Disasters & Accidents

US Coast Guard says Titan sub imploded, no survivors

Washington, Jun 22 (EFE).- Debris found in the area where the Titan submersible disappeared while surveying the wreckage of the Titanic was consistent with a “catastrophic implosion” that killed all five people aboard, the United States Coast Guard said Thursday.

Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions (owner of the submersible); British explorer Hamish Harding; French dive expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet; and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman, were aboard the Titan when it vanished Sunday.

“On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families,” Rear Adm. John Mauger said.

The submersible lost contact with the one hour and 45 minutes into the dive at the site of the wreckage of the Titanic, 900 mi (1,450 km) off Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and 400 miles from St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

The debris was found by one of the two deepwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) that were launched Thursday morning.

“This morning, an ROV from the (Canadian) vessel Horizon Arctic discovered the tailbone of the Titan submersible approximately 1,600 feet (488 m) from the bow of the Titanic on the sea floor,” Mauger told a press conference.

Though the hopes for survivors have been dashed, searchers will continue searching for parts of the Titan as well as the five bodies.

Mauger, coordinator of a team comprising personnel and assets from the US, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom, said that more information is needed to determine the timing and causes of the implosion.

While the sonar buoys deployed detected sounds in the water Tuesday and Wednesday, those noises do not appear to have corresponded to the location of the Titan debris, he said.

“This was a catastrophic implosion of the vessel which would have generated a significant broadband sound down there that the sonar buoys would have picked up,” Mauger said.

Shortly before the admiral’s news conference, OceanGate issued a statement: “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 who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans. 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,” the company said.

EFE pem/ch/dr

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