Debris field found 1,600ft from the Titanic’s bow consistent with catastrophic implosion of OceanGate Titanic submersible, killing all passengers
The five people onboard the Titanic submersible that went missing earlier this week are now believed to have been instantly killed in a ‘catastrophic implosion’ of the vessel after a debris field was found 1600ft (488 metres) from the Titanic’s bow.
It has also emerged that the US Navy may have heard Titan implode shortly after it lost contact with the surface on Sunday.
According to a navy official who spoke to CBS News, ‘an acoustic anomaly consistent with an implosion’ was detected shortly after the Titan lost contact.
After extensive aerial and underwater searches that began since the Titan’s disappearance, a robotic diving vehicle discovered a debris field on the seabed on Thursday.
“The debris is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel,” said US Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger, the First Coast Guard District commander.
The men onboard were British billionaire explorer, Hamish Harding, 58; British-Pakistani business Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his son Suleman Dawood, 19; Stockton Rush, CEO of Oceangate, aged 61; and 77-year-old former French navy commander, Paul-Henry Nargeolet.
The Dawood family thanked rescue crews, saying they are ‘overwhelmed with the love and support that it has received and is grateful to those who showcased the best in humanity.’
In an interview with NBC News, Azmeh Dawood, the older sister of Shahzada Dawood, said that her nephew Suleman was reluctant to go on the Titan expedition. According to Azmeh, the 19-year-old continued with the trip as it fell over the Father’s Day weekend and he was eager to please his father who was passionate about the Titanic and loved to see museum exhibitions with artefacts from the ship’s wreckage.
As well as paying tribute to Mr Nargeolet’s love of the Titanic, his family also said: ‘But what we will remember him most for is his big heart, his incredible sense of humor and how much he loved his family.’
The family of Hamish Harding, 58, also released a statement: ‘He was one of a kind and we adored him. He was a passionate explorer – whatever the terrain – who lived his life for his family, his business and for the next adventure.’
‘What he achieved in his lifetime was truly remarkable and if we can take any small consolation from this tragedy, it’s that we lost him doing what he loved.’
In a statement, the company which operated the Titan sub, OceanGate said: ‘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.’