Breaking: After Days of Searching, The US Coast Guard Confirms the Death of All Five People on Board the Titanic-Bound Submersible


According to US Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger, the Titanic-bound submarine that went missing on Sunday with five passengers on board suffered a “catastrophic implosion,” killing everyone on board.

The tail cone and other wreckage from the missing Titan submersible were discovered around 1,600 feet off the Titanic’s bow.

“This is an incredibly unforgiving environment down there on the sea floor, and the debris is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel,” said Mauger, the head of the First Coast Guard District.

The families were immediately notified, Mauger said. “I can only imagine what this has been like for them and I hope that this discovery provides some solace during this difficult time,” he said.

The Titan began its descent on Sunday, June 18, to explore the wreckage of the Titanic, located about 13,000 feet below sea level in the North Atlantic Ocean, with an estimated 96 hours of life support. The expedition was billed as “a chance to step outside of everyday life and discover something truly extraordinary” and cost each participant $250,000, an archived version of OceanGate’s website shows.

However, the cramped vessel lost contact with its mother ship about 1 hour and 45 minutes into its dive, did not surface as expected and has not been heard from since.

Aboard the Titan were Rush, the OceanGate CEO and founder, along with Harding, a British businessman; Pakistani billionaire Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood; and Nargeolet, a French diver, according to relatives and social media posts. Officials have not publicly named those aboard.

Minutes before the news conference, OceanGate Expeditions, the company that operated the deep-sea submersible, issued a statement saying that it believes the five men aboard the craft are dead.

“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,” OceanGate said in a statement.

“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.

Earlier Thursday, the US Coast Guard said it found a “debris field” in the search area near the Titanic that has been assessed to be from the external body of the submersible.

The debris was located on the ocean floor, roughly 500 meters off of the bow of the Titanic, at about 8:55 a.m. ET.

The Coast Guard said it plans to host a press briefing at 3 p.m. ET to “discuss findings from the Horizon Arctic’s ROV on the sea floor near the Titanic.”

A spokesperson for Pelagic Research Services said their remote-operated vehicle (a sea drone) which was the first to conduct a search for the submersible on the sea floor, found the debris field.

The news comes as the search for the vessel, known as the Titan, has reached a “critical” stage, the co-founder of the company operating the submersible said Thursday.

The expedition reflects the ongoing fascination with the Titanic’s wreckage more than a century after it hit an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage, killing more than 1,500 people.

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