Ships that sink can claim lives.
Sunken ships can claim lives.
When ‘500’ die after a fishing boat sinks’, ‘shipwreck’ becomes an inappropriate description.
The 75 foot fishing boat, Andriana, sank in 2023 with an estimated loss of 500 fleeing migrants. A very small boat when size mattered.
And five are feared lost (21/06/1023) in the twenty foot submersible while sightseeing to the wreck of the Titanic.
How do we handle the absurdity of such comparison today?
Unfortunately, reporting such losses is driven, to a large extent, by viewer and listener ‘ratings’ = advertising = profit! Is civilisation spiralling out of control to the murky world of total greed or is that ‘just the way it always was’?
During a salvage operation two hundred and forty years ago, June, 1783, two men died while diving down to the wreck, Comte de Belgioioso, in Dublin Bay, Charles Spalding and Ebeneezer Watson. The ship was lost in a storm and there were no survivors from approximately 150 on board. The ship was bound for China on a trading voyage.
Days between events, hanging on the silence from the sophisticated carbon-fibre submarine and its five occupants that journeyed the four kilometres down to the wreck of the Titanic, the world has forgotten Andriana and collectively holds its breadth while waiting to see if the Titanic will claim five more lives.
A submersible of advanced technology, equipped with a number automatic fail safe systems, and hopes of a rescue are still hanging by a thread. (Sadly there was an R.I.P. announcement, today, 22/06/1783.)
The two divers who were lost in their wooden diving bell in 1783 also had a quick release mechanism - a heavy weight that could be severed from inside the bell and dumped. This allowed their diving bell to rise unaided to the surface. The divers failed to cut it and the bell was brought back to the surface with the two deceased divers still sitting inside.
What is the point? Discovery, adventure, risk, fortune and bravery, is an adventurer’s lot and we live it and the media loves it.
And who will rush to the bottom of the sea to retrieve the bodies of 500 penniless but hopeful migrants whose boat was ignored after it was reported wallowing for hours in the open sea until it eventually sank?
Submersible tourism will undoubtedly be investigated and regulated as a result of Titanic struggles, but who will prevent another packed and dangerous migrant boat from sailing?
We make choices.