Titanic today


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Jul 9, 2000
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>>Considering all the factors involved, does the depth have much of a factor on the speed of the deterioration ?<<

Given the evidence available, I would say "Yes."

There are a lot of other factors at play but generally, those wrecks in the deeper and colder waters tend to hold up better then the ones in shallower waters. Look at how far gone the Andrea Doria is and she's been on the bottom for half a century, then compare here to Bismarck and Titanic which are both in reletively better condition.
 

Jim Currie

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The first obvious iron constructed 'vessesl was a barge constructed by a Mr. John Wilkinson of England in 1788.
In 1818, there was an iron ship named 'Vulcan' travelling the Forth & Clyde canal in Scotland. It was still in existence in 1865. By this time there were many such vessels in fresh and salt water. It is remarkable that the 'Vulcan' lasted so long in the air since the wet climate of Scotland is not conducive to longevity. However, there are many well preserved ferrous metal wrecks in very good condition in the shallow waters round Scotland's west coast. The exposed parts of these tend to be protected by seemingly non-aggresive marine growth.
By far the most aggressive form of decay has been found to be ALWC- Accelerated Low Water Corrosion. Fortunately this only attacks metal in the wetted zone i.e. areas uncovered by the tide.

The bed of the North Sea is absolutely littered by wrecks from WW1 and WW2 however most of these have either disintegrated or been buried by sand - particularly in the southern part where currents are fierce.
Compared to the foregoing, the unprotected hull and materials of Titanic have been reasonably slow to deteriorate. However, I suspect they will probably do so at an ever-increasing speed as support components finally fail to support.

The obvious answer is to recover and preserve as much as possible in the form of artifacts before this happens. However recovery in itself is expensive. I for one would leave the stuff down there unless it was recovered for inclusion in a properly funded and sited memorial exhibition. However, I suspect that such artifacts would be recovered and traded as a form of wealth or hoarded by 'serious collectors'.
 
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>>However, I suspect they will probably do so at an ever-increasing speed as support components finally fail to support.<<

It's already starting to happen. Note the holes in the deck on the superstructure and the collapse of the deckhouses. Some of that can be shown to be aggravated by human activity, but most of it is just nature taking it's course.

>>However, I suspect that such artifacts would be recovered and traded as a form of wealth or hoarded by 'serious collectors'.<<

A not impossible outcome. We know of at least one illegal expedition to the wreck but what they managed to latch onto is anybody's guess. Any collectors would be well advised however to see to it that proper conservation measures are taken ASAP least what they have literally disintigrates in front of their eyes.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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I'd say that when the titanic does collapse to whatever exists of the ship after the collapse and take it to different Titanic museums...it would be sad if we just took literally all of that piece of history to some scrap metal vendors and just do lord knows what to it. Instead just have it exposed to different Titanic Museums and put it on display.
 

Dave Gittins

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In looking at this, we have to distinguish between iron and steel vessels. Iron wrecks have often lasted many years, CSS Hunley and Great Britain being examples. In Australia, we have the iron sailing ship James Craig, which was restored to sailing order after lying derelict for the best part of 100 years. (Inger can tell us the details).

In contrast, in South Australia a steel sailing vessel called Ethel was wrecked on a very exposed beach, where she was partly covered at high tide. In less than 100 years she completely collapsed into a pile of rust.

My guess is that Titanic will first lose her upperworks, then the ends of the hull, and finally the centre section. You'll need to be a lot younger than me to see that day.
 

Jim Currie

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Back in the 1979, I was called on to survey a sailing vessel named 'Ellisa'which had been found somewhere in the Greek islands. It was built in Dundee and was being transported under tow to Florida. I met it at Gibraltar and surveyed then prepared it for tow. Can't remember the exact construction but think it was composite. It was eventually to end-up in a maritime Museum. I know it made it to the other side but lost track after that. Does anyone have any more info? It was in amazing condition for it's age although a group of marine archeologists were already at work restoring it when I arrived.
There was also an amusing but relevant incident at the same time.
When returning along the quay side in the Naval Dockyard with a senior RN official, I spotted a round, smooth stone with a hole in the middle - probably weighing about 60 lbs. It was only one of a long neat, similarly white painted stones delineating a dock office garden. I pointed it out to my companion who immediately went into paroxysms of ecstasy - he recognised it to be a Phoenician anchor - dredged from the harbour and used as part of a picket line by the personnel. The officer with me was an amateur marine archeologist in his spare time. That particular artifact was happily not lost. Might some one find a bit of Titanic in their garden a couple of thousand years from now? I don't think so.

Cheers.
 
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i believe that the first part to disappear is the end half which is the stern. The shell is almost completely collapsed to the sea floor and it won't be long until all of the floor decks falls off completely. Like i said, taking a better look on the stern it looks like it is not going to be there for much longer.
 

Jason D. Tiller

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quote:

taking a better look on the stern it looks like it is not going to be there for much longer.

It's already been done more than once and there isn't anything to see. The stern is in terrible shape and besides, it's a dangerous area for the submersibles to be exploring.​
 
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I wonder what it is about steel which causes it to rust faster then pure iron. Perhaps Tim Foecke can offer some insights on this. I've noticed much the same as the rest of you about iron hulled vessels. The Star Of India for example which you can see in San Diego is in such good condition that she actually gets underway a few times every year.
 
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Common sense....of course no one would dare to get close to the stern. I am even surprised the thing is still kind of in tact.
 
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I'd be afraid the decks would collide if I were to go in there...and i wonder how the grand staircase looks like in the wreck now??
 
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>>I'd be afraid the decks would collide if I were to go in there<<

Nobody goes in to the stern. They look at it from the outside.

>>and i wonder how the grand staircase looks like in the wreck now??<<

There is no Grand Staircase in the wreck. The shaft is still there as is the foundation structure and framing at the bottom, but the Grand Staircase is long gone.
 
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Well that's a bummer...that was the most luxurious part of the ship, well all that we have to look at now is the bow of the titanic and nothing else...
 
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>>well all that we have to look at now is the bow of the titanic and nothing else...<<

If you believe that, you may want to watch Ghosts of the Abyss and Last Mysteries of the Titanic some time. There's still a lot to see down there.
 
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well I'm just saying. yes there is still much to see but i am saying that it is a shame that the grand staircase does not exist anymore.
 
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>>i am saying that it is a shame that the grand staircase does not exist anymore.<<

But not really surprising. The stairs themselves were made of wood so even if they had survived the destructive forces of the floodwaters rushing in when the ship plunged, they would not have survived a century in salt water.

Not in any recognizable form anyway. There are some wooden materials surviving inside the wreck but even though they were protected by paints and varnishes, they are not in pristine condition.
 
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and of the fact that it broke in half and the roof just sunk down onto the room it would give perfect reason why it doesn't exist...
 
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The roof sinking down really had nothing to do with it since up until recently, the surrounding structure was in decent shape. The dome caving in made for a wide point of ingress for a lot of water and with the predictable violence.

To paraphrase what Parks Stephenson said: Think of the Grand Staircase column as being the world's largest Cuisinart Blender. Nothing could surive in there and nothing did.
 
Aug 11, 2008
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Wow...that's really a bummer...well...I was thinking and something that would be something really to remember the titanic by is to do a tribute of some sort when titanic finally becomes a century old...
 
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