What caused the ‘catastrophic implosion’ that killed 5 on Titanic tourist sub?

The submersible Titan is prepared for it's ill-fated dive to the Titanic in the North Atlantic on Sunday.

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The tragic news that five people died when a submersible imploded while on a dive to explore the Titanic wreck site is sparking questions and will be the focus of an investigation.

“I know that there’s also a lot of questions about how, why and when did this happen,” U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. John W. Mauger said. “Those are questions that we will collect as much information as we can on now.”

The sub was reported missing after it lost contact with the Canadian research vessel Polar Prince about 1 hour and 45 minutes into its dive Sunday about 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass., the Coast Guard said.

There had been earlier concerns about the safety of the vessel.

What do we know about the implosion?

Mauger said at a news conference Thursday that it is too early to tell at what point in its dive the vessel imploded, and added that listening equipment used throughout the search did not detect any type of catastrophic event.

El Segundo, CA - June 22: Bill Price, shown wearing a OceanGate Inc. shirt, a California man who went on dives in the Titan, the now-missing submersible that was exploring the Titanic wreckage. Photo taken in El Segundo Thursday, June 22, 2023. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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However, a U.S. government official who is familiar with the incident but not authorized to speak to the media and requested anonymity told The Times that technology designed to listen to the ocean for movement captured the sound of the submersible imploding around the time communications were lost. That news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal, which noted the sound “anomaly.”

The Journal reported that “the Navy began listening for the Titan almost as soon as the sub lost communications, according to a U.S. defense official. Shortly after the submersible’s disappearance Sunday , the U.S. system detected what it suspected was the sound of an implosion near the debris site discovered Thursday and reported its findings to the Coast Guard commander on site, U.S. defense officials said.”

Mauger said Thursday that “the debris is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber.”

A robot submersible from the Canadian vessel Horizon Arctic discovered several major pieces of the 21-foot sub, the Titan , in a debris field on the ocean floor about 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic.

What did officials find at the scene?

Paul Hankins, a salvage expert for the Navy, said five major pieces of debris from the Titan were found, including the nose cone, which was outside of the pressure hull. The robot sub also found a large debris field that included the front-end bell of the pressure hull.

“That was the first indication there was a catastrophic event,” he said. A second, smaller debris field contained the other end of the pressure hull and other wreckage that indicated a total compromise of the vessel.

AT SEA - (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY â" MANDATORY CREDIT - " OCEANGATE/ HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) An undated photo shows tourist submersible belongs to OceanGate begins to descent at a sea. Search and rescue operations continue by US Coast Guard in Boston after a tourist submarine bound for the Titanic's wreckage site went missing off the southeastern coast of Canada. (Photo by Ocean Gate / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

World & Nation

5 aboard Titanic tourist sub are dead after ‘catastrophic implosion’

The five people aboard a submersible that vanished on a trip to explore the Titanic wreckage have died after a catastrophic implosion, the U.S. Coast Guard says.

June 22, 2023

Officials said the debris was in an area away from the Titanic wreckage in a patch of smooth ocean floor and that there were no signs the vessel collided with the historic ship. The size of the debris field and the vessel’s last known location are consistent with an “implosion in the water column,” officials said.

How did the search proceed?

Since the sub went missing on Sunday, crews using specialized equipment worked around the clock to find the sub, which was designed to have an initial air supply of 96 hours. Officials also said it had only “limited rations” of food and water.

The search grew to 10,000 square miles, roughly the size of Massachusetts, and went 2½ miles deep. Through the days-long effort, officials maintained optimism that they were conducting a search-and-rescue effort and not a recovery mission.

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)

‘Catastrophic’ safety concerns raised about sub long before ill-fated Titanic voyage

Long before a submersible vanished on an expedition to explore the wreck of the Titanic, concerns were raised about the safety of the vessel.

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Assets launched in the search included American and Canadian aerial support vessels that scanned the ocean’s surface and subsurface using sonobuoys; U.S. Navy divers; coast guard and research vessels from Canada, France and Norway, some of which were equipped with highly specialized remote-operated vehicles that could work on the ocean’s floor; and assistance from commercial vessels.

Left: Director James Cameron of "Avatar" Right; An undated photo shows tourist submersible belongs to OceanGate

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A moment of promise came Tuesday when the Coast Guard confirmed reports that banging noises were detected on the seafloor by sonobuoys dropped from Canadian aircraft. Although officials said the origins of the sounds were unclear, they became the target of search efforts.

At the news conference announcing the loss of the Titan on Thursday, Mauger said the underwater noises , which were also observed Wednesday, did not appear to be connected to the sub’s location. The implosion would generate “significant broadband sound” that would have been picked up by the sonobuoys, he said.

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titanic submarine tour implosion

Alexandra E. Petri is a former Los Angeles Times staff writer who covered trends and breaking news. She previously covered live news at the New York Times. A two-time reporting fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation, she graduated from Penn State with a degree in journalism and international studies.

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Deep in the Atlantic, a ‘Catastrophic Implosion’ and Five Lives Lost

The vast multinational search for the missing submersible ended after pieces of it were found on the ocean floor, 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic.

A side profile of Rear Adm. John Mauger, wearing a white uniform and standing in front of a collection of microphones.

By Jenna Russell

A vast multinational search for five people who had descended to view the wreckage of the sunken R.M.S. Titanic ended on Thursday after pieces of the privately owned submersible vessel that had carried them were found on the ocean floor, evidence of a “catastrophic implosion” with no survivors, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The dramatic search effort, in a remote area of the North Atlantic 900 miles off Cape Cod, Mass., had mesmerized people worldwide for days after the 22-foot watercraft, called Titan, lost contact with its parent ship less than two hours into its voyage on Sunday. The grim discovery, by a remotely operated vehicle scouring the sea bottom, also trained attention on high-risk, high-cost adventure tourism, raising questions about the safety protocols followed by companies that run such expeditions.

“Our thoughts are with the families and making sure they have an understanding, as best as we can provide, of what happened,” Rear Adm. John Mauger, commander of the First Coast Guard District, said at a news conference in Boston. “It is a complex case to work through, but I’m confident those questions will begin to get answered.”

Stockton Rush, 61, the chief executive of OceanGate Expeditions, the company that owned Titan, was piloting the submersible and among those presumed dead. Others on board were Hamish Harding, 58, a British explorer; Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, a French maritime expert who had made more than 35 dives to the Titanic; Shahzada Dawood, 48, a British businessman; and his 19-year-old son, Suleman Dawood, a university student.

The quest for the missing vessel was seen at the start as a race against time, as rescuers who hoped the Titan might still be intact hurried to reach the area where it had descended before its supply of oxygen ran out. Hopes surged on Wednesday, after banging noises were detected underwater by maritime surveillance planes; U.S. Navy experts analyzed the sounds for signs that they might be attempts by the Titan’s passengers to signal their location.

