What Really Happened to the Titanic-bound Submersible?
Since the news broke that the submersible vehicle called Titan appeared to be lost in the vicinity of the Titanic wreckage, the memes that have surfaced with the news, have made this a story worthy of international attention. We may never know if the interwebs helped boost the efforts to try to save the four men and the teen aboard OceanGate's submersible called Titan or if the wealth and import of Titan's crew would have garnered attention anyway.
When the "Titanic Submersible" story first broke, there was much reporting on how much oxygen the vessel had -which made for a race of sorts around finding Titan before it was too late for its passengers. What we couldn't know when the story first broke, that we know now is that Titan was probably never lost.
Popular Science reported Thursday, "OceanGate announced on Thursday afternoon it believes a “debris field” discovered near the Titanic indicates all five passengers aboard OceanGate’s Titan submersible "have sadly been lost." The experimental, uncertified vessel disappeared on Sunday during its 2.5 mile descent to briefly visit the historic ship’s remains. The Titan’s $250,000-per-seat inhabitants included a billionaire British explorer Hamish Harding, Shahzada and Suleman Dawood, Sulemanthe father-and-son scions of a Pakistani fertilizer company, French maritime expert Paul Henry Nargeolet, and OceanGate’s own CEO Stockton Rush."
Newsweek reported that "The debris was discovered by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) associated with the Canadian vessel Horizon Arctic that reached the sea floor and began searching for the submersible early Thursday."
There has likely been some type of "catastrophic failure" to the Titan sub, Stefan Williams, a professor of marine robotics at the University of Sydney whose lab works with uncrewed submersibles, told Insider. That could be due to a leak or a power failure. There's also a chance a small fire from an electrical short circuit may have compromised the vehicle's electronic systems, which are used for navigation and control of the vessel, Williams said in a blog post about the submersible. The worst-case scenario is that the pressure hull was breached, leading to a "catastrophic implosion," Williams said.
Politico reported, “The debris is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber,” Rear Adm. John Mauger, the head of the search-and-rescue operation, said at a news conference on Thursday afternoon in Boston.
On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families.
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