Raise the Britannic


GLaDOS2

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Mar 19, 2018
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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,

Mark.

really no

we need to buy the wreck and sell it for scrap to end it all
 

Andrew Wood

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May 9, 2018
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Michael,


Well the Costa Concordia, ....it will probably be much easier to refloat a boat that is not 100 years old, and is not totally submerged in shallow water.
As to the smell you mentioned, I don't think I'd want to be downwind of it. Phew!
No one seems to have mentioned the Mary Rose, which although only in about 36 feet of water was wooden and had been on the seabed for
What is this endless fascination with attempting to raise every piece of rotting junk from the sea floor?....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.
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.

No one seems to have mentioned the Mary Rose, which although only in about 36 feet of water was wooden and had been on the seabed for 437 years. It was raised as 'rotting junk' and has been preserved as a popular museum in itself so people who arent divers which 99% of the population arent, can see and apprecate her size and construction so i dont think its fair to say there is no value or interest in raising and preserving ships. The practical aspects of such a big one down much deeper on the other hand is a different matter
 
Dec 2, 2000
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No one seems to have mentioned the Mary Rose, which although only in about 36 feet of water was wooden and had been on the seabed for



No one seems to have mentioned the Mary Rose, which although only in about 36 feet of water was wooden and had been on the seabed for 437 years. It was raised as 'rotting junk' and has been preserved as a popular museum in itself so people who arent divers which 99% of the population arent, can see and apprecate her size and construction so i dont think its fair to say there is no value or interest in raising and preserving ships. The practical aspects of such a big one down much deeper on the other hand is a different matter
There is a HUGE difference between bringing up a mass of maybe a 400 to 500 tons in relatively shallow water as opposed to bringing up a mass of 52,000 tons from even deeper water.

The first can be achieved with existing tools and equipment and there is a wealth of historical information which can be recovered from the remains which has otherwise been lost to the historical record.

The second may become possible within even my lifetime but what would be the point?
-Most of the documentation surrounding the Britannic still exists, and the cause of the sinking is known.
-The fittings put aboard are known and understood,
-There is nothing of any kind aboard of any intrinsic value which could possibly pay back the investment,
-The ship would be useless in any sort of trade,
-and finally, preservation would have to be accomplished in an immersion tank with a fresh water constantly being supplied along with chemical electrolytes AND electricity to get the salt out of the steel so the hulk doesn't collapse in a pile of rust as soon as it's hit with air.

Can more be learned from the wreck?

More can always be learned, but the preservation required to give examiners the time to do that is best accomplished by leaving the ship right where she is.
 
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Honestly, though I would love to see it happen, especially to the grandest ship in history (Titanic), no shipwreck that has been under for an extended period of time, can be raised. Simply put, salt water is kryptonite to the steel that these large ocean liners are built mostly from.

However, unlike Titanic, both Britannic, and especially the Lusitania (unrelated, I know), are close enough to the surface that you could attempt to build a wall around them, then drain the interior of the wall and create an airtight vacuum chamber. This would prevent exterior humidity from deteriorating the ship any further.

From that point, far more extensive investigation of the ship can take place, and, due to the lack of moisture, the ship would last as long as the walls around her. While the cost of such an operation would still be obscene, it is far more feasible than trying to pull a buried, rapidly deteriorating, broken apart ship from the mud it has been stuck in for over 100 years.

One problem though: the metal's high salt content. I have no clue what to do about that. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
 

Scott Mills

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There is a HUGE difference between bringing up a mass of maybe a 400 to 500 tons in relatively shallow water as opposed to bringing up a mass of 52,000 tons from even deeper water.

The first can be achieved with existing tools and equipment and there is a wealth of historical information which can be recovered from the remains which has otherwise been lost to the historical record.

The second may become possible within even my lifetime but what would be the point?
-Most of the documentation surrounding the Britannic still exists, and the cause of the sinking is known.
-The fittings put aboard are known and understood,
-There is nothing of any kind aboard of any intrinsic value which could possibly pay back the investment,
-The ship would be useless in any sort of trade,
-and finally, preservation would have to be accomplished in an immersion tank with a fresh water constantly being supplied along with chemical electrolytes AND electricity to get the salt out of the steel so the hulk doesn't collapse in a pile of rust as soon as it's hit with air.

Can more be learned from the wreck?

More can always be learned, but the preservation required to give examiners the time to do that is best accomplished by leaving the ship right where she is.
Oh, the second I think can already be achieved--so in your lifetime! The question is not one of the ability of human beings to raise her, but one of economics. Such an effort could cost north of a billion dollars, and for what purpose? It just is not worth what you stand to gain from raising Britannic, either economically or from the point of view of cultural preservation.

I would even argue that if you threw enough money at Titanic, what is left of her hull could be raised (with some serious risks); however, the costs involved not even James Cameron could fund, and the risks would be quite extreme (we would risk destroying what was left of Titanic.)

That being said, I am 100% in favor of Dr. Ballard's call to preserve the wreck of Titanic in situ by simply applying antifowling paint to as much of the hull that could be accessed. This would still be an expensive task, but much more realistic, and we might be able to buy the wreck of Titanic another century.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Applying anti-fouling paint just won't work. Titanic is not a couple of large pieces. Titanic is two large chunks of twisted and shattered steel, several medium sized pieces and literally hundreds of thousands of little ones scattered over an area the size of London's Hyde Park on the bottom of the North Atlantic.

You don't just apply paint to things two and a half miles underwater, much less hundreds of thousands of bits and pieces of wreckage.