But on Thursday afternoon, four days after the vessel went missing, those hopes were extinguished by evidence discovered more than two miles beneath the ocean surface: the tail cone of the Titan adrift on the sea floor, one-third of a mile from the bow of the Titanic, along with the two broken ends of its pressure hull. The debris, Admiral Mauger said, was “consistent with the catastrophic loss of its pressure chamber.”

On Thursday evening, a U.S. Navy official said that underwater sensors had registered readings “consistent with an explosion or implosion” shortly after the loss of contact. That information was sent to the incident commander to help narrow down the search area, the official said.

Without conclusive evidence of a catastrophic failure, it would have been “irresponsible” to assume the five people were dead, the Navy official said, so the mission was treated as an ongoing search and rescue even as the outcome appeared grim.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the Navy’s possible detection of the implosion.

Asked about the prospect of recovering the bodies of the victims, Admiral Mauger said he did not have an answer. “This is an incredibly unforgiving environment down there on the sea floor,” he said.

The search for the Titan drew an international response, as French, British and Canadian ships struck out for the final resting place of the Titanic, ferrying high-tech search-and-rescue equipment. There was a robot capable of searching 13,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, and a hyperbaric recompression chamber used to treat diving-related illnesses. But the effort was slowed by the sheer distance they had to travel to reach the site, a journey of several days for some.

Search Vessels Around the Titanic Wreckage

titanic submarine tour implosion

Polar Prince


North Atlantic

the Titanic

Skandi Vinland

Deep Energy

The Canadian vessel

Horizon Arctic deployed

a remote-operated vehicle

that discovered a debris field.

The Titanic wreckage

sits on the ocean

floor, approximately

12,500 feet down.

titanic submarine tour implosion

North Atlantic Ocean

that discovered a debris field

containing remains of the Titan.

There is no indication that the vessel imploded as a result of a collision with the Titanic wreckage; the debris from the Titan was found in a nearby area where the sea bottom is smooth, said Carl Hartsfield, an underwater vehicle designer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts who assisted the Coast Guard in the search.

Nine vessels remained in the area as the search for remnants of the Titan, and mapping of the debris field, continued on Thursday afternoon, but Admiral Mauger said they would begin to disperse in the next 24 hours.

“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 Expeditions said in a statement. “Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time.”

With his expedition business, founded in 2009 in Everett, Wash., Mr. Rush had sought to open up wider access to deep-sea exploration. Beginning in 2021, the company offered tourists, travelers and Titanic fanatics who could afford the $250,000 price tag a firsthand look at the remains of the infamous shipwreck that killed more than 1,500 people on its maiden voyage in April 1912 after the luxury liner hit an iceberg.

But Mr. Rush’s venture also drew concern and criticism from industry peers who feared that insufficient safety tests and lax precautions would put its passengers at risk.

James Cameron, the Oscar-winning filmmaker and expert diver whose 1997 blockbuster about the Titanic fueled a new wave of fascination with it, criticized OceanGate in an interview on Thursday for betraying the trust of its paying passengers by forgoing safety certifications.

Along with other experts, Mr. Cameron said the carbon-fiber composites used in Titan’s construction were a risk because the material was not designed to withstand the crushing pressure that bears down on vessels deep beneath the ocean.

Concerns about the company’s practices were not new. In 2018, three dozen people — industry leaders, deep-sea explorers and oceanographers — sent a letter to Mr. Rush, warning that the company’s “experimental” approach could lead to potentially “catastrophic” problems.

The Titan’s final dive almost did not happen, as weather conditions failed to cooperate. When a window suddenly opened, Mr. Harding, a veteran explorer, saw it as a lucky break. “Due to the worst winter in Newfoundland in 40 years,” he wrote in a social media post last Saturday, “this mission is likely to be the first and only manned mission to the Titanic in 2023.”

His last dive was far from his deepest. In 2021, Mr. Harding made a record-setting trip to the deepest part of the Mariana Trench, in the western Pacific Ocean. A four hour, 15-minute drop of 36,000 feet, the trek took him nearly three times deeper than the site of the Titanic. According to a media report at the time, only 18 people had ever journeyed to the area, known as the Challenger Deep. By comparison, 24 astronauts have orbited or landed on the moon.

Mr. Harding knew the risks. “If something goes wrong, you are not coming back,” he said in an interview after the dive in 2021.

Conditions inside the submersible were not plush. Images from the company’s website showed a vessel with an interior like a metal tube, where passengers sat on the floor with their backs to the curved walls. There were no chairs, little room to move or stand upright, and a single viewing window , 21 inches in diameter.

Yet for some with money and a passion for adventure, the promise of a rare experience was worth the risk of death — a risk repeatedly detailed in the legal waivers signed by passengers, according to some who had made the trip.

The thrill of the outermost limits had called to Mr. Rush since childhood. In an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning” in 2022, the OceanGate founder said he grew up wanting to be an astronaut and, later, a fighter pilot.

“It was about exploring,” Mr. Rush said. “It was about finding new life-forms. I wanted to be sort of the Captain Kirk. I didn’t want to be the passenger in the back. And I realized that the ocean is the universe.”

Reporting was contributed by William J. Broad , Eric Schmitt , Mike Ives , Jesus Jiménez , Daniel Victor , Anushka Patil , Emma Bubola , Jacey Fortin , Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs , Keith Collins , Jenny Gross , Anna Betts and Ben Shpigel .

Jenna Russell is The Times’s New England bureau chief, based in Boston. More about Jenna Russell

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Maxar satellite image shows search operation for Titan.

Titan sub implosion: what we know at a glance

US Coast Guard confirm catastrophic implosion took place, killing crew; US Navy says it detected an “anomaly” that was likely the Titan’s fatal implosion

  • Titanic sub incident: latest updates

The US Coast Guard has confirmed that the crew of the Titan submersible died after a catastrophic event . A remotely operated vehicle from Horizon Arctic discovered the tail cone of the sub approximately 1,600ft from the bow of the Titanic. “The debris is consistent with a catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber,” said R Adm John Mauger, the first coast guard district commander.

Mauger noted that officials were unsure of when the “catastrophic implosion” took place. “ We know that as we’ve been prosecuting this search over the course of the last 72 hours. Beyond that, we’ve had sonar buoys in the water nearly continuously and have not detected any catastrophic events when those buoys have been in the water,” said Mauger.

Families of the five crew members on board have been notified by the US Coast Guard , Mauger confirmed during a press conference. He added that he hoped the discovery provided some solace to families of crew members onboard during a difficult time.

Titan crew have died after ‘catastrophic implosion’ of submersible, US Coast Guard says – video

Five different pieces of debris signaled to experts that they had discovered the remains of the Titan sub . Paul Hankin, an undersea expert, said that rescuers found the sub’s nose cone and the total pressure chamber.

Search teams are unsure of recovering bodies of crew members aboard the sub. Mauger said: “We’ll continue to work and continue to search the area, but I don’t have an answer for prospects at this time.”

The US Navy has said it detected an “anomaly” that was likely the Titan’s fatal implosion , soon after the submersible went missing. The navy analysed its acoustic data after the Titan was first reported lost. It found a sound “consistent with an implosion or explosion”.

