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TITANIC II – HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

Titanic buque

I suppose that when you have the possibility of having everything, you begin to desire things that are not within your reach. This would even be something very normal and frequent in human behavior.

Recreate something completely original in its last state in some cases it could be considered a challenge too hazardous, as in the case of recreating a Jurassic Park, for example. In addition to being difficult to perform, it seems that it would be unwise, at least for what they tell us in the movies.

Of course, in this hypothetical case it could be justified in some way by science and by the fact that the right to life itself is worth. A value apparently common because of its innate but extraordinary nature that is the survival instinct.

Anyway, the fact of wanting to recreate something from the past in addition to having its fashion as is natural, can have many motivations. A very valid one is to commemorate a memory, to honor a sacrifice, to highlight a value, even the same value that has the life of a single person is something noble that deserves all our respect and attention.

commemoration titanic memory

But the interesting thing here is to go further and try to interpret the true motivations for which sometimes people put more interest in commemorating some events, which curiously tend to be events with dramatic endings.

This is the case of the Titanic, its dramatic history we all know. The largest ship in the world at that time, a British transatlantic of 46,328 gross tons, 269.06 meters long, 10.54 meters deep and 9 decks. Sunken during its inaugural trip, four days after leaving the port of Southampton towards New York.

titanic  ship

Shortly before 10:30 pm Captain Edward John Smith ordered to reinforce the guard. An exceedingly serene sea like that of that night was not to be underestimated. The waves absence make difficult to sighting drifting icebergs, the waves breaking against the base thereof betraying their presence and helped identify them better and more quickly, but this night did not.

That night was very cold, the temperature dropped quickly as approaching the cost as Newfoundland. On the other hand, the warnings for ice and iceberg in that area were frequent and common, so the captain ordered to turn to the south west to overcome as soon as possible that sector of risk.

Shortly before 23:40 on the night of April 14, 1912, the watchman Frederick Fleet sighted a projected area of ​​shadow, which rose imposing and contrasted with the starry sky of that quiet night. An iceberg advanced undaunted towards the Titanic. Quickly Fleet rang the bell three times, alerting the command bridge.

tiitanic bell 1912

Despite the maneuvers to avoid the impending collision, a few moments later the Titanic inevitably collided with the iceberg, sideways on the starboard side. The rubbing caused damage to the ship’s hull 5 m below the waterline. The consequent tearing of the steel plates caused breaks of only 5 cm in width, but sufficient to quickly flood 5 compartments of the lower deck.

iceberg titanic  ship

At 00:05, the captain gave orders to prepare the lifeboats and ten minutes later the radio operators began to send the first distress calls.

After receiving the SOS, the Carpathia despite the risk of encountering other icebergs, he changed course quickly and headed full speed towards the position where the Titanic was sinking.

A few hours later, at 2:20 on April 15, the Titanic split in two and sank under the dark waters of the Canaanite sea, about 600 km south of the Newfoundland coast, taking with it hundreds of people that were still on board.

icberg titanic

The majority that remained floating on the surface of the sea died of hypothermia. Only 709 survivors of the 2211 people who formed the total between crew and passengers, were rescued. The Carpathia was the first ship to arrive hours after around 4 in the morning.

The HMHS Britannic, also heard the distress call from her sister ship, but was too distant to help in the rescue.

It is impressive, we have read, heard and seen the story dozens of times and yet every time we feel it again it continues to make us emotional and sensitive. Unfortunately, it is not the only tragedy of this kind. The depths of the sea hide many stories of shipwrecks.

Without going any further, the same White Star Line, the British shipping company to which the Titanic belonged, was always marked by bad luck.

In 1873 the RMS Atlantic was wrecked near the coast of Halifax, killing 545 people. In 1893, another ship, the SS Naronic disappeared with on board 74 people, after leaving Liverpool for New York.

Already in 1909, another ship of the same company the RMS Republic sank after colliding with another ship, Florida. A few years later, in September 1911RMS Olympic, the twin brother of the Titanic whose hull was painted white to distinguish it from the Titanic, whose hull was black, had a collision with the battleship HMS Hawke.

And how could it be otherwise, also the other brother of the Titanicthe HMHS Britannic, the third-class ship Olympic of the White Star Line, during a trip near the Greek island of Kea, sank because of a mine. But at least it had years and not days of service, specifically 24.

Although it seems obvious that bad luck was chasing the White Star Line, it cannot be said that the accidents suffered by this company have been higher than average or more serious. Because you should consider the large volume of ships with which they worked, the limited security measures that were available in those times and the circumstances of the time. At the end, was a probable balance.

titanic ocean

But what interests us now is the magnitude that has been given to the original Titanic and the relevance of its link to the new Titanic II.

The project was announced by Clive Palmer in April 2012, founder of the second Blue Star Line cruise company, coinciding with the month in which the Titanic of Southampton sailed.

The construction was commissioned to a major shipbuilding company of the government of China, the Jinling CSC. The project intended and still intends to make an exact replica of the original RMS Titanic.

In 2013 Blue Star Line announced the beginning of construction work and its completion initially planned for 2016. Later it was delayed for 2014. In 2015, construction work had not yet started, but it was announced that it would be completed in 2018 and that its inaugural trip would be from China to Dubai.

After years of hiatus on September 27, 2018, the Blue Star Line, through a press release, announced the resumption of construction work.

On November 9, 2018 through a press release the Blue Star Line announced that the Tillberg Design of Sweden will resume work on the Titanic II.

The Tillberg Design of Sweden is a world leader in marine architecture and interior design. It was founded in 1956 in Sweden. In their long history and experience they has designed and planned interiors for more than 200 boats. Among which the famous classic ocean liners Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Mary II, The Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection and many other well-known.

It is thought that construction work cannot be completed before 2022.

Apart from the obstacles of management and financing evident in recent years, the project of the Titanic II seems to go ahead against all odds. The important thing is that it comes to a successful conclusion and that it satisfies the expectations of the interested people.

Precisely this idea is the most intriguing. Why can the idea of ​​traveling in the exact replica of the Titanic be so interesting?

Keep in mind that the Titanic II aims to circumnavigate the world, fascinating its passage through the most emblematic ports on the planet. But it will also trace the original route of its predecessor, sailing from Southampton to New York. Passing through the coastal area of ​​Newfoundland, maybe even because of the exact location of the incident.

We imagine ourselves, inside the most luxurious Transatlantic Titanic II. No longer an imposing ship, because of its greatness in size, because in these times we are used to seeing large ships. But it’s for the majesty of its memory that imposes almost a reverence.

The door of one of the three first-class elevators slowly opens in front of us. To our back we have left the luxurious main entrance decorated with exquisite French Baroque inspiration.

As it opens, its image persists in our mind, how forgetting it! Its majestic imperial staircase presides over the first-class zone. Wood crafting, its double curve insinuates towards the top majestically. Meanwhile, we passed our hands lightly on the railing lavishly decorated in gold.

From the top, an exceptional glow floods the room with brightness. Right above us, an impressive glass dome stands between the midday sun and us. The revolving door at the entrance continues to turn as the passengers pass by, its golden intermittent flashes attract the attention of your eyes …

It is only the beginning of a trip, in principle it would not have anything strange, but the fact that it is the same one that hundreds of people started more than a century ago and who died before reaching their destination.

titanic ship night

Why did a person want to “literally” relive a tragic event that happened years ago?

The expectations that the Titanic II will be filled or not at its opening can be diverse, and there is no doubt that many will be surprised by the massive response.

And it is clear that an important sector of the population likes strong emotions. It’s like when we go to see a horror movie, even though it scares us, knowing that we are safe, we like it. We are that way.

The funny thing is that in principle sensations associated with fear are not usually together with those of pleasure, but rather, quite the contrary. Fear is a sense of anguish provoked as a physiological response that appears when there is a perception of real or imaginary danger.

It is a primary emotion that all animals and humans have, which derives from natural innate aversion to the risk or threat of our life. That is why we always try to avoid certain situations that may represent danger or threat.

However, in a safe context we are willing to feel those emotions of controlled fear. Why?

