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

OceanGate’s Titan submersible, is a commercial submarine that went missing during a dive to the Titanic Shipwreck. OceanGate is a privately held company that provides crewed submersible assets and expertise for commercial, research and military applications.



The Titan was reported overdue on 18 June, 2022, at 9:13 p.m. This was after it lost contact with surface, an hour and 45 minutes into its dive into The Atlantic Ocean. The vessel, which is run and owned by US company OceanGate, accommodates a total of five passengers, including the Captain.

For each expedition, Ocean Gate charges a total of US$ 250,000 (Ksh. 35 million) per head. An expeditions last slightly over a week (8-10 days), with a single trip/dive to the Titanic Shipwreck taking 6-8 hours. However, as it is still rumored that its CEO, Stockton Rush is also on board, the identities of the other crew members have been confirmed.

The mission crew includes, Paul Henry Nargeolet (The Captain), Harding Hamilton ( British billionaire), Shahzada Dawoon and his son Suleiman (Pakistani tycoons). All who expressed great excitement to be embarking on this one of a kind trip.

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The Titan Submersible

A submersible is a watercraft that moves in similar fashion to submarines but within a much more limited range. They are used for research and exploration purposes such as documenting underwater environments.

However, the Titan is used for a number of things. It is used for site survey and inspection, research and data collection, film and media production as well as deep-sea testing of hardware and software.

The Titan on the launch platform underwater before the dive/ OceanGate

The Titan submersible can only accommodate a maximum of five people and reach a maximum depth of 4,000 meters (4 kilometers). It is 22 feet (6.7 meters) in length and travels at as speed of 3 knots (5.5 kilometers per hour).

Aside from that, it has a Real-time hull health Monitoring (RTM) system which is used to monitor the health of the Titan’s carbon fiber hull. The RTM system has a sensor known as a strain gauge, which can measure applied force and small deformations in material resulting from changes in pressure, tension and weight.

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What Might Have Happened

With no contact yet from the Titan, a number of experts have come forth to give possible scenarios of what may have gone wrong with the vessel. One of them is Titanic expert, Mr. Tim Martin.

Being a battery operated vessel, it is highly believed that the submersible may have lost power or may have ended up at the bottom of the sea. However, in these cases, the Titan is expected to have a safety system that will help it return to the surface. This is because, it is equipped with additional weights that can be dropped to instantly increase its buoyancy.

The Titan commencing a dive to 4,000 meters underwater/ OceanGate

Nonetheless, other worst case scenarios have also been brought forth. First, a fire might have erupted on board due to an electrical short circuit. This would compromise the vehicles electronic systems which are used for the navigation and control of the vessel.

Second, the watercraft may have suffered a catastrophic failure to its pressure housing. Despite its composite hull being built to withstand intense deep-sea pressures, deformities on the hull would jeopardize the integrity of its performance, creating a risk of implosion.

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Rear Admiral John Mauger, of the US Coast Guard, on 19 June reported that the watercraft had about 70-90 hours of oxygen left. The Titan had an oxygen capacity of 96 hours before its dive into the ocean.

As hopes around the world are high that the vessel will be found, chances remain very slim. Experts say that the rescue mission is no small feat as the underwater vehicle is the size of a bus in the expanse ocean. Regardless of the odds, there have been numerous reports of signs of life.

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