Film director James Cameron said he knew the submersible was lost from the start of the four-day search , after his sources in the deep-sea exploration industry reported a “loud bang”. “We got confirmation within an hour that there had been a loud bang at the same time that the sub comms were lost. A loud bang on the hydrophone. Loss of transponder. Loss of comms. I knew what happened. The sub imploded,” Cameron told the Reuters news agency.

OceanGate , the company that operated the submersible, released a statement confirming that the five passengers of the Titan have been “sadly lost”. “We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost,” read the statement in part.

The breakthrough in finding some of the remains of the Titan came from the deployment of deep-ocean ROVs for the first time on the fifth day of the search after their arrival by sea. A vehicle from the Canadian vessel Horizon Arctic was the first to reach the seabed on Thursday morning, the Coast Guard said, joined later by another from the French ship L’Atalante.

The safety record of OceanGate, and the ability of the Titan sub to withstand massive pressure at depths of more than 12,000ft, had been called into question in recent days, with industry experts and former passengers expressing concerns .

James Cameron said he was sceptical when he heard OceanGate was making a deep-sea submersible with a composite carbon fibre and titanium hull. “I thought it was a horrible idea. I wish I’d spoken up, but I assumed somebody was smarter than me, you know, because I never experimented with that technology, but it just sounded bad on its face,” Cameron told Reuters.

  • Titanic sub incident
  • The Titanic

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June 23, 2023 - Missing Titanic sub crew killed after 'catastrophic implosion'

By Helen Regan , Adam Renton, Sana Noor Haq, Hannah Strange, Aditi Sangal and Tori B. Powell , CNN

The crew of the Titan was killed in a "catastrophic implosion." Here's what that means

From CNN's Jessie Yeung

Flowers for the crew of the Titan are seen at the port of St John's in Newfoundland, Canada, on Friday.

What was supposed to be a 10-hour journey to the Titanic shipwreck ended in tragedy, with all five passengers on the missing submersible killed in a catastrophic implosion. Their deaths were confirmed Thursday, concluding a week-long search for survivors that was closely watched around the world.

An underwater implosion refers to the sudden inward collapse of the vessel, which would have been under immense pressure at the depths it was diving toward.

It’s unclear where or how deep the Titan was when the implosion occurred, but the Titanic wreck sits nearly 13,000 feet (or almost 4,000 meters) below sea level. The submersible was about 1 hour and 45 minutes into the roughly two-hour descent when it lost contact.

At the depth the Titanic rests, there is around 5,600 pounds per square inch of pressure – several hundred times the pressure we experience on the surface, according to Rick Murcar, the international training director at the National Association of Cave Diving.

A catastrophic implosion is “incredibly quick,” taking place within just a fraction of a millisecond, said Aileen Maria Marty, a former Naval officer and professor at Florida International University.

“The entire thing would have collapsed before the individuals inside would even realize that there was a problem,” she told CNN. “Ultimately, among the many ways in which we can pass, that’s painless.”

Experts say it is unlikely any bodies will be recovered.

Chair of submersibles committee says he voiced concerns about OceanGate design and claims with CEO

From CNN's Kristina Sgueglia

An undated photo of the OceanGate Titan submersible.

The design of the Titan submersible “demanded special extra attention,” according to William Kohnen, chair of the Marine Technology Society’s manned underwater vehicles committee, adding that he had conversations with the late OceanGate CEO to express his concerns about the company's approach to submersibles.

Kohnen, who is also president of the Hydrospace Group, said he made requests to OceanGate to make its website more transparent to spell out that the Titan design was “experimental” and “not certified.” They ultimately changed it, he said.

Speaking to Anderson Cooper on "CNN This Morning," Kohnen said the carbon fiber hull “demanded special extra attention just because that had never been done before.” It meant an “additional effort and probably quite a bit of extra testing to get passed through that certification process,” he said.

The small community of submersible experts had numerous conversations with the late OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, Kohnen said, and they issued a letter essentially saying, "you are going really, really fast over here and you’re ignoring some of the knowledge base that we have for these things." 

Kohnen said Rush's response amounted to “the existing regulations are stifling innovation and it’s too slow, and we have a better method.”

He called for full disclosure in the industry. “Just tell the public this is not certified, this is experimental, and then it leaves some of the decisions to people to make," he added.

CNN's Nic Anderson contributed to this post.

Deep-sea tourism should pause, says scientist who survived a Titanic submersible scare in 2000

Dr. Michael Guillen, a scientist, journalist and author who was the first TV correspondent to report from the Titanic, said he thinks ocean tourism needs to be paused following the deaths of the five people aboard the Titan submersible.

Guillen survived a close call in 2000, when he says the submersible he was in got caught in an underwater current, causing a collision with the propeller of the Titanic wreck.

He said there are two main reasons for taking a pause, based on his experience.

"Number one, the sea is dangerous. This is not a playground. The ocean is restless and I think of it when I was looking at the North Atlantic waters. They're dark, they're cold; they just want to swallow you up if you make the tiniest little mistake," he said in an interview on CNN.

"Second of all, what I took away from my trip down there was that this isn't just a shipwreck. I went down there thinking I'm just going to report on a shipwreck, but what hit me — especially in that moment of prayer, and it came home to me — that people lost their lives. Men, women and children. More than 1,000 of them. This is their final resting place. This is sacred ground," he said.

"I think we should pause, figure out what happened so we can fix it in the future, but also think of the danger and think of the sacredness of this site. It's not a joyride. It's not a Disneyland destination," he added.

Here's a map of the area where the Titanic-bound sub went missing

The Titan submersible that went missing Sunday during a trip to view the wreckage of the Titanic suffered a "catastrophic implosion" and killed five people on board, officials said Thursday.

The submersible had originally embarked on a journey into the depths of the sea off Canada's coast.

Titan's ultimate destination was  the Titanic's wreckage , which sits at the bottom of the ocean nearly 13,000 feet below the surface southeast of Newfoundland.

As authorities now seek to better understand what went wrong with the sub, they're dealing with an "incredibly complex operating environment on the sea floor, over two miles beneath the surface," a  US Coast Guard official said  Thursday.

Here's a look at a map of the area:

titanic submarine tour implosion

Nargeolet will be remembered for his deep connection with people and underwater exploration, stepson says

From Zenebou Sylla

Paul-Henri Nargeolet poses next to a miniature version of the Titanic in Paris in 2013.

Explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, who was aboard the Titanic-bound submarine that imploded, will be remembered for his passion for his family and underwater exploration, his stepson John Paschall told CNN.

Paschall said Nargeolet was "someone that you instantly connected with and loved, and shared so many great stories with," and his fascination with the underwater expedition of the Titanic intrigued him to share the stories of the past with people. 

"There's just so many things that he wanted to uncover and share with people about the Titanic by pulling up those artifacts and providing so much information to people," Paschall told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "The Titanic is something that I know he'll forever be connected with it, with his work."

Paschall said Nargeolet was a "big loveable guy who [was] a prankster, but he cared so much about his family and everything he did in life."

