The US Coast Guard has confirmed exactly what happened to the Titanic sub, confirming that it suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’.
It comes with the heartbreaking news that the 5 people on board the vessel are believed to have been “sadly lost” after debris was found that is “consistent with catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber.”
The sub, named Titan, was carrying 5 people down to the bottom of the ocean to see the Titanic’s shipwreck in real life, which is located 3,800m below sea level, and is 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. The trip is thought to have cost £195,000 per head.
It vanished on Sunday morning after losing contact with its mothership MV Polar Prince roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes into the vessel’s 2 hour descent.
On board the sub was Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, the company who own the vessel and conduct the tourist trips. Alongside him was the British billionaire Hamish Harding, British-based Pakistani millionaire Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman. The fifth person on board was Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a French submersible pilot who was considered one of the world’s leading experts on the Titanic.
Ocean Gate have released a statement addressing the tragedy: “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.
“This is an extremely sad time for our dedicated employees who are exhausted and grieving deeply over this loss. The entire OceanGate family is deeply grateful for the countless men and women from multiple organizations of the international community who expedited wide-ranging resources and have worked so very hard on this mission.
“We appreciate their commitment to finding these five explorers, and their days and nights of tireless work in support of our crew and their families. This is a very sad time for the entire explorer community, and for each of the family members of those lost at sea.
“We respectfully ask that the privacy of these families be respected during this most painful time.”
Since the underwater vessel lost contact on Sunday, the search effort hugely ramped up after authorities estimated that they were quickly running out of oxygen.
An update gave authorities more hope, as an aircraft detected “underwater noises in the search area.”
“As a result, ROV (remotely operated vehicle) operations were relocated in an attempt to explore the origin of the noises. Those ROV searches have yielded negative results but continue,” the Coast Guard tweeted.
It was additionally reported that a second aircraft with underwater detection abilities detected “banging sounds.”
However, in the wake of the heartbreaking discovery of the debris, the Coast Guard has confirmed that these sounds were likely just ‘background ocean noise’.
Rear Admiral John Mauger explained to Sky News: “We’ve taken that information and shared it with top leading experts from the US Navy and the Canadian Navy, and they’re working on the analysis of that information, they’re continuing to work on the analysis of that information.
“The initial reports is that there’s a lot of the sounds that were generated were from background ocean noise, but they continue to … look for all available information there.
“What’s important to me, and what’s important as the unified command, is that we’ve continued search in the areas where noise was detected with the ROVs that we have from the time of that detection, so we’re not waiting for this analysis to take action.
He added: “The analysis is really helpful to our overall search-and-rescue efforts, but we’re not waiting on it, we’ve moved the remote operated vehicles that we’ve had on site to those areas where noise was detected.”
In a press conference on Thursday morning (June 22nd), Mauger went on to explain exactly what they think happened to the Titan sub.
“This morning, an ROV, or remote operated vehicle from the vessel Horizon Arctic discovered the tail cone of the Titan submersible approximately 1,600ft from the bow of the Titanic on the sea floor.
“The ROV subsequently found additional debris. In consultation with experts from within the unified command, 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. I can only imagine what this has been like for them. And I hope that this discovery provides some solace during this difficult time.”
Mauger continued: “This is an incredibly unforgiving environment down there on the sea floor and the debris is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel.
“We will continue to work and we will continue to search down there but I don’t have an answer for prospects at this time…”
Following the heartbreaking news that the sub has likely suffered a catastrophic implosion, videos depicting what this may have looked like has appeared on TikTok.
In a clip shared by user @sincerelybootz, viewers can see a vessel being flattened out and then ripped apart.
“It’s very instantaneous as far as death when it comes to any lives that may be on board,” the narrator says.
A different clip shared by @starfieldstudio shows the OceanGate Titan careering to the floor of the ocean when it crumples as a tin can would when stepped on, before the metal explodes after the vessel imploded, leaving none of the sub intact.
“The hull would immediately heat the air in the sub to around the surface of the sun’s temperature, as a wall of metal and seawater smashed one end of the boat to the other, all in around 30 milliseconds,” the text over the video reads.