In 1912, the Titanic, then the largest cruise ship in the world, set out on its first and last voyage.
One hundred and eleven years later, the Titanic, an American deep-sea submersible that went missing while exploring the wreck of the Titanic, catastrophically imploded near the site of the sinking, killing all five crew members. The tail tip of the Titanic was found on the ocean floor less than 500 meters from the wreckage of the Titanic.
James Cameron, director of Titanic, once said, “Man’s unique weaknesses, arrogance, conceit and greed, have crushed his ambition to conquer nature.” I wanted to recreate the tragic death of this great ship, and also to show her short but spectacular life.” Faced with a similar disaster 111 years later, Cameron again said, “Two surreal tragedies happened because warnings were ignored.”
Looking back at the entire experience of Titan’s implosion, the emerging, rule-free deep-sea exploration industry behind it has gradually emerged. Yu Pengyao, associate professor of shipbuilding and Marine engineering at Dalian Maritime University, mentioned in an interview with Nandu and N video that there are many reasons for the implosion of submarines, among which insufficient strength of submarine materials and design defects may lead to catastrophic internal eruption. Titan’s company, Oceangate Exploration, has faced questions about the design, quality and safety of its submarines.
Disintegrated after diving, consistent with a “catastrophic implosion.”
On June 18, local time, the “Titan” deep-sea submersible began its latest expedition to the wreckage of the “Titanic”.
The bathyscaphe was designed by Oceangate, an American seabed exploration company, as part of a tour that takes tourists on the ocean floor to see the wreck of the Titanic. The submersible can dive to a depth of 4,000 meters. Visitors to the Titanic expedition will each pay $250,000, with profits going to research on the ship.
British explorer Harding and a group of 5 people, from St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, aboard the icebreaker “Polar Prince”, sailed to the sinking waters of the “Titanic” cruise ship in the North Atlantic. They plan to dive at 8 o ‘clock on the 18th, if all goes well, the “Titan” submersible will be assisted by the mother ship, at 15 o ‘clock on the same day. However, as time passed, Titan lost contact with the mother ship one hour and 45 minutes after the dive.
After the crew lost contact, the U.S. Coast Guard received a call for help from Oceangate Exploration on the afternoon of the 18th. Since then, the U.S. and Canadian coast guards have dispatched aircraft and ships, using sonobuoys and other equipment, to search the sea about 1,450 kilometers east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
After several days of searching, U.S. Coast Guard spokesman John Major announced on June 22 that Titan had been confirmed to have broken up underwater, with characteristics consistent with a “catastrophic implosion.” Major said that the seabed environment is extremely harsh and complex, search and rescue personnel using remote-controlled detectors in the seabed not far from the wreckage of the “Titanic” found five pieces of broken parts of the submersible, these fragments are consistent with the signs of a catastrophic explosion of the submersible. It is still difficult to determine when the explosion occurred.
In addition, the United States, Canada and other countries have said that they will investigate the accident. Several diving professionals said there were problems with the design and material selection of the submersible.
“Implosion is the phenomenon of an object collapsing or breaking inward because the interior cannot withstand the external pressure when the external pressure is too great.” Yu Pengyao, associate professor of shipbuilding and Marine engineering at Dalian Maritime University, said in an interview with Nandu and N video that there are many reasons for the implosion of submarines, among which insufficient strength of submarine materials and design defects may lead to “catastrophic implosion”.
Yu Pengyao introduced that the deeper the object dives in the seabed, the greater the water pressure around it. At 3,800 meters of water, the Titanic and everything around it are subjected to pressures 390 times higher than at the surface. The tail vertebrae of the “Titan” submarine was found on the sea floor, less than 500 meters from the wreckage of the “Titanic”. There is no indication that the “Titanic” submarine ever collided with the “Titanic” wreckage.
The Titanic Curse
There is a striking connection between the two shipwreck victims
On June 22, Ocean Gate Exploration Company announced in its official account that all five members of the “Titan” aboard the ship were killed. Their identity is in the spotlight.
The dead members were Stockton Rush, CEO of Ocean Gate Exploration Company, British explorer Hamish Harding, businessman Shahzada Daoud and his son Sulaiman, a dual Pakistani and British national, and French explorer Paul-Henri Narjolay.
Rush said in an interview with the media that his target customer group is the “adventurous” rich group, as well as the need for financial support of scientific researchers, and the identity of the victims in the accident is also consistent with this description.
Rush founded Oceangate in 2009, and in 2021, the company began offering “Titanic Tours” that have taken dozens of paying passengers and researchers to the vicinity of the wreck site. Rush has said that the project is aimed at the same customer group that will be used in the future of space travel: the “adventurous rich.”
What was called the “Titanic curse” by the outside world is that Rush’s wife, Wendy Rush, is the great-grandson of the Straus and his wife, who were well-known victims of the Titanic.