Paschall said he was fortunate to have Nargeolet as a stepfather and even celebrated special moments together: Nargeolet and his mother, who died of cancer, once drove 16 hours overnight from Chicago to New York to watch him graduate.

He last saw Nargeolet in May and planned to meet with his stepfather in early July to connect. He said he didn't think twice when Nargeolet set out on one of many expeditions, where he would later lose his life.

"He's been on so many different deep dives that I didn't bat an eye, I just said okay, great, have fun, and be safe and I'll see you in July," Paschall told Cooper. "It was one of those things I never asked safety questions and all that stuff, it was just okay I trust that he knows what's best and I never thought twice about it."

Officials are working to establish a timeline for the submersible's fatal voyage. Catch up on the latest

From CNN staff

The search for more debris from the Titan submersible continues Friday as officials try to piece together a timeline of the vessel's final moments.

On Thursday, authorities said the five passengers on the sub that was diving 13,000 feet to view the wreckage of the Titanic on the ocean floor died in  a "catastrophic implosion," bookending an extraordinary five-day international search operation.

Here's what we know:

  • The Polar Prince will return to port: The vessel used to  transport the Titan submersible  to the site of the Titanic wreckage, will return to St. John's, Canada, either late Friday or early Saturday morning, a source with Horizon Maritime, the company that owns the ship, told CNN. Marine traffic-tracking sites show a line of several other ships also headed back to St. John's this morning.
  • Immediate next steps: As officials work to determine the timeline and circumstances of the accident, remotely operated vehicles will  remain on the scene  and continue to gather information from the sea floor, US Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger said Thursday. They will map out the vessel’s debris field, which is more than 2 miles deep in the North Atlantic Ocean, Mauger said. It will take time to determine  a specific timeline of events  in the "incredibly complex" case of the Titan's failure, he added. The Coast Guard official said the agency will eventually have more information about what went wrong and its assessment of the emergency response.
  • What is a catastrophic explosion? An underwater implosion refers to the sudden inward collapse of the vessel. At those depths there is a tremendous amount of pressure on the submersible and even the tiniest structural defect  could be disastrous , experts said. At the depths of the Titanic wreck, the implosion would have happened in a fraction of a millisecond. Former naval officer Aileen Marty said the implosion would have happened before anyone "inside would even realize that there was a problem."
  • Discovered debris:  The remotely operated vehicle found " five different major pieces of debris " from the Titan submersible, according to Paul Hankins, the US Navy's director of salvage operations and ocean engineering. The debris was "consistent with the  catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber " and, in turn, a " catastrophic implosion ," he said. As of now, there does not appear to be a connection between the  banging noises picked up by sonar  earlier this week and where the debris was found. So far, they have located the Titan’s nose cone and one end of its pressure hulls in a large debris field, and the other end of the pressure hull in a second, smaller debris field. 
  • Timing:  The US Navy  detected an acoustic signature  consistent with an implosion on Sunday and relayed that information to the commanders leading the search effort, a senior official told CNN. But the sound was determined to be “not definitive,” the official said. Mauger said rescuers had  sonar buoys in the water  for at least the last 72 hours and had "not detected any catastrophic events."  Listening devices  set up during the search also did not record any sign of an implosion, he added.

titanic submarine tour implosion

  • Who was on board:  Tour organizer OceanGate Expeditions said Hamish Harding, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henri Nargeolet and  OceanGate CEO  Stockton Rush died in the sub. They "shared a distinct spirit of adventure," the company said  in a statement .
  • Reactions:  French diver Nargeolet was an “incredibly talented iconic legendary – the greatest deep diver that the world has ever known," his friend Alfred Hagen told CNN as he recalled a previous trip on which he descended with Nargeolet in the Titan sub to the Titanic wreckage. Engro Corporation Limited, of which Shahzada Dawood was vice chairman, said the company grieves the loss of him and his son. The British Asian Trust said Friday it is “deeply saddened” by the death of its trustee Shahzada Dawood and his son. The governments of Pakistan and the United Kingdom also  offered condolences . The University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow, Scotland, said it is “profoundly saddened” by the death of its student Suleman Dawood .
  • Similarities with famous shipwreck: James Cameron , who directed the hit 1997 movie “Titanic” and has himself made 33 dives to the wreckage, said he's worried the Titan submersible's implosion will have a negative impact on citizen explorers. He also said he saw "a parallel" with the Titanic due to "unheeded warnings about a sub that was not certified."

The ship that helped launch the Titan submersible will return to port later tonight or tomorrow 

From CNN's Miguel Marquez and Aaron Cooper 

The Polar Prince, a vessel used to transport the Titan submersible to the site of the Titanic wreckage, is departing the area today.

It will return to St. John's, Canada, either late Friday or early Saturday morning, a source with Horizon Maritime, the company that owns the ship, told CNN.

Marine traffic-tracking sites show a line of several other ships also headed back to St. John's this morning.

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak's thoughts are with loved ones of those killed on Titan sub, spokesperson says

From CNN's Sharon Braithwaite in London

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks at a conference in London on June 21.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's thoughts are "very much" with the loved ones of those that perished on the Titan submersible, his spokesperson said Friday, according to the UK Press Association. 

“His thoughts are very much with the loved ones of those who have died in this tragic incident and they have been through an unimaginably difficult ordeal in the last few days," the spokesperson said, adding that the Foreign Office is "in touch with those families to provide support.” 

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly on Thursday  expressed his condolences and said the UK government is closely supporting the families of the British citizens who died on board the Titan submersible. 

Three British citizens were onboard: Hamish Harding, Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman.

OceanGate co-founder cautions rushing to judgment over catastrophic loss of submersible

From CNN's Kristine Sgueglia

OceanGate co-founder Guillermo Sohnlein cautioned rushing to judgment without the data following the catastrophic loss of the submersible.

“There are teams on site that are still going to be collecting data for the next few days, weeks, maybe months, and it’s going to be a long time before we know exactly what happened down there,” he told CNN Friday. “So I would encourage us to hold off on speculation until we have more data to go on.”

Sohnlein left the company in 2013 and was not involved with the voyage or the development of the Titan submersible. He still maintains minority ownership of OceanGate.

He added, “safety was the number one priority” for himself and CEO Stockton Rush who perished along with four others on board.

“He was a very strong risk manager, and I believe that he believed that every innovation that he created — whether technologically or within the dive operations — was to both expand the capability of humanity exploring the oceans while also improving the safety of those doing it,” he said.

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What we know about the 'catastrophic implosion' that killed five men aboard the Titanic submersible

OceanGate Titan submersible floating at the surface of the ocean

After several days of searching in a remote area of the North Atlantic, the five people aboard a submersible near the Titanic wreck have been declared dead.

The cause of their deaths was a "catastrophic implosion of the vessel", according to US Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger.

Here's what an implosion means, how it happens and whether the passengers could have felt it. 

How was the Titan sub found?

An uncrewed deep-sea robot deployed from a Canadian ship discovered the wreckage of the Titan submersible on Thursday morning.

