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  Opinion   Edit  23 Jun 2023  AA Edit | Adventure often ends in tragedy

AA Edit | Adventure often ends in tragedy

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jun 24, 2023, 12:00 am IST
Updated : Jun 24, 2023, 12:00 am IST

Their action represents not so much fatalism as symbolism of undying human spirit even in the face of grave danger

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. (Photo: AP)
 This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. (Photo: AP)

There is a scene in Titanic when the orchestra in the grand dining hall on the main deck stops momentarily as seawater invades. The musicians, knowing the fate awaiting them, decide to play on to provide heroic yet tragic moments. Their action represents not so much fatalism as symbolism of undying human spirit even in the face of grave danger.

The passengers of the fatalistically named submersible Titan, whose spirit of adventure related to the historical wreck of the Titanic in 1912, were extremely unfortunate in meeting their death in the implosion of their vehicle that may have caved in to the unimaginable pressure existing some 3,500 metres below the sea. But, just as a single swallow does not a summer make, a solitary mishap is not going to rub out the sense of adventure in human beings.

The US Coast Guard, in possession of the knowledge of an implosion under the sea near the wreck of the Titanic, may have maintained a virtually sadistic silence as a search operation went on for about four days in trying to locate an object that was in a situation even worse than that of a needle in a haystack. The optimism of somehow finding the submersible and extracting the adventurers in one piece died a sudden death only with the announcement of the tragic accident.

Post-mortems will go on and the mishap will be analysed as to why and how it took place. But the adventurers were aware of the risks and of the video game toy-like controls to guide the submersible, leading to their finding ‘Davy Jones Locker’. Some bristled at the thought of undertaking such risk and cancelled. Others like the son of the Pakistani billionaire went despite dreading the unusual journey.

James Cameron, the man who directed the runaway Hollywood hit of 1997 that nestles among the top grossing films of box office history, had undertaken 33 dives to the Titanic wreck and he had expressed genuine doubts about the capabilities of Titan to tackle the journey to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. His tribute in celluloid may have contributed to further fuelling this insatiable interest in the fate of the Titanic, the “ship that cannot sink” when it set sail 111 years ago. But the spirit of adventure, which a story of death and destruction thus engendered, will not die.

Tags: james cameron, titanic, us coast guard