According to survivors, the Straus refused to leave in a lifeboat first, and the two eventually stood arm in arm on the deck of the Titanic and sank into the sea with the ship. The couple’s story was also used as the prototype for the movie “Titanic” adapted and filmed into a classic scene in movie history.
According to her linkedin profile, Wendy Rush participated in three expeditions to the wreck of the Titanic and is currently the director of communications for Oceangate Exploration.
French explorer Paul-Henri Narjolais also had many close encounters with the Titanic. Mr. Narjolais, 77, served for 22 years as a diver in the French Navy. After retiring from the military, he worked for the French Institute of Oceanography and began to specialize in the study of shipwrecks such as the Titanic. Narjolay has made 35 dives near the wreck of the Titanic and recovered about 5,500 artifacts related to the wreck. The artifacts include personal belongings and letters from passengers, making Narjolay a world-renowned Titanic researcher. One of the inspirations for the famous Hollywood director James Cameron’s film “Titanic” was to see the underwater wreck photos taken by Narjolay.
British explorer Hamish Harding is both an adventurous millionaire and a researcher. Harding went to elementary school in Hong Kong, where he watched the Apollo moon landing on television, and planted the seeds of adventure in his heart – he founded an airline as an adult and completed several extreme challenges. These include flying over the Earth’s North and South Poles in 48 hours, diving into the Mariana Trench in a submarine, and flying into space on a commercial rocket.
Shahzada Dawood and his son are from one of Pakistan’s wealthiest families, the Dawood family. Shahzada himself is the vice chairman of Pakistan’s chemical energy giant Ngroa.
How to do Business on Titanic
The wreckage has eroded and disappeared, and private companies are vying for the tourism business
The Titanic was once the world’s leading maritime liner, known as “unsinkable”, on April 10, 1912 from Southampton, England bound for New York, the United States, but in the late night of April 14, hit an iceberg, sank into the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean, about 1,500 people died, is the most well-known maritime disaster in history.
The wreck of the Titanic was first discovered in 1985 by a team led by explorer Robert Ballard. They were struck by the sheer size of the wreck and saw many of the shoes of mothers and babies, “which look like tombstones, a reminder of the 1,500 victims who rest in this sea.”
The wreckage of the Titanic is gradually disappearing due to erosion and other factors. Experts say the ship’s hull has been eroded by ocean currents and bacteria, and it is “only a matter of time” before it disappears.
As time goes on, the chances of seeing the Titanic, whether for scientific research or other purposes, diminish with each passing day. Many private companies have thus launched Tours. Southern reporter learned that the lost contact of the tourist submersible belongs to the ocean Gate exploration company has long developed the “Titanic” exploration business.
Starting in 2021, Oceangate will organize, for a fee, visits to the wreck of the Titanic by archaeologists, Marine biologists and so-called “mission specialists.” The company says 28 people have reached the wreck of the Titanic in submersibles in the past year. The dive, the third since the program began, costs $250,000 per passenger.
Titan is lighter than any other deep-diving vehicle and its dedicated real-time hull health monitoring system “provides unmatched safety features” to assess the integrity of the hull during each dive, the company said.
However, the Marine exploration community has been concerned about the safety of the “Titan”. James Cameron, director of the film “Titanic”, said in an interview with the media recently that he was shocked by the similarities between the submarine accident and the Titanic disaster, the captain of the “Titanic” was repeatedly warned about the ice in front of the ship, but still sped into the ice field on a moonless night, leading to the tragedy.
Cameron believes that the “Titanic” and the “Titanic” tragedy is very similar, the same warnings were ignored, and in the same place, the multinational rescue effort involved in the search, Cameron said, “this is really shocking… It’s so surreal.” He said some influential industry figures had even written to the company, arguing that it was experimental and could not carry passengers commercially.
Most submersible vehicles for manned sightseeing only explore natural landscapes such as coral reefs under 500 meters of water, but the wreck of the Titanic is more than 3,800 meters below the surface. Will Konen, chairman of the Manned submersible Committee under the American Institute of Marine Technology, said that there are about 10 deep submersibles designed to reach this depth in the world, of which only “Titan” has not been certified by third parties such as the U.S. Bureau of Shipping and DNV.
Ofer Kite, president of Deep Dive, a Costa Rica-based underwater vehicle business consulting company, said regulators should focus on developing operational norms such as how and when to dive, but so far no government has issued regulations for private submersible manufacturing.
Justin Manley, president of the Institute of Marine Technology, also pointed out that the Titan accident may lead to increased regulation, but it is difficult to use uniform regulations to manage the vast ocean, especially in the high seas.
Looking back at the entire experience of Titan’s implosion, the emerging, rule-free deep-sea exploration industry behind it has gradually emerged. “Given the multinational nature of the accident and the lack of regulation in the deep-sea diving industry itself, the investigation will be a long and complex process.” U.S. Coast Guard spokesman John Major said on June 22.