Soon after the debris of the vessel was found, OceanGate Expeditions, the US-based company that operated the submersible, released a statement confirming the deaths of the five passengers. 

"We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost," the company said. 

What did it find?

Five major fragments of the Titan were located in the debris field left from its disintegration.

This included the vessel's tail cone and two sections of the pressure hull , Coast Guard officials said.

"The debris field here is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vehicle," Mauger said.

No mention was made of whether human remains were sighted.

Where was it found?

Wreckage of the Titan submersible was found 488 metres from the bow of the Titanic wreckage.

This was 4 kilometres below the surface.

A photo of the Atlantic Ocean on a cloudy day taken from a plane

The US Coast Guard believes the nature and location of the debris suggests a catastrophic implosion which would have killed all five people on board.

When did the sub implode?

The US Coast Guard said it was too soon to say when the implosion happened.

The Titan had been missing since June 18. 

He said it was not detected by sonar buoys used by search crews, which suggests it happened before they arrived.

One source says the implosion may have happened days ago.

A US Navy acoustic system detected an "anomaly" on Monday, a senior military official told The Associated Press. 

It found the anomaly to be "consistent with an implosion or explosion in the general vicinity of where the Titan submersible was operating when communications were lost". 

The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive acoustic detection system.

The navy passed on the information to the coast guard, which continued its search because the navy did not consider the data to be definitive.

The navy's possible clue was not known publicly until Friday, when The Wall Street Journal first reported it.

What is an implosion?

Implosion is an explosion in reverse , according to Professor Stefano Brizzolara, the co-director of Virginia Tech Center for Marine Autonomy and Robotics. 

"Imagine a cylinder: during an explosion, the charge placed in the centre ignites and causes the pressure at the centre to increase instantaneously," Professor Brizzolara told ABC News. 

Such intense pressure is what causes the  ejection of mass to move from the centre of the cylinder to the outside  at an "incredible speed".

"An implosion is the reverse of this," Professor Brizzolara said.

A submersible floating in the ocean

"The inside of the cylinder can practically be considered void, while the pressure of the wave that breaches the hull is 400 times larger.

"This causes a violent flow of water from outside of the cylinder to the inside, with incredible speed.

"We're talking water rushing in at a speed of the order of 1,000 kilometres per hour."

What made it 'catastrophic'?

"Catastrophic implosion" literally means breaking into pieces and small fragments , says Professor Brizzolara.

Here's where "the hull" comes in — it's the main body of a ship or vessel and the Titan's is made from  carbon fibre and titanium.

Carbon-reinforced plastic collapses "catastrophically", says Professor Brizzolara.

"This is because the material is not ductile like metal alloys and therefore it 'catastrophically' implodes."

For context, navy submarines use high-strength steel or titanium alloys, Professor Brizzolara says. 

"This is why current rules and regulations do not consider composite materials for underwater vehicles meant to operate at large depths," he said. 

How did the implosion happen? 

A flood or a failure of the pressure vessel would have likely caused the implosion, says submarine expert Eric Fusil from the University of Adelaide.

That kind of "catastrophic event" would have happened within 20 milliseconds , Professor Fusil told ABC News Breakfast this morning. 

The Titan's pressure hull was made of a combination of titanium and a composite material of carbon fibres, which he described as "very new".

"The titanium pressure vessel is very elastic — it can crush and then restore its initial shape," Professor Fusil explained.

"But the carbon fibres are completely different — it's something very stiff."

"We have those two opposite forces," he said. 

Graphic showing the dimensions of the Titan submersible.

Professor Fusil said it's an "experimental technology" and it was too early to tell whether that design caused the issues. 

What does an implosion feel like?

The five passengers inside the Titan submersible might not have realised it was even happening , Professor Fusil says.

"They wouldn't have realised they were dying because they cannot process that information that quickly," he said.

Implosions can be similar to a balloon, says forensic engineer Bart Kemper. 

"When I take a needle and poke it into a balloon, once you break that balloon, it's gone," Mr Kemper told 7.30’s Sarah Ferguson.

"That's exactly the problem you have with a pressure vessel, and the fact that this is external pressure, not internal pressure, it doesn't matter.

"Once you lose integrity, with these kinds of pressures, it's gone," he said. 

In 2018, submarine experts had warned the company operating the Titan, OceanGate, that without industry oversight the submersible was exposing passengers to possible catastrophic failure.

One of those experts was Mr Kemper.

What about those 'banging noises'?

Underwater sounds described as "banging noises" by a Canadian surveillance vessel initially sparked hope for a possible rescue. 

But these underwater sounds heard on Tuesday and Wednesday were probably unrelated to the submersible, The Associated Press reports.

The sounds in the Titan search were picked up using devices called sonobuoys , which can be tossed out of aeroplanes to detect noises, to avoid interference with ship sounds, said Matt Dzieciuch, an ocean acoustics expert at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The ocean is a "noisy place," Dr Dzieciuch said.

Person scuba diving on ocean floor

There are many other potential sources of sound underwater, including from fish, other animals and of course human-made instruments, he explained.

Search teams heard the banging noises at 30-minute intervals , US Coast Guard Captain Jamie Frederick said at a press conference. 

But Mr Frederick went on to say analysis of the noises had been "inconclusive".

"With respect to the noises specifically, we don't know what they are, to be frank with you."

OceanGate has been chronicling the Titanic's decay and the underwater ecosystem around it via yearly voyages since 2021.

The company has not responded to additional questions about the Titan's voyage this week.

The Coast Guard will continue searching for more signs about what happened to the Titan.

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Titanic submersible: What a 'catastrophic implosion' means and what officials found

The five-person submersible suffered an implosion, a Coast Guard official said.

A submersible carrying five people while on a trip to the Titanic wreckage suffered a "catastrophic implosion," U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger said at a press conference on Thursday.

A remote-operated vehicle found debris from the OceanGate Titan submersible's tail-cone approximately 1,600 feet from the ship, Mauger said.

A search and rescue team found several additional pieces of debris that indicated they belonged to the Titan, the missing vessel that drew international attention in recent days, Mauger said.

It remains "too early to tell" when the implosion took place, but the search and rescue team will continue to collect information, Mauger added.

"This is an incredibly unforgiving environment on the seafloor," Mauger said. "This is something that happened in a remote portion of the ocean."

MORE: Missing Titanic submersible live updates: All lives lost in 'catastrophic implosion'

In a statement, OceanGate confirmed the deaths of all five passengers on board.

"These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world's oceans," the company said. "Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time."

What type of debris did the search and rescue effort find?

The search and rescue team identified two fields of debris in an area surrounding the bow of the sunken Titanic, Mauger said, describing them as one large field of debris and one small field.

The discovered objects included "five different major pieces of debris" that identified the materials as consistent with the Titan, undersea expert Paul Hankin said at the press conference.

MORE: Former Titanic submersible passenger says his sub lost contact with host ship on all 4 trips

The debris included a nose cone and one end of the pressure hull, Hankin said.

"We've continued to map the debris field," Hankin said. "We'll do the best we can to fully map it out."

What does "catastrophic implosion" mean?

