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International News: All five passengers on Titan submersible exploring near Titanic believed dead after ‘implosion’

Posted: Thursday, June 22, 2023. 6:31 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: ABC News reports that the five passengers aboard the Titan submersible which was touring the wreckage of the ship Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, have died as confirmed by the United States Coast Guard.

The 21-foot deep-sea vessel, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, lost contact about an hour and 45 minutes after submerging on Sunday morning with a 96-hour oxygen supply. That amount of breathable air was forecast to run out on Thursday morning, according to the United States Coast Guard, which is coordinating the multinational search and rescue efforts.

According to the BBC, the Coast Guard said that a debris field was discovered near the wreck of the Titanic earlier on Thursday morning.

OceanGate’s statement said the five men were “true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure”. They have been identified as Stockton Rush, the 61-year-old CEO of OceanGate; British-Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48; his son Suleman, 19; British businessman Hamish Harding, 58; and Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a 77-year-old former French navy diver and renowned explorer. The company said it appreciates “[the Coast Guard’s] commitment to finding these five explorers and their days and nights of tireless work in support of our crew and their families”.

At a news conference on Thursday, Rear Admiral John Mauger of the US Coast Guard said that the debris is believed to be consistent with the Titan submersible. It is unclear what led to the destruction of the Titan. The debris was located by a remote-controlled underwater search vehicle (ROV) about 1,600 feet from the wreckage of the Titanic. Five separate pieces were discovered that allowed authorities to confirm they came from the Titan, including a tail cone.

Rear Admiral Mauger said he did not have an answer on whether the bodies of the five men on board were likely to be recovered: “This is an incredibly unforgiving environment down there on the seafloor,” he said, adding that ROVs will remain in the area as the investigation into what happened continues.

 

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