Newfoundland, Canada, witnessed the arrival of debris from a damaged submarine following a fatal voyage to the Titanic site that claimed the lives of five individuals. On Wednesday, the US Coast Guard revealed that what they believe to be human remains were discovered amidst the twisted wreckage of the Titan, a submarine that suffered a collapse during a recent expedition to the Titanic.
The Coast Guard intends to transport the collected evidence from the frigid waters of the North Atlantic to a US port, where medical professionals will conduct a thorough examination of the remains, according to officials.
Jason Neubauer, a high-ranking captain with the Marine Board of Investigation, stated, “The evidence will offer investigators from various international jurisdictions crucial insights into the cause of this tragedy. There is still significant work to be done in comprehending the factors that led to the catastrophic loss of the Titan and ensuring the prevention of a similar incident in the future.”
This update arrives approximately one week after the authorities announced the discovery of the submarine’s wreckage. The sub disappeared during its attempt to reach the Titanic wreck situated two miles below sea level, following an extensive search and rescue mission. The Coast Guard’s report from last week suggested that the sub’s five crew members likely perished instantly due to a “violent implosion.”
The recovered pieces of the wrecked craft, which hold the potential to unravel the mystery surrounding the tragedy, were transported to Newfoundland, Canada, on Wednesday. These fragments may also shed light on inquiries regarding the sub’s innovative design, safety measures, and lack of proper certification.
The Horizon Arctic, a Canadian vessel, delivered significant metal components, possibly originating from the Titan’s white shell and seabed landing gear, to St. John’s.
Among the collected wreckage were twisted wires and other items potentially associated with the mechanical system of the 22-foot (6.7-meter) sub. The Titan was launched from a ship on June 18 but lost surface contact after one hour and 45 minutes.
The collection of this debris represents a critical step in determining the cause of the incident. The design of the craft and the safety practices of OceanGate, the US company responsible for the sub, have long been a subject of scrutiny among experts.
Before the wreck was located on the ocean floor near the Titanic, the world anxiously awaited news about the sub, with numerous individuals closely following the media coverage, hoping it would be found before running out of oxygen.
To search for pieces of the sunken sub in close proximity to the Titanic remains, the Horizon Arctic employed a remote-controlled submersible vehicle (ROV). Pelagic Research Services, the company that owns the ROV with offices in Massachusetts and New York, confirmed on Wednesday that their offshore operations had concluded.
The Pelagic Research Services team stated that they are “still on the job” but are unable to comment on the Titan investigation, which involves multiple US and Canadian government entities. The company’s statement emphasized the team’s dedication throughout the operation’s physical and mental challenges and their eagerness to complete the mission and reunite with their loved ones.
Carl Hartsfield from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, an expert who assisted the Coast Guard during the search, mentioned that the recovered materials could hold vital clues regarding the fate of the Titan. He also speculated the possibility of electronic data being present.
“Certainly, all the instruments on any deep-sea vehicle record data. They pass up data. So the question is, is there any data available? And I really don’t know the answer to that question,” Hartsfield shared on Monday.
The Coast Guard, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, has classified the loss of the Titan as a “major marine accident” and will lead the investigation.
OceanGate Expeditions, the company that owned and operated the Titan, is headquartered in Everett, Washington, while the sub was registered in the Bahamas. The company ceased its operations upon the discovery of the Titan.
Regarding the main ship, the Polar Prince, it originated from Canada, and the individuals who lost their lives hailed from England, Pakistan, France, and the United States. Among the casualties are OceanGate CEO and pilot Stockton Rush, two members of a prominent Pakistani family, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, British explorer Hamish Harding, and French Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet.