Search for missing Titanic Submersible Submarine

The implosion of the Titan submersible, which was used for deep-sea exploration of the Titanic wreck, is a tragic event that resulted in the loss of all lives on board. Here are the key points about this incident:

  1. Incident Overview:

    • The Titan submersible, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, was on a mission to explore the wreckage of the Titanic.
    • Communication with the submersible was lost approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes into its dive on June 18, 2023.
    • The submersible was carrying five people: the CEO of OceanGate, a British billionaire explorer, a French Titanic expert, and a Pakistani father and son.
  2. Search and Rescue Efforts:

    • A massive international search and rescue operation was launched, involving the U.S. Coast Guard, Canadian authorities, and various private entities.
    • Search efforts included the use of aircraft, ships, and underwater drones.
  3. Discovery of Debris:

    • On June 22, 2023, debris consistent with a catastrophic implosion was found on the ocean floor, approximately 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic.
    • The debris field included parts of the pressure hull, indicating that the submersible had suffered a catastrophic implosion.
  4. Cause of Implosion:

    • The exact cause of the implosion is still under investigation, but it is likely due to structural failure at extreme depths.
    • The submersible was designed to withstand immense pressure, but any structural weakness or design flaw could have led to its failure.
  5. Implications and Reactions:

    • The incident has raised questions about the safety and regulatory oversight of deep-sea exploration vehicles.
    • OceanGate has faced scrutiny over the design and safety protocols of the Titan submersible.
    • The tragedy has led to calls for stricter regulations and safety measures for deep-sea expeditions.
  6. Memorials and Tributes:

    • The victims of the implosion have been remembered and honored by friends, family, and the wider exploration community.
    • There have been various memorials and tributes acknowledging their contributions to deep-sea exploration and their adventurous spirit.

The implosion of the Titan submersible is a stark reminder of the risks involved in deep-sea exploration and the need for rigorous safety standards in this challenging and dangerous field.

1 Titanic director James Cameron: submarine warnings were ignored


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23 jun 2023

Movie director and submersible maker James Cameron said on Thursday he wishes he had sounded the alarm earlier about the submersible Titan that imploded on an expedition to the Titanic wreckage, saying he had found the hull design risky.

All five aboard the vessel were killed.

Cameron became a deep-sea explorer in the 1990s while researching and making his Oscar-winning blockbuster “Titanic,” and is part owner of Triton Submarines, which makes submersibles for research and tourism.

He is part of the small and close-knit submersible community, or Manned Underwater Vehicle (MUV) industry. When he heard, as many in the industry had shared, that OceanGate Inc was making a deep-sea submersible with a composite carbon fiber and titanium hull, Cameron said he was skeptical.

2 ‘There is no excuse for what happened here’: Director James Cameron on Titanic sub tragedy

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23 jun 2023

ABC News’ Phil Lipof spoke with “Titanic” film director James Cameron and Robert Ballard, the first person to locate the Titanic wreckage, as the search for the missing sub comes to a tragic end.

3 Man who turned down trip on ill-fated submersible says CEO ‘brushed off’ his concerns

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CNN’s Gloria Pazmino breaks down the latest updates in the investigation into the OceanGate Titan, which suffered a “catastrophic implosion” in transit to the Titanic that killed five. CNN’s Erin Burnett speaks with Jay and Sean Bloom, a father and son duo who turned down seats on the ill-fated submersible.

4 Fatal Flaws: The OceanGate Story | Full Documentary (2024)

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4 Oceangate whistleblower expressed safety concerns over missing Titanic sub – BBC News

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21 jun 2023

A whistleblower previously voiced concerns over the safety of the missing Titanic submersible, court documents claim.

The 2018 documents reveal that an Oceangate employee raised issues about the safety and design of the vessel, named Titan.

Contact with the miniature sub, which has five people on board, was lost on Sunday as it made a 3,800m (12,467 ft) descent to the Titanic wreck.

5 Missing Sub: Former Titan passenger ‘couldn’t get comfortable with design’

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22 jun 2023

A former passenger on one of Titan’s maiden voyages says he ultimately “decided to back off” from the Titanic dive project as he “couldn’t get comfortable with the design”.

Speaking to Sky News, US explorer Josh Gates described how there were system errors during his journey on the submersible in a “shakedown dive” in 2021.

Mr Gates added that some of the systems on board “didn’t perform well at all”, with issues on thrusters and computer controls onboard.

