleming as well? :)

    Best regards,

  15. Erik Wood

    Erik Wood Member

    I don't think that I have ever seen a good made for TV movie about the Titanic or any other ship for that matter.

    I think that one of the best is ANTR and another called Titanic (not with Jack and Rose). The Discovery Channel made a disgusting documentary on Titanic.

    As to Britanic being raised....I would have to agree with the rest of those who commented earlier. As Beverly and Mike said I would love to send in some ROV's. Or those big dive suits that where used on the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

  16. Hi Ken!

    You wrote: Also one last question. I saw that the Britannic had tiles on her wheelhouse floor. Did the Titanic have Tiles in her wheelhouse or were they on britannic alone?

    Now, we weren't really being cruel. smile.gif

    Some early posts on the previous TRMA (www.titanic-model.com) forum discuss this (exact link: http://titanic-model.com/wwwboard/titanic/messages/8829.shtml):

    I hope this data is of some assistance in answering that question?

    In my brief article about Britannic's grand staircase I explore the tile differences between herself and the earlier sister vessels, especially Olympic, whose tile pattern is much better known. Here's the exact link: (http://members.tripod.com/michailakis/staircase.htm)

    More articles are in the 'RMS Britannic' section of Michail Michailakis' website, check the link at the bottom of my signature at the end of this post.

    Best regards,

  17. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Wasn't Ballard trying to turn Britannic into some sort of "underwater museum"?

    If I remember correctly at the time of his dives on both Lusitania and Britannic he talked a lot about some sort of permanent "telepresence". Did it prove unfeasible or did he just lose interest - Anyone know?
  18. Hi Steve!

    Simon Mills said a year or so back that he had not heard about the project for some time -- apparently it's still in the works, but these things of course take time and he said something to the effect that it was best 'just to wait and see.' I am glad that he is in favour of this kind of conservation rather than salvage -- Britannic's future is safe in his hands, I am sure.

    Best regards,

  19. Remco Hillen

    Remco Hillen Member

    When Britannic is in his hands, you won't see any spectacular raising or salvaging operations that's true yes.
    Of course I'm happy with that.

    The problem with Britannic is that there is very, and I mean VERY, little information about her/the wreck available.
    I know that there is quite some information in private collections; both from her service time as from the wreck.
    So most of the new info comes from expeditions.

    There are very few expeditions to the wreck, the ones that were made were mostly expeditions which are not meant to gather information but simply 'to dive to Britannic, Titanic's sistership'.
    Most of these groups do make pictures available on the Internet though, the 1998 and the 1999 diving expeditions did this for example('97 too IIRC?).
    The last expedition, in 2000, was only meant to test a new kind of small 2-person submarine.
    They did released some film footage, which revealed a couple of new things, but the quality was not too good.

    I have to say that the people from a couple of the last expeditions are very willing to help when you ask them about things.
    They try to help you the best they can, hats of to them.

    But a problem with such groups is that they don't know the ship, or know what to look for. To the most of them it's just a big ship.

    I'd love to see something like Ballard's expedition return to the place.
    Gather a group of people with the right equipment and knowledge who only focus on Britannic, not diving Britannic.
    Imagine the amount of new info that would be uncovered with today's technology! mad.gif
    Problem would be the finances and getting permission

    So, to sum it up, I like it that Britannic is rather undisturbed.
    But don't overdo it...expeditions always gather new interesting things and, perhaps more important, they can sparkle the interest of the public.
    Without expeditions, people have to learn Britannic from books; and the Titanic-related books that come out usually cover Titanic with about 3 sentences on Britannic.
    I'm afrait that that "Britannic-group" will get smaller when no new interesting things(books, expeditions, documentaries etc) come up as time passes.

    My $0.02(I still need to figure out how the make the Euro sign happy.gif )

  20. Remco, if you can figure out a way to make the Britannic Group a bit larger, go for it. As much as you know about the ship, you might want to consider turning it into a book. wink.gif

    I just hope that nobody expects it to be all that revealing about the Titanic. While a very close sister of the Olympic and Titanic, she was wider and had quite a few different features. For my money, if anyone wants to learn about the latest info on the Titanic's internal make-up, they should check out Ken Marschall's article on Parks Stephenson's website.

    Michael H. Standart