back to article TITANIC 'UNLIKELY' TO SINK AGAIN, says prof - apparently

Amazing news on the science wires this morning as - by an amazing coincidence, just ahead of the centenary of the tragedy ocean collision plunge sinking of famous real-life blockbuster movie ocean liner Titanic - we read the headline: Titanic Disaster 'Unlikely to Happen Again'! That might seem obvious as the Titanic remains …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile, on the Internet

    a team of elite researchers have released their preliminary findings to that journal of renown, Facebook, in which they reach the ASTONISHING conclusion that the sinking of the Titanic was a real event.

    Next week, they're researching the Hindenburg. Oh, the humanity...

    1. Jeebus

      Re: Meanwhile, on the Internet

      Now now, lets not go overestimating a Facebook users intelligence. There's poking gentle fun and just outright taking the michael. You wandered into the latter.

  2. Silverburn

    "unlikely" to happen again

    In accordance with Sod's law, a modern luxury cruise ship (which lets face it - have had good form recently) will prove that law is alive and well and these quacks utterly wrong.

    Have these guy never heard the expression "tempting fate"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "unlikely" to happen again

      Yep. It may not be ice bergs but a look at the recent news... proves quite a few large ships sink every year!


    2. Jedit

      "Have these guy never heard the expression "tempting fate"?"

      Stuff that, have they never heard the word "Concordia"? Cruise ship - check. Incompetent officers - check. Hit something it shouldn't have been near and sank? Check.

      Maybe there wasn't such a great loss of life this time, but there's no better way to sound like a bloody idiot than to claim a historical event can't happen again three months after it did.

    3. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: "unlikely" to happen again

      Erm.... Fate has been unusually accommodating, in fact it's been about 4 months early (Costa Concordia)

      Cruise ship wrecked- check

      Captain charting a dangerous / not recommended course - check

      Ship going way too fast for conditions - check

      officer incompetence - check

      insufficient safety procedures - check

      many lives unnecessarily lost - check

  3. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge

    That reminds me...

    I must update the excuses calender.

    The network is running slowly because of: icebergs.

    Unable to save your data because of: insufficient lifeboats.

  4. Wanda Lust

    Not paying attention

    I suggest that the recent experience of Costa Concordia & MS Sea Diamond prove Prof Shenoi wrong.

    1. Nigel 11

      Re: Not paying attention

      Indeed. It was sheer dumb luck that the Costa Concordia was not a tragedy to match the Titanic. (Luck, or an "outstanding piece of seamanship" on the part of the captain who'd steered his ship onto the rocks in the first place).

    2. Sceptic Tank Bronze badge

      Portholes OS

      Would you get on a boat with MS written on it?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Windows for Warships

        Is what you actually get.

        You'll have to dig deep in the last few years of Register articles if you really want to find it, but it is there somewhere. Based, not even on Win XP, but on W200, if my memory is not being as bad as usual.

        1. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge

          Re: Windows for Warships

          "Windows for Warships"

          That was based on Windows NT 4.0 see USS Yorktown for more details.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not paying attention

      Titanic = Liner

      Costa Concordia + MS Sea Diamond = Cruise ships.

      They're not actually the same thing. A liner is designed to cross the oceans, while the Cruise ships are designed to sail along the coasts, putting in to port frequently to resupply.

      It's a technical difference, and why the worlds largest Liner is smaller than the largest Cruise ship. It's also why Liners carry less passengers per ton of displacement (they need more space for food etc.).

      So... Prof Shenoi isn't exactly wrong, just sort-of-wrong.

      1. Andus McCoatover

        Re: Not paying attention

        Disagree. 'Allure of the Seas' (Worlds biggest LINER) isn't designed to scrape her bottom (ooer, missus!) on the seabed. Neither is her sister, 'Oasis of the Seas'. They're bug. Really big. I mean, fuc*k-me-sideways BIG!

        So, sorry, but your statement "and why the worlds largest Liner is smaller than the largest Cruise ship..." is in error.

        1. Andus McCoatover

          Re: Not paying attention

          I'm possibly wrong - sorry :

          You determine.

          1. Wombling_Free

            Re: Not paying attention

            Ah, well that proves it - a Wikipedia entry.

            Argument over!

      2. Peter Simpson 1

        technical difference: liner vs cruise ship

        At the end of it all, you're still drowned, though.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          Look, a ship is a thing with three or more masts, all of which carry square sails.

          What's that? They don't have any sails these days?

  5. Locky


    The only way he was going to make this now more likely to happen again would be if he added; "The odds of this happening again would be a million to one"

    Even if in the Indian Ocean in the summer, never get in any water-bound vessle with this man, he's going down

    1. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge

      Re: Doomed

      "...never get in any water-bound vessle with this man, he's going down"

      Frankly I wouldn't ride on a camel with this man, for fear of drowning.

