Canada’s Transportation Safety Board (TSB) has launched an investigation into the Titan’s implosion, the underwater submersible that imploded with five individuals onboard as it had been travelling to the Titanic wreckage site, the famous British ocean liner that had sunk in the North Atlantic back in 1912 after hitting an iceberg.
The underwater sea vessel belonged to OceanGate Expeditions, a U.S.-based firm. Its support vessel, Polar Prince, is a Canadian-flagged vessel.
The TSB is launching an investigation into the unfortunate incident involving the Canadian-flagged vessel dubbed the Polar Prince and the privately operated sub-Titan, the board mentioned in a statement on Friday, raising questions regarding the safety of the excursion. The board added that a team of investigators was sent to St. John’s, Newfoundland, to gather relevant information and conduct subsequent interviews.
The U.S. officials informed that they, too, would open an investigation.
The U.S. Coast Guard has referred to the Titan sub’s loss as a significant marine casualty. It is preparing to lead the investigation. The NTSB, in the meanwhile, has also joined the investigation and is going to contribute to the ongoing efforts. The USCG has been handling media inquiries related to the investigation, per the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board on Friday.
The Polar Prince lost touch with the Titan approximately an hour and 45 minutes since the submersible started its descent on Sunday.
Responders rushed the equipment to where the remains of the Titan were seen. Five major fragments of the 6.7-meter submersible were observed in the debris field left from the disintegration, including the tail cone of the vessel and two sections of its pressure hull, the U.S. Coast Guard officials reported.
No mention was made of if human remains had been sighted.
OceanGate Expeditions said in a statement that the five people on the vessel were Stockton Rush — the company’s CEO, businessman Shahzada Dawood, his son Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Hamish Harding.
Questions about their safety have risen since the sub went missing with about a four-day air supply.
There are a lot of questions regarding why, how, and when this happened, declared Rear Adm. John Mauger of the First Coast Guard District. Those questions will help collect as much information as possible now.
Per an Associated Press report, David Lochridge, a former director of OceanGate’s marine operations, raised pertinent questions back in 2018 regarding the methodology the firm used for ensuring the structural viability of the vessel’s hull.
Filmmaker James Cameron, who had directed the 1997 Academy Award-winning film Titanic and who had made many dives into the ocean liner’s wreckage on other deep-sea submersibles, mentioned in an interview with BBC that he was pretty sure that an extreme catastrophic event had taken place when he heard about the submersible losing communication as well as navigation.
He informed BBC that the news on oxygen supply and underwater noises were a prolonged as well as nightmarish charade to offer false hope to families of those in the sub. Cameron mentioned that once a remotely operated vehicle reached the depth of the vessel, it was likely to be found in hours or probably in some minutes.
Arthur Loibl, a passenger on the Titan two years back, described his trip to the Titanic as a “kamikaze operation.” The retired German businessman explained: Imagine a metal tube that is a few meters long with a sheet of metal for a floor. One cannot stand. One cannot kneel. Each has to sit close to or on top of one another.
Journalist and scientist Michael Guillen, who survived an expedition back in 2000 that ran into some issues, said, we have to pause, stop, and ask why we want to go to the Titanic and how to get there safely.
References: Alaska Native News, Review-Journal
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