Debrs. Image credit: Twitter @danielmarven
CMEDIA: A remotely operated underwater vehicle following a four-day search reportedly found Thursday morning debris from the missing submersible Titan.
All five crew members are now believed to be dead, the U.S. Coast Guard was reported saying.
“The debris is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber,” U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger said at a press conference Thursday afternoon. “On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families.”
Located 500 metres from the Titanic wreck and assessed to be from Titan’s external body, the debris was “consistent with implosion in the water column,” said the officials.
Officials said listening devices detected no sounds that would have been consistent with such a “catastrophic failure” and that noises detected earlier were likely unconnected to the missing sub.
In a statement Thursday afternoon, OceanGate, the company that operated the submersible, acknowledged the deaths of the crew.
The Titan, which was operated by U.S.-based OceanGate Expeditions, lost contact with surface vessels on Sunday morning as it was nearing the Titanic shipwreck during a 3,800-metre dive. The company released a statement shortly after the debris field was found:
We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost.
These men were true explorers…Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time…an extremely sad time for our dedicated employees who are exhausted and grieving deeply over this loss. The entire OceanGate family is deeply grateful for the countless men and women from multiple organizations…worked so very hard on this mission…of tireless work in support of our crew and their families…This is a very sad time for the entire explorer community, and for each of the family members of those lost at sea. We respectfully ask that the privacy of these families be respected during this most painful time.
Tours to the sunken British ocean-liner have been running since 2021 by OceanGate Expeditions and have carried at least 46 people to the wreck, with some paying approximately $300,000 for the experience.
The submersible, called the Titan, went missing more than 600 kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland early Sunday morning during a dive to the wreck of the Titanic. Even if it hadn’t imploded, the oxygen supply on the missing submersible would have passed the estimated maximum 96-hour mark on Thursday morning.
As of Thursday afternoon, at least nine vessels remained on the scene. The international air and sea search featured at least two ROVs and a significant Canadian contribution.
Canadian assets that participated included Canadian Coast Guard Ships (CCGS) John Cabot, Ann Harvey and Terry Fox. They were joined Thursday morning by the Royal Canadian Navy ship HMCS Glace Bay, which carries a mobile decompression chamber and medical personnel. Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft like the C-130 Hercules and a submarine-detecting CP-140 Aurora also assisted.
“Our Canadian partners have been providing critical leadership and significant response capabilities since the beginning of our efforts,” Capt. Jamie Frederick of the U.S. Coast Guard told reporters during a press conference in Boston on Wednesday.
Although submersibles can be tethered to a ship on the surface, the Titan travelled independently.
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