The Titanic-bound submersible that went missing on Sunday with five people on board suffered a “catastrophic implosion,” k!lling everyone on board, US Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger said Thursday, June 22.
The tail cone and other debris from the missing Titan submersible were found about 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic.
“This is an incredibly unforgiving environment down there on the sea floor and the debris is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel,” Mauger, the First Coast Guard District commander, told reporters.
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 Sunday 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chance to step outside of everyday life and discover something truly extraordinary” and cost each participant $250,000, an archived version of OceanGate’s website shows.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.