Ottawa: The wreckage of the missing Titan submersible, along with the unfortunate loss of all five individuals on board, has been confirmed by the US Coast Guard after a debris field was discovered near the Titanic.
During a press briefing held on Thursday afternoon, Rear Admiral John Mauger of the US Coast Guard revealed that a tail cone belonging to the Titan submersible was found by a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) approximately half a kilometer away from the bow of the Titanic on the ocean floor.
Mauger further stated, “Following the initial discovery, the ROV uncovered additional debris. After consulting with experts from the unified command, it has been determined that the debris corresponds to the devastating loss of the pressure chamber.”
Expressing his deepest sympathies, he added, “I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families affected by this tragedy.”
Just prior to the announcement, a statement issued by OceanGate Expeditions, the US-based company responsible for the ownership and operation of the submersible, sadly acknowledged that the five individuals aboard the Titanic-bound submersible were believed to have been lost.
The group of five passengers consisted of Hamish Harding, an esteemed billionaire and explorer; Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a French explorer; Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman Dawood, esteemed members of a prominent Pakistani family; and Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions and pilot of the Titan submersible.
According to a report from Xinhua news agency, the submersible went missing during an early Sunday morning dive to the Titanic wreck site in the North Atlantic, more than 600 kilometers off the eastern coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
An international search operation, led by the US Coast Guard, had been engaged in a race against time to locate the missing submersible. With an estimated oxygen supply lasting for 96 hours, it was anticipated that the air supply would be depleted by Thursday morning.
According to reports, underwater sonar devices detected banging sounds on both Tuesday and Wednesday within the vicinity where the submersible had disappeared.
Rear Admiral Mauger clarified that there seemed to be no correlation between the noises and the precise location of the submersible on the seabed.
Utilizing the five-person submersible, OceanGate Expeditions successfully reached the depths of 3,800 meters below the ocean surface to access the wreckage.
The company’s website promotes a seven-night expedition to the Titanic, priced at $250,000 per person, with the proceeds generated from tourists contributing to Titanic research.