A Titanic expert says it's 'incredible' to him that the Titanic 'still has the power to claim lives today,' a century after her sinking

  • A Titanic historian said it's "incredible" that the Titanic can still "claim lives today."

  • In an MSNBC op-ed, Tim Maltin said he fully understood the "intrigue" of the Titanic.

  • But Maltin also advocated for better safety standards to "prevent more tragedies."

A Titanic historian says it's "incredible" that the Titanic is still claiming new lives long after her sinking over a century ago.

"It's incredible that 111 years after the Titanic herself claimed 1,500 lives on 15 April 1912, that recently the Titanic has claimed another five souls in this new catastrophe," British historian and television presenter Tim Maltin told Insider. Five people died this week when the Titan tourist submersible imploded underwater on its way to see the shipwreck.

Maltin believes that the Titanic's timeless appeal stems from humankind's long-running fascination with tragedies since the "ancient Greek and ancient Roman times."

"Tragedies are about mankind trying their best, but the gods always being stronger and playing with man," Maltin said.

"We don't have those ancient tragedies anymore, and most of us don't believe in all the ancient gods either," Maltin added. "But we do have the Titanic story, and that is a tragedy for modern times because it has all the elements of tragedy from the past."

He told Insider as well that the people on the Titanic could symbolize "the whole of humanity." And the iceberg, which caused the ship to sink to its watery grave, "symbolizes the awesome power of nature and the universe."

"So when people look at the Titanic story, it resonates right down deep in our absolute heart about what it is like to be human, and what it is like to be part of a world that is too powerful for us to fully ever understand," he added.

On Sunday, the Titan submersible lost contact with its mothership while diving to the Titanic shipwreck. Debris from the missing submersible was discovered on Thursday following a concerted search involving teams from the US Coast Guard, US Navy, Canadian Coast Guard, and OceanGate Expeditions.

The US Coast Guard said in an update on Thursday afternoon that the submersible had likely imploded, and all its five passengers are believed to be dead.

"What this unfolding tragedy shows us is that perhaps not all those on the sub now, nor others who went down to the Titanic in the OceanGate submersible, really truly comprehended the enormous risks they were taking," Maltin wrote in an op-ed published on MSNBC on Friday.

The safety standards of the Titan submersible and its maker, OceanGate, have also been criticized since the vessel vanished on Sunday. An ex-OceanGate executive, for one, said he was fired after raising concerns over the Titan's hull safety, while a former passenger said they experienced communication issues on all four dives he took in the submersible.

OceanGate said in February 2019 that they did not "class" the Titan submersible, a standard practice that ensures that seafaring vessels are designed to appropriate standards. The company said that this was to avoid undergoing a "multi-year approval cycle" for Titan.

"Only by introducing adequate industry safety standards will we avoid adding further to the Titanic's already prodigious death toll in the future," Maltin wrote in his MSNBC op-ed.

Maltin added in his op-ed that "limiting and regulating tourist expeditions" will help to preserve the Titanic shipwreck from "too much traffic and damage in the years ahead."

"Deep sea tourism should be suspended until we have a legal means to make sure that all deep-sea submersibles are accorded with the best safety tests," Maltin told Insider.

Read the original article on Insider