'Catastrophic Implosion' Doomed Titanic Sub

Debris is recovered on the ocean floor near the Titanic
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2023 11:22 AM CDT
Updated Jun 22, 2023 2:34 PM CDT
Debris Field Spotted in Hunt for Titanic Sub
This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic.   (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)

Those hoping for the safe return of the five people lost in a submersible in the North Atlantic rooted for a miracle on Thursday. It did not come. First, the US Coast Guard announced the discovery of a debris field on the ocean floor near the Titanic. Then OceanGate, the operator of the sub, released a statement giving up hope of a rescue for the Titan crew, reports CNN.

  • "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," the statement reads, per the Guardian. It hailed the five as "true explorers."

After its initial no-details statement about the debris field, a Coast Guard spokesman said "five different major pieces of debris" that belonged to the submersible were discovered. That includes the nose cone, which was found about 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic, reports the Washington Post. "The debris is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel," said Rear Adm. John Mauger at a news conference, per the New York Times. "On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families."

He added that a definitive explanation of what happened to the Titan will take time. Thursday morning had marked a critical 96-hour threshold since the vessel disappeared—the point at which breathable air would likely have run out. This summary has been updated with new developments. (The wife of the sub's pilot has a family connection to the Titanic.)

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