Fresh Debate On Titanic Visits
The recent OceanGate submersible that imploded en-route to the wreck of the RMS Titanic has been one of the biggest news stories of the year. The submersible, designed and owned by the late Stockton Rush, was carrying five passengers when its hull imploded and all of its occupants died instantly.
This tragedy has led to fresh debate around visits to the Titanic, with many saying that the wreck of the White Star Line vessel is in a location too dangerous for people to visit. Whilst those discussions rage on, I have the misfortune to tell you that the loss of the submersible (which is named Titan) has been the subject of several memes and jokes over the past week.
Distasteful Display Of 'Banter'
In a vulgar display of ‘banter’, social media users have mocked both the occupants and Stockton Rush himself, saying that everyone on board had more money than sense.
Such jokes and comments are entirely distasteful, as the exact same argument could be made for the first-class passengers on Titanic itself. Like the occupants of the Titan submersible, those who purchased a ticket on the doomed liner were unaware of the design flaws of their vessel and assumed that, given how much they paid to get on, proper safety checks had been done.
Those who perished on the Titanic had no idea they were getting on a ship without sufficient lifeboats and sailing through a known ice field at full-speed, and more than 1,500 died due to the negligence of those who were supposed to look after them.
The parallels between the Titanic and the Titan are clear to see, and it’s hard to believe that the Titanic is still as deadly now as it was on the fateful night back in April 1912.
Criticism has rightly been fired at OceanGate for their lack of concern around safety, design, and pre-dive checks. Stockton Rush once,regrettably, said that such concerns were ‘baseless’ and that he had to ‘break some rules’ to rush through the Titan’s design process, statements that now seem haunting in retrospect. Oceangate have a lot to answer for, but that doesn’t mean that the victims should be mocked.
The Titanic itself lies more than 2 miles down in the North Atlantic ocean, its severed wreck lying in two pieces more than 600 meters apart. Strewn across the two major pieces of wreckage lie tons upon tons of debris, luggage, tiles, and, at one point, human remains. It is a grave site for more than 1,500 people and a stark reminder that man will never be stronger than nature.
Time To Let Titanic Be
Though I support removing artifacts from the site to display in museums, the battered remains of the former ocean liner should never be reduced to a dark tourism destination and now, hopefully, the ship can be left to rest in peace.
A full-scale model of the ship was completed in May, giving the public the chance to explore the wreck without risking their lives. After 111 years on the seabed, the RMS Titanic has, tragically, a new companion in the North Atlantic ocean.
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