Titanic submersible live updates: “catastrophic implosion” on Titan, carbon fiber hull | Latest news
Titan submersible tragedy: live updates
Hello and welcome to AS USA's live coverage for Friday 7 July on the Titan tragedy.
Led by the US Coast Guard, an international group of agencies is now investigating the submersible's apparent implosion last month, during a dive towards the Atlantic Ocean seafloor to visit the Titanic.
There were five people on board the Titan, including Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions - the company that built the submersible and, since 2021, has been operating the trips to the Titanic.
On Thursday, OceanGate announced that it "has suspended all exploration and commercial operations".
Read and watch more on the Titan tragedy:
OceanGate employee feared CEO could ‘kill himself and others in quest to boost his ego’
A former OceanGate employee warned safety concerns with the company’s Titanic submersible could have deadly consequences in an ominous ego calling out CEO Stockton Rush’s “ego”.
David Lochridge, OceanGate’s director of marine operations from 2015 to 2018, was asked by Rush to conduct a quality inspection after safety issues with the Titan were raised. During this process, Mr Lochridge “identified numerous issues that posed serious safety concerns” but he was allegedly “met with hostility and denial of access” to necessary documents, according to a lawsuit he brought in 2018 after he was terminated.
Too soon? Subway under fire for tasteless ad
A Subway in Georgia came under fire after employees displayed a “distasteful” slogan on the restaurant’s outdoor marquee sign that seemingly made light of the Titan submersible implosion that killed five people last month.
The message board below the Subway sign at the chain eatery’s store in Rincon read: “Our subs don’t implode,” according to photos posted online.
All five passengers aboard the OceanGate sub died when it imploded on its way down to see the sight of the Titanic wreck on June 18.
Fake audio of the Titan sub implosion is spreading online
By now, you may have seen or heard sounds that are purported to be the US Navy's recording of the Titan's implosion. Several different videos are making the rounds of social media, but they are all fake.
The US Navy reported that they did indeed record the sound of the implosion, but that the recording has not been released, and that it almost certainly never will be.
A Navy spokesperson said, "The Navy generally does not release audio to protect our tactics, techniques, and capabilities."
Speaking of the Titan CEO mentioning the "off the shelf" components of the submersible, here's a video of the PlayStation controller that was used to control the vehicle.
Titan CEO said sub was "struck by lightning"
"Fortunately, it was not a direct strike. A direct strike to the carbon fibre probably would have taken us totally out"
"Fortunately, we are using commercial off-the-shelf and line-replaceable items. So in a matter of a couple of days, we were able to replace all those components."
Who owned Titan?
Titan CEO: Stockton Rush
Another of the people on board the Titan was the CEO of the company that organised the experience, OceanGate. The name of said manager is Stockton Rush. He was the founder of the company, which was created 13 years ago, and was also its executive director.
Rush was the youngest qualified jet transport pilot on the planet when he achieved the rank of captain at the age of 19. In 1989, he manufactured an experimental plane and a submersible for two people, making more than 30 dives.
Titan used Starlink to receive internet
This post, from early June, ahead of the disaster, gives a little insight into how the submersible worked. It used Elon Musk's satellite internet constellation, Starlink, to receive a stable connection, even way out in the Atlantic.
Just weeks later, when the search and rescue team were deployed, a huge human effort was made to find any evidence that might have given a clue as to exactly what happened.
OceanGate's one line statement regarding the suspension:
"OceanGate has suspended all exploration and commercial operations."
Nothing else was give in the statement, which was posted at the top of the screen; the menu options to buy the Titanic/Azores/Bahamas/Bespoke exhibitions are still present on the site at the time of writing.
US Coast Guard speaks about the recovery effort:
I am grateful for the coordinated international and interagency support to recover and preserve this vital evidence at extreme offshore distances and depths.
The evidence will provide investigators from several international jurisdictions with critical insights into the cause of this tragedy.
There is still a substantial amount of work to be done to understand the factors that led to the catastrophic loss of the Titan and help ensure a similar tragedy does not occur again.
One lesser-known part of the OceanGate story is that YouTube sensation Mr. Beast was apparently invited to take part in a dive on the Titan vessel.
“I was invited earlier this month to ride the titanic submarine, I said no. Kind of scary that I could have been on it,” he tweeted.
But how close was the popular vlogger to being on the fateful voyage?
OceanGate CEO was warned, 'You're going to kill somebody'
UK publication the Guardian has shared the context of a shocking email conversation between OceanGate founder Stockton Rush and Rob McCallum, a veteran submersibles expert.
In the emails, verified by the Guardian, McCallum seeks to warn Rush of the dangers of his plans for Titan. In response, Rush reacted angrily and suggested that he had heard similar concerns on multiple occasions.
