The Titan, which on June 18th had gone down into the depths of the Atlantic ocean to explore the Titanic’s wreck, tragically imploded at the end of last week. The focus now has shifted to try to find what happened. According to the BBC, two patches of debris have been found: one containing Titan’s tail cone and the other its landing frame. The findings suggest that they came apart after the vessel collapsed. The pieces would have spread out and found their way to the sea bed.
Robots have begun searching the seabed for clues about what happened in the depths of the North Atlantic. The Titan, owned by underwater exploration company OceanGate Expeditions, had been making these trips to get up close and personal with the Titanic’s wreckage annually since 2021. Many questions remain about what happened underwater.
1. Why did the Titan implode?
The pattern of the debris suggests that there might have been a leak at some point. According to the BBC, the Titan was so deep in the sea by then that the amount of water above it would have been equivalent to the weight of the Eiffel Tower. A fissure in the structure would compress the vessel and break the structure’s carbon fiber body.
2. When and where did the Titan disappear?
The vessel submerged on Sunday morning, June 18th, and its support vessel lost contact an hour and 45 minutes later, according to the Coast Guard. The Titan was launched from an icebreaker chartered by OceanGate and formerly operated by the Canadian Coast Guard. The vessel transported dozens of people and the submersible vessel to the wreck site in the North Atlantic, where the Titan had previously made multiple dives.
3. What happened aboard the Titan?
The vessel suffered a catastrophic implosion, killing all five people on board, sometime this week after submerging Sunday morning. It is unclear exactly when or where the implosion occurred. But a senior military official said Thursday that a U.S. Navy acoustic system detected an “anomaly” Sunday that likely was the cause of the Titan’s deadly implosion.
On Thursday June 22nd, the Coast Guard announced the discovery of wreckage from the submersible and the end of salvage efforts, bringing the story to a tragic close. “The wreckage is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber,” Rear Adm. John Mauger of the First Coast Guard District told a news conference Thursday.
A deep-sea robot discovered the wreckage, near the wreck of the Titanic, which authorities said came from the submersible. The senior military official said the Navy analyzed its acoustic data after the Titan was reported missing and the anomaly detected was “consistent with an implosion or explosion in the general vicinity of where the Titan submersible was operating when communications were lost,” the official said. The Navy relayed the information to the Coast Guard, which continued its search because the data was not considered definitive.
4. Who were the passengers?
The five passengers on the missing submarine, now presumed dead, are: Stockton Rush, CEO of Oceangate and pilot of the Titanic; two members of a prominent Pakistani family, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman; British adventurer Hamish Harding; and Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet. “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 said in a statement. “We mourn the loss of life and the joy they brought to all they met.”
5. What’s going to happen now?
The Coast Guard will continue to search near the Titanic for more clues about what happened to her. Officials have assured that no deadline has been set for suspending the search for clues and wreckage from the submarine, an activity in which multiple countries are participating. Mauger said it is unknown whether or not there is any possibility of finding or recovering wreckage.