All five on Titanic sub dead after ‘catastrophic’ implosion
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by Bastien Inzaurralde, with Peter Hutchison in New York
All five people aboard a submersible missing near the wreck of the Titanic died — likely in an instant — after their vessel suffered what the US Coast Guard said Thursday, June 22, was a “catastrophic implosion” in the ocean depths.
The somber announcement ended a multinational search-and-rescue operation that captivated the world since the tiny tourist craft went missing in the North Atlantic four days ago.
Rear Admiral John Mauger told reporters in Boston that analysis showed debris found on the seafloor, 1,600 feet (500 meters) from the bow of the Titanic, was consistent with the implosion of the sub’s pressure chamber.
“On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families,” Mauger said.
On board were British explorer Hamish Harding, French submarine expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Pakistani-British tycoon Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, and Stockton Rush, CEO of the sub’s operator OceanGate Expeditions.
OceanGate said its “hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time.”
“These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans,” it said in a statement.
“We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.”
The Coast Guard announced earlier Thursday that an underwater robot had discovered a “debris field” in the search area. (AFP)