On Sunday, June 18, an OceanGate submersible, diving to the depths of 3,700 meters below sea level, experienced a catastrophic implosion while en route to the Titanic wreck.
The incident claimed the lives of the five men on board: OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, British billionaire Hamish Harding, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, and French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
In the aftermath, multiple agencies have launched investigations to uncover the cause of the tragedy.
Ofer Ketter, a renowned specialist in submersibles and co-founder of the private sub company Sub-Merge, shared his insights with the New York Post.
He explained that the force of the implosion would have instantaneously transformed parts of the submersible into granules.
Ketter stated, “To me, it makes absolute sense that the chamber, the pressure chamber where the passengers are sitting in, did not withstand the pressure because of the material that it was built on. And that is exactly what imploded and turned to dust. Everything else that was either made of titanium or perhaps other steels, survived, and that’s what was found.”
Regarding the victims, Ketter emphasized that they would not have suffered as the entire event unfolded in less than a millisecond. “They never knew it happened,” he said. “Which is actually very positive in this very negative situation. It was instantaneous – before even their brain could even send a type of message to their body that they’re having pain.”
The US Coast Guard, in a press conference on June 22, acknowledged the immense challenges involved in retrieving the bodies.
They described the environment on the sea floor as unforgiving and confirmed that the debris indicated a catastrophic implosion of the vessel. Despite the difficulties, efforts will continue to search for answers.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has also initiated an investigation to determine any potential criminality related to the Titan sub.
Investigators have already accessed the mothership, Polar Prince, following its arrival in St. John’s, Newfoundland, to analyze voice recordings and other data. TSB Chairwoman Kathy Fox stated that the agency’s objective is to understand what transpired and why, with a focus on identifying necessary changes to minimize such occurrences in the future.
Fox added that the TSB would collaborate with other agencies, sharing the collected data to facilitate a comprehensive investigation into the incident.
As the investigation progresses, multiple organizations may choose to conduct their own inquiries in an effort to uncover the truth behind this tragic event.