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To Titanic by Titan

Columns 2023-10-03, 2:28pm


Tanzila Rahman

Tanzila Rahman and Prof. M Zahidul Haque

Whenever we talk about the epic movie-TITANIC’, the romantic story of Rose and Jack flashes across our minds which was played be Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCpario respectively in James Cameron’s famous movie, the biggest hit of all time –the Titanic. Although the story of the film is not based on real people in the ill-fated ship Titanic but it portrayed the heart-touching events of the tragic accident the British passenger liner RMS Titanic met as it collided with an ice-berg on April 14, 1912 and sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912 killing more than 1500 passengers who were unable to escape due to a shortage of lifeboats in the ship. More than 61 children had also died in the tragic incident.

Prof. M Zahidul Haque

Titanic had started its maiden voyage from Southampton, England on April 10, 1912 with stops scheduled in Cherbourg, France, and Queens town, Ireland and finally to reach to New York city, USA. None could even imagine that the ultimate fate of Titanic would be a watery-grave because it was then the lone sea-liner equipped with modern safety instruments and wireless communication systems. Titanic was one of the largest and most luxurious ships of its time having a swimming pool, gymnasium, several opulent dining areas, etc.

After it’s sinking in the ocean, Titanic wreck remained undiscovered for over 70 years until it was located in 1985. The wreckage of the Titanic are scattered in the seabed approximately 12500 feet (3,800 meters) below the sea surface of the North Atlantic Ocean. The tragic story of Titanic has attracted public imagination and become the subject of story of several books, films, documentaries, etc. In 2023, the Titanic celebrated its 25 th anniversary. Marking this occasion, the movie Titanic has been re-released with 3D 4K HDR presentation with Dolby Atmos sound plus a higher frame rate.

Meanwhile, men’s inquisitiveness to discover hidden things prompted them to explore the fact and figures of the sink ship Titanic. But it was much difficult to reach the depth on the seabed where Titanic is resting. Here starts the journey to Titanic by Titan. The submersible TITAN was created and operated by a company named ‘OceanGate’. Made of titanium and carbon fiber composite materials, Titan was capable of going to a maximum depth of 13000 feet (4000 meter) below the sea surface. Titan was actually a research and survey submersible capable of carrying five people—normally a pilot and four ‘mission specialists’ non-specialist passengers who can afford the experience as a tourist.

Tickets cost $250,000 per person for an eight-day trip including dives to the wreck of Titanic at a depth of 3,800 m. Titan could dive with a four-day emergency supply of oxygen.

The ill-fated submersible Titan started its journey to the Titanic wreckage site under the ocean on 18 June 2023 with five people on board:- Paul-Henry Nargeolet, 73 Stockton Rush, 61 Hamish Harding, 58 Shahzada Dawood, 48 Sulaiman Dawood, 19. As ill luck would have it, the 21-feet sealed craft Titan lost control with its operator ‘Ocean Gate Expeditions’ after about an hour and 45 minutes. The craft had only 70 hours oxygen left. An extensive multi-national search for the missing Titan was commissioned. Finally, Robot Victor-6000’ succeeded in finding out the Titan submersible at the bottom of the

Atlantic not far from the Titanic wreckage. It was perhaps due to the colossal deep-sea water pressure that crushed the Titan’s carbon-fiber hull. 

Passengers of Titanic never thought that they would become a history under the sea while Titan passengers could never anticipate that their under sea voyage would witness a tragic end!

It is felt that the remains of the Titanic should be lifted before it is fully decayed by the salt water and be placed in an open-air museum in England with a view to fulfilling the inquisitiveness of the people.

(Tanzila Rahman (BCS-Agri) is Upazila Agriculture Officer, Ramu, Cox’s Bazar and Prof. M Zahidul Haque retired as Professor and was also a former Dean of Faculty of Agriculture at Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka.)