On Thursday, a tragic conclusion to the search for the missing OceanGate Titan submarine was reached. Near the Titanic wreck site, where the crew was headed when they lost contact with their surface vessel early on Sunday morning, search and rescue teams came upon a dispersed pile of wreckage on the ocean floor.
“The debris is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber. Upon this determination, we immediately notified the families. On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families,” U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger stated.
The announcement was made a few hours after the USCG informed the public that the discovery had been discovered by a robotic vehicle.
Around one hour and 45 minutes into its dive on Sunday morning, the Titan lost contact with its surface ship, the Polar Prince. This happened around 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and about 400 miles southeast of St. John’s, in Canada’s Newfoundland.
The OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, the British businessman-turned-adventurer Hamish Harding, the wealthy father-and-son duo Shahzada and Suleman Dawood, and Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a major authority on the Titanic, were all aboard the vessel.
A joint command led by the USCG included commercial equipment, research vehicles, and military partners from Canada, France, and the UK.
In an effort to find the missing sub, search and rescue teams spent the entire week using cutting-edge buoys, ROVs, surface vessels, and aerial searches.
Mauger stated that the ROVs would stay in the region to continue gathering data, but he was unable to predict the likelihood of recovering the victims’ remains.
The Titan’s anticipated initial supply of 96 hours of oxygen was running low as of Thursday morning, and numerous ROVs capable of reaching the ocean floor had been deployed in the Atlantic, including the Victor 6000, which descended from the French L’Atalante research vessel to the ocean floor.
The USCG reports that the Canadian ship Horizon Arctic also sent out its ROV on Thursday morning.
Canadian pilots heard recurring sounds on Tuesday and Wednesday while conducting their search.
At a USCG briefing, former Navy captain and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientist Carl Hartsfield stated that the sounds had been “described as banging.”