The Titan submersible was a cutting-edge deep-sea vessel specifically tailored to explore the ocean’s depths. It enabled scientists and explorers to study the marine environment in a way that was not previously possible, and this time it’s mission was to explore the wreck of the Titanic. With a crew of five influential and wealthy people, and lacking proper certification for it’s expedition, it went missing a few days ago. Here’s all the main information about the details of the Titan submersible’s disappearance and the search and rescue operation that followed:
What is the timeline of Titan submarine?
June 18, 2023: The Titan submersible launched from the research vessel MV Polar Prince at 12:00 PM GMT from the Polar Prince icebreaker in the North Atlantic Ocean. The submersible was scheduled to descend to the wreck of the Titanic at 3:00 PM GMT, which lies at a depth of 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) in the same ocean.
The submarine lost contact with the research vessel at 1:45 PM GMT. The crew of the Titan was mostly experienced and well-trained, but the loss of communication was still a cause for concern. The submersible was expected to return to the surface after completing its expedition at 7:00 PM GMT, but it failed to make an appearance. After waiting for a while, The US Coast Guard was notified of the overdue vessel.
June 20, 2023: A search and rescue operation was called for the Titan submersible. It was coordinated by a unified command, which included the U.S. Coast Guard, the Canadian Coast Guard, OceanGate Expeditions (the company that owned the submersible), and the Canadian Navy. The search involved a variety of assets, including surface ships, aircraft, and remotely operated vehicles, and was initially focused on the area where the submersible was last seen. However, as the search continued, the area was expanded to include a larger area of the North Atlantic Ocean. The operation was also significantly hampered by the strong currents and unpredictable weather conditions in the area.
June 21, 2023: In a hopeful turn of events, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that it has detected banging sounds in the area where the Titan submersible was last seen, using a Canadian P-8 Poseidon aircraft involved in the search and rescue operation. They were heard every 30 minutes, and they were consistent with the sound of a distress signal. The Coast Guard believed that the noises were a “significant development” in the search for the Titan submersible, and it raised hopes that the crew may still be alive. While the search for the Titan submersible continued, the banging sounds were not heard again.
June 22, 2023: The search and rescue operation for the Titan was called off after careful consideration of the available information, including the results of the search, the weather conditions, and the life support capabilities of the submersible (96 hours). The families of the passengers were consulted before the decision was made.
June 23, 2023: Chunks of debris including several large pieces of the submersible’s hull, smaller pieces of equipment and personal belongings, were found by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) from the Canadian Coast Guard ship Horizon Arctic. The ROV was searching an area about 435 miles (700 kilometers) south of St. John’s, Newfoundland.
After the debris was discovered, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed the family of the crew’s worst fears when it issued a statement saying that it believes the Titan submarine has sunk, and that the five crew members on board have been presumed dead. Apparently, the debris field that was found near the wreckage of the Titanic is consistent with an implosion, so it is possible that the submersible suffered a catastrophic failure.
Who was inside the Titan submarine?
The Titan submersible was carrying a crew of five people: Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate Expeditions; Hamish Harding, British billionaire; Shahzada Dawood, Pakistani billionaire; Sulaiman Dawood, Shahzada’s son; and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, famous French diver.