OceanGate sent its Titan submersible containing five passengers to the wreckage of the Titanic. One hour and 45 minutes into the submersible's descent communications were lost.
US Coast Guard confirmed today that debris was found of the Titan submersible and that on its way to the Titanic wreck, which is located 12,500 feet below the surface of the ocean, it imploded under pressure. At that extreme depth objects are subjected to extreme pressure. Comparatively, Earth's atmosphere exerts 14.7 pounds per square inch (Psi) of pressure, but 12,500 feet below the surface of the ocean the Titan was being pounded with 5,500 Psi, or 300 times what is normally felt by most people.
According to military insiders that spoke to the Journal, a top-secret US Navy system that's used for detecting enemy submarines detected an implosion shortly after the communications dropped out an hour and 45 minutes into the Titan's descent, which would have placed them close to the seafloor. Notably, the Titan was designed to withstand this amount of pressure and underwent safety tests. However, the submersible wasn't certified by regulators and all passengers signed a waiver that said they acknowledge the safety risks of the Titan.
"The debris is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber," Rear Admiral John Mauger, of the First Coast Guard District, told reporters. "Our most heartfelt condolences go out to the loved ones of the crew."
"We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost," OceanGate wrote in a statement. "These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world's oceans."