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Calls for Titanic Grave Site To Be Left in Peace After Submersible Loss of Life

27th June 2023
The Titanic shipwreck and grave site
The Titanic shipwreck and grave site

A number of calls have been made for the Titanic shipwreck and grave site to be left alone following the recent loss of five lives in the Titan submersible implosion.

Pakistani businessman and son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood; British businessman Hamish Harding; French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet; and Stockton Rush, the CEO of the vessel’s operator, OceanGate Expeditions, all died in the incident some 400 miles east of Newfoundland, Canada.

As reported by the Belfast Newsletter, a number of Titanic enthusiasts in both Northern Ireland and abroad have said the loss of life should lead to a review of how the wreck of the Titanic is treated.

Stephen Cameron, author of the book Titanic: Belfast’s Own, told the News Letter: “It's extremely sad, and my thoughts would be with the families of those who were lost”.

"But I've always said this from the word go, from when it was discovered: leave the thing alone. It's a grave site,” Cameron said.

"On what's left of the ship's bridge are plaques from everybody who has been down to it. It's disgraceful, to be perfectly honest with you,” he told the newspaper.

In a statement published online, Charles Haas, president of the Titanic International Society, said it was “time to consider seriously whether human trips to Titanic’s wreck should end in the name of safety, with relatively little remaining to be learned from or about the wreck”.

“Crewed submersibles’ roles in surveying the wreck now can be assigned to autonomous underwater vehicles,” he said.

“The world joins us in expressing our profound sadness and heartbreak about this tragic, avoidable event,” Haas said.

The late OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush had visited Belfast, and his company posted a photo online showing him in the old dry dock in the Titanic Quarter.

Former president of the Belfast Titanic Society Una Reilly, said she hopes that “sense will rear its head again” and that the grave site should be “left in peace”.

Read the Newsletter here

Published in Titanic Team

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