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Search continues for missing Titanic sub



UPDATE: Sadly, it has been confirmed that all five passengers – OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, and adventurers Hamish Harding, Paul-Henry Nargeolet, and Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman – on the Titan submersible have died, after a debris field which contained the sub's nose cone and parts of the hull was discovered nearly 500 metres from the bow of the Titanic. It appears that the submersible suffered from a catastrophic implosion, although it is not known when this occurred.

A massive air and sea search operation is underway in the Atlantic Ocean for a truck-sized submersible that was carrying five people on an exploratory dive to the legendary Titanic.

The missing Titan submersible – operated by OceanGate, a company which offers eight-day expeditions to the iconic shipwreck at nearly £200,000 per person – was formerly known as Cyclops 2 and is the world's only privately owned manned-sub capable of reaching depths of 4,000m. Constructed from titanium and carbon fibre, it measures just under seven metres long and has enough oxygen on board for 96 hours, so it is a race against time to locate the vessel in the vast ocean before this time elapses.

Military planes, a submarine and sonar buoys have been employed in the search involving US and Canadian personnel, but the remote nature of where the sub disappeared makes locating it a daunting prospect.
The Titan submersible undergoing test dives in the Port of Everett Marina before its trips to the Titanic

The Titanic wreck site, where the liner's remains lie some 3,800m deep, is 435 miles south of St John's in Newfoundland, and the Polar Prince expedition vessel, which carried the Titan to the location, departed on 16 June, arriving on site two days later. Contact was lost with the submersible some one hour and 45 minutes into its dive on Sunday morning.

It has been confirmed that among the passengers on board are 58-year-old British explorer and millionaire Hamish Harding, and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman. It has also been widely reported that 73-year-old French adventurer Paul-Henry Nargeolet is also on the sub, along with OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush.

The OceanGate Titan descending into the depths

Worryingly, this is allegedly not the first time that the Titan has lost contact with the surface support vessel while on a Titanic dive. CBS Sunday Morning reporter David Pogue went on the expedition to the Titanic with OceanGate last year, and he has said that the voyage was marred by bad weather and communications problems, with the sub reported missing for two and a half hours at one point. The 2023 expeditions to the Titanic are only the third the company has carried out in the Titan.

A statement from OceanGate said: ‘Our entire focus is on the crew members in the submersible and their families. We are exploring and mobilizing all options to bring the crew back safely'.

The Titan submersible can take five crew – a pilot and four passengers.

Photo credit: OceanGate Expeditions

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Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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