There are many theories about why we are attracted to characters or dramatic situations. Obviously, there is a natural explanation: instinctively we are prepared to identify situations of danger or threat that would put us on alert for an eventual flight.

Knowing and having our own or others’ situations in our memory is a way to prepare ourselves better and therefore a useful training for our survival.

What is not very clear is why the exposure of the suffering of others can be likeable. It is to say a little strange. However, it is a reality even if it is contrary to our nature and it seems that it can have a scientific explanation.

Without entering into too morbid considerations. The taste for dramatic situations may originated in the need that we have us people to feel strong emotions.

titanic ship sea

There are no stronger emotions than those that threaten our lives. The sense of survival is the most important and strongest instinct that any living being has. And therefore, it is evident that it causes the greatest degree of emotional arousal.

Studies in the psychological field have shown that the activation of emotions are often not correctly attributed to the real events that provoke them.

In other words, we usually believe that the emotions we feel at a certain moment are caused by a specific event of the present and not by a past and sometimes constant situation that has activated our emotions gradually.

It is the typical example of the drop that fills the glass. We blame our anger or accentuated emotion on a present event, the last. Instead our emotion has already been charged before by one or more events. That little by little over time have accumulated.

We usually mistakenly attribute the previous emotion only to the current one.

It is what is called the transfer of emotions. Transferring the excitement of a past emotion intensifies the emotional reaction of the present.

The degree of intensity depends on the magnitude of the existing waste. The more emotional memories, the more intense the emotion will be in the present. Hence, the more information we collect from a past event, the more details and more importance is given to that fact, the greater the intensity of emotions that we may have when we remember it.

The reaction to one stimulus can intensify the reaction to another. Even one already past and different, ours or someone else’s. The degree of activation we “drag”, from one context to another. From the past to the present. That is why we can get excited remembering past events whether they are ours or if they have been lived by other people.

Of course, all the above still does not explain the delight we feel in remembering dramatic events. It seems that a scientific explanation exists: the inconstancy of emotional activation.

As we all know, a certain emotional instability is evident in the human being, either by the complexity of our natural and normal cognitive systems, or by specific psychological disturbances.

But this inconstancy is rather a tendency to interference, to the inertia we have in the rapid change of our emotions. It is what causes a sensation of fear to mutate into relief or that the anguish of a situation transforms into tranquility and even pleasure. With only a change in the expectation or in the situation we can quickly change our emotions in a contrary and definitive way.

This would give a logical and understandable explanation of the fact that there are people who enjoy dramatic events that have happened in the past.

The fact of reliving a dramatic situation in security would offer them a unique and extraordinary intensity of emotions, but dragged as we have said to a positive emotion of enjoyment, which would increase the emotion dramatically.

The more emotional burden, although dramatic, has been placed on the memories of a past event, the greater will be the emotional intensity that it will cause when reviving them in the present. With greater reason, if doing so is done with a positive change, in this case that of full security of survival, the fear that in the past caused the event becomes delight in the present.

It’s like when we see a horror movie in the cinema, strong emotions that if they were real we would not like them because they threaten our life, right? but in the security of fiction, we transform them into pleasure. Because we have eliminated the threat to our survival.

Once we have put light on this ambiguity that we did not understand, there is another one even more amazing.

Being intelligent people as we say that we are humans, how can we not understand the importance of overcoming ourselves in these, our psychological limitations and putting our pleasurable fictitious emotions before the value of the real emotions suffered by other people in the past?

titanic ship

One thing is emotional empathy and human solidarity in front of tragic situations, the natural curiosity of wanting to know current or past events, to increase our knowledge and our collective experience; and another is strumentalization of human emotions for commercial purposes.

Where is the limit between a dignified respectful commemoration and the sensationalism and greed of the expectation of the family and the success of a similar event, such as the possibility of reliving the dramatic night of the Titanic?

Titanic At Belfast Memorial Hall
Titanic Memorial At Belfast City Hall

The same history of the Titanic is full of contradictory acts between heroic actions like that of Captain Edward John Smith until improper looting of the sunken wreck of the ship.

As in everything, it is up to each one of us to give a respectful and empathetic treatment or simply to let ourselves be led by our ambiguous side to our more intense but less human emotions.