US Coast Guard Confirms Death Of 5 Titan Submersible Passengers

US Coast Guard Confirms Death Of 5 Titan Submersible Passengers OceanGate Expeditions

UPDATE: The US Coast Guard said at a press conference held at 3 p.m. EST on Thursday that “the debris is consistent with the catastrophic lost of the pressure chamber” of Titan. “On behalf of the United States coast guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the family. I can only imagine what it’s been like for them and I hope that this discovery provides some solace during this difficult time.”

The debris discovered on the seabed near the Titanic wreckage site has been confirmed to belong to the missing Titan submersible, multiple news outlets have confirmed. The discovery of the debris was announced on Thursday afternoon, with dive expert David Mearns, a friend of several passengers onboard the vehicle, revealing that Titan’s landing frame and rear cover were among the items seen there.

The debris field was discovered by the Horizon Arctic vessel, which had sent a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) called Odysseus 6k down into the area looking for any sign of the missing OceanGate Expeditions submersible.

Guillermo Söhnlein, the man who cofounded OceanGate with CEO Stockton Rush, who was on board Titan, told BBC News that there might have been an “instantaneous implosion” that would have killed everyone on board. However, he’s not entirely convinced that the craft didn’t surface, in which case it’s out there floating aimlessly.

“My biggest fear through this whole thing watching the operations unfold is that they’re floating around on the surface and they’re just very difficult to find,” he said.

However, Söhnlein admits the reality could have been much worse. “What I do know is regardless of the sub, when you’re operating at depth the pressure is so great on any sub that if there is a failure it would be an instantaneous implosion,” he added. “If that’s what happened that’s what would have happened four days ago.”

Nevertheless OceanGate Expeditions issued a statement saying they believed those on board Titan had died. “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,” it said. “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.”

Earlier on Thursday, the 95 hours of oxygen aboard Titan ran out, sparking serious concerns for whether or not those aboard the vessel would be able to be rescued even if they were found.

Jennifer Still is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience. The managing editor of Bolde, she has bylines in Vanity Fair, Business Insider, The New York Times, Glamour, Bon Appetit, and many more. You can follow her on Twitter @jenniferlstill