OceanGate Confirms Submersible's Underwater Implosion: Here's Everything You Need to Know
June 23, 2023: A recent discovery in the North Atlantic suggests that a submersible, carrying five passengers, which went missing on Sunday during an expedition to explore the Titanic wreckage, experienced a "catastrophic implosion," according to the US Coast Guard.
The vessel, with limited oxygen supplies, disappeared deep beneath the ocean, triggering a large-scale five-day search and rescue operation led by US, Canadian, and French authorities.
On Thursday evening, the Coast Guard announced the finding of five significant pieces of the Titan amidst the debris near the Titanic site. These findings are consistent with a severe loss of pressure in the submersible's chamber.
The agency expressed condolences to the families of the victims but stated that it remains uncertain if their bodies will ever be recovered.
While the search effort will be scaled down in the next 24 hours, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) will continue to remain at the location.
OceanGate, the company responsible for the tours, released a statement prior to the press conference, expressing their belief that all five passengers "have sadly been lost." They extended their sympathies to the families and mourned the lives and happiness brought by the deceased individuals.
On Thursday morning, local time, two deep-water ROVs arrived at the search area. One was attached to the Canadian vessel Horizon Arctic, while the other was deployed from the French research vessel Atalante. The Victor 6000, operated by the latter, carried a robot capable of reaching the seabed at a depth of 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) and had the capacity to lift the Titan submersible to the surface.
It is worth noting that the depth required for this operation is beyond the reach of conventional navy submarine rescue vehicles.
Authorities previously expanded the search area to approximately twice the size of Connecticut and focused on a sub-surface area around 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep.
During the early stages of the search, hopes were raised on Tuesday and Wednesday when a Canadian plane detected underwater sounds. However, the US Coast Guard was unable to confirm if these sounds originated from the submersible.
On Wednesday, the agency relocated the ROV operations to investigate the source of the noises but yielded no positive results.
- Hamish Harding: A 58-year-old British businessman and explorer.
- Shahzada Dawood: A 48-year-old British businessman, accompanied by his son, Suleman Dawood, aged 19.
- Paul-Henry Nargeolet: A 77-year-old French explorer known as "Mr. Titanic."
- Stockton Rush: The 61-year-old CEO of OceanGate, the company organizing the dive.
The Polar Prince arrived near the Titanic wreckage on Sunday morning, and the Titan was launched at 08:00 local time with an expected resurfacing time of 15:00. However, contact was lost approximately one hour and 45 minutes into its descent at around 09:45.
The Coast Guard received notification of the issue at approximately 17:45, eight hours later. Subsequently, the agency's command center in Boston initiated search coordination efforts.
The Titanic wreck site is located approximately 600 km (370 miles) off the coast of Newfoundland.