Last chance: Join a trip aboard a submersible to the Titanic wreckage and debris field

January 2, 2018

Are you adventurous? You may want to consider the opportunity to visit the most famous shipwreck ever—the RMS Titanic, which sank  on its maiden voyage in the wee hours of April 14, 1912—if you have the funds ($105,129) and the fortitude to sign up with OceanGate Expeditions for one of six, weeklong tours next summer.

After all of these years, deep-sea bacteria have begun to consume the Titanic. Ocean Gate is offering tickets to visit the stately ship one last time and to help measure its deterioration.

Those who sign up will be among a select few who ever have visited the site: Fewer than 200 people have seen the wreck in person—representing just a fraction of the number who have flown in space or climbed Mt. Everest.

Each weeklong mission will start with a helicopter ride to the support ship, Island Pride, located about 380 nautical miles south of Newfoundland off the coast of Canada. Aboard the support vessel, accommodations and meals will be provided.

After comprehensive orientation sessions to learn how to assist the crew planning the dive, four days are allotted for the dives (subject to weather conditions) aboard the appropriately-named Titan submersible.

The submersible will take a pilot and four passengers down about 12,800 feet under the surface of the icy ocean to the site of the ship’s wreckage and the debris field. Average dive time will be six to eight hours. Dive time may vary, depending on specific mission objections; and environmental, logistical, or personnel considerations.

“Citizen explorers” will need to qualify for participation before being accepted to the program. According to the Titanic Survey Expedition website, those who sign on for the trip must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age when the mission begins,
  • Have a valid passport,
  • Be able to live aboard a dive support ship at sea for up to one week,
  • Be able to board small boats (Zodiacs) in rough seas;
  • Be comfortable in dynamic environments where plans and timetables may change,
  • Be able to demonstrate basic balance and flexibility (e.g., climb a six-foot ladder, carry 20 pounds), and
  • Be able to complete the required one-day Helicopter Underwater Egress Training

Helicopter Underwater Egress Training is a one-day (8-hour) course that provides an understanding of the hazards of helicopter over-water transportation. Whether landing on the helideck of a ship or offshore platform,  this course will provide participants with knowledge of personal and helicopter safety and survival equipment;  and introduce them to emergency response procedures designed to prepare for water impact with a subsequent abandonment on the surface or egress underwater. This training includes a classroom session of about  two hours, and practical training of about two hours in a pool environment where students will don a survival suit and practice egress from a simulator in multiple landing scenarios.

If you are interested, don’t lose any time: The first four missions already are booked, with only a few spots left available in the final two expeditions.

Research contact: @OceanGateExped

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