The submarine Titan, from the OceanGate company, which went to explore the wreck of the Titanic, was the victim of a “catastrophic implosion”. On Thursday, the US Coast Guard confirmed that all five people on board had been killed.
- The US Coast Guard Northeast District announced Thursday afternoon the discovery of a debris field containing external parts of the Titanic submarine in an area near the wreck of the Titanic.
- Paul Hankins, director of salvage operations and ocean engineering for the US Navy, said in a news conference that researchers have for the first time discovered a debris field containing the submarine’s nose cone and forward portion of the pressure hull, which he described as “the first indication of a catastrophic event.”
- The researchers then found a second debris field in what the Coast Guard called a “complex operating environment,” which contained the second half of the hull, which Mr. Hankins said “makes up the whole ship.”
- Coast Guard officials said the wreckage — which was found 480 meters off Titanic’s bow — “is consistent with the catastrophic loss” of the submarine’s pressure chamber.
- OceanGate commended the passengers as “true explorers who share a great spirit of adventure and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans,” noting that this is “a very sad time for all of the explorer community.”
- The Coast Guard plans to remove some of its nine vessels from the area within the next 24 hours, but will continue to conduct remote operations on the seafloor.
Five people were on board the submarine. Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, which owns and operates the ship; Hamish Harding, a British aviation tycoon and Dubai-based adventurer, once dived into Challenger Deep – the deepest point on the ocean floor – and flew into space aboard a Blue Origin rocket owned by Jeff Bezos; Shahzada Dawood, a prominent British-Pakistani businessman and member of the energy and petrochemical conglomerate Engro Corp. Suleiman Ibn Daoud, and Paul-Henri Nargolet, 77, Titanic researcher.
The ordeal began on Sunday, less than two hours after the start of the descent to the Titanic wreck site. The submarine Titan suddenly lost contact with a surface support vessel, prompting a search and rescue effort later that evening. At the time of its descent, the submarine is estimated to have had about a 96-hour supply of oxygen for its five crew members, making the search even more urgent. Early Wednesday, a Canadian naval reconnaissance plane detected “underwater noises” in the search area, prompting rescuers to move the search for the remotely operated vehicle there, though this did not allow the vessel to be detected underwater at all. immediately.
The impact on OceanGate Expeditions and the diving tourism industry is unclear, as reviews have raised serious questions about the safety of these dives. CBS News previously reported that the submarine “has not been approved by any regulatory agency.” The submarine design was also rejected by an industry trade group writing to OceanGate in 2018. The Marine Technology Association has warned that the submarine’s “experimental” nature could have negative consequences “ranging from minor to catastrophic,” which would have an impact on the industry. The whole private dive. It was particularly concerned that OceanGate did not comply with the rules of the “DNV-GL” class, a set of industry regulations intended to ensure the safety of these vessels. In 2019, the company published a blog post claiming that standards like DNV-GL would do little to improve safety because “innovation often falls outside of the current industry model.” The nature of the submarine’s design has attracted media attention and much criticism. Parts of the Titan were built using supplies from the Camping World RV company, and some of the onboard systems were controlled with a commercially available Xbox-style gamepad. As the Stockton Rush told CBS News in a 2022 interview, a single button was used to operate the submarine, much like an elevator.
Translated article from Forbes US – Author: Sialditya Ray & Brian Bushard
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