Titanic Sub Wreckage Seen for First Time Since Catastrophic Implosion

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
June 28, 2023US News
Titanic Sub Wreckage Seen for First Time Since Catastrophic Implosion
Debris from the Titan submersible, recovered from the ocean floor near the wreck of the Titanic, is unloaded from the ship Horizon Arctic at the Canadian Coast Guard pier in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, on June 28, 2023. (Paul Daly/The Canadian Press via AP)

New photos and video footage show the debris from the OceanGate Titan submersible vehicle after it was pulled from the North Atlantic Ocean following what officials say was a catastrophic implosion that killed all five people on board.

The footage shows pieces of the craft being taken to a vessel in St. John’s Harbor in Canada’s Newfoundland Province on Wednesday morning. Some of the debris fragments and pieces showed signs of significant damage.

U.S. Coast Guard officials last week said that the Titan vessel imploded about 13,000 feet below the surface of the ocean near the wreckage of the Titanic ship. It killed Hamish Harding, Shahzada Dawood, Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Stockton Rush, who was the CEO of OceanGate.

Titanic Tourist Sub
OceanGate Expeditions’s Titan submersible in a file photo. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)

The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed over the past weekend that it is investigating the cause of the undersea implosion, while Canada’s Transportation Safety Board said it was conducting its own investigation into the implosion of the Titan. The incident has raised questions about the unregulated nature of such expeditions.

“My primary goal is to prevent a similar occurrence by making the necessary recommendations to enhance the safety of the maritime domain worldwide,” Captain Jason Neubauer, the Coast Guard’s chief investigator, said at a press conference in Boston.

The Coast Guard opened what it calls a marine board investigation on Friday, Neubauer said, and is working with the FBI to recover evidence, including a salvage operation at the debris site on the seabed about 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic wreck.

Those findings will be shared with the International Maritime Organization and other groups “to help improve the safety framework for submersible operations worldwide,” Neubauer said. He said the Coast Guard is in touch with the families of the five people killed, and that investigators are “taking all precautions on site if we are to encounter any human remains.”

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Mauger said it was too early to say when the Titan met its fate. But the position of debris relatively close to the wreck, and the time that elapsed before contact with Titan was lost suggest the disaster occurred near the end of last week’s descent.

The U.S. Navy monitors that part of the Atlantic for submarine activity, and said an analysis of acoustic data detected “an anomaly consistent with an implosion or explosion” near the submersible’s location when communication with Titan was lost.

Other Details

A former U.S. Navy doctor revealed in a new interview that all five on board the doomed vessel likely would have died instantly when it imploded.

“It would have been so sudden, that they wouldn’t even have known that there was a problem, or what happened to them,” the former Navy official, Dale Mole, the Daily Mail. “It’s like being here one minute, and then the switch is turned off. You’re alive one millisecond, and the next millisecond you’re dead,” he said.

It comes as a friend of Hamish Harding said that family members are “working behind the scenes” to try and use a remote-operated submarine that can reach the wreckage to join the search.

“When I heard it was Hamish my heart dropped to my stomach,” Tracy Ryan, the friend, told People magazine, adding: “I had been working behind the scenes for four days to get the Magellan sub there and get their permits approved because they did have the capabilities to dive all the way down to the site.”

Crews work on Coast Guard vessels at Coast Guard Base Boston in Boston on June 21, 2023. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)
Titan launch barge
The Titan launch barge is moved to the Coast Guard yard at port in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, on June 24, 2023. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)

Some had questioned OceanGate’s choice of materials for the submarine, including whether the vehicle should have used carbon fiber for the pressure hull.

“OceanGate had created its own experimental vehicle with materials avoided by others, decided to bypass the certification process designed to assure safety, and chose to ignore the warnings from many experts within the submersible community,” top investment manager Ray Dalio, co-founder of the OceanX sea exploration initiative, said in a LinkedIn post on Friday.

Moviemaker James Cameron, who directed the 1997 Oscar-winning film “Titanic” that did much to revive global interest in the 1912 sinking, said he learned of the acoustic findings within a day of the submersible disappearing and knew what it meant.

“I sent emails to everybody I know and said we’ve lost some friends. The sub had imploded,” Cameron, who has ventured to the wreck in other submersible vehicles, told news outlets after the incident.

OceanGate had charged people $250,000 for a ticket to see the Titanic on the Titan, a 20,000-pound submersible that’s about 22 feet in length.

The search for the Titan submarine went on for several days, and there was some speculation that those on board could have still been alive. The vehicle had about 96 hours of oxygen on the craft.

Reuters contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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