The United States Coast Guard is continuing their investigation into the Titan submersible that imploded during its excursion to the Titanic wreckage site on June 18 – killing all five passengers on board. Their most recent update came on Tuesday (October 10) and they had a pretty big announcement to share.
“Marine safety engineers with the Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) recovered and transferred remaining Titan submersible debris and evidence from the North Atlantic Ocean seafloor, Oct. 4,” the statement read – adding that it was a follow-up to their initial recovery operations in late-June.
The Coast Guard confirmed that the salvage expedition was ‘conducted under an existing agreement with U.S. Navy Supervisor of Salvage & Diving’ and that they were joined by investigators from both the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada on Oct. 4.
The recovered evidence has already been transferred to a United States port for cataloging and analysis – much like they did with the evidence recovered in June. The Coast Guard emphasized that ‘additional presumed human remains’ were recovered and are currently being analyzed by medical professionals.
“The MBI is coordinating with NTSB and other international investigative agencies to schedule a joint evidence review of recovered Titan debris. This review session will help determine the next steps for necessary forensic testing,” they wrote – adding that they’ll continue evidence analysis and interviews.
This is the second successful recovery mission by the Coast Guard, which completed its first excursion on June 28 – 10 days after they were reported missing. Photos of the debris gave us our first look at what was left of the Titan submersible as a group of men unloaded debris at the Canadian Coast Guard pier.
At the time, the Coast Guard also confirmed the recovery of ‘presumed human remains’ – adding that they were ‘carefully recovered within the wreckage at the site of the incident.’ The debris and evidence were then transported from Canada to the United States for further testing, evaluation, and analysis.
Who Were the 5 Passengers on the Titan Submersible?
For those who need a quick refresher, the Titan submersible was an underwater vehicle designed to dive more than 13,000 feet underneath the Earth’s surface and withstand more than 150 million pounds of pressure. It was owned and operated by OceanGate Expeditions and set out on its excursion on June 18.
The Titan’s destination? The wreckage site of the Titanic, which lies roughly 2.5 miles below the surface. It submerged at around 8:00 a.m., but lost contact with its operator roughly two hours later. Considering the submersible had a 96-hour oxygen supply, time was of the essence the moment they went missing.
The five passengers on the Titan were Hamish Harding (chairman of Action Aviation), Shahzada Dawood (vice chairman of Engro and Dawood Hercules Corp.), Suleman Dawood (19-year-old son of Shahzada), Paul-Henri Nargeolet (French deep sea explorer), and Stockton Rush (OceanGate CEO).
“These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans,” OceanGate wrote in a statement. “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.”
On June 22, OceanGate Expeditions revealed they had reason to believe all five passengers were killed – a sentiment that was shared by the Coast Guard, which revealed that the ‘debris field is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel.’ The Coast Guard went on their first recovery mission six days later.
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