(WAVE3) A submersible carrying five people to the Titanic imploded near the site of the shipwreck and killed everyone on board, authorities said Thursday, bringing a tragic end to a saga that included an urgent around-the-clock search and a worldwide vigil for the missing vessel.
Coast Guard officials said during a news conference that they’ve notified the families of the crew of the Titan, which has been missing since Sunday.
The sliver of hope that remained for finding the crew alive was wiped away early Thursday, when the submersible’s 96-hour supply of oxygen was expected to run out and the Coast Guard announced that a debris field had been found roughly 1,600 feet (488 meters ) from the Titanic.
The Coast Guard said the submersible likely imploded in the North Atlantic waters. “The debris is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber,” said Rear Adm. John Mauger, of the First Coast Guard District.
OceanGate Expeditions, the company that owned and operated the submersible, said in a statement that all five people in the vessel, including CEO Stockton Rush, “have sadly been lost.”
The others on board were: two members of a prominent Pakistani family, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood; British adventurer Hamish Harding; and Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet. “These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans,” OceanGate said in a statement. “We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.”