"I have grown tired of industry players who try to use a safety argument to stop innovation and new entrants from entering their small existing market.
"Since Guillermo [Söhnlein] and I started OceanGate we have heard the baseless cries of ‘you are going to kill someone’ way too often.”
OceanGate suspends all operations after Titan tragedy
After five people perished on an ill-fated voyage to the wreckage of the Titanic, the firm behind the endeavour have reportedly suspended all activities. OceanGate was set up by Stockton Rush more than a decade ago and the company founder was one of those on-board when Titan went missing.
Titan: from Saturn's moon to Greek mythology
The word "Titan" has obviously made a lot of headlines in recent weeks, for tragic reasons, but did you know that it actually encompasses a range of meanings and applications across various domains.
In Greek mythology, for example, the Titans were powerful deities who preceded the Olympian gods. In the realm of astronomy, Titan is Saturn's largest moon, renowned for its distinctive atmosphere and potential for hosting prebiotic chemistry. Metaphorically, "Titan" represents great strength and influence, often used to describe exceptional individuals or extraordinary achievements.
It is also a popular choice for sports team names, as with the Tennessee-based NFL franchise, symbolising, not always accurately, dominance and resilience.
The term finds its place in literature, entertainment, and branding, evoking notions of power, grandeur, and reliability. Additionally, "Titan" has been employed in military contexts to designate equipment and weapons systems.
Titanic submersible previously spun out of control
A former pilot of the ill-fated Titan submersible lost control of the vessel during a previous dive, which caused the sub to start spinning in circles as terrified passengers were stuck on board for hours.
Footage taken inside the submersible shows the vehicle spinning out of control, leading pilot Scott Griffith to say, “We have a problem,” as the five-person crew dove 12,500 feet below sea level.
The crew was 300 meters from the Titanic’s ruins when the Titan’s thrusters began to malfunction, the clip from the 2022 BBC documentary revealed.
“The starting point is that the submarine is descending without any incident and in a horizontal plane until it reaches… about 1,700 meters (5,500 feet). At that point there is an electrical failure. It is left without an engine and without propulsion. That’s when it lost communication with the Polar Price,” Submarine expert and merchant marine José Luis Martín told Nius.
“The Titan changes position and falls like an arrow vertically, because the 400 kilos (880 pounds) of passengers that were at the porthole unbalance the submarine. Everyone rushes and crowds on top of each other. Imagine the horror, the fear and the agony. It had to be like a horror movie.”
During a press briefing, Edward Cassano, the CEO of Pelagic Research Services and the head of the search team responsible for locating the remains of the ill-fated Titan submersible, openly expressed his profound emotions as he recounted the rescue mission that soon turned into a challenging recovery one.
Cassano’s heartfelt account shed light on the intense emotional journey that his team underwent throughout the operation.
Speaking to the media outlet NIUS, a Spanish expert has put forward a potential timeline of the events that led to the Titan's presumed implosion.
The engineer José Luis Martín has suggested that an electrical fault unleashed a chain reaction that caused the tragedy.
A filmmaker who boarded an OceanGate dive to the Titanic in 2021 told the BBC last year of her experience of a Titan malfunction, when the vessel's batteries went flat as it neared the seafloor.
“[When OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush said the Titan would have to return to the surface], I thought he was kidding because we were over two hours into our expedition and so close to the bottom,” Jaden Pan revealed on the BBC's Travel Show.
“But then he explained that one of the batteries went kaput and we were having trouble using the electronic drops for the weights, so it would be hard for us to get back up to the surface."
According to Pan, Rush suggested that the crew members fall asleep while the weights that the submarine had attached dissolved in the water - a process that would take about 24 hours.
Created by the Spanish animation company MeatBallStudios, this videoillustrates just how far down the Titanic sits at the bottom of the Atlanic.
'Audio' of Titan implosion spreads on social media
Newsweek reported on Wednesday that social media is witnessing a growing spread of videos falsely purporting to contain audio of the Titan implosion and even screams from the vessel's occupants.
Together with AS USA's Alejandro Martín, Greg has also put together this profile of the five people who were on board the Titan when it seemingly imploded.
The vessel's occupants were OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush; British-Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood his son, Suleman; Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a French deep-sea explorer; and Briton Hamish Harding, also a deep-sea explorer.
Last month's accident came some two years after Titan made its first dive to the wreckage of the Titanic.
AS USA's Greg Heilman looks back over the OceanGate submersible's history.
OceanGate suspends operations
OceanGate Expeditions said on Thursday that it has halted its activities, fixing a banner to the top of its official website which reads: "OceanGate has suspended all exploration and commercial operations."
Despite last month's Titan tragedy, the company had continued to advertise two dives to the Titanic in 2024.
(Photo: REUTERS/Matt Mills McKnight)