Relatives of Titanic victims urge people to stop visiting wreckage: 'Let the ship and its lost souls rest'

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By stefan armitage

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Relatives of victims of the infamous Titanic are calling for the "tourism" surrounding the liner's wreckage to end, following the "catastrophic implosion" of the OceanGate sub.

In an eerie mirror of history, the US Coast Guard confirmed on Thursday that the submersible - named Titan and operated by OceanGate - had imploded, and believed to have claimed the lives of the five passengers onboard.

Fears for the Titan grew shortly after its departure on Sunday, after it stopped sending signals back to its launch ship, the Polar Prince.

The ill-fated voyage was carrying the torchbearer of OceanGate, CEO Stockton Rush, the prosperous British billionaire Hamish Harding, and the renowned French dive specialist Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and the father-son pair of  Shahzada and Suleman Dawood.

While the world continues to ask questions regarding this maritime disaster, Julie Cook - a direct descendant of a Titanic victim -  is urging for a halt to such Titanic expeditions.

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The Titan's fate was revealed on Thursday. Credit: Ocean Gate/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

Her great-grandfather, stoker William Bessant, was one of the 1,500 people who died when the Titanic sank to the bottom of the freezing Atlantic back on April 15, 1912.

Now, in an article for the Daily Mail, Cook has shared her experiences as a descendant of a Titanic victim, and called for the tourism around the ill-fated passenger liner to come to an end.

Cook revealed that, two years ago, she was "approached to participate in a documentary chronicling OceanGate's Titanic exploration".

As part of the documentary, Cook claims that she was supposed to board the Titan submersible.

"My initial acceptance, driven by an opportunity to promote my book, was met with relief when the project fell through due to post-pandemic complications," Cook writes. "Now, as I hear about the Titan's disappearance, that relief is twinged with a sickening dread."

Cook says that she had "harbored fears about the sub's safety and potential claustrophobia in the confined space".

"However, the gravest concern that plagued me was the moral implications of exploring a grave site," she writes. "It was the final resting place of my great-grandfather and 1,500 others who perished in the tragedy."

She says that visiting the wreckage of the infamous ship felt "uncomfortably macabre", adding that, while researching for her book, she "delved into the harrowing accounts of families torn apart and young crew members who bravely faced their death".

Cook believes that these "harrowing" stories have been lost in "glamourized portrayals" of the Titanic in movies and pop culture.

"The reality of their plight has been distorted and trivialized, reduced to jokes, games, and tasteless events," she added.

Adding how the Titanic tragedy is continuing to destroy generations of families, Cook believes: "It is high time we halt the Titanic tourism and let the ship and its lost souls rest."

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Credit: Xavier DESMIER/Gamma-Rapho/Getty

Speaking to the Daily Mail, 40-year-old Helen Richardson has echoed Cook's words.

Richardson is the great-great granddaughter of Christopher Arthur Shulver, a fireman on the Titanic who miraculously survived its sinking.

"[The wreckage] should be left alone," Richardson says. "It is a site where all those poor people lost their lives, and a tragic site even for those who survived."

The Mail also reports how Anna Roberts  - the great-granddaughter of Titanic bedroom steward Percy Thomas Ward - has taken to a Facebook group for relatives of victims to call for an end to Titanic tourism.

"I deplore the fact Titanic has become a tourist attraction," Roberts wrote. "It is a graveyard and should be left in peace and respect."

Our thoughts continue to go out to everybody impacted by this tragedy.

Featured image credit: Bettmann / Getty

Relatives of Titanic victims urge people to stop visiting wreckage: 'Let the ship and its lost souls rest'

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Relatives of victims of the infamous Titanic are calling for the "tourism" surrounding the liner's wreckage to end, following the "catastrophic implosion" of the OceanGate sub.

In an eerie mirror of history, the US Coast Guard confirmed on Thursday that the submersible - named Titan and operated by OceanGate - had imploded, and believed to have claimed the lives of the five passengers onboard.

Fears for the Titan grew shortly after its departure on Sunday, after it stopped sending signals back to its launch ship, the Polar Prince.

The ill-fated voyage was carrying the torchbearer of OceanGate, CEO Stockton Rush, the prosperous British billionaire Hamish Harding, and the renowned French dive specialist Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and the father-son pair of  Shahzada and Suleman Dawood.

While the world continues to ask questions regarding this maritime disaster, Julie Cook - a direct descendant of a Titanic victim -  is urging for a halt to such Titanic expeditions.

size-full wp-image-1263217130
The Titan's fate was revealed on Thursday. Credit: Ocean Gate/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

Her great-grandfather, stoker William Bessant, was one of the 1,500 people who died when the Titanic sank to the bottom of the freezing Atlantic back on April 15, 1912.

Now, in an article for the Daily Mail, Cook has shared her experiences as a descendant of a Titanic victim, and called for the tourism around the ill-fated passenger liner to come to an end.

Cook revealed that, two years ago, she was "approached to participate in a documentary chronicling OceanGate's Titanic exploration".

As part of the documentary, Cook claims that she was supposed to board the Titan submersible.

"My initial acceptance, driven by an opportunity to promote my book, was met with relief when the project fell through due to post-pandemic complications," Cook writes. "Now, as I hear about the Titan's disappearance, that relief is twinged with a sickening dread."

Cook says that she had "harbored fears about the sub's safety and potential claustrophobia in the confined space".

"However, the gravest concern that plagued me was the moral implications of exploring a grave site," she writes. "It was the final resting place of my great-grandfather and 1,500 others who perished in the tragedy."

She says that visiting the wreckage of the infamous ship felt "uncomfortably macabre", adding that, while researching for her book, she "delved into the harrowing accounts of families torn apart and young crew members who bravely faced their death".

Cook believes that these "harrowing" stories have been lost in "glamourized portrayals" of the Titanic in movies and pop culture.

"The reality of their plight has been distorted and trivialized, reduced to jokes, games, and tasteless events," she added.

Adding how the Titanic tragedy is continuing to destroy generations of families, Cook believes: "It is high time we halt the Titanic tourism and let the ship and its lost souls rest."

size-full wp-image-1263217596
Credit: Xavier DESMIER/Gamma-Rapho/Getty

Speaking to the Daily Mail, 40-year-old Helen Richardson has echoed Cook's words.

Richardson is the great-great granddaughter of Christopher Arthur Shulver, a fireman on the Titanic who miraculously survived its sinking.

"[The wreckage] should be left alone," Richardson says. "It is a site where all those poor people lost their lives, and a tragic site even for those who survived."

The Mail also reports how Anna Roberts  - the great-granddaughter of Titanic bedroom steward Percy Thomas Ward - has taken to a Facebook group for relatives of victims to call for an end to Titanic tourism.

"I deplore the fact Titanic has become a tourist attraction," Roberts wrote. "It is a graveyard and should be left in peace and respect."

Our thoughts continue to go out to everybody impacted by this tragedy.

Featured image credit: Bettmann / Getty