Retrival of Artifacts from the Bow


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Matt Pereira

Guest
Okay now ive read that some people are for getting artifacts off the bow of titanic before they are lost for ever such as either the Telemotor or the wireless equipment, mainly the wireless equipment considering its the only one every made from the way im understanding it.

My question is if the wireless equipment were to be salvaged would there be anyway to take the orignal layout as best as we can from whats left and build a new working replica of the wireless equipment to go around with the exibits?

Not sure if its fits in this topic or not but im all for getting artifacts before they get lossed and from how the wrecks looking now from when i seen how she looked in photos and paintings of how she looked in 1985, im seriously for the retreival of all things worth keeping to keep the history alive. I also think that if a working replica of the wireless could be built from the orignal im not sure if it will be but i like to think it might be possible to get the same sounding spark as with the orignal.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Parks Stephenson would be the best possible man to speak to the question of the Marconi apperatus. He's studied the equipment, even seen it first hand on his dive to the wreck, and he knows the ground. I understand however that not only is it possible to recover it, but even restore the rig itself to a working condition.
 
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Matt Pereira

Guest
Oh im sure a working replica could be made of the orignal cause from the pictures ive seen most of the major parts and components are still there. I was just wondering why isnt it being done i mean why lose something that survive because i mean ive seen how bad the boat deck is getting and its just the matter of time till the telemotor or the wireless systems fall into the decks below such as parks Stephenson fears will happen to the wireless system. I agree with him pulling it up, make for a great article on here about how its really setup and diagrams on how its wired or maybe even have it where if you got the time to build one you could use the wiring diagrams to build your own who knows the possibilitys to the point of how much more life those artifacts would give to the Titanic and interest in her by being able to hear what the wireless sounded like just like how we got an idea as to what the steam whistles sounded like when the one that was saved and preserved was blown with compressed air.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>> I was just wondering why isnt it being done <<

Because at the present time, the U.S. Court which has oversight jurisdiction over RMSTI's activities will not permit any salvage or recovery of artifacts from the hull of the ship. The debris field is, in the legal sense, fair game. However, the ship herself is off limits for that sort of thing.
 
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Matt Pereira

Guest
But why would the U.S. Court have jurisdiction over what can and cant be done to the Titanic since she lies in international waters?
 

Bill Willard

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Mar 24, 2001
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Matt, it has been explained to me this way.

International waters doesn't mean it's a free-for-all and no one rules. There are certain rules that specific countries have agreed to, and those rules are enforced by an "admiralty court". For example, ownership rights to ANY ship of war belongs to the home country no matter who discovers it, such as the Bismarck, and the Hood.

In cases of non-war ships from international waters, an admiralty court presides. In America, one of these admiralty courts sat with Judge J. Calvitt Clarke, in Norfolk. RMS Titanic Inc.'s predecessor took a recovered artifact there, and the process is "arresting" the ship. The rights to that ship are then determined and ruled on by the admiralty court, based on the internationally agreed upon rules.

Did you know rulings regarding the Lusitania, which also are in international waters were made by Judge Clarke? It was one of the many cases he heard in his long career, and one of his first spotlight cases.

All countries who have agreed to the admiralty laws are expected to honor the rulings of the admiralty courts. That's why no American, let's say, can go and salvage the Bismarck. Those rights are governed by the admiralty laws, and belong to Germany.

Most who have studied the laws have agreed that Judge Clarke's hybrid decision was more than wise, and had the best interests of the ship and it's history in mind. Normal rules allow for a salvor to own outright all artifacts from a discovered abandoned vessel. Judge Clarke in his wisdom saw the uniqueness of Titanic, and ruled an unusual ruling that RMST would be the salvors, but would be in essence GUARDIANS of the artifacts, with appropriate responsibilities to take care of them until such time they are relieved. They also must exhibit them to the public, and this is how the company underwrites its expenses.

Many people have been very critical of RMST, because they "profit" off the exhibits. Well, I can tell you first hand it is VERY expensive to go and recover these artifacts. Expenses on some of the expeditions are in the multiple millions of US dollars. Then comes the painstakingly slow processes used to preserve the artifacts from imminent destruction after being recovered. The processes are long, and require specific resources that are not cheap. Neither is the labor involved, requiring technical knowledge that is specific. Not just ANY person can be engaged to work on the most unique naval artifacts in the world. Yes, they do make money off the exhibits, but the WORLD has these storied treasures to view forever because of Judge Clarke's awesome ruling. And now, his successor, Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, has stepped in and is doing an excellent job in what is now HER court.

I may be wrong, or technically incorrect on a few minor details, but this is how it was explained to me many years ago.

Bill
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Normal rules allow for a salvor to own outright all artifacts from a discovered abandoned vessel.<<

As I understand it, they also have to declare what was salvaged to the Reciever of Wrecks or an official of the same station (If differing title) in whatever country the artifacts are landed. Also, one needs to bear in mind that ownership of a vessel doesn't evaporate once the waters close over the stern. Even sunken vessels have owners and one of the fundemental legal concerns is to make sure their rights and interests are protected.

>>Did you know rulings regarding the Lusitania, which also are in international waters were made by Judge Clarke? It was one of the many cases he heard in his long career, and one of his first spotlight cases.<<

That I didn't know. What exactly is the case law behind all this?
 

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