The massive search operation that was launched in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean now has new priorities after confirmation that all of the crew on the submersible that went missing during a dive to the Titanic’s wreck nearly a week ago have died.
Following what was probably a “catastrophic implosion” of the OceanGate Titan sub, the US Coast Guard confirmed on Thursday afternoon that all five men on board had perished.
But there are still a lot of questions about what exactly happened, and the focus going forward will be on doing everything in our power to try to answer them.
Will the bodies be recovered?
Rear Adm. Mauger said he couldn’t say for sure if the US Coast Guard could find the bodies of the victims.
He stated, “This is an extremely unforgiving environment.”
Those on board were the well off English money managers Hamish Harding and Shahzada Dawood, whose child Suleman went along with him on Titan.
Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate, and Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a former diver in the French navy, were also on the crew.
What will happen with the search?
Due to the lack of a protocol for incidents involving submersibles, it is currently unknown which agency will lead the investigation.
Rear Adm. Mauger said that the fact that it took place in a faraway part of the ocean and involved people of different nationalities made it even more complicated.
In any case, playing had a main impact in the activity up until this point, the US Coast Gatekeeper is probably going to keep on having a significant part.
It stated that it would continue its investigation of the debris field’s location, and several vessels, medical personnel, and technicians are still present in the vicinity. Within the next 24 hours, demobilization of teams will begin.
The ROVs that are currently operating on the sea floor around the Titanic will also remain for the time being.
Rear Adm. Mauger stated, “I don’t have a timeline for when we would intend to stop remote operations on the seafloor at this point.”
What about the sub debris?
In order for the authorities to construct a picture of what took place, it will be necessary to gather as much of the debris as possible, including shards of the carbon fiber that made up a portion of the vessel.
The region where Titan parts were discovered is still being mapped.
Undersea expert Paul Hankin explained that the search had uncovered five significant pieces of debris to confirm the missing submarine.
The pressure hull’s front and aft end bells, as well as the nose cone, are among the pieces.
How will the incident be investigated?
According to Rear Adm. Mauger, the governments of the countries that were involved in the incident have been meeting to talk about how an investigation might work.
Any investigation will seek to confirm the theory that Titan’s passengers died as a result of an implosion and, if so, when and why it occurred.
The admiral went on to say that, despite the fact that the scope of the issue was beyond his purview, a subsequent investigation was likely to concentrate on larger issues related to the regulations and standards of such underwater missions.
Hydrophones, which are underwater microphones that are utilized to listen for illicit atomic weapons tests, could be an additional potential source of information regarding the specific events on Titan.
These made it clear that the Argentine submarine San Juan collapsed after going missing in 2017 off the coast of the country.
Hydrophones may have detected the Oceangate Titan’s demise and provided us with precise timing for the tragedy.
A navy official has stated that shortly after OceanGate’s Titan submersible lost contact, sounds “consistent with an implosion” were heard.
You can read more about how an investigation could find out what happened to the sub here