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

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.

OceanGate’s Titan Submersible. Photo: Courtesy/ SwitchMedia/


What was feared to happen certainly did happen. The latest Titan’s expedition to the Titanic wreck seems to have had doom and history written all over it. With even more bits and pieces of information being expected to crop up from this tragic incident, here is what’s latest on the issue.

History Repeats Itself

The five aboard the missing Titan have officially been reported dead. This comes after the Titan is feared to have suffered an implosion. The implosion was termed as catastrophic and is said to have killed its occupants in an instant. However, in the event that the Titan hasn’t really imploded, it would be nothing short of a miracle for the five to have lasted this long with limited oxygen supply.

James Cameron, a Hollywood movie director and renowned deep sea explorer said that many warnings were ignored about the Titan’s safety. He says that the sub was a source of widespread concern in the close-knit Ocean Exploration Community. The Titan drew many parallels to the 1912 sunken maiden voyage. It is nostalgic to many, that the Titan is reported to have exploded not far from the Titanic wreck.

“I am struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself, where the captain was repeatedly warned about the ice ahead of the ship, and yet, he steamed at full speed into an icefield on a moonless night and many people died as a result.” James Cameron told ABC News. He further went on to express his astonishment.

And for a very similar tragedy, where warning went unheeded, to take place at the exact same site, with all the diving that is going on around the world, I think it’s just astonishing. It is quite surreal.

James Cameron
James Cameron, movie director and deep sea explorer. Photo: Courtesy/ James Cameron

In 2012, James Cameron, the Titanic director, became the first person to make a solo dive to the very deepest part of the ocean. He personally designed and built the submersible that he used and said that, the risk of a sub imploding under pressure was always first and foremost in engineers’ minds. The insightful diver was also long-term friends with the missing Titan’s French captain, Paul-Henri Nargeolet (PH). James claims to have known him for 25 years.

Many people in the community were very concerned about this sub. A number of top players in the Deep Sub-mergence Engineering Community even wrote letters to the company, saying that what they were doing was too experimental to carry passengers and that it needed to be certified. It is a very small community, I have known PH for 25 years. For him to have died tragically in this way is almost impossible for me to process.

James Cameron

Nonetheless, James Cameron claimed that he knows the Titanic wreck site very well and that he calculated to have spent more time on the ship than its captain did back in 1912. In the course of directing his 1997 epic film, The Titanic, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, James has undoubtedly toured the site many times. The movie won a joint record of 11 Oscars Awards. Other wins under his belt are the underwater disaster movie The Abyss and multiple award-winning deep sea documentaries.

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

The Catastrophic Implosion

On 22 June, 2023, the US Coast Guard finally confirmed reports that the Titan had suffered a likely implosion. The report indicated that the sub’s wreckage had been found near the Titanic wreck, which lies 3,800 meters deep in the North Atlantic Ocean.

These reports come after The US Navy, detected a likely implosion through their underwater sound monitoring devices, a few hours into the disappearance of the Titanic submersible. A US Navy official, who spoke under anonymity, told reporters, that the implosion was recorded shortly on Sunday by a secret acoustic monitoring system designed to detect submarines.

Missing Titan submersible before embarking on its dive to the Titanic wreck. Photo: Courtesy/ OceanGate

Further reports confirm, that debris of what is believed to be of the Titan sub, have been found 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic. The debris found on the seafloor, have been confirmed to be consistent with the implosion of the sub’s pressure chamber/hull. Furthermore, experts have also confirmed that the remains found were those of the sub’s tail cone and the front and back ends of the pressure hull. It is also uncertain whether any body remains can be found, as the underwater search for debris is currently being undertaken by underwater robots.

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


Questions regarding the cause of the implosion and finding the remains of the five have been met with somber answers. David Mearns, a marine scientist and oceanographer who specializes in deep water search and recovery operations said earlier, that the debris discovery indicated a rapid breakup of the submersible.

The five passengers aboard the missing Titan. From left; Suleman Dawood, Shahzada Dawood, Stockton Rush, Paul-Henri Nargeolet and Harding Hamilton. The five are feared dead after US Navy reported a likely implosion near the Titanic wreck.

The only saving grace about that is that it would have been immediate, literally in milliseconds and the men would have had no idea what was happening

David Mearns

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Harding Hamilton (55), Paul-Henri Nargeolet (77), Stockton Rush (61), Shahzada Dawood (48) and his son Suleiman Dawood of 19 years are the five men presumed dead after the Titan’s disappearance on 18 June, 2023.


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