The US Coast Guard is in the early stages of an investigation into the submersible’s demise
Titanic sub wreckage returned to surface
This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. © OceanGate Expeditions via AP
Mangled debris from the Titan submersible, which imploded during a dive to the Titanic wreck in the north Atlantic Ocean earlier this month, was returned to the surface on Wednesday.
Large sections of what appear to be the Titan’s hull were brought ashore in Newfoundland, Canada on Wednesday, following their retrieval earlier in the day, along with landing skids used to touch the vessel down on the ocean floor. The submersible’s rear cover was also found among the debris, the US Coast Guard said.
It is hoped that the wreckage will help reveal the cause of the critical error that resulted in the sub’s implosion, which is thought to have occurred around an hour and forty-five minutes after it began its descent to the Titanic site on June 18. All five people aboard were killed in the incident, including the vessel’s designer, Stockton Rush.
What was initially a search-and-rescue operation has become a recovery operation being overseen by the US-based Pelagic Research Services. It said on Wednesday that its workers have been “working around the clock now for ten days, through the physical and mental challenges of this operation, and are anxious to finish the mission and return to their loved ones.”
🚨 JUST IN: Wreckage of the Titan submersible has been successfully retrieved from the sea floor.
The Titan is believed to have imploded last week about 1,600ft from the Titanic killing all five crew members on board instantly.
(📸 Paul Daly) pic.twitter.com/f3MwRS6NjV
— Nick Sortor (@nicksortor) June 28, 2023
Since the wreckage was located last week, several questions have been raised about the submersible’s experimental design. It was constructed with two titanium end caps, along with a carbon-fiber cylinder in between – unconventional methods that prompted criticism from some members of the deep-sea-diving community.
‘Titanic’ filmmaker James Cameron, who has visited the wreckage site of the 1912 disaster more than 30 times, was among the critics of Rush’s design. The submersible’s two titanium end caps were among the debris recovered on Wednesday. The sub’s porthole was also recovered, but with its window missing, according to the BBC.
The Titan, which was operated by the deep-sea exploration company OceanGate, was not subject to regulation. Rush had previously dismissed safety concerns, writing in an email that he was “tired of industry players who try to use a safety argument to stop innovation.”
The US Coast Guard is in the early stages of an investigation into Titan’s destruction. It is hoped that the probe will determine the cause of the implosion, as well as make recommendations so future tragedies can be prevented. The government agency has declared the Titan implosion to be a “major marine casualty.”