The “Britannic” experience

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August, 2013. U-Boat Navigator expedition sets off for the Greek shores, where the legendary “HMHS Britannic” has been lying since the catastrophe in 1916.

Organizational issues for professionals, dreaming about the visit to “Britannic”, make an impressive piece of work. On one hand, there’s a vast range of license and permit questions to take care about. On the other, divers have to make sure they’ve mastered their skills to perfection in order to handle the works under conditions of serious depth and in complete darkness.

U-Boat crew’s ambition for the trip presupposed external and internal examination of the wreck, as well as camera shooting. Some ideas were left to be blueprints for the future, as the spectacular wide shots require extra illumination. When once the videographer  moves back from the wreck to capture it, Britannic seems to vanish in the water of Aegean Sea. However, the filmmaking crew did manage to complete the defined number of immersions and gather necessary photo/video materials.

Therewith, the research team paid the tribute to the memory of National Geographic cameramen Carl Spencer, who suffered a severe decompression illness after another immersion. He was immediately taken to the hospital, but there was nothing the paramedics could do to help… A memorial tablet was later mounted on the wreck to pay tribute to the tragedy.

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An enormous wreck has been boggling the minds of its visitors for years.  U-Boat crew was not an exception. Having pierced into one of the fallen funnels in Sea Explorer 5, all the divers were about to lose hold on reality, being completely impressed by the size of the wreck. In addition, 119 meters of depths are another strong reasons to feel amazed.

- Once you are afloat, you feel a need for the action. But here, at the depths, all you want is to keep silent, to think and meditate. After each and every immersion you resurface, being a new man, – Sergey Veksler, a renowned Russian actor, looks back at his Britannic experience.

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Later on, the horizons for upcoming underwater shootings were discussed with leading Russian broadcaster’s representatives.

This post is also available in: Russian

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