OceanGate Confirms Loss of All Five People Aboard Missing Submersible Near the Wreck of the Titanic
A debris field was discovered by an underwater robot searching for the missing submersible near the wreck of the Titanic. OceanGate, the sub operator, has confirmed that the five people onboard, which included British billionaire Hamish Harding, were lost. The company expressed that they were “true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans” and offered condolences to “every member of their families during this tragic time”.
Debris Field Found
The development came after rescuers insisted that the multinational mission to locate the craft was still focused on finding the crew alive despite fears that the vessel’s oxygen may have run out. “Experts within the unified command are evaluating the information,” the US Coast Guard said in a tweet. The coast guard said the debris field was found “within the search area by an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) near the Titanic.”
At a press briefing in Boston later Thursday, the US Coast Guard said that the debris discovered on the ocean floor suggests that the missing submersible near the wreck of the Titanic suffered a “catastrophic loss” of pressure, “Upon this determination, we immediately notified the families”, Rear Admiral John Mauger told reporters in Boston. “On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families.”
About the Missing Submersible
The missing submersible was carrying five people, including British billionaire Hamish Harding and dual Pakistani-British citizens Shahzada Dawood, a tycoon, and his son Suleman. OceanGate Expeditions charges $250,000 for a seat on the sub. Also on board were OceanGate’s CEO, Stockton Rush, and a French submarine operator Paul-Henri Nargeolet, nicknamed “Mr Titanic” for his frequent dives at the site.
The Titanic’s watery grave is situated 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, and more than two miles below the surface of the North Atlantic. The Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in 1912 during its maiden voyage from England to New York with 2,224 passengers and crew on board. It was found in 1985 and remains a lure for nautical experts and underwater tourists. The pressure at that depth as measured in atmospheres is 400 times what it is at sea level.
An Extremely Sad Time
“This is an extremely sad time for our dedicated employees who are exhausted and grieving deeply over this loss. 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,” OceanGate solemnly said. Ships and planes have scoured 10,000 square miles of surface water for the vessel.