That sinking feeling

daying w

There are no icebergs on the Qi River. That’s just as well given the news this week from Daying County that a Rmb1 billion ($165 million) replica of the Titanic is going to be launched there.

Funded by an electricity generation firm called Seven Star, the boat is going to be permanently moored on the river as the main attraction at a theme park in Sichuan province.

Others hoping to cash in on China’s obsession with the vessel include Australian billionaire Clive Palmer, who is building a sea-going imitation of the boat.

But for Sichuan’s version it will be be a rare case of a catastrophe genuinely waiting to happen, after Su Shaojun, Seven Star’s chairman, told Xinhua that the replica vessel will recreate some of the terrifying experience of hitting an iceberg full-on.

The ship will simulate hitting a fake iceberg, Su explained, at which point “it will shake, it will tumble. We will let people experience water coming in by using sound and light effects… They will think: ‘The water will drown me. I must escape with my life.’”

Sounds like a fun day out for all the family…

Su says that there are no memorials in China to the 1912 disaster, which drowned more than 1,500 passengers. “We think it’s worth spreading the spirit of the Titanic,” he insisted. “The universal love and sense of responsibility shown during the Titanic shipwreck represents the spiritual richness of human civilisation.”

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