UPDATE: ‘Titan’ Submersible Operators OceanGate Expeditions Believe Its Five Occupants Are ‘Sadly Lost’

Image of the Titanic wreck.

Image of the Titanic wreck. Credit: Courtesy of NOAA/Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island (NOAA/IFE/URI)/Public Domain

UPDATE: Thursday, June 22 at 21:12 pm

OceanGate Expeditions, the operators of the ‘Titan’ submersible issued a statement this evening, June 22, in which they said they believed that all five occupants of the vessel had perished.

The statement read: ‘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’.

‘This is an extremely sad time for our dedicated employees who are exhausted and grieving deeply over this loss’.

‘The entire OceanGate family is deeply grateful for the countless men and women from multiple organizations of the international community who expedited wide-ranging resources and have worked so very hard on this mission’.

‘We appreciate their commitment to finding these five explorers, and their days and nights of tireless work in support of our crew and their families’.  

‘This is a very sad time for the entire explorer community, and for each of the family members of those lost at sea. We respectfully ask that the privacy of these families be respected during this most painful time’.

A news briefing on the situation is expected to be held by the US Coast Guard imminently.

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UPDATE: Thursday, June 22 at 7:35 pm

Debris discovered by the search teams in the North Atlantic has been confirmed as belonging to the missing ‘Titan’ submersible.

‘A landing frame and a rear cover from the submersible’, were found, according to a friend of two of the sub’s passengers. David Mearns is a rescue expert and he informed Sky News that he was part of a private group who had received a Whatsapp message directly from the scene.

“They don’t use phrases like ‘debris field’ unless there’s no chance of a recovery of the men alive. A debris field implies a break-up of the submersible … that really sort of indicates what is the worst-case scenario, which is a catastrophic failure and generally that’s an implosion”, he explained.

Mr Mearns added: “The only saving grace is that it would have been immediate – literally in milliseconds – and the men wouldn’t have known what was happening”.

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UPDATE: Thursday, June 22 at 6:15 pm

Debris has been discovered this Thursday, June 22, within the area of the North Atlantic being searched for the missing submersible ‘Titan’.

A tweet from the US Coastguard stated: “A debris field was discovered within the search area by an ROV near the Titanic. Experts within the unified command are evaluating the information”.

The Coast Guard announced that a press briefing would take place to explain the findings made by Horizon Arctic, the Canadian-owned ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle).

Today is the fourth day of a huge search operation that is being conducted to find the vessel belonging to Ocean Gate Expeditions.

Its supply of air was estimated to expire by midday today but the search teams have not given up hope of finding the five passengers alive.

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UPDATE: Tuesday, June 20 at 8:20 pm

According to the latest update from the US Coastguard today, Tuesday, June 20, the submersible ‘Titan’ that is missing in the North Atlantic only has ‘about 40 hours of breathable air’ remaining.

Captain Jamie Frederick explained that the search operation in the vicinity of the wreck of the Titanic is ongoing but that there was nothing to report yet, according to Sky News.

The official pointed out that they had set up a unified command post for the ‘incredibly complex operation’. It consisted of: ‘expertise from the United States Coast Guard, the United States Navy, Canadian Armed Forces and Coast Guard, and the Titan’s parent company, Ocean Gate Expeditions‘.

Since the vessel was first reported missing last Sunday 18, an area of more than 7,600 square miles had been covered.

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Monday, June 19 at 8:40 pm

British billionaire explorer Hamish Harding has been confirmed among those on board a submersible craft that is missing in the Atlantic. This was established after his stepson Brian Szasz wrote a post on Facebook.

According to Sky News, he wrote: “Hamish Harding my stepfather has gone missing on submarine thoughts and prayers. My stepdad Hamish Harding has gone missing on a submarine pray for a successful recovery”, in a since-deleted message.

“Thoughts and prayers for my stepfather Hamish Harding as his Submarine has gone missing exploring Titanic. Search and rescue mission is underway”, he continued.

Mr Harding’s stepson subsequently explained that in the need for privacy, he had been asked by his mother to remove his earlier posts.

The submersible belongs to a company called OceanGate Expeditions

A company called OceanGate Expeditions also confirmed that one of their submersibles had gone missing and that a search operation had been launched.

Action Aviation reported on Sunday 18 that Mr Harding was currently diving on a sub. He is the chairman of the aviation sales and operations company.

The missing vessel has a capacity of five passengers, including the pilot. There has been no word yet regarding the number of people believed to have been on board when it submerged.

According to Sky News, messages are normally pinged every 15 minutes to reassure that everything is okay on board. These pings stopped around seven hours ago the news outlet reported.

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Monday, June 19 at 4:57 pm

A tourist submarine used for transporting tourists to view the wreckage of the Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean is reported to have gone missing today, Monday, June 19.

According to the BBC, a spokesperson from the Boston Coastguard informed the news outlet of the disappearance today. It explained that a search and rescue mission had been initiated.

There was no word on the exact number of passengers that the submersible vessel was carrying, or if indeed, there were any at that time.

Tourists often pay to be taken in these small submarines to view the resting place of the famous passenger liner since its discovery at the bottom of the ocean in 1985.

The Titanic sank in the Atlantic on April 15, 1912

The Titanic lies approximately 370 nautical miles (600km) off the Canadian territory of Newfoundland.

It broke into two sections under the water, presumably on impact with the ocean’s floor, with the pieces lying around 2,000 feet (600 m) apart.

A trip to view the shipwreck apparently lasts around eight hours from the time the sub starts its descent until it reappears above the water again. Just one such dive to the Titanic reportedly costs thousands of dollars yet they are carried out daily.

She came to rest some 12,500ft (3,800m) below the water after hitting an iceberg and sinking on April 15, 1912. At the time, the ship was making its maiden voyage to New York after sailing out of Southampton.

More than 1,500 of her passengers perished in the freezing waters of the Atlantic out of the 2,200 who were registered as being on board at the time of the tragic incident.

An American couple married in a submarine parked on the Titanic

A bizarre, and controversial, wedding took place on board a submersible craft in 2001. In an attempt to copy the 1997 Titanic epic made by James Cameron, an American couple – David Leibowitz and Kimberly Miller – made the journey.

In a publicity stunt, the vessel – sponsored by a British company called SubSea Explorer – landed on the bow of the sunken ship.

Leibowitz was the winner of a free dive to the wreck. When he enquired whether his fiance could accompany him, he was told she could but only if they agreed to get married under the sea on the wreck of the Titanic.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com

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