Explorers are planning to return to the wreckage of the “unsinkable” Titanic for the first time in more than a decade, and you can accompany them—for a price.
It has been 105 years since the Titanic’s tragic maiden voyage struck an iceberg and sank, killing more than 1,500 people. The wreckage remained hidden from scientists for over 70 years, and now a new generation of explorers, such as Stockton Rush, are planning to revisit it before it disappears.
“More people have been to space than have been to see the Titanic,” said Rush, founder OceanGate, a private submersible company.
Since 1985, when the wreckage of the Titanic wreck was discovered, fewer than 200 people have seen it. Rush intends to change than starting in May 2018 when his company will begin hosting a series of annual expeditions to the Titanic, a UNESCO Underwater Heritage site.
Passengers will make the voyage in a five-person submersible, called the Cyclops 2, that is currently being constructed at a factory in New Jersey. Capable of diving 13,000 feet, it will be one of only five existing submersibles that could reach the Titanic—and the only submersible that is privately owned.
Rush notes, “I’ve heard some researchers say that the Titanic will melt away and be gone in the next 20 years,” so he hopes to generate a 3-D model of the wreck before there is nothing left.
“To make the most of the expeditions, OceanGate will take researchers and explorers down to the wreck for a fee — but seats don’t come cheap.
“They’re going to pay $105,129,” Rush said, the “inflation-adjusted price of a first class ticket on the Titanic in 1912.”
OceanGate offered 54 seats for its 2018 expeditions and all have been sold, including one to Renata Rojas, a banker and would-be explorer.
“Ever since I’ve had a job, I have been saving to go to Titanic,” Rojas said.
When asked how she would react upon seeing the wreckage, she said, “I’ll probably cry the entire time. I get emotional.”
Rojas has no fear of being submerged more than two miles below the ocean’s surface. Rush asserts that she should be confident in her safety.
“By the time we’re done testing it, I believe it’s pretty much invulnerable,” Rush said.
Rush was reminded that people said the same about the Titanic. He replied, “That’s right. But I will go on all the first dives and probably every third dive. So I’ll put my money where my mouth is.”
H/T: CBS News
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