Titanic explorer to deploy deep water robots to save "decaying" wreck

   Apr 9, 4:14 pm

London, Apr 9 (ANI): The ocean explorer who led the team that discovered the remains of the Titanic is afraid that the shipwreck is disintegrating and is seeking to dispatch deep-water robots to the ocean floor to conserve it.

Maritime officials and experts have warned the vessel, which hit an iceberg in April 1912, is rusting away at the bottom of the ocean.

The US Coast Guard recently wrote to the International Maritime Organisation asking for a ban on ships dropping rubbish or releasing sewage within 10 nautical miles of the site.

Robert Ballard, a professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, said last week that he will apply for a permit from US authorities to conduct an ambitious operation nearly 2 1/2 miles beneath the surface.

He has seen significant decay in the wreck that he found in 1985 as bacteria colonies, possibly fed by human waste and rubbish, have eaten away at the steel hull.

Small submarines carrying high-paying tourists are also accused of accelerating the damage by landing on the wreck - a claim strongly denied by expedition operators.

Under water robots that would clean the ship's hull and coat it with protective anti-fouling paint have already been used to treat the hulls of oil tankers.

"When I first came to the ship in 1985, I saw original anti-fouling paint on the bottom and no corrosion there," the Telegraph quoted Ballard as telling the National Geographic News.

"It works, but obviously they didn't think they'd need to paint the whole ship with anti-fouling paint," he said.

He added the technique was needed "so the hull doesn't splay open and expose the highly preserved interior with its precious contents".

Ballard also proposes robot be used as "sentries" to monitor the visits by tourist submersibles that he is convinced have damaged the wreck. The Titanic is "being killed by love", he said last week.

Describing the wreck as "under siege" by natural forces, careless visitors and rogue salvage operators, he outlines his fears that it will not survive another 100 years in 'Save the Titanic', a documentary to be broadcast on the National Geographic cable channel this week. (ANI)

Downtown Abbey sends 'stiff collar' sales soaring Oct 31, 3:50 pm
London, Oct 31 (ANI): The world's last remaining starched collar laundry has been now doing a booming trade in a British seaside town thanks to period TV dramas such as Downton Abbey.
Full Story
Bangladesh shuts down for 24-hours protesting death sentence of Islamist leader Oct 31, 2:19 pm
Dhaka, Oct. 31 (ANI): Dhaka observed a 24-hour general strike on Thursday protesting the death sentence awarded to the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami party chief, Motiur Rahman Nizami, by the Bangladesh war crimes tribunal, as supporters of Jamaat said the government had used the tribunal to weaken its political opponents.
Full Story
Mourning son sees 'Jesus' image on tree post visit to dad's grave Oct 31, 1:26 pm
London, Oct 31 (ANI): A stunned mourner has admitted to seeing the likeness of Christ on a silver maple in his front yard, after visiting his father's grave.
Full Story
Israel to reopen key holy site in Jerusalem post Palestinian outrage Oct 31, 1:26 pm
London, Oct 31 (ANI): Israel has reportedly said that it will reopen an important holy site in Jerusalem on Friday, a day after it was closed due to unrest in the city.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY