Image source: YouTube screenshot (left); Photo by Xavier DESMIER/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images (right)
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The submersible that went missing Sunday during its trip to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to visit the wreck of the Titanic suffered a "catastrophic implosion," and its tail cone and other debris from the vessel were found on the ocean floor about 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic, U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger said during a Thursday afternoon press conference.
As for the five individuals who were onboard the Titan submersible, OceanGate Inc. issued a Thursday statement saying "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."
OceanGate added, "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."
Mauger said during the press conference that a remote-operated vehicle located the Titan's tail cone and other vessel debris on the sea floor — and the discovery was "consistent with a catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber." Mauger added that the families of those onboard were notified immediately.
As for recovery of bodies, officials said the sea floor is an "unforgiving environment" and that "remote operations" there will continue; no timeline for concluding remote operations was given.
Officials also said it's too early to tell when the implosion occurred and that there doesn't appear to be a connection between underwater "banging noises" that had been picked up and the location of debris field.
What is the background?
Contact between the submersible and its support ship ended less than two hours after it began its journey Sunday down to the wreck of the Titanic. Officials had been hopeful that the submersible's oxygen would provide some hope for a rescue — but the oxygen supply deadline was early Thursday morning.
The design of the Titan allows the vessel to be unsealed from the outside only. A former passenger of the Titan said traveling in it was like being in a "minivan without seats" and noted that its interior design relies on "off-the-shelf parts," including a video-game controller for steering, National Public Radio reported.
OceanGate offers tourists — who pay $250,000 per person — an underwater voyage to explore the remains of the Titanic after traveling 380 miles offshore and 2.4 miles below the surface, NPR said, adding that a full trip can take eight days and include multiple dives.
"It Would Have Been Instantaneous, Quicker Execution Than A Bullet" - Titanic Sub Debris Foundyoutu.be
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Sr. Editor, News
Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.