The 109-year-old ocean liner, Titanic, is disappearing. The giant ship that was sunk by an iceberg has started succumbing to metal-eating bacteria. Now, holes have started pervading the wreckage, the crow’s nest has vanished and the railing of the iconic bow is about to collapse any time.
On Tuesday, OceanGate, a submarine major, began the first of many weeklong missions to take guests to the wreck as one of the famous ships decays into the sea.
The ocean liner once thought to be unsinkable is now being consumed by metal-eating bacteria, causing deterioration. The expedition is part of a long campaign from OceanGate to supervise the deterioration.
The company said that this longitudinal survey for collecting videos, laser, images, and sonar data is going to allow assessment of the rate of decay as well as the documentation of the entire process.
In 1912, on a passage from England to America, the Titanic had hit an iceberg off the Newfoundland coast that made it sink. The ship did not have sufficient lifeboats or an evacuation plan as owners and designers believed that they were unnecessary. The sinking had brought about 1,496 deaths.
A 2019 diving expedition, the first in 14 years, had discovered the ship’s remarkable decay. The captain’s bathtub has completely vanished, as has the deckhouse.
Starting from this week, OceanGate will be bringing Titanic enthusiasts to see the wreck while monitoring its decay.
The company had nine positions to fill for “Mission Specialist” before the expedition began. These positions had been open to most of the public, particularly those who are 18 years or older and capable of surviving a week at the sea. The specialists also needed to be able to easily fit into small submersibles. The OceanGate had been in charge of training the specialists.
On Tuesday, the 29-person crew embarked on the 40-hour long maritime journey from Newfoundland to the wreck site. They brought along with them a five-member submarine, OceanGate’s Titan, to aid in this expedition.
The company has said that it has deployed technology for deep-sea exploration, which has evolved since the last remotely operated vehicles had visited the wreck. The Titan is empowered with the most updated version of laser, sonar, and 4K camera to document the shipwreck at the highest resolution possible to date.
Content specialists and mission experts will use technologies to collect images and data that will then be transformed into a virtual 3D model of the wreck site.
The submersible occupants can access an air supply that lasts up to 72 hours.