How Long Before the RMS TITANIC is just a pile of rust?

The last Titanic survivor died less than six months ago. 1st June 2009.

I would be surprised if there were not a few- liners were numerous at the time. Her sister ship “Britanic” is still around:

In 1976 the famous French explorer Cousteau discovered the wreck lying on her side at a depth of 110 meters and recovered a few small objects.

Considering the shallow water that the Britannic rests in and the length of time her position has been know it’s perhaps ironic that the wreck of the Britannic is safer from would-be salvagers than the Titanic. As a requisitioned ship in the service of Crown, the wreck to this day belongs to the British Government

Again, what is so noble about letting the artefacts from the RMS Titanic just dissolve into the sea? This stuff will be lost forever-why not salvage it and preserve it?
As for the “it’s a grave” thing, the bodies have long since been destroyed by sea creatures-not even skeletons remain. So, for whoever has the dough, go for it!

Rummaging about after Edwardian gegaws that would have no great value if they weren’t from the wreck strikes me as catering to ghoulishness. I frequent antique shops and estate sales. There are vast mountains of Edwardian crap out there that is basically identical to any of the personal goods that might be recovered from the wreck. Typically they aren’t bought and sold for much because the buyer doesn’t get the frisson of owning something that was part of a great tragedy.

Ditto the Lusitania. (Although the Royal Navy used her for target practice, and there are a number of unexploded depth charges down there. Not very safe)

I meant “ships extant in original condition and floating”. There are heaps of military ships preserved in harbours all over the world- but I’m not aware of any major ocean liners (except the Queen Mary) preserved in the same way.

Fair enough. I misunderstood what you were trying to say.

However, I can’t quite follow why all this interest in the Titanic. It is simply one of many liners from the period- the plans are still available, more is probably known about her than any ship of the period and there is no great mystery about how she went down. The gathering of artifacts seems no more than morbid curiosity.

It is different with (for instance) the Belfast where you can go and see how sailors lived and worked upon the vessel, or the Mary Rose, where not a lot was known of life on board at the time.

The Titanic floating and being able to be visited I can understand- the need to loot I cannot.

(And please don’t start me on those divers who place the obligatory plaque on a wreck to make it appear they are caring souls for a documentary audience. I need to keep my blood pressure under control this early :slight_smile: )

I think a lot of it comes from the US- there were a lot of prominent Americans on board the ship and it plays into that whole Class Structure thing that the Americans don’t get yet are still fascinated by :stuck_out_tongue:

To everyone else, the Titanic’s sinking was a tragedy, with two important lessons:

  1. More lifeboats. Enough for everyone! Then a couple of extra ones just to be on the safe side.

  2. Don’t describe your ship as “Unsinkable”. That’s just asking for trouble.

I, personally would not want to own personal effect items salvaged from the Titanic because, as you say, it’s morbid. But if people are going to salvage them, I’d rather the items went on display in museums instead of being treated as uber-expensive collectibles.

What about the guys who dive to more recent wrecks (like the Andrea Doria)? These guys spend huge sums and risk their lives to bring up some stupid china - that is something i really dont get.

2a) “G-d himself couldn’t sink this ship!” :rolleyes:

  1. Regular radio checks.

My understanding is that there’s about a 20-year statute of limitations for items that are lost beneath the sea. My only cite is a lecture I attended once, though, so take that as you will.

Indeed, but it should be noted that the Titanic, while thought to be very safe, was not really described as “unsinkable” in the press (without qualifications such as “nearly”) until after the disaster. No truly educated person believed that the Titanic absolutely could not sink. The idea was that it would just have been very hard to do.

Though I would also like to add:

-Don’t skimp on rivets. Highest quality steel only!

-Make sure everyone A) knows where all the emergency exits are, and B) knows that they CAN and SHOULD escape in an emergency. (Many third-class passengers died because they sat around waiting for instructions, as per their cultural beliefs. By the time instructions came, it was too late, or they never came at all.)

Are you going to make me find a cite for, “Lady, G-d himself couldn’t sink this ship!” ?

And the most important lesson: Slow down in bad weather, so that you might be better able to go AROUND the ice berg instead of AGAINST it.

Nah, I know about that quote. I know some steward said it, but I can’t remember if it was quoted in the press after the sinking or if it was some survivor’s account (in which case it should be taken with a grain of salt, since they tended to exaggerate a bit). I am of the belief (though I have no proof) that the steward said it to reassure a nervous passenger that the ship was safe, but didn’t himself believe that the ship was truly unsinkable. Point is, yeah, some early 20th century folks were certainly daft, but they weren’t THAT daft. :wink: