1. The Tilted Ship
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Mercy Ships Blog Doubling the Impact, Nov, 25 How you can help change lives this Giving Tuesday The hustle and bustle of the holiday season — the stress of decorating a home, creating a fancy meal, or rushing to find the perfect gift — often clouds the real reason we come together during this time of year. And once … Continued read more Nov AmazonSmile partners with Mercy Ships to help people in need. The ship was completely deserted, the boarding party found. Of the 10 people known to have sailed aboard the Mary Celeste, none were ever found.
A lifeboat was missing, but the ship's log gave no indication as to why the Mary Celeste was abandoned. The boarding party found that there had been some flooding, with at least one pump out of order. The ship was carrying over 1, barrels of alcohol, a few of which had spilled open. There was little damage, and the flooding posed little problem. A crew from Dei Gratia pumped out the water and sailed the Mary Celeste to Gibraltar where the British authorities began an investigation into what happened.
They were unable to come up with a definitive answer, and the case of the Mary Celeste has remained unsolved ever since.
Different ideas have been put forward. A few barrels of alcohol had spilled open, which might have made the crew afraid that their hold was going to explode. This could have prompted their captain, Benjamin Briggs, to order them to abandon ship. It's also been proposed that Briggs thought the flooding was worse than it actually was.
With at least one pump not working, he may have given the order to abandon ship.
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Given the Britannic's design improvements, why it sank remains a mystery. It is understood that the German mine it hit caused much more significant damage than the "pokes and stabs" the iceberg inflicted on the Titanic. The admiralty's official report of the sinking says: "There seems to have been a period of one to two minutes from the time of the explosion until the water in the stokeholds was too deep for work to be performed.
All those watertight doors down below were open because they were changing watch at eight o'clock in the morning. Those doors should have been closed," says Mills. In his own report of the incident, Captain Charles Bartlett says orders were "rung below to close watertight doors". This should have prevented the cross flooding of the holds.
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Even if electrical switches failed, the doors had manual levers. Failing that, a float mechanism should have triggered them. Captain Bartlett reports that after the explosion, the ship started "trembling and vibrating most violently fore and aft, continuing for some time".
The idea of an underwater museum was mooted as early as , but was only legislated in More than 1, wrecks have been mapped in the Greek seas and some are already designated museums, but Kea dreams of becoming a global underwater World War I museum with three wrecks. The Burdigala, a French steamer that sank while serving as a troop carrier just a week before the Britannic, lies at a depth of 75m. It was discovered eight years ago," says diver Yiannis Tzevelekos. You can see the telegraph, Marconi, ship's bell and chandeliers all in place … It's also upright, as though a human hand has placed it in a sailing position.
Between the Burdigala and the Britannic, at just 35 metres, lies the Patris, a Greek storm-sunk steamer with one of its paddle wheels still in place. All are to become part of Kea's network of underwater galleries. If a place can show that it has a different profile, then it can claim a piece of the market," says Mayor Yiannis Evangeliou, who has spent four decades in the tourism industry. He plans to go further, and create a marine wildlife park for less experienced divers.
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Technical divers who have braved its metre depth to see the Britannic's hulk stretching almost a third of a kilometre in the gloom, speak of it with awe. Jacques Cousteau, the first to visit the ship in , allegedly said that "diving across the Britannic is like being a flea on the back of an elephant". Where else can you effectively dive down to the Titanic? It is a dark, barren, lifeless ship," says Kohler. The Britannic had its own tragedy.
As it evacuated a thousand crew members, Captain Bartlett tried to beach it on Kea. The ship had already begun to list to starboard, and the port propeller hung half out of the water as it roared to life. Thirty people were killed and 30 or 40 were very seriously injured," says Mills.
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