On Thursday, both the U.S. Coast Guard and OceanGate (the company that operated the missing Titan submersible) said that all five people aboard the deep-water vessel are believed to be dead. The submersible Titan went missing Sunday after embarking on a mission to survey the wreckage of the Titanic. The search had been focused on an area where Canadian aircraft detected “underwater noises” on Tuesday, and again yesterday.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, debris discovered in the search area for the missing vessel was consistent with the “catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber.” The debris was found off the bow of the sunken Titanic, officials said. Undersea expert Paul Hanken said five major different pieces of debris led authorities to determine that it was the remains of the Titan: “The initial thing we found was the nose cone, which was outside the pressure hull. We then found a large debris field, within that large debris field we found the front end bell of the pressure hull. That was the first indication that there was a catastrophic event.” A second, smaller debris field was also found, which included the other end of the pressure hull.
Rear Adm. John Mauger of the Coast Guard said: “On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families. I can only imagine what this has been like for them and I hope that this discovery provides some solace, during this difficult time.”
Dive company OceanGate said in a statement: “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 .. 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.”
The five crew members on the Titan were: Hamish Harding, 58, a British aviator who has set world records; British businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his 19-year-old son, Suleman; Stockton Rush, 61, CEO of OceanGate, which runs the Titanic voyages; and Paul-Henry Nargeolet, 77, a former French Navy diver who is the director of underwater research for the company that owns the salvage rights to the Titanic.
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