London: A sunken World War I ship, dubbed Titanic 2, may soon be turned into an underwater theme park, thanks to officials in Greece who are planning to generate revenue for the cash-strapped country, says PTI.
The HMHS Britannic ship, which sank in 1916 after hitting an underwater German mine, lies 122 metres below the Mediterranean Sea just off the coast of the Greek island of Kea. Local authorities organised an international conference of researchers and divers to discuss plans for the vessel. Yiannis Tsavelakos, owner of a local diving club, said his “dream” was to set up an underwater theme park connecting the Britannic and other wrecks in the Kea Channel. One of them is the French SS Burdigala, which went down just days before the Britannic, also after hitting a mine presumed to have been laid by U-73, the submarine that did for the British ship.
Divers said the Britannic is better preserved and much more accessible than the Titanic, which lies more than 3,657 metres under the north Atlantic, ‘The Time’ reported. Designed to serve as a transatlantic liner, the Britannic was launched just before the start of the First World War but was laid up shortly afterwards. It then entered service as a hospital ship.
After the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, the ship’s Belfast-based builder, Harland and Wolff, fitted the Britannic with more lifeboats than its sister vessel as well as a double hull and extra engine power.
Disaster stuck on November 21, 1916, when the ship was on the way to pick up wounded British soldiers from the island of Lemnos.
Like the Titanic, it had been thought unsinkable, but it disappeared into the Aegean only 55 minutes after hitting the mine. Of the 1,065 people on board, all but 30 were rescued. It was the largest ship lost during the war.