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(Clockwise from top left) Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Stockton Rush, Hamish Harding, Suleman Dawood and Shahzada Dawood are all presumed dead

Titanic Submersible: Catastrophic Implosion, History and Facts 2023

Titanic Submersible: According to the US Coast Guard, a debris field discovered in the North Atlantic Ocean indicates that the missing submersible, carrying five passengers, experienced a “catastrophic implosion.”

The vessel, which had limited oxygen supplies, disappeared during its deep-sea expedition to explore the Titanic wreckage on Sunday. A large-scale search and rescue operation involving US, Canadian, and French agencies was launched and lasted for five days.

On Thursday evening, the Coast Guard announced that it had located five significant fragments of the submersible, known as the Titan, amidst the debris near the Titanic site.

The findings were consistent with a severe failure of the pressure chamber. The agency expressed condolences to the victims’ families but stated that it could not confirm the possibility of recovering their bodies.

The wreckage of the Titanic, off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, at the bottom of the Atlantic. (Image: The Mirror)
The wreckage of the Titanic, off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, at the bottom of the Atlantic. (Image: The Mirror)

The search efforts will be scaled back within the next 24 hours, although remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) will remain at the site.

Prior to the press conference, OceanGate, the company responsible for the submersible tours, issued a statement expressing their belief that all five passengers had tragically lost their lives.

The company mourned their loss and extended sympathies to the families, acknowledging the positive impact they had on those who knew them.

Titanic Submersible: The Discovery

Search and rescue teams discovered fragments of the Titan, a 22-foot submersible that carried five individuals on a mission to explore the Titanic wreck. Unfortunately, OceanGate, the company leading the operation, confirmed that all the men on board have perished.

In response to the tragic event, OceanGate expressed their sorrow, stating, “This is a deeply mournful time for the entire exploration community, as well as for the families of those lost at sea.”

Titanic Submersible
Titanic Submersible:

During a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Rear Admiral John Mauger of the U.S. Coast Guard revealed that the debris found approximately 1,600 feet away from the Titanic’s bow corresponds to a significant failure of the submersible’s pressure chamber. However, it remains uncertain when the implosion of the Titan occurred.

The Coast Guard said families of the five people on board have been notified. For live updates on this incident.

“Right now, again our thoughts are with the families and making sure that they have an understanding as best as we can provide of what happened and begin to find some closure,” an unnamed official said during the press conference.

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Mauger said he did not know whether the Coast Guard would be able to recover the bodies of the five passengers on board of the Titan. “This is an incredibly unforgiving environment,” he said.

Where is the submersible?

The Coast Guard announced on Thursday that search and rescue teams have located a “debris field” in the vicinity of the Titanic. Upon examining the debris, the Coast Guard concluded that it includes fragments of the Titan, such as a landing frame and a rear cover from the vessel. This discovery was made subsequent to the submersible’s projected depletion of its oxygen supply.

“A debris field was discovered within the search area by an ROV near the Titanic,” the Coast Guard wrote on Twitter.

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A Coast Guard official commended the vast search efforts that led to Thursday’s findings during the press conference.

“We’ve really had the right gear on site and worked as swiftly as possible to bring all of the capabilities we had to bear to this search and rescue effort,” the official said. “It was a huge international multi-agency effort to make this happen.”

What happened to the Titan?

The submersible and its accompanying support ship set off from St. John’s in Newfoundland, Canada, on June 16. Following a two-day journey, the submersible initiated its descent to explore the Titanic, located approximately 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland and at a depth of 12,500 feet in the North Atlantic Ocean.

However, approximately one hour and 45 minutes into the dive, the Canadian support ship named the Polar Prince, responsible for monitoring the submersible, experienced a complete loss of communication with the vessel.

According to OceanGate, the submersible was equipped with a 96-hour oxygen supply, which would have sustained it until Thursday morning.

In response, the Coast Guard mobilized an intense rescue operation involving ships, aircraft, and various equipment from both the United States and Canada. As of Wednesday, search teams were diligently combing an expansive ocean area that was approximately twice the size of Connecticut.

Titanic Submersible: the passengers

Among the group of five men who embarked on the submersible expedition to witness the Titanic were Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate; Hamish Harding, a British billionaire explorer; Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a French maritime and Titanic expert; as well as Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, hailing from one of Pakistan’s prominent families.

(Clockwise from top left) Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Stockton Rush, Hamish Harding, Suleman Dawood and Shahzada Dawood are all presumed dead
(Clockwise from top left) Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Stockton Rush, Hamish Harding, Suleman Dawood and Shahzada Dawood are all presumed dead

In a statement released on Thursday, OceanGate expressed profound sorrow, honoring these individuals as true explorers who possessed an unwavering spirit of adventure and a profound dedication to exploring and preserving the world’s oceans. The company extended heartfelt condolences to the five men and their families during this tragic period.

At the age of 61, Stockton Rush founded OceanGate in 2009. Additionally, he co-founded the OceanGate Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on leveraging emerging marine technology to facilitate advancements in marine science, history, and archaeology, as stated on the company’s website.

In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning last year, Rush shared his concerns about potential obstacles preventing him from resurfacing, emphasizing the importance of being able to return to the surface.

Hamish Harding, aged 58, held the position of chairman at Action Aviation, a global business aviation sales company. He had achieved three Guinness World Records for his explorations in both aviation and deep-sea diving, including a journey to space.

In a Facebook post announcing his participation in The Titan, he noted that due to the severe winter conditions in Newfoundland, this mission was likely to be the sole manned expedition to the Titanic in 2023.

Paul-Henry Nargeolet, aged 73, served as the director of Underwater Research for E/M Group and RMS Titanic, Inc. He possessed a remarkable record of 37 successful dives to the Titanic wreck in a submersible and oversaw the recovery of 5,000 artifacts. EMGroup’s website acknowledged him as the foremost authority on the Titanic wreck site.

Shahzada Dawood, aged 48, held positions as a board trustee for the Dawood Foundation, an educational nonprofit, and as a board member of the SETI Institute, a nonprofit research organization.

Additionally, he served as vice chairman on the board of the Pakistani Engro Corporation. His son, Suleman Dawood, aged 19, had a fondness for science fiction, solving Rubik’s Cubes, and playing volleyball, as reported by The New York Times.

Azmeh Dawood, the elder sister of Shahzada Dawood, expressed profound grief and devastation over the tragic loss of her brother and the others involved.

Speaking to NBC News, she conveyed her overwhelming heartbreak, comparing the experience to being trapped in a distressing film, uncertain of the impending outcome.

Azmeh Dawood further revealed the emotional toll it had taken on her, making it challenging to even breathe when contemplating the fate of her loved ones.

Titanic Submersible: The Features

The submersible involved in the incident belonged to OceanGate Inc., a private company based in Washington. The vessel measured 22 feet in length and weighed 25,000 pounds.

It was specifically designed to accommodate a crew of five individuals and had the capability to descend to depths of 13,123 feet in the ocean, as outlined by the company. Constructed with a titanium crew compartment, a carbon fiber hull, and featuring a single toilet, the submersible possessed the necessary components for underwater exploration.

According to OceanGate, the cost of a trip utilizing their submersible was set at $250,000. The company engages in various ventures, including commercial projects, scientific research, and deep-water exploration. Following the submersible’s disappearance, reports emerged indicating previous concerns regarding the safety of the group’s expeditions.

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Tadese Faforiji

I am Tadese Faforiji, a history student of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State- 21st-century University, properly called. I am a blogger and an avid writer.