The RMS TITANIC bound submersible that went missing on Sunday 18th June, 2023 with five souls on board suffered a catastrophic implosion killing everyone on board, US Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger said on Thursday 22nd. A remotely operated vehicle found the tail cone of the Titan about 1,600 feet away from the bow of the shipwreck, he said.
On Sunday 18th June 2023, the submersible TITAN operated by OceanGate, disappeared in Atlantic Ocean around 400 nautical miles offshore Newfoundland, Canada. The submersible, carrying 5 souls was part of a tourist expedition to observe the shipwreck of the world’s most famous wreck – RMS TITANIC Communication with TITAN was lost 1 hour and 45 minutes into her dive to the wreck site which normally takes around 2 hours. Authorities were alerted when she failed to resurface at the scheduled time later that day.
After an SAR lasting nearly 80 hours, the remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) VICTOR 6000 manned by the French oceanographic vessel L’ATALANTE discovered a debris field containing parts of the TITAN, approximately 488 metres from RMS TITANIC’s bow .
Image of L’ATALANTE back in 2008.
On Monday 19th June Personnel from the Northeast Sector of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), based in Boston, launched search missions 900 nautical miles offshore Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax reported that a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Lockheed CP-140 Aurora aircraft and Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) KOPIT HOPSON 1752 were participating in the search in response to a request for assistance by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) in Boston made on 18th June at 0013 hrs UTC). The search on 19th June involved 3 C-130 Hercules aircraft, 2 from the United States and 1 from Canada; a United States Navy (USN) P-8 Poseidon, and sonobuoys. Search and rescue (SAR) was hampered by low visibility weather conditions, which cleared the next day.
On Tuesday 20th June , a Canadian RCAF CP-140 Aurora’s sonar picked up underwater noises while searching for the submersible.
Image of RCAF CP-140 Aurora serial 140108 at Malta International Airport back to September 1998
The U.S. Coast Guard officially acknowledged the sounds early the following morning, but reported that early investigations had not yielded results.Rear Admiral John Mauger of the USCG said the source of the noise was unknown and may have come from the many metal objects at the site of the wreck. The noises were later described by the USCG as being apparently unrelated to the missing vessel.
Meanwhile various civilian vessels joined the SAR mission with search patterns provided by the USCG below –
(Graphic courtesy of Coast Guard First District Command Center)
The findings were based on the USN’s declassified sonar detection of an implosion in the area on the day of the voyage, which suggested that the pressure vessel had imploded shortly after TITAN starting her descending resulting in the instant death of all occupants.
Both on Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd June more civilian vessels joined the search including the 2005 built German 94.80 metres research vessel MARIA S MERIAN.
Images of MARIA S MERIAN at Grand Harbour, Malta back to July 2010.
On Thursday 22nd June at 1548 hrs UTC the U.S. Coast Guard’s Northeast Sector announced that a debris field had been found near the shipwreck of the RMS TITANIC and was later confirmed to be part of the submersible. At an afternoon press conference, the USCG confirmed the loss of the submersible due to the pressure chamber imploding, and stated that pieces of the TITAN had been found on the sea bed approximately 488 m from RMS TITANIC’s bow.
Rear Admiral Mauger stated that he did not have an answer on whether the bodies of the men on board were likely to be recovered.
- Who was on board: Tour organizer OceanGate Expeditions said Hamish Harding, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henri Nargeolet and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush died in the submersible.
- Reaction: Nargeolet, a French diver, was an incredible person and highly respected in his field, said his friend Tom Dettweiler, a fellow ocean explorer. The president of The Explorers Club said the group is heartbroken over the tragic loss. Two passengers, businessman Harding and Nargeolet, were members, it said. Engro Corporation Limited, of which Shahzada Dawood was Vice Chairman, said the company grieves the loss of him and his son. The governments of Pakistan and the United Kingdom also offered condolences.
The wife of Stockton Rush, the pilot of TITAN is actually the great-great-granddaughter of two first-class passengers who died on the RMS TITANIC , according to records. A fictionalized version of the couple is even featured in the movie “Titanic”