Two names that will always conjure up images of horror and loss are the Titanic and the Titan. On its first trip in 1912, the former, a magnificent ocean liner, sunk, killing more than 1,500 people. The latter was a cutting-edge Titan Submarine that exploded in 2023 as it descended to the Titanic, killing all five crew members.
Mission and Crew of The Titan Submarine
The Titan was run by OceanGate, a business that provided private trips to the Titanic disaster. The submarine was made to work up to 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) below the top of the ocean, where the pressure and temperature are very high. To record beautiful photographs and data of the Titanic and her environs, it was outfitted with high-resolution cameras, sonar, and lighting systems.
Another engineering and inventive achievement was the Titan. It was the first submarine with a body made of titanium and carbon fiber, which made it stronger and lighter than subs made of steel. It was also the first submarine to have a portable joystick that could be used to direct it from anywhere in the world through a satellite link.
The Titan’s task was to thoroughly investigate and record the Titanic in order to learn new information about its past, present, and future. Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate, British father-and-son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood, explorer Hamish Harding, and Titanic specialist Paul-Henri Nargeolet made up the Titan’s crew.
The Titan Submarine Final Diving and Explosion
On June 18, 2023, the Titan made its last plunge. At around 9:30 a.m. local time, the submersible left from Horizon Arctic, a surface ship. After traveling for around two hours, it was planned to arrive at the Titanic and spend several hours investigating the location before heading back to the surface.
But during the fall, things went horribly wrong. The Titan lost communication with the surface craft at around 10:40 a.m. Neither an emergency beacon nor a distress signal were triggered. Suddenly, the submersible disappeared from the radar.
The US Coast Guard organized a significant search and rescue effort that included several vessels, aircraft, helicopters, and underwater vehicles. They searched the Titanic’s vicinity for five days in search of debris or signs of life.
On June 23, 2023, they at last discovered what they were searching for: Titanic’s bow covered with Titanic-related wreckage. About 500 meters (1,600 feet) away from the wreckage. A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) from Horizon Arctic found the tail cone of the sub. The nose cone and portions of the pressure chamber were also among the debris.
The debris was consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the submersible, the Coast Guard verified. An implosion is the abrupt collapse of a vessel caused by an imbalance between internal and exterior pressure. It feels like a bomb is detonating within out. The implosion would have happened in a matter of milliseconds, making it impossible for the crew to respond or flee.
It is still unclear what specifically caused the implosion. It may have resulted from a structural flaw, a leak, an accident, or some outside event. According to the Coast Guard, they will keep looking into the incident and gather any information that may help explain what took place.
The Reaction and Tributes
The Titan’s crew’s relatives have been informed, and they have voiced their shock and sadness. They also paid homage to the daring explorers who had loved them and followed their passions and curiosities.
In a statement, OceanGate also expressed their grief and sympathies for their friends and coworkers. They expressed their shock at the loss and their willingness to assist with any enquiries into what happened.
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Our understanding and enjoyment of one of history’s most famous shipwrecks were meant to be advanced through the innovative Titan submarine project. Instead, it turned into yet another terrible story of two giants who perished at the depths of the Atlantic.