Raise the Britannic

Matthew Lips

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Mar 8, 2001
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What is this endless fascination with attempting to raise every piece of rotting junk from the sea floor? It may sound glamorous, but, even aside from technical and legal issues, what on earth would really be the point?

To promote this idea seems to miss the point that the Britannic, Titanic, Andrea Doria etc as they were in 1916 or 1912 or 1956 NO LONGER EXIST!! All that's left is decomposing wreckage of no value whatsoever, at any rate in propotion to what it would cost to salvage from the depths.

Salvaging artefacts from wrecks is another matter entirely, of course, and in the case of Titanic it is a particularly emotive one. That is the subject for another thread, but the idea of spending zillions and risking lives to try and raise something which in a sense doesn't even exist any more is futility at its highest.

As much as I especially would love to see the Andrea Doria rise like the phoenix in all her (former) splendour, it just isn't there no more. Ditto, Britannic.
 
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lewis beacham

Guest
Hi

I think that the Britannic should be raised!

But if she is to be raised they should seperate the bow section and leave it there with a plaque commemorating those who died.

Once she is floated she could be permenantly berthed in the Thompson dry dock and restored to what she may of looked like in service.

I understand that current restoration of the Nomadic (which was built to ferry passengers to the olympic class liners)is underway in Belfast so prehaps something could be done with the Britannic.

all the best
Lewis 14

P.S I respect very much those who want to protect the wreck from further damage and those who died in the sinking.
 
Thank you, Matthew. Besides...what would we do with them? Build huge water tanks and walk around them like some sort of aquarium? We certainly couldn't walk through them. The structure would be too unstable. Everything has a shelf life. Eventually the Titanic/Britannic are going to rust away whether raised or in place on the ocean floor. There's no getting around it.

Have a swim. Take some pictures. And accept that one way or another, the life of the steel is going to run its course.
 
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joe zaff

Guest
Raise the ship by cutting it apart and reassembling, bring it back to Belfast, house it on the site where she was built in the arroll gantry, create the world's best maritime museum
with Britannic as the main attraction. This would help revitalize the Harland & Wolff shipyard. There would be no better place to learn about maritime history. It is rich with it. It would be like a much larger version of the Vasa museum. It could work and people would come to see it.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>It could work and people would come to see it.<<

Sorry, but short of lavish support from a government with more money at it's disposal than any of them have, this just ain't gonna happen. Even if the structure hadn't been compromised, nearly a century of immersion in salt water is going to take just as long to leech the salt out of the plates. Anything less and it all collapses into an expensive pile of rust.
 

Sean Hankins

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May 15, 2004
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No kidding. I understand that the idea of raising the Britannic sounds good in fantasy. Unfortunately reality is in the way. Even if the ship could be raised (for surely an unjust amount of money), there's the matter of treating every inch of the ship to arrest the rapid deterioration once it hit the air (not to mention the stink of all the marine growth), then how bout finding a place that would let you dock a huge unsightly shipwreck, then finding a shipyard willing to risk working on something that large that's been under water for nearly a century, and this is only scratching the surface of the logistics involved in getting it raised and docked somewhere. There's also the matter of the interiors and how the ship would even begin to justify the costs of such an endeavor.

To put it another way, the S.S. United States has been waiting for some entity with deeps pockets to restore her for decades, and that ship hasn't been under water for almost 100 years.
 
Jan 29, 2001
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Aside...it's a WWI War Grave, therefore the Greek Gov't will not allow such a venture, they oversee and protect any diving expeditions to the Agean sea.

WWI - "The war to end all wars".

Oh how we wish that were truth...

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
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Having the Britannic on display could certainly help the Greek government out of their current financial woes, maritime enthusiasts the world over would be sure to flock to it....

BUT....

As others have highlighted, it's almost a logistical impossibility. Certainly in theory it's easier to raise the Britannic than the Titanic, but the amount of work and people power that would have to be involved, almost a century after the fact, is just not justifiable. Especially when anybody can train to be a diver and go down and visit the shipwreck that way if they so desire.

Cheers,
Adam.
 
Jan 29, 2001
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...or perhaps tourists visits to the wreck, as we have seen in the past with Titanic & Bismarck, by a wealthy few ;-)

Michael Cundiff
NV, USA
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>No kidding. I understand that the idea of raising the Britannic sounds good in fantasy. Unfortunately reality is in the way.<<

In sum, it's the sheer economics of the deal, and never mind the logistics and the conservation issues. Anybody here who has been following the thread I've had going dealing with maritime museums is well aware of the fact that a number of them are having some serious financial problems.

They're not incompatantly run (Some have been but most are not) and it's not as if they have to take a nearly century old wreck and try to piece it together and hope it doesn't cave in on somebody's skull. The ships are intact, and generally are in very good condition when the museum first recieves them. The problem lies with cash flow which in turn leads to serious problems with preservation.

The Patriot's Point Museum which Mum and I go to regularly is an example of that. They have three ships, one of them an aircraft carrier and the paid staff they have to do routine maintainance can be counted on both hands with fingers to spare. If it wasn't for the volunteers, they would have had to close their shop years ago.

Now, try doing what these people do with a wreck scraped piecemeal off the bottom.

Any takers for that?

No?

Well, me niether!
 

Adam Went

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Apr 28, 2003
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Yeah it's just one of those things really which would be extremely popular for a while, but eventually the novelty would die off, the visitors would thin out and the task of maintaining the wreck would become no easier as the years go by....

Michael is right, Britannic lies in shallow enough water to be able to do tourist visits fairly easily, and it's in a popular enough tourist spot as well....if it was a financial venture, that'd be the path to go down. Go to the ship, don't bring the ship to the people.

Cheers,
Adam.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>...if it was a financial venture, that'd be the path to go down.<<

And to sweeten the pot, manned submersibles for tourists have been in operational use for years. The Caymen Islands has a couple operating out of Grand Cayman which easily go down twice as deep as the location where the Britannic lies and they even have a wreck to show on the tour.
 

Jason D. Tiller

Moderator
Member
Dec 3, 2000
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Raise the ship by cutting it apart and reassembling
Sure, a little krazy glue oughta work and she'll be as good as new in no time! This ain't no model of the ship that came out of a box, we're discussing a real ship here in case you failed to notice. NEWSFLASH: It ain't ever gonna happen for the reasons already mentioned.

Aside...it's a WWI War Grave, therefore the Greek Gov't will not allow such a venture
Very true, Michael. Let's also not forget that Simon Mills owns the wreck and my money is on the fact, that he would never support something such as this.
 

Adam Went

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Apr 28, 2003
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Michael:

Unlike other shipwrecks in other locations (i.e. Lusitania, Empress Of Ireland) which are miserable and treacherous and not in very good condition anyway, Britannic is still in alright shape and in a beautiful location which, as we've mentioned, is quite heavily frequented by tourists - so that is certainly what a wise man would do in regards to the Britannic.

Attempting to raise a ship like that - even the Titanic, for that matter - would ultimately achieve nothing, other than waste truckloads of money which could be well spent elsewhere with the worlds economy in the shape it is in at the moment.

Cheers,
Adam.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Britannic is still in alright shape...<<

Well, aside from the fact that the bow was just about bent clean off. For my own money, I think the idea of a virtual museum proposed by Dr. Ballard has a lot going for it. If nothing else, it would be a practical location to put the scheme to the test to see if it can work.
 
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james t. west

Guest
I know people won`t agree with me but here`s my two cents,both the titanic and brittanic can be raised,but the powers at control don`t want that,they want to leave the ships there to rust away while year after year we are shoved boring documentaries with their so-called experts down our throat.if people say the titanic is a grave site then answer me this,isn`t the pyramids also a grave site and yet archeologists have removed mummies from their resting place to put in their museums?also the lusitania is now a war memorial yet that murderer winston churchill had the wreck depth charged in the 1950s to cover up the fact of a cargo of munitions,the wreck is in a poor state due to this so-called war hero.another point is that the metal on the titanic still looks strong, the damage to the ship was done by rms titanic inc. and others landing on the decks and removing items,as for ballards claim of finding the ship i challenge all of you out there to read "who really found the titanic" found on the web.
 

Adam Went

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Apr 28, 2003
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James:

What you have to consider most importantly are these two points:

1.) Let's just say, by virtue of some miracle, that the two halves of Titanic were raised to the surface. What then? They're obviously not going to float. It's a long way to the nearest port. And they're still tens of thousands of tons in weight. So what do you do with them? How do you preserve them?

2.) With the world economy in the shape it's in, how can any Government or agency possibly explain why it is more important to spend the many, many millions of dollars it would cost to achieve such a feat, instead of putting it into more urgent requirements like health care and stopping people from falling into poverty?

It's just not viable, even if it could be done, which in itself is extremely unlikely. The Titanic is embedded a long way into the sea bed and has been for a century, how do you pull her out of that? Place transponder explosives down there like they did on Raise the Titanic? Not sure that would end well.

Michael:

Absolutely the virtual museum would be an interesting concept and the best way to go.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>With the world economy in the shape it's in, how can any Government or agency possibly explain why it is more important to spend the many, many millions of dollars it would cost to achieve such a feat, instead of putting it into more urgent requirements like health care and stopping people from falling into poverty?<<

Any politician voting for such a scheme wouldn't have to worry about re-election. He would be too busy trying to outrun a lynch mob to care.
 
Jan 6, 2005
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I can think of one positive aspect to an attempt to raise Britannic:

Any nation attempting it would have no funds available with which to wage war for a VERY long time. :)