Why no deep interior exploration?

Matt

Member
Apr 30, 2014
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Canada, Ontario
Why don't they send an ROV into the wreck's interiors like Cameron did with the Titanic? It would be very cool to see what everything looks like and what they could find. Maybe they could see if Sheila Macbeth's alarm clock is still in her cabin. No interest or no money?
 

Brad Rousse

Member
Nov 27, 2002
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Prague, Czech Rep.
The Britannic does not have the draw of the Titanic. Also, the Greek government is very iffy on people poking around on the wreck, and I believe Simon Mills isn't the biggest fan of it either. Those groups consider her a grave, as do the British government. You need a lot of luck to convince the government to let you dive, and even then the Greeks will probably interrupt you, as have been shown in some documentaries.

I know there has been some poking around with ROVs, but wreckage and the aforementioned issues with the government have retarded efforts for a thorough once-over.
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
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Hi Matt,

Brad is correct. The difference between the Britannic and the Titanic is that the Britannic is a war grave, and therefore the authorities are a lot more touchy about it. I would allow it if I were the Greeks, given that their economy could do with a bit of a boost. Britannic is certainly much more accessible, but also she lies on her side which makes exploration a lot more difficult and disorienting - interior images have been taken of the wreck but nothing too deep into her. Plus, also unlike the Titanic, she was converted into a hospital ship, so in contrast with the beautiful interiors that we associate with the Titanic, there probably wouldn't be all that much to see with the Britannic in any case.

Cheers,
Adam.
 
Jan 14, 2001
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Hi,

Britannic is not a war grave. Her name is not on the list. This was also confirmed through the British Embassy in Athens. Remember that all fatalities occured outside the ship. The only think the British ask is to treat the wreck with respect because people died during the sinking.

The latest news is that there will be a cooperation between Greece and Northern Ireland, in order to retrieve artifacts from the wreck and start a conservation project, which eventually will lead to an exhibition. I wouldn't expect much from the exploration of the interiors, as most of the ship's public rooms were very spartan. However, there is a strong possibility that the area of the Turkish baths was completed. This area was on the starboard side, so it's one of the deepest areas to explore.

The only time a diving expedition was interrupted by the Greek authorities was in 2006, when a huge misunderstanding occured due to the language barrier. The diving team was not aware that their permit did not allow for penetrations inside the wreck and the supervising archeologist failed to warn them before the dive. Upon their return the video was conficated but it was eventually returned. From the information I have, the Greek Ministry of Culture didn't accept responsibility for this fiasco but off the record they acknowledged that it was very bad publicity for them and this mistake was never repeated.

Regards,
Michail
 

Adam Went

Member
Apr 28, 2003
1,193
7
168
Hi Michail,

The Britannic may not be an officially listed war grave but it seems to be still treated as such since the ship was sunk in wartime, while acting as a hospital ship and as a result of either a mine or a torpedo which had been planted by the enemy. It's a bit like the Australian youths who got in trouble recently for swimming in ANZAC Cove in Turkey - it's just something that's really "not done".

I hope that the authorities can co-operate with one another and do something with the wreck. With the Titanic out of reach for most people and the Olympic scrapped to just a few relics here and there, the Britannic is the best hope of getting up and close and personal with that class of passenger vessel.

Cheers,
Adam.