Rescue workers have found ‘five large’ parts of the destroyed Titan submarine that suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’ 400 meters from the Titanic’s bow, killing all five on board.
A remote-controlled vehicle deployed by the Canadian ship Horizon Arctic found a debris field on the ocean floor containing parts of the submarine’s tail cone and landing frame.
Authorities said they later learned that the pieces found also included the front and rear of the pressure hull, where the porthole would have allowed one of the doomed passengers to look out as the ship imploded.
All five on board — including British explorer Hamish Harding, British businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman — were said to have died instantly without ever knowing there was a problem, naval experts say.
Vice Admiral John Mauger, who led the search, said the parts found in the debris field were “consistent with a catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber.”
Graphical representation of the parts of the Titan submarine found after ‘catastrophic implosion’
University student Suleman (left), 19, and his father Shahzada Dawood (right) were two of five victims who died instantly when the OceanGate submarine suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’
British explorer Hamish Harding (pictured) was among those killed in the ‘catastrophic implosion’
French Navy veteran PH Nargeolet (left) sat in the submarine with Stockton Rush (right), CEO of the OceanGate Expedition
The somber announcement ended a multinational search and rescue operation that had gripped the world since the small tourist craft went missing in the North Atlantic four days ago.
Search and rescue officials say the five men — including French submarine expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush — likely died Sunday before military planes using sonar buoys detected what they say could be SOS thumping noises in the water .
“The implosion would have generated significant broadband noise that the sonar buoys would have picked up,” US Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger said at a news conference yesterday.
It would have been instant death for the men, some of whom paid £195,000 ($250,000) each to see the famous shipwreck.
Aileen Marty, a former naval officer and professor at Florida International University, said the implosion would have occurred at a speed of 1,500 miles per hour.
“It takes more — it takes about 0.25 more — for the human brain to realize it’s happening. So the whole thing would have collapsed before the people inside realized there was a problem,” Marty told CNN.
“They died in a way they didn’t even realize they were about to die. Among the many ways we pass, it’s ultimately painless.”
The small craft and crew were protected by a pressurized chamber, a sealed pod that maintains internal pressure significantly above ambient pressure, a pressurized gas system to control internal pressure, and a supply of breathing gas for the occupants.
Dr. Dale Molé, the former director of submarine medicine and radiation health for the US Navy, said: “The pressure hull is the room where the occupants reside. It sounds like they had bottomed out when the pressure vessel imploded, and usually when it gives way, it gives way all at once.
“It sounds like it was the carbon fiber cylinder that gave way and resulted in the implosion.”
How the pressure chamber was breached remains unclear. But such an implosion could be the result of a leak, a power outage, or a small fire from an electrical short circuit.
What would have resulted would have been a violent and instantaneous implosion as the high-pressure water rushed in from the outside, tearing away the tailgate and landing frame and tearing the submarine’s hull apart, crushing the inside.
Molé said, “They would have been ripped to shreds.
“An implosion is when the pressure wave is inward, while an explosion is when the pressure wave or the shock wave goes out from whatever source it is.”
He explained it like overinflating a balloon – the balloon will eventually pop if there is too much pressure.
In an implosion the opposite happens, when there is more external pressure than the container can take, then the inside collapses.
Molé said, “If someone steps on an empty soda can, it would support your weight, but if you then press on the sides, the can will immediately collapse.”
He added, “It’s just where the debris and fragments and everything else go in because of a strong external force. In this case it was the ocean.
“At least at the depth of the Titanic, which is 12,500 feet, the external pressure would be 6,000 lbs per square inch. It is that pressure that, if there were a weakness in the hull, would cause the hull to collapse and suddenly create a shock wave. An implosion can certainly be just as destructive as an explosion.’
OceanGate, which has been documenting the decay of the Titanic and the underwater ecosystem around it through annual tours with paying tourists since 2021, released a statement that killed all five men as “true explorers who shared a distinctly adventurous spirit and a deep passion for exploring.” . and protect the world’s oceans.’
It comes as it turned out that 19-year-old Suleman, who perished in the tragic “implosion,” was “terrified” of the trip and only joined the crew to please his dead for Father’s Day.
His heartbroken aunt, Azmeh Dawood, told NBC news that Suleman told a relative that he “wasn’t quite ready,” but felt compelled to please his father, who was very passionate about the 1912 shipwreck.
Mr. Dawood’s older sister, who was the vice chairman of Engro Corporation, reportedly tearfully said, “I feel disbelief. It’s an unreal situation.’
Azmeh, who, like the other frightened family members, was hoping for a miracle, continued, “I feel like I’m in a really bad movie, with a countdown, but you didn’t know what you were counting down to.”
She said she “personally found it a bit hard to breathe on them,” adding, “It’s unlike any experience I’ve ever had.”