That pointed out, given the environment, to leave anything in situ is to consign it to eventual destruction. This is the non-debatable absolute. Whether or not any further recovery is ethical is certainly a matter of highly subjective opinion, but the first part is not.

The question then becomes what can and should be recovered IF salvage of any kind is to carry on.
 
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Applying anti-fouling paint just won't work. Titanic is not a couple of large pieces. Titanic is two large chunks of twisted and shattered steel, several medium sized pieces and literally hundreds of thousands of little ones scattered over an area the size of London's Hyde Park on the bottom of the North Atlantic.

You don't just apply paint to things two and a half miles underwater, much less hundreds of thousands of bits and pieces of wreckage.

That pointed out, given the environment, to leave anything in situ is to consign it to eventual destruction. This is the non-debatable absolute. Whether or not any further recovery is ethical is certainly a matter of highly subjective opinion, but the first part is not.

The question then becomes what can and should be recovered IF salvage of any kind is to carry on.
Agree. First to be somewhat effective you would have to brush off tons of rusticles before applying anything. Second in todays world if you were try something like that I would bet there would be lawsuits by envioromentalists and other groups to stop it. By the time it worked its way thru the system she will probably have already collapsed. And like Scott said above it would be very expensive. It might buy some time but eventually the outcome will be the same.
 
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J Sheehan

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Well the closest we'll ever get to see Britannic being raised is through a novel I'm currently writing at the moment. But she doesn't rise from the water in quite the way most of you are probably expecting.

This novel takes place in 2009 and generally is a story in which ordinary people get caught up in the most extraordinary of events.

A brief synopsis; in Mid-April 2009 an Irish boy in his late teens makes a wish for Britannic to return to life as a passenger ship. As he sleeps, a magic streak of light shoots across the night sky and enters the harbour waters by the Heritage Centre in Cobh before entering the seabed and causing the water to start bubbling.

Exactly two weeks later on the First of May 2009, with a really intensive, almost Jacuzzi like bubbling, Britannic rises out from the waters of Cork Harbour, in the style of Raise the Titanic, in front of the Irish teen and many of his class mates who are down in Cobh for a school trip and causing quite a stir in Cobh.

I've been working on this novel since mid-November 2008 and I'm currently going through it correcting mistakes, taking out characters I don't need as well as removing any subplots I've realised are unnecessary and making sure it's up to scratch.

The novel is called Britannic Returns.

One of the compromises I've made is Britannic is much larger in this novel than she was in reality, 1,100 feet long as opposed to 882 feet.

I will reveal more later, but please let me know what you think of this idea.
 

Scott Mills

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Applying anti-fouling paint just won't work. Titanic is not a couple of large pieces. Titanic is two large chunks of twisted and shattered steel, several medium sized pieces and literally hundreds of thousands of little ones scattered over an area the size of London's Hyde Park on the bottom of the North Atlantic.

You don't just apply paint to things two and a half miles underwater, much less hundreds of thousands of bits and pieces of wreckage.

That pointed out, given the environment, to leave anything in situ is to consign it to eventual destruction. This is the non-debatable absolute. Whether or not any further recovery is ethical is certainly a matter of highly subjective opinion, but the first part is not.

The question then becomes what can and should be recovered IF salvage of any kind is to carry on.
Michael,

I absolutely agree with you. Leaving the wreck in situ will lead, in the final analysis, to the loss of the wreck.

I am merely arguing that expensive steps could be taken to prolong the life of the wreck, steps well within our capability, but are not as outrageously expensive, controversial, or as risky as trying to pull what is left of Titanic off of the bottom of the ocean.

I am fully aware of the limits of what antifowling paint can do, and how limited we are as far as where it could be applied. You are correct, applying this paint to the hull of a ship that is over a century old, and at Titanic's depth, would not be a simple task; however it is an achievable task, which could be done with equipment that currently exists... if you threw enough money at the problem.

Sadly, as I said earlier... economics is the barrier to either saving Titanic or attempting to raise Britannic; though in the latter case, since Britannic's hull is not at an exceptional risk of collapsing, I am not sure why one would bother.
 

Scott Mills

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Honestly, though I would love to see it happen, especially to the grandest ship in history (Titanic), no shipwreck that has been under for an extended period of time, can be raised. Simply put, salt water is kryptonite to the steel that these large ocean liners are built mostly from.

However, unlike Titanic, both Britannic, and especially the Lusitania (unrelated, I know), are close enough to the surface that you could attempt to build a wall around them, then drain the interior of the wall and create an airtight vacuum chamber. This would prevent exterior humidity from deteriorating the ship any further.

From that point, far more extensive investigation of the ship can take place, and, due to the lack of moisture, the ship would last as long as the walls around her. While the cost of such an operation would still be obscene, it is far more feasible than trying to pull a buried, rapidly deteriorating, broken apart ship from the mud it has been stuck in for over 100 years.

One problem though: the metal's high salt content. I have no clue what to do about that. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
That's not entirely true; and this is why, in addition to the great depth Titanic now lies, it would be so expensive to raise what is left of her.

You would have to raise the hull while keeping it in one piece, then suspend it under the water while you towed the hull underneath the salvage vessel to a port where a preservation tank large enough to hold the pieces of Titanic would need to have been built.

From there, you would have to go through the rather long and expensive process of desalinizing the wreck before you could expose her to the air; however, do this you can. In fact, it has already been done to a piece of Titanic's hull, and has been done on a very small scale with vessels like the CSS Hunley.

When put altogether, I suspect the costs of raising and preserving a ship like Titanic would be larger than the GDP of some countries.