Titanic missing sub: Coast Guard says it believes passengers aboard submarine are dead

Titanic Tourist Sub Implosion
U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger, commander of the First Coast Guard District, talks to the media, Thursday, June 22, 2023, at Coast Guard Base Boston, in Boston. The missing submersible Titan imploded near the wreckage of the Titanic, killing all five people on board, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne/AP

Titanic missing sub: Coast Guard says it believes passengers aboard submarine are dead

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The company that owns the submersible that went missing on Sunday said in a statement it believes all five people aboard the Titan are dead.

OceanGate Expeditions’s statement comes after the U.S. Coast Guard announced on Thursday that a debris field was discovered by a remotely operated vehicle. The Coast Guard issued its condolences to the families of the five people on board the submarine during a press briefing Thursday afternoon.


“These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans,” OceanGate’s statement read. “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.”


During the Coast Guard’s press briefing on Thursday, Rear Adm. John Mauger said that a remote-operated vehicle from the Canadian vessel Horizon Arctic had discovered the tail comb and other debris that belonged to the missing submarine. The debris was consistent with the “catastrophic loss” of the submarine’s pressure chamber, and the crew members’ families were alerted immediately.

“On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire Unified Command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families,” Mauger said. “I can only imagine what this has been like for them, and I hope that this discovery provides some solace during this difficult time.”

The remote-operated vehicles will remain in the area and continue to search the location to gather information. When asked what the prospects were on recovering the bodies of the submarine’s crew members, Mauger said he did not “have an answer for prospects at this time” but that the Coast Guard will “continue to work and continue to search the area.”

The five people on board the vessel included Hamish Harding, the chairman of Action Aviation; Shahzada Dawood, the vice chairman of Engro Corporation Limited; Dawood’s son Suleman; Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a diver and Titanic researcher and director of underwater research at RMS Titanic; and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush.

Recent emails sent to Department of Homeland Security leadership revealed that a rescue operation by a Canadian aircraft with underwater detection capabilities detected “banging” in 30-minute intervals coming from the area where the divers disappeared. During a Wednesday press briefing, Capt. Jamie Frederick said he “hadn’t heard” 30-minute intervals when asked about them by a reporter, noting the searchers were looking in the place where the noise was detected.


Titan, the Cyclops-class manned submersible that went missing, was designed and built by OceanGate for “site survey and inspection, research and data collection, film and media production, and deep sea testing of hardware and software,” according to the company.

While it has been touted by the company as a state-of-the-art machine, experts and observers expressed concerns about several technical features, including in a letter sent by the Marine Technology Society that expressed its “unanimous concern” regarding OceanGate’s decision to forgo DNV-GL class rules.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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