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Titanic rescue plan abandoned after Titan implosion that killed mission leader | The Titanic

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The company that owns the salvage rights to the Titanic wreck has canceled plans to recover more artifacts from the site because the leader of the next expedition died in the implosion of the Titanic submersible, according to documents filed this week in a U.S. District Court.

The move could affect a looming legal battle between the company and the U.S. government, which is trying to stop the 2024 mission. U.S. lawyers said the company’s initial plans to penetrate the ship’s hull would violate a law federal government which considers the wreck as a burial site.

Frenchman Paul-Henri Nargeolet was director of underwater research at RMS Titanic Inc (RMST), the Georgia-based company that recovers and displays Titanic artifacts. Nargeolet was lending his expertise to a separate company, OceanGate, when he and four others died during the Titan’s final dive near the Titanic in the North Atlantic in June.

Before the Titan’s tragic dive, RMST planned to take images inside and outside the wreck. The company also wanted to recover items from the debris field as well as free-standing objects from the sunken liner.

Nargeolet was supposed to be in charge. The former French naval officer had already carried out 37 dives and oversaw the recovery of around 5,000 items from the Titanic. RMST’s exhibits featured items ranging from silverware to a piece of the ship’s hull.

The company’s initial expedition plan for 2024 also included the possibility of retrieving items from the ship’s famous Marconi Room. It was there that the Titanic’s radio transmitter broadcast increasingly frantic distress signals after the liner hit an iceberg.

The Morse code messages were picked up by other ships and receiving stations on land, helping to save the lives of around 700 people who managed to escape in lifeboats. There were 2,208 passengers and crew on the Titanic’s doomed maiden voyage in 1912, from Southampton, England, to New York.

The company said in its court filing Wednesday that its plans now include only imaging of the wreck site and surveys to refine “future artifact recovery.”

“Out of respect for PH Nargeolet and his family, as well as the four other people who so recently perished at the site, and their families, the company has decided that recovery of the artifacts would not be appropriate at this time,” the company wrote.

RMST also said it would not send another crewed submersible to the Titanic until “further investigation is conducted into the cause of the (OceanGate) tragedy.” The US Coast Guard is investigating the Titan’s implosion.

The lawsuit hinges on federal law and an agreement between the United States and Britain to treat the Titanic wreck as a memorial to the more than 1,500 people who died.

In August, the United States argued in court that entry into the Titanic’s shattered hull — or the physical alteration or disturbance of the wreck — was regulated by law and by the agreement with the Great Britain. -Brittany. Among the government’s concerns was the possible disruption of artifacts and any human remains that may still exist.

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theguardian

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