New news emerged on Wednesday as deep-sea robots brought fragments from the Titan Submarine to shore while the US Coast Guard undertakes recovery efforts following the submarine’s devastating collapse. In a significant breakthrough, images of the Titan’s wreckage were unveiled after the Coast Guard’s announcement on June 22nd, revealing that remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) had discovered its compartments amidst a vast expanse of debris.
Remarkably, this discovery took place approximately 1,600 feet away from the bow of the Titanic, lying deep beneath the ocean surface at a depth of roughly 12,000 feet. Pelagic Research Services, the company responsible for operating the ROV that made the initial debris findings, shared the news that their team successfully concluded their offshore operations.
Currently, they are in the process of demobilization after an intensive 10-day effort. The company also mentioned that it would hold a press conference later in the day to provide further updates.
US Coast Guard Still Holding Comments
Images captured at the wharf depict a fascinating sight as various sections of the submersible are carefully lifted from the vessel, notably including the nose cone with its unmistakable circular window. These significant pieces were offloaded from the American ships Sycamore and Horizon Arctic at a port located in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
While this development unfolds, the US Coast Guard has refrained from providing any comments regarding the ongoing investigation or the retrieval of debris back to land. Likewise, representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB), both actively engaged in the inquiry, have also chosen not to comment at this time.
“We are not able to provide any additional information at this time as the investigation is ongoing,” commented Liam MacDonald, a representative for the TSB said.
The Coast Guard has shared the news that “presumed human remains” have been discovered on the ocean floor, and they will undergo formal analysis. The individuals involved in this tragic incident include Stockton Rush, the CEO of the company responsible for operating the Titan, as well as British billionaire Hamish Harding, renowned French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman. These individuals were aboard the Titan when it experienced its catastrophic implosion last week.
What Happened to the Titan Submarine?
Tragedy struck when the Titan Submarine lost contact with its mothership, the Polar Prince, just 1 hour and 45 minutes into its descent towards the Titanic wreck on June 18th. This sudden event triggered a frantic four-day search, with Canadian, American, and French marine authorities and experts combing extensive areas of the ocean in hopes of locating any signs of life. However, on June 22nd, the situation took a heartbreaking turn.
The Coast Guard revealed last week that the US Navy had detected sounds resembling an “implosion or explosion” occurring after the submersible disappeared and before rescue operations commenced. However, at the time, the information was not conclusive, which led to the continuation of rescue efforts. The Coast Guard clarified that they persisted in their search as the available data did not provide definitive answers.
Following the tragic implosion of the Titan Submarine, an international coalition of agencies has commenced an investigation to determine the cause of this devastating incident. In an effort to enhance the safety of submersibles globally, US maritime officials have announced their intention to release a comprehensive report.
The Coast Guard has shared updates over the weekend, indicating that salvage operations are still underway. However, recovering the bodies is expected to pose significant challenges due to the unforgiving conditions prevailing on the ocean floor. Ultimately, the International Maritime Organization will issue a final report, consolidating the findings of the investigation.