6 Implosion Titan Oceangate How it Happened | Submersible Submarine Parts #3d

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30 jun 2023 UNITED STATES

New Video Nuclear Powered Submarine Link

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What is Implosion?

Implosion is a process of destruction by collapsing inwards the object itself.

Where explosion expands, implosion contracts.

In the case of the Titan Submergible. the Implosion was caused due to very high hydrostatic pressure of the surrounding water, which happen within a fraction of a millisecond, as shown in the animation.

At the depth the Titanic rests, there is around 5600 pounds per square inch of pressure.

That’s almost 400 times the pressure we experience on the surface.

As the submersible is deep in the ocean, it experiences the force on its surface due to the water pressure.

When this force becomes larger than the force hull can withstand, the vessel implodes violently.

But why did this Implosion happen to the Titan Submersible.

(Existing technology is based on) Current hull materials used are steel, titanium, and aluminium. These are what kept other submarines from being Crushed.

But the Titan has had an experimental design. It used mostly carbon fibres, which have the advantage of being lighter than titanium or steel.

The properties of carbon fibres for deep sea applications are, however, not that well understood. It can crack and break suddenly.

6 Why the Titanic sub imploded | 60 Minutes Australia

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7 The Unsinkable Titanic

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15 apr 2022

Everyone knows that an iceberg sank The Unsinkable Titanic leaving more than 1,500 people to perish in what is now known to be one of the greatest maritime disasters in history. But this striking film argues that it was actually a long chain of misjudgements, human errors and misfortunes that sealed the fate of the largest liner of its day, her passengers, and crew. Had just one link in that chain been missing, this historic disaster may have been averted.

The film draws on the latest research as well as eyewitness testimonies to reconstruct the story from the point of view of those involved, and debunk the many myths that have built up surrounding the Titanic.

What the Titan failure has taught us about exploring the deep ocean

By Victor Vescovo, 

One year ago, the Titan submersible was destroyed on an ill-fated mission to the wreck of the Titanic. Ocean explorer Victor Vescovo explains why the mishap could make future deep-ocean voyages safer.

“[The Ocean] is a place where you’ve got to really know your stuff before you can step outside the box. You don’t move fast and break things, as they say in Silicon Valley, if the thing you’re going to break has got you inside it.”

– Deep-ocean explorer, scientist and film-maker James Cameron, appearing on 60 Minutes Australia, 9 June 2024

It has been a year since the submersible Titan imploded at the site of the RMS Titanic. Two of my friends and colleagues, PH Nargeolet from France and Hamish Harding from the UK, were onboard. I worked extensively with P H for several years on the design and operation of the ultra-deep diving submersible Limiting Factor, while Hamish and I visited the deepest point in the ocean, Challenger Deep, together. Their loss was not just a big news story: to me, it was personal.

A year later, many ask: “How has the incident changed deep-water exploration?”

There are two answers.

The first is: “I very much hope, not much.”

By that I mean that I sincerely hope that this incident does not make people more fearful of diving into the depths of the extraordinary ocean, the lifeblood of our world. Three-quarters of the world’s ocean is completely unexplored, home to multitudes of undiscovered species, to geologic puzzles that can help us understand seaquakes and tsunamis, and possibly insights into how the world is affected by climate change.

Unfortunately, the sensationalism surrounding the accident and the instinctive fear many people have of the deep ocean have perhaps made some of those unfamiliar with submersibles more anxious about getting into one. But this absolutely should not be the case; just as people should not stop travelling by air after they hear reports of a fatal aircraft accident. Those of us in the submersible community – the builders, pilots, and researchers – have not hesitated in continuing to extensively dive in these vehicles, which should give everyone else confidence in their safety.

Reeve Jolliffe/Caladan Oceanic

Victor Vescovo has dived to the deepest points in all the world’s oceans in the submersible Limiting factor (Credit: Reeve Jolliffe/Caladan Oceanic)

It is very important to understand the complete unconventionality of the Titan submersible. It was an aberration in the history of submersible design, operation, and safety. The Titan was principally constructed of carbon fibre, molded into the shape of a cylinder, where every other deep-diving submersible is based on a metal or acrylic sphere. Safety concerns about the vessel were raised as far back as 2018, according to former employees of OceanGate, the company that owned the Titan. Virtually every deep ocean engineering expert I know also implored OceanGate not to dive the Titan and communicated that it was only a matter of time before the submersible imploded and people would be killed.

Those warnings were ignored.

