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Man Proposes Raising Titanic; Plans to Open Theme-park
One of the most infamous tragedies at sea, the sinking of the Titanic which took 1,517 lives, turns one-hundred this year. Since her sinking, the Titanic has inspired films, countless voyages to the bottom of the Atlantic, exhibits, and thousands of Titanic fans who maintain carefully catalogued websites dedicated to the sinking. All these however pale in contrast to what one man has in store for the much-loved queen of the deep.
“It’s really all about the science,” says businessman-turned-deep-sea-explorer-turned-scientist Norris Peck. “That and educating, making it easier to interact with the ship.”
With so much energy behind what Mr. Peck calls “Titanic-mania,” he decided to consolidate the excitement behind the drive to “explore” and “better understand” the wreck into what may be the greatest technological achievement of the century: raising the Titanic.
If successful in his ambitious plan, Mr. Peck has an even grander vision for the ship than her original constructors. He plans to painstakingly restore the Titanic to working condition using original materials where possible, while reconstructing elements lost during the sinking and those that have already been salvaged by previous expeditions. Of course, she would be refitted with modern concepts of ship-design to guard against accidents such as that which led to her original sinking.
After the restoration has been completed, Mr. Peck plans to put the Titanic to sea as a cruise-ship and theme-park, bearing the ship’s original name. One attraction titled “Musical Life Boats,” involves passengers seeking all available replica-lifeboats to a lively polka, before the timer runs out and the music stops. Another, entitled “Spot the Iceberg,” is a game specifically for children, where players line up on the deck after nightfall and attempt to spot icebergs. Of course, the refurbished Titanic will also have activities for singles, such as “The Life-Vest Exchange,” hosted by Jack and Rose impersonators as a tribute to the 1997 film (soon available in 3D).
The estimated long-term income from Titanic the cruise ship will likely be very lucrative, yet Mr. Peck claims to have ulterior motives:
“The current conditions at the site of the wreck make the remains of the ship ideal for studying rusting metal,” Mr. Peck explains. He claims that careful examination of the wreck at the surface has the potential for tremendous scientific discoveries, such as rust-proof paint for deep-sea submarines. These currently have to be repainted about every decade, but Mr. Peck claims he can use his new knowledge to develop a product “to last a century.”
Mr. Peck does have some hurdles to face before his dreams are realized. For one thing, many Titanic fans protest the planned installation of a pool and water-slide, commonplace on most modern cruise-lines, as it will be a change to the original design. Likewise, there is the dilemma of what to do with all the personal items of the victims of the sinking that currently scatter the wreck.
“The exhibitions really have it all,” says Dessa Crate, Mr. Peck’s secretary. “Really, how many times can you show the public the same set of plates?”
Mr. Peck and his business partners believe the public are not interested in trifles like shoes, clothing, and early 20th century prosthetics—they’ve seen it all before. Thus far, his plans are to throw the items back into the ocean as an act of respect. This will also be further homage to the last scenes of the 1997 film where Rose throws the diamond into the water.
If successful, the Titanic Cruise Ship will set the stage for several maritime-disaster-recovery endeavors organized by the Norris Peck foundation.
“Remember Pearl Harbor? Well you’ve never seen it like this!”
That’s Mr. Peck, commenting on “Arizona, the Broadway Musical,” which would use actual materials from the USS Arizona memorial. According to a rough draft of the work, the pounding on the hull of the ship by drowning sailors will be the drum beat to the grandiose finale, complete with the latest pyrotechnics and special effects. A 3D film rendition of the musical is also in development.
Though Mr. Peck’s current scheme is still in production, one thing is certain: the Titanic Cruise Ship will try its best to recreate the atmosphere as it was on Titanic’s maiden voyage: when it comes to the buffets, “Women and children first!”
April 9, 2012