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TITANIC

Who will lead the investigation into the cause of the implosion of the Titanic submersible?

The US Coast Guard said on Sunday it will lead an investigation into the ill-fated Titan voyage with the help of other countries involved in the disaster.

Update:
US Coast Guard starts highest level investigation into Titan disaster
BRIAN SNYDERREUTERS

The worst suspicions as to the fate of OceanGate’s Titan submersible were confirmed on Thursday when a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) discovered a debris field. The remains of the doomed vessel were located about 1,600 feet from the hull of the Titanic on the bed of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Now that the rescue mission has ceased, recovery efforts are underway to bring up the pieces of the Titan to figure out what caused a “catastrophic implosion.” To help in that endeavor the US Coast Guard said on Sunday that they will perform a Marine Board of Investigation (MBI), which is the highest level of investigation conducted by the US Coast Guard.

You might be interested in: The 5 theories about what could have caused the ‘catastrophic implosion’ on the Titan

Who will lead the investigation into the cause of the implosion of the Titanic submersible?

The inquiry will have the support of American, British and French authorities, as well as Canada whose agencies are conducting their own investigations, due to the international scope of the disaster. OceanGate is a US company, based in Everett, Washington but the Titan was registered in the Bahamas and operating in international waters. The support ship for the submersible, the Polar Prince, flew a Canadian flag while those killed were from England, France, Pakistan and the US.

Coast Guard Capt. Jason Neubauer will head the MBI. So far, the accident site has been mapped out and the investigation is in the “initial evidence collection phase.” The debris from the Titan will be salvaged and the evidence will be collected in coordination with Canadian authorities in Saint John’s, Newfoundland said Neubauer at a press conference.

According to the chief investigator the primary goal is “to prevent a similar occurrence by making the necessary recommendations to enhance the safety of the maritime domain worldwide.” However, based on the findings the MBI “is also responsible for accountability aspects of the incident, and it can make recommendations to the proper authorities to pursue civil or criminal sanctions as necessary.”

Why did the Titan implode?

As the tragedy unfolded last week, it came to light that concerns had been raised as far back as 2018 about the safety of the Titan. In 2019, submersible expert Karl Stanley, sent an email to the Titan’s creator Stockton Rush after hearing cracking noises during a dive aboard the vessel. During his 12,000 foot descent, with Rush piloting, the sounds got louder the further down they went.

The vessel was built using titanium and carbon fiber, the latter an innovation by Rush. The shape of the Titan also raised concerns as typically, deep-sea vessels for depths where the Titanic rests at nearly 13,000 feet they are spherical and can’t hold as many occupants. The Titan had space for five people inside its 22-foot long tube in a space 9 feet wide and 8 feet high.