Please let me repeat: It is crucial for people to understand that there are very well-established, safe ways to build and operate deep-ocean submersibles. For 50 years, there has not been a human fatality or even serious human injury when diving in civilian submersibles based on these principles. Properly certified submersibles (or “classed” as is said in the industry) are like FAA-approved aircraft, as pioneered by the industry leader and builder of my own advanced submersible, Triton Submarines of Florida, which only builds properly certified submersibles.

Huge numbers of dives have been made to depths far surpassing that of the Titan, all without incident. I myself have piloted a submersible beyond 10,000m (33,000ft) – two-and-a-half-times deeper than Titanic – 19 times. It can be done safely and repeatedly and while taking other people along for the amazing journey.

The Titanic did not adequately heed warnings of extensive icebergs on its route, just as OceanGate ignored warnings of its flawed design

Unfortunately, the founder and chief sub pilot of OceanGate, Stockton Rush, dismissed safety concerns as standing in the way of innovation and his ambition of establishing a viable commercial operation. He used carbon fibre so that he could construct a vessel big enough to carry sufficient passengers to pay for the high costs of building and operating a deep-diving submersible. Those compromises for the sake of economics, and potential technological bragging rights against what he perceived as an overly conservative industry, proved fatal.

Historical similarities abound. The Titanic did not adequately heed warnings of extensive icebergs on its route, just as Oceangate ignored warnings of its flawed design. Titanic had insufficient lifeboats because more would have allegedly cluttered the deck and ruined the view for passengers, while the Titan used carbon fibre so more people could be fitted into it. And there was of course, the never-ending tale of hubris: Titanic was “too big to sink” and the Titan was to be a “revolutionary”. Both were deemed perfectly safe by their owners and yet they both were not. At all.

There is a second way the loss of the Titan could affect deep ocean exploration. The accident, in an almost eerie way, repeated many of the elements that contributed to the tragedy of the Titanic over a hundred years before it. However, the disaster could – and should – have a similar positive effect on future worldwide safety regulations.

Robert Ormerod

Victor Vescovo says the tragic loss of Titan may ultimately help make future deep ocean exploration safer (Credit: Robert Ormerod)

In the wake of the loss of the Titanic, strict Safety of Life at Sea (Solas) regulations were created and endure to this day. These stringent regulations govern the equipment, procedures, and training that are required to operate commercial vessels at sea. Therefore, the loss of Titanic, as tragic as it was, saved significantly more lives in the aftermath by spurring new safety measures to prevent a similar tragedy from ever happening again.

Humankind should never pull back from exploration and exposing as many people as possible to the extraordinary wonders of our world

So, too, is the glimmer of hope from the Titan disaster. While we still await the results of two official investigations into the accident by the US Coast Guard and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, there are calls to tighten the safety measures in the submersible industry. “Non-classed” submersibles (that is, not certified by accredited third parties) should never be allowed to transport commercial passengers. Just like in aviation, experimental craft can and should be allowed to operate so that we may push the boundaries of technology, safety, and capability, but people who have no idea how to calibrate the risks they are taking should not be able to buy tickets to travel in experimental craft.

Simply signing a waiver, skirting the law by operating in international waters, or using legal judo to classify commercial passengers as “crew” when they clearly are not, shouldn’t shield risky operators from prohibitions on operating as well as retroactive legal action when they come back to any port.

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Another key point is that – as with so many other aspects of our world – money spent on tourism, yes, even deep ocean tourism to a wreck, provides funding for the development of technology and procedures to make ocean exploration more affordable, repeatable and safer. Insufficient funding is provided to develop marine technology, so supporting ocean tourism is necessary if we want to make it more accessible over time. But it must be safe and follow established safety protocols.

Humankind should never pull back from exploration and exposing as many people as possible to the extraordinary wonders of our world – including down into the deep ocean. We must do so in order to better understand, appreciate, and preserve it as well as nurture that most definitive and extraordinary aspect of human nature: the need to explore.

Recently commenting on the loss of the Titan and our mutual friend, P H Nargeolet, James Cameron gave what I believe are the best, closing words on the tragedy, from that same interview:

“Exploration will proceed because it must, and because it is part of the human spirit… If it’s done right, it can be done safely.”

Victor L Vescovo is a deep ocean explorer, certified submersible test pilot, former Commander in the US Navy, and venture capitalist. He has visited Titanic three times, was the first person to visit the deepest point in all five of the world’s oceans, and has visited the deepest point in the ocean, Challenger Deep, 15 times.

What the Titan failure has taught us about exploring the deep ocean

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