Titanic submarine missing: MP for East Belfast where Titanic was built says plight of those missing is 'harrowing reminder' of original tragedy
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East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson was speaking as searches continued for the Titan and the plight of its five passengers, near the wreck of the Titanic, which sank on 15 April 1912.
“The plight of the five souls onboard the Titan sub has not only captured attention internationally, it serves as a harrowing reminder, in real time, of the enormous tragedy Titanic was 111 years ago," the MP told the News Letter.
"The magnitude of the loss then is still honoured in Belfast, each year, on 15 April and for those generationally impacted, the unfathomable connection will reverberate most acutely."
He added: "The insatiable interest in Titanic often fails to respect that it remains a maritime tomb for over 1,500 souls. Though human interest and the quest to explore will never wane, there is an uncomfortable conflict between respectfully honouring the site and extreme tourism. Over the years, issues around recovering artefacts have gone far beyond efforts that assist historical understanding.
"I am praying beyond expectation that the fate of those aboard the Titan will end positively, perhaps the time has now come to let the site of RMS Titanic be at peace, respectfully honouring all those lost at sea.”
Dubbed unsinkable, the Titanic was built in Harland and Wolff in east Belfast, and was then one of the most luxurious ever to have set sail.
On 31 March 1911 construction of the 900 feet-long Titanic was finished, and days later, on 2 April, it set sail from Belfast for Southampton. This was watched by ten of thousands of spectators, as the grand ocean going liner headed out towards Belfast Lough.
Titanic would arrive on the south coast of England the next day.
After leaving Southampton the Titanic would make such good progress that it went too fast through an ice field, foundering on an iceberg, and sinking in the early hours of 15 April. More than two thirds of those on board died, 1,500 people, with the remaining 700 surviving.