To salvage or not to salvage the moral dilemma

Dec 2, 2000
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I think in all this, one really has to ask just what it is about Titanic that makes her special above and beyond the call of especially special so that somehow, her wrecksite becomes more sacred then any other wrecksite.

What is the assumption being made here?

By most any reckoning, the North Atlantic is one of the largest graveyards in the world, yet nobody gives a thought to other shipwrecks aside from military vessels which have legal protections/restrictions in place. Why are they not sacred while Titanic is?
 

Jason D. Tiller

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Dec 3, 2000
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Hi Mark,

quote:

One example would be a travelling mate of Canadian Thompson Beattie (I forgot the man's name; Jason, can you please help me here?), who was believed to have died in his bed.
That would be Hugo Ross.

quote:

Considering this, it is reasonable to presume that victims went down inside
From a previous post that I recall in one of the many threads in this topic, it is generally accepted that approximately 30 to 200 people went down with the ship.​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Even accounting for the small numbers of bodies actually recovered with the rest being scattered by the wind and the wave, it would be amazing if some weren't trapped inside the ship when she plunged.

All else aside, we know that a few of the engineers remained down below to tend to the dynamos. If they were still there when the power failed, it would have been amazing if any had managed to make their way up in the inky black passageways in the scant time remaining.

That said, I still have to wonder what the assumption is which makes Titanic special above and beyond the call of special when compared to any other shipwreck. To avoid any misunderstanding, I'm not aiming this question at any one person, and I'm aware of the points which are legitimately made regarding the ship as a gravesite. I'm not dismissing them, but I have to wonder why Titanic rates a level of respect which is so seldom afforded to any other shipwreck.
 
Nov 26, 2005
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Just as a guess, Mike, I'd say it's because while fallen military vessels and the such are every bit as deserving of the same respect given Titanic, they don't receive it simply because they're not as..."romantic" or "romanticized" as the Titanic's tale for people in the general public. When people think "Titanic" they think glamor, innocence, love, romance, hymns, violins, etc whereas (from what I've observed) battleships and such are regarded as graves, but not to the same extent because people think "those men knew the risk" and "died doing their duty for their country". In other words, they're "just another casualty of war" while Titanic was in peacetime, unexpected and it has all these stories of bravery, (The Strausses, for example) cowardice, (Ismay) and drama that today's world craves. These individual stories also seem to attract a wider variety of audience. I know people who couldn't begin to tell you what the USS Arizona is, but can tell you everything they *think* they know about Titanic or people that were on her.

Personally, I think shipwrecks that are considered gravesites should be treated the same all across the board, but that's just me.
 
J

Jeff Kelley

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"Personally, I think shipwrecks that are considered gravesites should be treated the same all across the board, but that's just me."

This is the whole issue - why are some considered gravesites and some not? The Andrea Doria is fair game for recreational divers and artifact scavengers/collectors, pirate ships and even more recent wrecks laden with gold are legitimate targets for treasure hunters, etc., but some shipwrecks (such as the Titanic) are seen as sacred ground that must not be disturbed.

I am not necessarily quarrelling with anyone's opinion, but I just don't see a logical reason for these inconsistencies.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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quote:

I am not necessarily quarrelling with anyone's opinion, but I just don't see a logical reason for these inconsistencies.
Jeff-

I am not designating myself the target of this particular comment, but I just wanted to clarify: I never said that Titanic should be singled out among all shipwrecks and considered sacred while the others aren't; I think all ship wrecks should be viewed the same way regardless, and for the same reason.

As for the Andrea Doria, I think that's horrendous that even that wreck site is treated that way, although I am all for historic and scientific exploration, as long as it is conducted with delicacy and respect toward what the ship is--an underwater tomb.​
 
J

Jeff Kelley

Guest
The comment was definitely not aimed at you in particular, and I have no ill will toward anyone's opinion. I am interested in the debate and am happy to consider all points of view. I tend to lean one way, but if I hear a compelling and consistent argument I might be persuaded to change sides. That really is the main reason I have asked the question I have asked.