Titan is a carbon fiber submersible that can travel as far as 4,000 meters below sea level, the OceanGate website says .

At the depth of the Titanic, which sits 3,800 meters below sea level, the pressure reaches a level 380 times the atmospheric pressure on the Earth's surface, Stefan Williams, a professor of marine robotics at the University of Sydney, said in a blog post on Tuesday.

PHOTO: What to know about the Titan submersible debris field

A fault or failure in the hull of the Titan could have led to an implosion, as the vessel gave way to the high pressure of the deep sea, Williams said.

The implosion of a submersible delivers immense force, oceanographer Bob Ballard told ABC News on Thursday.

"I don't think people can appreciate the amazing energy involved in the destructive process of an implosion," Ballard said. "It just takes out and literally shreds everything."

"It's extremely powerful," he added.

Are there previous examples of a submersible imploding?

A U.S. nuclear submarine, called Thresher, imploded during a deep-sea dive 220 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, a U.S. Navy inquiry showed .

The implosion left 129 sailors dead.

MORE: What to know about OceanGate, the company behind the missing Titanic submersible

PHOTO: Rear Admiral John Mauger, the First Coast Guard District commander, speaks during a press conference updating about the search of the missing OceanGate Expeditions submersible, in Boston, June 22, 2023.

More recently, in 2014, the unmanned Nereus submersible suffered a "catastrophic implosion" while traveling at a depth of 9,990 meters in the Kermadec Trench northeast of New Zealand, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said soon afterward in a statement.

At the time of implosion, Nereus faced pressure of an estimated 6,000 pounds per square inch, WHOI said.

The team of researchers tracking Nereus found "spotted pieces of debris floating on the sea surface" that were later identified as part of the submersible, WHOI said.

Researchers lost contact with Nereus seven hours into a nine-hour mission, WHOI added.

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The Titan’s implosion: the latest news on the Titanic wreckage tourist sub

By Wes Davis , a weekend editor who covers the latest in tech and entertainment. He has written news, reviews, and more as a tech journalist since 2020.

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On June 18th, 2023, a small sub called the Titan was lost about an hour and forty-five minutes into its voyage carrying five people on a tourist visit to the wreckage of the Titanic. After days of searching in the North Atlantic, the Coast Guard confirmed it found debris showing the sub suffered a “catastrophic implosion.”

The US Coast Guard had been searching beneath the ocean floor with remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) while sonar — from planes overhead, buoys on the surface, and expedition ships — pinged the bottom of the ocean looking for signs of the sub.

However, on June 22nd, the Coast Guard reported an ROV found debris from the Titan about 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic. This led search crews to believe that the sub imploded shortly after its departure, killing all five passengers.

The sub carried 58-year-old British billionaire Hamish Harding, who flew on a Blue Origin suborbital flight in June 2022, Pakistani billionaire Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman Dawood, a 77-year-old French explorer named Paul-Henry Nargeolet, and the CEO of OceanGate, Stockton Rush, who was 61 years old.

The Titan was a small, five-person submersible that is designed to reach depths of 4,000 meters “for site survey and inspection, research and data collection, film and media production, and deep sea testing of hardware and software,” according to its operator OceanGate .

On the inside , it was little more than a tube with a single viewport, a small toilet, touchscreens for viewing sonar and controlling the sub, as well as a screen for viewing the external 8K camera’s feed. The “experimental vessel” was also controlled by a Logitech game controller. Eight-day trips, including the submersible dive to the Titanic, cost a reported $250,000 per seat.

Emma Roth

Jun 22, 2023

Titan submersible suffered ‘catastrophic implosion’

An image showing the Titan submersible

The Titan submersible, which disappeared after setting off to tour the wreckage of the Titanic on Sunday, experienced a “catastrophic implosion,” US Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger announced during a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

“This morning, an ROV, or remote-operated vehicle from the vessel Horizon Arctic discovered the tail cone of the Titan submersible approximately 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic on the seafloor,” Mauger stated. “The ROV subsequently found additional debris. In consultation with experts from within the unified command, the debris is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber.”

Sep 29, 2023

A movie about the failed Titan submersible is already in the works

It’s only been months since the implosion of OceanGate’s Titan tourist submersible , but Hollywood producers are already working on a film based on the incident. MindRiot Entertainment will make the film, with E. Brian Dobbins ( The Blackening , Black-ish ) serving as co-producer, according to a report from Deadline .

The movie will follow the events that took place before, during, and after the Titan’s implosion, Deadline reports. In June, the Titan submersible set off on a journey to tour the wreckage of the Titanic at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. After losing contact with the surface , the US Coast Guard found that the Titan experienced a “catastrophic implosion” on the way down, killing all five passengers on board, including the CEO of OceanGate, Stockton Rush.

Richard Lawler

Jul 6, 2023

Richard Lawler

Yeah, that seems like a logical next move for OceanGate after the Titan vessel’s implosion killed five people, including OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, as they traveled to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to visit the remains of the Titanic (via CNN ).

The company’s website still advertises $250,000 trips to the Titanic or hydrothermal vents in the Azores.

“OceanGate has suspended all exploration and commercial operations.”

Jun 28, 2023

Photos published by CBS give us our first look at what remains of the Titan as crews work to bring debris from the sub to land. The tourist sub imploded last week during a journey to the Titanic’s wreckage, killing all five people on board.

Jun 26, 2023

Over the weekend, YouTuber and burger entrepreneur Mr. Beast tweeted that he had been invited to take a ride on the doomed Titanic tour submersible . However, one weird thing about his tweet was that while it clearly showed a screen capture from iMessage , it was a text from the sender, not the receiver.

He explained it later, saying it was a screenshot taken by the friend who originally invited him, who is probably also glad they didn’t take that particular trip.

Wes Davis

Jun 25, 2023

CBS published a video today with more video from David Pogue’s November 2022 story about the Titan submersible , along with damning expert analysis of the flaws that likely led to the sub’s implosion .

The video shows a stark contrast between that analysis and the apparent overconfidence of OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, who frequently pushed back on criticism and calls to seek safety certification of the sub.

YouTube creator MrBeast claimed in a tweet today that he was invited to join the Titan trip that disappeared on June 18th and was later determined to have imploded .

Curiously, the included screenshot of the invitation shows what appears to be a blue iMessage bubble. (Sent iMessages show as blue on the sender’s phone, not the receiver’s).

Update June 26, 8:25AM ET: He later tweeted that the screenshot was from the friend who invited him .

Jun 24, 2023

Travel Weekly EIC Arnie Weissman wrote a series of articles about a May trip he almost took aboard the OceanGate Titan (via Insider ).

He says OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush told him the sub’s hull used discounted Boeing carbon fiber that was “past its shelf life for use in airplanes” and claimed Boeing, NASA, and the University of Washington (UW) were involved in Titan’s design and testing.

Boeing and UW have both denied involvement, and NASA says it only served in a consulting capacity, per Insider .

