- The Vessel Titan, which was en route to explore the Titanic wreckage, suffered a sudden collapse due to a catastrophic implosion.
- This incident has led to the loss of all lives onboard.
- The rescue operation of this vessel, which spanned a vast area of the North Atlantic, caused a stir in the international community.
The US Coast Guard has confirmed that the crew of a submarine en route to the Titanic wreckage died due to a severe collapse of the vessel. The conclusion was reached after examining the debris discovered underwater by a remotely controlled vehicle on Thursday. The debris was found approximately 1,600 feet (488 meters) away from the bow of the Titanic.
Rear Admiral John Mauger expressed his condolences during a briefing in Boston, stating that the families of the crew members had been notified promptly. The disappearance of the submarine, known as the Titan, garnered significant global attention as an international fleet of ships and aircraft tirelessly searched an area twice the size of Connecticut in the North Atlantic. Rescuers were concerned about the diminishing oxygen supply, estimated to last 96 hours, as the submarine lost contact with the Canadian research vessel Polar Prince on June 18.
Earlier in the week, the US Coast Guard reported detecting unidentified sounds during the search, but they were not related to the missing submarine.
The crew members on board the Titan were Hamish Harding (58) from the UK, founder of the investment firm Action Group and an enthusiastic adventurer; Paul-Henry Nargeolet (77), a French maritime expert; Stockton Rush (61), CEO of OceanGate Inc., based in Everett, Washington, which organized the expedition; and Shahzada Dawood (48) and Suleman Dawood (19), a father and son from one of Pakistan’s prominent families.
OceanGate Expeditions, the operator of the mission, expressed their sorrow in a statement, saying, “These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans.” They also said, “Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.”
The Titan, a 6.7-meter-long submarine made of carbon fibre and titanium, was designed to carry a pilot and four crew members to a maximum depth of 4,000 meters (13,120 feet). The onboard system was equipped to monitor the crew’s health and provide early warnings to the pilot, allowing them to safely ascend to the surface. However, no further communication was received after the mothership lost contact with the Titan on June 18, approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes into its dive towards the Titanic wreckage.
OceanGate offers 10-day expeditions to the Titanic site, inviting qualified explorers to join as mission specialists. The fees charged for these expeditions support the training and participation of the scientific team conducting research on the ship that sank during its inaugural transatlantic voyage in 1912 after colliding with an iceberg. According to OceanGate’s website, they have previously conducted these expeditions to explore the Titanic wreck in 2021 and 2022.