A former Chinese survivor
Six Chinese workers aboard the cruise ship were rescued and made into a documentary
The sinking of the Titanic is one of humanity’s most difficult public memories. Especially since the movie “Titanic” was released in China in 1998, the real connection between the giant ship and the Chinese people has been picked up.
On April 10, 1912, eight Chinese people set off from Southampton, England, aboard the “Titanic” to New York. They were all third-class passengers and sailors, six of whom survived the shipwreck that shocked the world. Historical archives show that five Chinese passengers boarded the lifeboat from the deck, and one survivor fell into the water and grabbed a board, and was rescued by a returning lifeboat about 30 minutes later.
The stories of these six Chinese survivors were later made into a documentary, Six People, by British documentary filmmaker Luo Fei, which will be released in Chinese cinemas in April 2021. The past, which had been shrouded in dust for more than 100 years following the sinking of the Titanic, began to be seen. The injustices suffered by a generation of Chinese workers overseas, which they represent, have also led to more attention and reflection on racial inequality.
Luo Fei, the director of the “Six People” documentary, told Nandu and N video reporters that since 2015, the Luo Fei team, which only has a list of Chinese passengers boarding the ship and the list of survivors spelled in English letters in series, began to try to find the clues of the six Chinese survivors before they died. The six are LeeBing, AhLam, LingHee, ChangChip, CheongFoo and FangLang.
The non-standard English spelling, which can correspond to hundreds of Chinese names, became the biggest challenge in their investigation work. To do so, they traveled to 24 cities in four countries and took up to two years.
The turning point comes from a forum message in the sea of information. A netizen named TomFong once left a message telling the story of the Chinese survivors of the Titanic. To this end, the research team sent dozens of emails through the account name left by the netizen, and fortunately got a reply from TomFong two weeks later: his name is Fang Guomin, and the FangLang on the list of Chinese survivors is likely to be his father Fang Rongshan, and they are from Taishan, Guangdong Province.
In 2018, the research team officially visited Fang Rongshan’s people in Shuiyang Village, Taiyamashita Kawashima, and many relatives who had been in contact with Fang Rongshan gave more and more oral evidence. With more verification, the research team eventually found that FangLang’s boarding card data dated to September 1920, the same month that Fang entered the United States. Every indication has indicated that Fang Rongshan is the Chinese FangLang who survived the Titanic.
“No legal identity, no fixed residence, even the name is also true or false, at any time at the risk of being repatriated, until the age of 50 years to gradually settle down, marry a wife and children.” However, the stable life has not been able to ease his heart’s unease, in order to prevent the past experience may bring trouble, Fang Rongshan finally chose to seal his secret with the Titanic. The Titanic may be just a bump in the road for them.” Luo Fei said.
Luo Fei has said that in Western countries, anyone in the family who has any connection with the Titanic can become a show off capital, but the six Chinese survivors and their descendants are not. During the planning and filming of “Six,” two descendants of the survivors refused to participate in the filming, despite the efforts of the film crew.
“I really understand their concerns.” Luo Fei said, “In the Western media history we looked up, the part about the Chinese survivors was almost entirely negative. These rumors eventually planted the seeds of fear in their minds that it was shameful to be associated with the Titanic.”
“The silence is the biggest problem, but we can at least start talking about it openly, which is bound to be painful.” But only then can all problems be seen and solved.” “Luo Fei said.
When the tragedy happened again a hundred years later, no one on the “Titan” survived.
Let’s take a look at some of the common deep-water submersibles on the market
Submarine-launched drones are unmanned aerial systems that can be launched from underwater and perform missions underwater. They are typically designed for missions such as underwater reconnaissance, search and rescue, underwater operations, and Marine scientific research.
A submarine is an underwater ship that can travel underwater. Submarines are typically designed for military purposes, such as the Navy’s strategic nuclear submarines or attack submarines, but can also be used for other missions, such as scientific research, ocean exploration, and search and rescue operations. Submarines usually have a sealed hull to maintain watertight, and are equipped with propulsion systems, cabins, weapons systems, sensors, navigation and communications equipment.
Civilian submarines are submarines designed and used for civilian purposes, as opposed to military submarines. These submarines are mainly used in civilian fields, such as scientific research, exploration, tourism, Marine resource exploration and environmental monitoring. Civilian submarines play an important role in many fields, providing people with the opportunity to explore the ocean and deep sea environment, and promoting Marine scientific research and conservation.
An Underwater Unmanned Vehicle (UUV) is an unmanned aircraft system capable of operating and performing missions autonomously underwater. They are designed to carry out a variety of tasks in underwater environments, such as ocean surveys, seabed resource exploration, Marine scientific research, submarine facility maintenance, and search and rescue operations. Undersea UAVs play an important role in the fields of Marine research, resource exploration and ocean engineering, providing high-resolution detection and monitoring capabilities of the undersea environment while reducing the risk and dependence on human divers.