  6. Richard 81


    You see, it won't actually be a Titanic-like tragedy until the news media says it is. Much like a sinking of the actual Titanic, which was made an unthinkable tragedy by the papers after it happened. The myth that it was considered unsinkable wasn't banded around until after had gone down either. People who build ships don't say things like that.

    All in all, the Titanic is a famous ship because it sunk. If it hadn't, it would be the Olympic we remember (though without the romanticism).

    1. Ben 42

      Re: Well

      This and this suggest that the word "unsinkable" was used in conjunction with the Titanic prior to its sinking. Which is not to say that the media didn't exaggerate and take out of context anything that suited them, but saying it was a complete fabrication is not true either.

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


    Film at 11!

  8. Sarev

    and just as I was about... publish a paper about how the Columbia shuttle disaster was unlikely to happen again.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Khaptain Silver badge

    Reports just coming in

    Well who would have thunk it.

    A North Korean nuclear submarine was just surfacing of the south east coast of Newfoundland at exactly the same moment as large passenger boat was crossing the area.

    The Italian passenger boat captain jumped ship quickly in order to verify the provenance of the strange noise, the ship may have been listing severely at this point, facts are still not clear..

    The North Korean submarine commander admitted to having heard a loud "thud" just as he was surfacing and had thought that they had simply hit a large whale. Apparently he was also surprised to learn that the impact had accidently set of one of their "test" missiles which unfortunately punctured the hull of the passenger ship.

    Due to a possible translation misunderstanding it is not yet clear which of the submarine's "incidents" actually happend first..

    Latest reports suggest that despite the unfortunate drowning of the Cabin <del>Slaves</del> Crew, Captains of both vessels have been rescued and are currently in the process of helping the police identify the dead.

    The "Professor" was not available for interview at the time of the outgoing press.

  11. hugo tyson

    From Newsbiscuit

  12. My Alter Ego

    New category under Odds & Sods needed

    "Pope shits in the woods"


    "Bears wear big hats"

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it's the (pre-planned) "news" agenda driving the science,

    I really don't know why you complain, Lewis: yet again, you have let this "news agenda" drive YOU. Why not just ignore these pointless non-science non-stories, and report on something else?

  14. Triggerfish

    Concordia sinking

    The Costa Concordia may have had a lesser loss of life, but it went down a few yards ofshore in the relatively warm medditeranean. May have been a different result in the middle of North Atlantic.

    Also when it comes down to it wasn't the reasons they struck large solid objects relatively the same, poor judgement on the part of the captain?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Concordia sinking

      Erm,if the Concordia was in the middle of the North Atlantic then there would have been a lot more to worry about than a few stray icebergs. The Concordia is a cruise ship, not a liner, and therefor not equipped to traverse the Atlantic.

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Concordia sinking

        Hmmn I didnt know that they still had liners for that sort of thing, I'll stand corrected on that.

        Still say though that the location would make some difference to survival possibilities though.

      2. Darryl

        Re: Concordia sinking

        What about the MS Balmoral that's going to be following Titanic's route over the next little bit? It's a cruise ship and it's heading out into the North Atlantic...

  15. NomNomNom

    the titanic sinks again all the time in soviet russia

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about

    a "Lusitania" remembrance cruise! The German navy can torpedo a liner full of "Titanic experts" and journalists.

    I don't want to wait until May 2015 though.

  17. Spotthelemon


    In a register article on 10th April 2012, LEWIS PAGE SAID The chances of the Titanic being raised "from the freezing ocean depths, restored lovingly once more to her full fin-de-siècle glory" while slim were not non-existant, leaving open the possibility that IT COULD REALLY HAPPEN.

    easy to take pot shots at something which some third rate headline writer (me in this case) has put a sensationalist & inaccurate headline on.

    The sub headline "A ship science expert, Professor Ajit Shenoi, says that a seafaring tragedy on the scale of the Titanic disaster is unlikely to happen again." was right underneath in BIG type on the Science Daily article. Science Daily is a popularist website that pulls science related stuff from various sources & chucks it back out en masse, its not peer reviewed itself nor does it restrict itself to peer reviewed material

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The chances of the Titanic being raised somehow from the freezing ocean depths

    I'm all for it. Let's USE ALL THE SCIENCE to raise it, fix it, put Leonardo di Caprio on it (or Justin Bieber) and sink it again.

    1. Why Not?

      Re: The chances of the Titanic being raised somehow from the freezing ocean depths

      Why "Either - OR" I'm a big fan of AND in this circumstance.

      We can add the nice professor, save him qualifying for a Darwin award (he has real potential - "Big loss of life on a liner will never happen again" is a pretty darn stupid thing to say).

      Considering all the liners are now being run at least possible cost, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often.

