Guest Op-Ed: Is the Titanic Worth the Risk?

By Dr. Glenn Mollette

Life is filled with risks. 

Perhaps you enjoy sky diving, climbing Mount Everest, or swimming with sharks?  Each endeavor involves serious risks.

Nothing would be accomplished on this planet without people willing to venture out into the unknown. Space exploration, medical and educational advances would be stymied without an innate spirit to try new things and to boldly go where no man has gone before. That’s right Star Trek would never have existed without the imagination of Gene Roddenberry. 

From Christopher Columbus to the early settlers who forged their way West across America, our world is better. Scientists, engineers, inventors and explorers, who thought outside the box, regardless of the risk, have paved the way for countless others. 

Bad things can happen to all of us even though the risk may not seem great. Automobiles, planes, and trains are in motion every day. They are standards for transportation. Yet, there are still car and plane crashes and train wrecks. Human life is lost every day even in our common modes of transportation. 

The people aboard the Titanic in 1912 were riding the most magnificent ship of that era. It was believed by some to be unsinkable. Some of the wealthiest people of that day were on that maiden voyage. Yet, the Titanic was no match for human error and an iceberg. Of the 2240 passengers and crew, more than 1500 people lost their lives in that disaster.  Most of them believed they were on a safe and grand vacation. They were, but tragedy occurred. 

Last week a small 22-foot submersible known as the Titan owned by OceanGate of Everett, Washington carried five passengers to their death. The cost per passenger was reportedly $250,000 each for the trip to see the wreckage of the Titanic.  Experts inside and outside of the company had warned of potential dangers and urged the company to undergo a certification process. Twenty-eight people are reported to have made the trip see the Titanic wreckage last year. Trips have been cancelled and indefinitely postponed due to various issues.  There is speculation that the vessel made of carbon fiber was fatigued from previous trips. Tiny cracks not even visible could have existed. 

 Of course, these people thought they would make it back. They didn’t pay a quarter of a million dollars to die. They obviously believed they were safe. Even though there had been warnings about the construction of the tiny sub, they moved forward on their adventure.  

The best any of us can do is to try to make good decisions and we will still have mishaps. You can’t control what others are doing around you and how their actions might impact you. There is always a chance of mechanical failure and human error. We live with hope that we will be able to recuperate from whatever might happen. Often “We walk by faith and not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7. 

If we don’t live life with some risks, we aren’t living much of a life, if any life at all.

Glenn Mollette is the publisher of Newburgh Press, Liberty Torch and various other publishing imprints; a national columnist –  American Issues and Common Sense opinions, analysis, stories and features appear each week In over 500 newspapers, websites and blogs across the United States.

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