[ www.travelweekly.com ]

The texts, which Bloom posted to Facebook, show Rush offering a cut-rate deal at just $150,000 per seat for a trip on the Titan. Bloom said he wasn’t able to go because of a scheduling conflict, and the slots went to Shahzada Dawood and his son, Sulemon, who were on the sub when it imploded .

In the texts, Bloom said his son was concerned about danger, but Rush waved him off:

“While there’s obviously risk it’s way safer than flying in a helicopter or even scuba divind. There hasn’t been even an injury in 35 years in a non-miltary sub.”

In 2019, after taking a trip on the ill-fated OceanGate Titan , submersible expert Karl Stanley said he heard an increasingly loud cracking sound over the two-hour trip down, according to The New York Times . He tried to warn Rush:

In the April 2019 email to Mr. Rush, Mr. Stanley said the loud cracking sounds that they had heard during their dive “sounded like a flaw/defect in one area being acted on by the tremendous pressures and being crushed/damaged.” He wrote that the loud, cracking noise signaled there was “an area of the hull that is breaking down.”

Stanley said experts confronted Rush about the safety of his sub at a 2018 crewed submersible conference, but he was “determined” to build it anyway. Shortly after, over three dozen industry experts wrote Rush, urging him to put his sub through certification.

[ The New York Times ]

Jun 23, 2023

Director James Cameron has given another interview, had a lot to say to CNN about the Titan , including that there’s an indication the sub dumped ballast and started to ascend before ever reaching the sea floor. He also apparently knew of the implosion sounds picked up by Navy listening devices as early as Monday.

However, despite OceanGate’s claims that they could detect any problems in the carbon fiber-based hull using “real-time (RTM) hull health monitoring,” Cameron said that well-known issues with composite materials and the risks of progressive degradation made it the wrong choice for constructing a submersible.

After the Titan lost contact with the surface, the WSJ reports that the US Navy “conducted an analysis of acoustic data” from a top-secret detection system.

It later found what it believes was the sound of the Titan’s implosion near the Titanic’s wreckage on Sunday, but officials decided to continue the search and rescue mission to “make every effort to save the lives on board.”

The Titanic director, who visited the remains of the 1912 shipwreck several times, responded to the news of the Titan tourist sub’s “catastrophic implosion” during an interview with ABC News:

A number of the top players in the deep submergence engineering community even wrote letters to the company [OceanGate], saying that what they were doing was too experimental to carry passengers and that needed to be certified. So I’m struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself. The captain was repeatedly warned about ice ahead of his ship, and yet he steamed at full speed into an ice field on a moonless night.

The Coast Guard will hold a press briefing at 3PM ET to discuss its findings from the debris field that a remote-operated vehicle (ROV) uncovered at the bottom of the ocean near the Titanic.

The Titan tourist submersible began its journey toward the shipwreck on Sunday before losing contact with its support ship. The sub’s 96 hours supply of oxygen was expected to run out this morning .

Jun 21, 2023

Iron Lung , an $5.99 indie game for the PC and Switch, puts you inside a compact submarine where you must navigate an eerie ocean of blood using only the grainy pictures taken from outside the vessel.

The game’s developer, David Szymanski, saw sales spike on June 20th — just a couple of days after OceanGate’s tourist submersible lost contact with the surface. The sub, which is controlled using a simple Logitech gamepad , was supposed to journey toward the Titanic’s shipwreck that lies about 13,000 feet at the bottom of the ocean.

[ Polygon ]

A Canadian search aircraft with underwater detection capabilities picked up “banging” sounds coming from the depths around the HMS Titanic wreckage about every 30 minutes, per a US government memo obtained by CNN .

Rolling Stone , who first reported it, said an email to the Department of Homeland Security from the research group Explorers Society read:

“It is being reported that at 2 a.m. local time on site that sonar detected potential ‘tapping sounds’ at the location, implying crew may be alive and signaling.”

Knocking was heard 4 hours later when “additional sonar was deployed.”

Jun 20, 2023

The missing Titanic tour sub is steered with a simple Logitech gamepad

On Sunday morning, an OceanGate submarine vessel with five people aboard went missing in the Atlantic about an hour and forty-five minutes into a planned trip to explore the wreckage of the RMS Titanic. Made of carbon fiber and titanium, the vessel has enough air for 96 hours; however, as word of the emergency has spread, there’s also shock at the wireless Logitech F710 gamepad used for steering.

The Titan advertises “state-of-the-art lighting and sonar navigation systems plus internally and externally mounted 4K video and photographic equipment,” and this CBS News Sunday Morning segment from David Pogue, taken last summer, showed the reporter laughing as he was shown its controls. OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush holds up the F710, saying, “We run the whole thing... with this game controller.” The reporter refers to the “MacGyver jury-riggedness” of the whole thing, using many off-the-shelf parts, as Rush said, “certain things, you want to be button down,” noting work with Boeing and NASA.

Monica Chin

Jun 19, 2023

Monica Chin

The vessel lost contact with its research vessel an hour and 45 minutes into its descent on Sunday morning. A search is underway approximately 900 miles east of Cape Cod.

The five occupants have between 70 and 96 hours of oxygen available, Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger said at a press conference earlier today.

[ Washington Post ]

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Human remains and debris from sub returned to land after fatal implosion near Titanic site

Human remains and debris from the submersible that imploded near the Titanic wreckage site was pulled from the depths of the ocean Wednesday, more than a week after a search for the five-passenger sub was launched and captured the world's attention.

Officials said medical professionals would study and analyze the presumed human remains that were carefully recovered from the wreckage.

The Titan, a submersible operated by OceanGate Expeditions, lost contact with its home ship June 18 off Newfoundland. Multiple countries sent resources in a frantic search for the sub, led by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Debris from the Titan submersible, recovered from the ocean floor near the wreck of the Titanic, is unloaded from the ship Horizon Arctic at the Canadian Coast Guard pier in St. John's, Newfoundland, Wednesday, June 28, 2023.

Last Thursday, when the estimated oxygen supply would have been depleted, the Coast Guard said that debris had been discovered on the ocean floor near the bow of the wrecked Titanic and that all five on board had been killed.

It's believed the submersible imploded , and the cause is under investigation.

The sub's remains were recovered by a remote-operated vehicle, which was sent roughly 12,500 feet underwater, where the remains of the Titan were on the ocean floor.

Debris from the Titan submersible, recovered from the ocean floor near the wreck of the Titanic, is unloaded from the ship Horizon Arctic at the Canadian Coast Guard pier in St. John's, Newfoundland, Wednesday, June 28, 2023.

What appeared to be chunks of the sub were pulled up onto the Horizon Arctic, a Canadian ship. It's unclear what parts were recovered; one particularly large piece could be seen with several large wires attached to it.

The Canadian ship Horizon Arctic carried a remotely operated vehicle to search the ocean floor near the Titanic wreck for pieces of the submersible. Pelagic Research Services, the company with offices in Massachusetts and New York that owns the remote vehicle, said Wednesday that it has completed offshore operations.

The Marine Board of Investigation will transport the debris aboard a U.S. Coast Guard cutter to a port in the U.S., where it will be analyzed and tested.

