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Titanic Fans Try To Copy Bow Scene

June 23, 1998 GMT

BOSTON (AP) _ Cruise ship passengers inspired by the ``King of the world!″ scene in ``Titanic″ are climbing out onto the prow, arms spread wide, in what captains are warning is an all-too-dangerous thrill.

The 300-member Passenger Vessel Association even issued a ``Titanic Alert″ to its cruise operators last month.

``The incredible success of the movie `Titanic’ has already caused some headaches for PVA operators,″ the bulletin said. ``Keep your crew members alerted to this potential problem and perhaps even close or rope off the extreme bow access area of your vessel.″


One false step and a Leonardo DiCaprio-wannabe could go hurtling to his death, safety experts said.

Earlier this month, a woman re-enacting another ``Titanic″ scene _ in which Kate Winslet’s character makes a deckside suicide attempt _ lost her grip on a ferry railing and plunged into the ocean off Sweden. The woman is presumed dead.

Spirit Cruises, whose ships, at less than 200 feet long, are dwarfed by the 882-foot Titanic, has beefed up its deckhand security and roped off some of its bows because of all the ``Titanic″ copycats.

``They’re what we call the would-be kings of the world,″ said Chris Hendricks, director of marine operations.

The Island Belle, a 91-foot yacht based in Charleston, S.C., has had close to two dozen Titanic-style incidents.

The big ocean liners are apparently seeing few such incidents. The bows on modern ocean liners typically are closed to passengers and are loaded down with machinery and anchor chains, said Rich Steck, a spokesman for Royal Caribbean International in Miami.

Nevertheless, Steck said Royal Caribbean crews are keeping a close watch on passengers, especially the adolescent ones with romance on their minds.

``That would be a great way for a teen boy to show off to his newly-found teen girlfriend,″ Steck said.