    2. T-Bo

      Re: The chances of the Titanic being raised somehow from the freezing ocean depths

      (AND Justin Bieber)

      Fixed that for you ...

  19. Shonko Kid

    What a load of...


  20. Moyra J. Bligh

    And almost no one knows that a liner went down just a little over two years after the Titanic, claiming more passenger* lives than the Titanic did.

    She went down in less than 15 minutes.

    Her name was the "Empress of Ireland".

    *Passenger - the total loss of life with Titanic was greater, but more of the Ireland's passengers died.

    1. Tankboy


      But they were Irish. They'll make more.

  21. This post has been deleted by its author

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Raise The Titanic?

    It would have been cheaper to sink the Atlantic.

    [looks for Lew Grade icon]

  23. PyLETS

    What has news to do with science ?

    'Even so, this is surely proof-if-it-were-needed that at times it's the (pre-planned) "news" agenda driving the science, not the science driving the news.'

    Hardly. More to do with it being a slow news day, and some incautious academic being diverted from more important work by a journalist short of material phoning him up and engaging him or her in a light hearted, distracting and somewhat speculative conversation.

  24. IglooDude


    There's a ship currently retracing the Titanic's maiden/final voyage, Balmoral if I recall correctly. Relatedly, this story makes me want to visit the Arctic and push icebergs south into the Canadian Maritimes, just for the sheer hell of it.

  25. Just Thinking

    Slightly OT

    Anybody else sickened by the commemorations today? One minute silence FFS. Someone on the BBC bleating on about "poignant memories" - you would have to be well over 100 to have the vaguest recollection of it. People grieving for distant relatives they never met who died a century ago.

    Get some perspective, this happened two years before the deadliest war in human history.

    Still, the great and the good of Southampton seem to have taken the excuse to treat themselves to a bit of a bash at the council taxpayers' expense.

    1. easyk

      Re: Slightly OT

      Completely right about having perspective but as it was illustrated in that great work by D. Adams, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion. (or perspective?)

  26. Donald Miller

    Liner/Cruise Ship

    We have friends who get special rates on "Cruise ships" being repositioned across oceans between seasons, due to demand, or for repairs. How do you think they get those things to the Caribbean? Or the Azores? I've never been on a Round-the-World Cruise, but at least I know they exist. And if the captain's orders had been followed, the Concordia would have gone down in 70 fathoms, with a lot more fatalities.

  27. James Pickett

    "Cruise ships are designed to sail along the coasts"

    So how do they get there? Are oceans not involved?

    1. Wombling_Free

      No, they aren't

      They follow the same rules as Triremes - if they end their turn more than three squares from the coast they sink.

      Yes, the one with the Civilization floppy disks in the pocket.

  28. James Pickett


    Satire just keeps on getting harder to do..

  29. James Pickett

    "more of the Ireland's passengers died"

    So if my inflatable gets a puncture while rounding the Needles and 100% of the occupants (me) drown, will that be the worst maritime disaster ever?

    1. 6th

      It's relative. It will be the worst maritime disaster ever. For you.

  30. James Pickett

    Moyra J Bligh

    I’ve just read about the Empress, and stand corrected - the lost passenger headcount was greater than the Titanic’s.

    Interesting about the ship’s cat, too.. :-)

  31. E 2

    Raise the Titanic

    Use it's carcass as the setting for a zombie flick.

    Pure box office smash I promise!

    1. graeme leggett

      Re: Raise the Titanic

      So long as it's better than Virus (1999)

  32. Brian Miller

    Costa Concordia sinking DIDN'T happen??

    What does this "scientist" mean that it's unlikely to happen again with the Costa Concordia still sitting in the Italian waters? Hello? If icebergs aren't available, trust an idiot to find shoreline to hole the ship!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Costa Concordia sinking DIDN'T happen??

      From the pics I remember, the problem was that it was more out of the water than it should have been. It ran onto the land.

      Is that the opposite of sunk?

  33. Raphael

    What I still find amazing

    is the novel Futility, or The Wreck of the Titan.

    Which is a book about about Titan, the Largest Passenger Liner in the world, that is described as being unsinkable, hitting an iceberg and sinking. A shortage of lifeboats results in massive loss of life with over half of the 2500 passengers drowning..

    Was written a mere 14 years _before_ the Titanic sank.,_or_the_Wreck_of_the_Titan

    1. Wombling_Free

      Re: What I still find amazing

      Why amazing?

      Stephen Baxter wrote about a Space Shuttle getting into trouble during atmospheric entry (Titan 1997) and then it actually happened in 2003! How could anyone have predicted that a Shuttle would crash as a result of problems like that?

      OH! Look! ANOTHER coincidence - TITAN!

      This PROVES that fiction authors are actually TIME-TRAVELLERS!

  34. Ken 16

    No defecation, Mr Holmes?

    Are we sure he's a "shiP science expert"?

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