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)

Northern Province CM accuses Lankan Govt. of ‘lacking will’ to help Tamilian minority May 30, 3:49 pm
Colombo, May 30 (ANI): The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, has accused the country’s central government of being unwilling to help the Tamilian minority.
Full Story
Weighty ‘love locks’ on Paris bridge consigned to history May 30, 3:49 pm
London, May 30 (ANI): News for all the lovers around the world who have put a “love lock” on the famous Paris bride! City officials have decided to remove the padlocks starting Monday.
Full Story
Pacific expedition to look for Amelia Earhart's missing plane May 30, 2:11 pm
Washington, May 30 (ANI): In a new Pacific expedition, researchers from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) will look for Amelia Earhart's missing plane.
Full Story
IS militants take over al-Ghardabiya airport in Libya's Sirte May 30, 1:45 pm
London, May 30 (ANI): Islamic State (IS) militants have claimed that they have taken over the al Ghardabiya airport in the Libyan city of Sirte.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY