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OceanGate: Saga Of The Missing Titan Sub

The Titan, a submersible designed and owned by OceanGate is a watercraft that went missing with five multi-millionaire occupants. However, the saga around the missing Titan could be coming to a sad end after numerous reports of its implosion.

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OceanGate’s Titan submersible. The sub is feared to have imploded with five people in it during its dive to the Titanic wreck site. Photo: Courtesy/ OceanGate

Re-cap

Here is a brief re-cap on the missing Titan.

The Titan began descent at 8:00 a.m. 18 June, 2023. It was expected to make a dive to the Titanic wreck site and back in approximately seven hours.

At 9:45 a.m. The Titan lost communication with its mothership- The Polar Prince. At 9:13 p.m. about 12 hours later, it was officially reported missing by the United States Coast Guard.

Several ships and planes from Canada and The United States, as well as an underwater robot from France were deployed in search and rescue of the Titan and its occupants.

The search, which began almost immediately, was majorly honed in on areas where underwater banging noises were detected. It covered an area of 10,000 square miles- a perimeter equivalent to The State of Massachusetts.

It is feared that the Titan might have imploded less than two hours into its dive into the North Atlantic Ocean.

A literal death blow

Roderick Smith, an Engineering professor at Imperial College is one of the many experts that have spoken on the ongoing Titan saga. Smith claims that the accident was likely due to failure of the pressure chamber.

According to Professor Smith, the pressure at deep sea is estimated to be 400 times what it is at sea level. Hence, an implosion caused by defect in the pressure hull, would mean that, the submersible would collapse in on itself in milliseconds.

Smith added that, the sub might have been crushed by the immense water pressure and that death, in this case, would be virtually instantaneous. He also said that, the violence of such an implosion would mean that it may be very difficult to determine the sequence of events, let alone find the remains of the five occupants.

Related: OceanGate’s Titan Submersible: Everything You Need To Know (Part One)

From left; Suleman Dawood, Shahzada Dawood, Stockton Rush, Paul-Henri Nargeolet and Harding Hamilton. The five people that lost their lives aboard the Titan. Photo: Collage image/ Courtesy, SwitchMedia.

Moreover, Stockton’s old friend and former business partner, Guillermo Soehnlein, told reporters that, James Cameron is fully aware of such a nature of death. Soehnlein quoted Cameron,

If something happens at that depth, it will be catastrophic in a matter of microseconds. To the point where, the implosion happens at almost supersonic speeds and you’d basically be dead even before your brain could process that anything was wrong.

James Cameron

Cameron is veteran diver and a movie director. He directed the epic movie Titanic and has made more than 30 dives to the Titanic wreck site. He also accused OceanGate of not heeding to warnings and security alerts concerning the Titan.

The implosion

Reports have it that, The US Navy had already detected an implosion a few hours after The Titan dived into the ocean. The implosion was detected at the site where the vessel lost communications with The Polar Prince.

Surprisingly, after the Navy alerted the US Coast Guard, a decision was reached to continue the mission as a search and rescue to make efforts to save lives on the board.

However, this begs one to ask. Why would there be a continued search mission in the name of making efforts to rescue lives on board, when the outcome of a likely implosion is clearly known?

Speaking under condition of anonymity, a US Navy official had the following to say,

The US Navy conducted an analysis of acoustic data and detected an anomaly consistent with an implosion or explosion in the general vicinity of where the Titan submersible was operating when communications were lost.

Senior US Navy Official

The Saga

There are numerous claims, reports and even a lawsuit made about the safety of the imploded Titan. The lawsuit involved OceanGate’s former director of marine operations, David Lochridge who was fired in 2018 after warning the company about the Titan’s experimental carbon fiber hull.

Aside from that, Mike Reiss, an American television writer, who visited the Titanic wreck on the Titan submersible last year, described his experience as disorienting. He narrated that the compass immediately stopped working and kept spinning around. As a result, they had to flail around blindly at the bottom of the ocean knowing they were somewhere around the Titanic wreck site.

Related: OceanGate’s Titan Submersible: Everything You Need To Know (Part Two)

The Titan before diving into the North Atlantic Ocean. The vessel was reported missing less than two hours into its dive. Photo: Courtesy/ OceanGate

Another name on this list is James Cameron. Earlier today, the Hollywood director claimed that, OceanGate had ignored numerous warnings and security alerts concerning the safety of the Titan. However, Guillermo Soehnlein discredited James Cameron’s claims by saying this about OceanGate’s late CEO,

He was extremely committed to safety. He was also extremely diligent about managing risks and was very keenly aware of the dangers of operating in a deep ocean environment. So that is one of the main reasons I agreed to do business with him in 2009.

Guillermo Soehnlein.

Guillermo Soehnlein started OceanGate Expeditions with Stockton Rush before leaving the company in 2013. He denied being involved in the Titan’s design as well as claims about his old friend being reckless.

Related: OceanGate’s Titan Submersible: Everything You Need To Know (Part Three)

Condolences

As the multinational search and rescue comes to a possible halt, friends, family and other sympathizers have sent in their heartfelt condolences. Amongst them are The United States Coast Guard and OceanGate Expedition.

In addition, Harding’s family described the late aviation tycoon as a passionate explorer and a loving husband and dedicated father to his two sons.

What he achieved in his lifetime was truly remarkable and if we can take any small consolation from this tragedy, its that we lost him doing what he loved.

Hamilton Harding’s family

On the same note, the Late Shahzada Dawood’s sister, came forth with a confession. She said that, her nephew, Suleman Dawood, was terrified of the daring expedition. The grieving aunt and sister expressed that she was heartbroken as Suleman only joined the expedition because it was important to his titanic-obsessed father.

I feel like I have been caught in a really bad film with a countdown, but you didn’t know what you are counting down to. I personally have found it kind of difficult to breathe thinking of them.

Azmeh Dawood

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