Raise the Britannic

Scott Mills

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Jul 10, 2008
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This is a very old thread, but I found myself thinking tonight about whether or not Britannic could be floated. Not that I would ever encourage that, nor think it realistic, for all the reasons listed in the pages above. I was curious if the technical ability to refloat her existed.

So I'm glad I found the thread.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I was curious if the technical ability to refloat her existed.<<

I would say that conceptually, the technical knowhow and possibly even the essential tooling exists. For reasons which have already been discussed in this thread, it's never going to happen.
 
Jan 6, 2005
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I'm sure it's possible, given enough money and expertise. After all, they're working on re-floating the Costa Concordia, not that I think that's such a hot idea.
 

Scott Mills

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Michael,

Agreed, and I would not advocate doing so. Though, to be honest, I would visit her if someone did do this. :D

Sandy,

Well the Costa Concordia, as I understand it, is interfering with the local port. Also, it will probably be much easier to refloat a boat that is not 100 years old, and is not totally submerged in shallow water. Hell, in 1912 they were refloating ships in similar accidents (not of the same size though!)
 
Jan 6, 2005
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Scott: My comment about Costa Concordia was aimed at the notion of re-floating her and repairing her, not the notion of clearing her away from the port. She definitely needs to be out of there.

My own thought is that she should be cut up and scrapped, post-haste. Five will get you ten that if she is successfully re-floated and towed in for repairs (say, to Bremerhaven), it is going to be found that repairs are financially infeasible, and she'll end up at Alang anyway. It's my opinion that, what with the present-day dependence on electrical and electronic gizmos on ships, making Costa Concordia operational again will be a financial nightmare. And even if refloated, repaired and re-named, there is a huge segment of the traveling public that is superstitious about such things, and wouldn't book a cruise on her.
 

Jake Peterson

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Mar 11, 2012
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I sorry, but I have to say it....

the title of this thread makes me think of that Johnny Horton song.

"We must raise the Britannic from the bottom of the sea"
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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That was one of those godawful songs that get rooted in the back of the mind and won't go away. I got rid of it only after years of therapy, and now you've brought it back. Curse you, Jake!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>making Costa Concordia operational again will be a financial nightmare.<<

That much is not going to happen. I've been following this sorry saga ever since it got started. The current game plan is to refloat the ship intact then tow her to the breaker's yard.
 
Jan 6, 2005
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Thanks for the update, Michael. This is the second major incident I credit to employees not nearly so aware of their responsibilities as they should be (the other was SS Norway).
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Thanks for the update, Michael.<<

No problem. I have a thread running in Other Ships And Shipwrecks where I'm covering any news worth talking about...uhhh...which isn't much now. This mess has pretty much dropped off the media's radar screen, but I post updates when something happens which is genuinely new.
 

Scott Mills

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I couldn't figure out a place to post this, but I don't think it is deserving of its own thread. Basically I am curious as to why Britannic's wreck is a listed war grave? My understanding is that all 31 people who died on her were recovered.
 

Shel Cooper

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It might actually be cheaper to build a new one than conserve the old one. If anyone were to really want to raise something, raise the bow. Other than that, it is best left where it is.
 

Adam Went

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Apr 28, 2003
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At least the Britannic is much more accessible than the Titanic for the public where it is.

Scott, I can only presume that maybe that has something to do with the fact that she was sunk due to an act of wartime aggression, and her status as a hospital ship, regardless of whether it was a mine or a torpedo that did the fatal damage.

Cheers,
Adam.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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I don't believe Britannic is a "war grave." I've had several enjoyable breakfasts and at least one memorable dinner with Simon Mills, the man who I believe is still the owner of the wreck. According to him, the ship lies withing Greek territorial waters and is, therefore, covered by that country's rather stringent laws regarding antiquities. The law was meant primarily to protect items from the classic age of Greece, but applies equally to Britannic. This means that while Simon owns the wreck he can't do a thing with it...even visit it...without permission of Greek authorities. When I last sat across the table from Simon he had several outstanding ways of sharing the wreck with the public, but all were hung up in bureaucratic red tape.

-- David G. Brown
 

Shel Cooper

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Might be that the Greeks learned a thing or two from the wholesale plunder of the Lusitania wreck. Holes were cut, it was even depth charged, etc... and I think Lucy lost at least one propeller. That and both are dangerous to enter.
 

Adam Went

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David:

Correct me if i'm wrong but wasn't there once a plan to turn the Britannic into a tourist attraction by way of doing diving tours of the wreck site or something similar? As you said, last I heard Simon Mills was still the owner of the wreck. With the Greek finances in the shape that they are, now would be the time to do something with it if they're ever going to.

Shel:

The Lusitania has also been the victim of countless fishing nets getting snagged on her as well. There's really not a whole lot left of her now, and what there is would be extremely dangerous to go near, for man or machine. Britannic is in somewhat better condition.

Cheers,
Adam.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Adam -- Yes, I believe there was discussion of developing Britannic as some sort of tourist attraction. I believe it had to do with placing live TV cams inside the wreck so people on the surface could tour it much like a SCUBA diver. Not sure about that, however.

-- David G. Brown
 

Adam Went

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Hi David,

Yes, that's right, I remember about the TV cams now. A fully interactive type tourist attraction. It actually sounded like a really good idea - hopefully they do something with it anyway, being that other wrecks like the Titanic or the Lusitania are out of reach and/or you just wouldn't want to go there.

Cheers,
Adam.