Doha Madani is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News. Pronouns: she/her.

Titanic submersible live updates: 'Catastrophic implosion' killed five aboard, possibly Sunday

Editor's note: This page reflects the news on the missing submarine from Thursday, June 22. For the  latest updates on the missing submersible  and the recovery efforts, read our  live updates page for Friday, June 23 .

The five people aboard the submersible that had been missing for days were killed when the small vessel carrying them to the Titanic wreckage site had a "catastrophic implosion,'' the Coast Guard said Thursday afternoon.

Members of a massive international search effort found a debris field in the general area of the Titanic earlier in the day, and it was confirmed to contain parts of the Titan sub.

"The debris is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel," Rear Adm. John Mauger, commander of the First Coast Guard District, said in a news conference.

The debris was found about 1,600 feet from the Titanic's bow on the sea floor, Mauger said, adding that it was too early to tell when the Titan imploded.

However, an "anomaly'' the U.S. Navy detected Sunday was likely the small watercraft's fatal blast, according to a senior military official. The irregularity was picked up when the Navy went back and analyzed its acoustic data after the submersible was reported missing that day.

That anomaly was “consistent with an implosion or explosion in the general vicinity of where the Titan submersible was operating when communications were lost,” a senior Navy official told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Navy shared the information with the Coast Guard, but the data was not considered definitive.

Paul Hankins, the U.S. Navy director of salvage operations and ocean engineering, said the debris found Thursday indicated a "catastrophic event." He and Mauger said it included a tail cone, the end bell of the pressure hull and the aft end bell, which according to Hankins, "basically comprise the totality of that pressure vessel."

The 22-foot vehicle was on a dive to the Titanic site when it lost contact with its support ship Sunday morning.

OceanGate, the company that operated the Titan – and whose CEO, Stockton Rush, piloted the watercraft – issued a statement saying the travelers "have sadly been lost.''

"We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew,'' the statement said.

The other four people believed to have perished were Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, British adventurer Hamish Harding and French deep-sea explorer and Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

“Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives on the Titan,” the White House said in a statement. “They have been through a harrowing ordeal over the past few days, and we are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers.”

Debris field discovered early Thursday

Search and rescue crews remotely operating an underwater vehicle had discovered debris near the Titanic earlier Thursday, the day the submersible was expected to run out of oxygen .

The debris was found by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) associated with the Canadian vessel Horizon Arctic that reached the sea floor and began searching for the submersible early Thursday, according to the Coast Guard, which said ROVs will be used in a continued investigation of what happened.

The complex search and rescue mission attracted international attention and involved personnel from the U.S., Canada, France and the United Kingdom . Another ROV, associated with the French vessel L'Atalante, also deployed Thursday, the Coast Guard said.

The accelerating search efforts came as an updated prediction by the Coast Guard said the Titan submersible was likely to run out of oxygen roughly around 7 a.m. EDT Thursday. It initially had 96 hours of oxygen for a crew of five. Experts have noted that the estimates are imprecise. In the end, running out of oxygen was not the biggest problem.

Inside the underwater vessel: Reporter who rode Titanic submersible tells USA TODAY about 'less sophisticated' parts

Wife of OceanGate CEO descended from Titanic victims

The wife of OceanGate's CEO is descended from victims of the Titanic wreck of 1912, genealogical records suggest.

Wendy Rush, the wife of Stockton Rush, is the great-great-granddaughter of Isidor and Ida Straus , The New York Times first reported . USA TODAY confirmed the tie through genealogical records online.

The couple was last seen together on the deck of the Titanic holding hands as it sank, according to the U.K. government's National Archives. Rush's great-grandmother was their daughter Minnie, who married Richard Weil, said Joan Adler, executive director of the Straus Historical Society, a nonprofit that preserves information relating to the Straus Family.

Rush works as OceanGate's director of communications and has participated in three past OceanGate journeys to the Titanic site, according to her LinkedIn page .

Pakistani teen was student in Scotland

Suleman Dawood, the Pakistani 19-year-old aboard the vessel, was a student at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, the university confirmed Thursday. He just completed his first year in the business school there.

"We are deeply concerned about Suleman, his father and the others involved in this incident. Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones and we continue to hope for a positive outcome," the university said.

Deep ocean salvage system arrives for search

Rescue crews on Thursday had faced wind gusts up to 19 mph and ocean swells up to 5 feet, with an air temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Coast Guard.

The U.S. Navy said Wednesday afternoon that a special deep-water salvage system capable of hoisting up to 60,000 pounds had reached St. John’s, Canada, and could be used to lift the Titan to the surface, though it may not be ready for another 24 hours. The Titan weighs 23,000 pounds, according to the OceanGate website.

Submersible previously had battery issues

At least 46 people successfully traveled on OceanGate’s submersible to the Titanic wreck site in 2021 and 2022, according to letters the company filed with a U.S. District Court in Virginia.

"On the first dive to the Titanic, the submersible encountered a battery issue and had to be manually attached to its lifting platform," one filing says. "In the high sea state, the submersible sustained modest damage to its external components and OceanGate decided to cancel the second mission for repairs and operational enhancements."

Arthur Loibl, a retired businessman from Germany, took a dive to the site two years ago. "Imagine a metal tube a few meters long with a sheet of metal for a floor. You can't stand. You can't kneel. Everyone is sitting close to or on top of each other," Loibl told the Associated Press. "You can't be claustrophobic."

During the 2.5-hour descent and ascent, the lights were turned off to conserve energy, he said, with the only illumination coming from a fluorescent glow stick. The dive was repeatedly delayed to fix a problem with the battery and the balancing weights. In total, the voyage took 10.5 hours, he said.

Underwater noises heard for two days

Aircraft detected underwater noises in the search area on Tuesday and Wednesday, prompting officials to redirect rescue efforts, said Capt. Jamie Frederick, the First Coast Guard District response coordinator, in a news conference Wednesday. Navy acoustic analysts were studying the sounds, he said.

"We don't know what they are," Frederick said. "The good news is, we’re searching in the area where the noises were detected." The search net covers a surface area roughly two times the size of Connecticut and 2.5 miles deep, he said.

At the press conference Wednesday, Carl Hartsfield, director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, said the sounds have been described as "banging noises." He cautioned against jumping to conclusions and said sounds that aren’t man-made may sound man-made to the untrained ear.

Missing Titanic submersible: Maps, graphics show last location, depth and design

Who is on the passenger list of the submersible?

These are the passengers who were on the submersible :

◾ Stockton Rush, 61, CEO of OceanGate, who co-founded the company in 2009.

◾ Paul-Henry Nargeolet, 73, a French maritime explorer and director of the Underwater Research Program at Premier Exhibitions, RMS Titanic Inc., the only company with exclusive rights to recover the artifacts from the Titanic wreck.

◾ Hamish Harding, 58, a British explorer, private jet dealer and chairman of Action Aviation, a global sales company in business aviation.

◾ Shahzada Dawood, 48, a member of one of Pakistan’s most prominent families.

◾ Suleman Dawood, 19, son of Shahzada Dawood.

– