On Thursday, the US Coast Guard said during a press conference that all five passengers of the missing submersible had died, after a “debris field” from the vessel was discovered near the wreckage of the Titanic.
According to Coast Guard officials, the debris was generated by a “catastrophic implosion”. Five major pieces of the submersible, named Titan, were discovered, including the nose cone.
Over the next 24 hours, the US Coast Guard will begin to demobilize its personnel, who have been engaged in an intensive search for the vessel since it went missing on Monday.
Search for missing Titanic submersible comes to an end
On Tuesday, hopes were raised when it was reported that sonar picked up banging sounds from underneath the water, indicating a possible position of the submersible. According to an internal US government memo on the search, crews detected banging sounds every 30 minutes – and four hours later, after additional sonar devices were deployed, banging was still heard.
With each passing day, those hopes dwindled along with the submersible’s oxygen supply. On Thursday, the Coast Guard located debris belonging to the vessel and was able to confirm that it had experienced a “catastrophic implosion”.
Parts of the submersible were discovered under the bow of the Titanic, which itself infamously sunk in 1912.
Rear Adm. John Mauger, the leader of the search and rescue mission said that he does not yet know whether the Coast Guard will be able to recover the bodies. “This is an incredibly unforgiving environment,” he explained.
However, an investigation of the incident will now take place, Read Adm. Mauger confirmed. Currently, there are nine vessels present, along with medical personnel and technicians, actively involved in the operation.
Who were the passangers?
The expedition to view the Titanic from a submersible was organized by a company called OceanGate, which describes the trip as an opportunity to “become one of the few to see the Titanic with your own eyes.”
Securing a place on the OceanGate submersible to see the famous wreckage of the Titanic is not cheap, at $250,000 per seat.
Among the five dead is Stockton Rush, the CEO, and founder of OceanGate. Rush was not only running the expedition but was the pilot of the missing submersible.
The other passengers were Hamish Harding, the chairman of Action Aviation; Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood; and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a Titanic expert and explorer.