A multinational search for five people who descended to explore the sunken Titanic has concluded. The US Coast Guard confirmed that parts of the submersible vessel were found on the ocean floor, indicating that there were no survivors.
The search took place in a remote area of the North Atlantic, 900 miles off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Many people around the world were captivated by the search, and it has raised concerns about the safety of high-risk adventure tourism.
Rear Adm. John Mauger, Commander of the First Coast Guard District, expressed condolences to the families and reassured them that efforts are being made to provide answers about what happened. Although it is a complex case, Admiral Mauger is confident that they will find those answers.
Among the presumed dead are Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, which owned the submersible, British explorer Hamish Harding, French maritime expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, British businessman Shahzada Dawood, and Shahzada’s son, Suleman Dawood, a university student.
The search started as a race against time, hoping to reach the area where the submersible went missing before it ran out of oxygen.
There was some hope when underwater banging noises were detected, possibly indicating signals from the passengers. However, on the fourth day of the search, evidence was found on the ocean floor over two miles deep.
They discovered the tail cone of the submersible and the broken ends of its pressure hull near the Titanic wreckage. Admiral Mauger stated that this debris suggests a catastrophic loss of the submersible’s pressure chamber.
Later, a US Navy official revealed that underwater sensors recorded readings consistent with an implosion after the loss of contact. Although the Navy did not consider this evidence definitive, they shared it with the US Coast Guard to help narrow down the search area.
During the search, a remotely operated underwater vehicle found significant fragments of the 22-foot Titan submarine, including the tail cone and two sections of the pressure hull. Rear Admiral John Mauger confirmed these findings and mentioned that the debris field indicates a catastrophic implosion of the submersible. So far, there have been no reports of human remains being found.
Here is the video representation of a submersible’s implosion due to strong pressure in deep waters:
James Cameron, the Director of the movie “Titanic” and a well-known deep-sea explorer, has spoken out about the ignored safety warnings regarding the Titan submersible. He compared the situation to the warnings given to the captain of the Titanic over a hundred years ago.
Cameron highlighted that there had been widespread concern within the close-knit ocean exploration community about the safety of the Titan. He drew parallels between the disregard for warnings about the submersible and the captain of the Titanic ignoring warnings about ice ahead.
Reflecting on the tragic events, Cameron expressed his astonishment that a similar tragedy, with unheeded warnings, had occurred at the same location. He shared his thoughts during an interview with ABC News, emphasizing the striking similarities between the two incidents.
Cameron, who achieved a solo dive to the deepest part of the ocean in 2012 using a submersible he designed and built, noted that the risk of a vessel imploding under pressure is a main concern for engineers. He revealed that many people in the ocean exploration community were worried about the Titan submersible, adding that several prominent figures in deep-submergence engineering even wrote letters to the company expressing their concerns. These experts believed that the submersible’s experimental nature made it unfit for carrying passengers and insisted on certification.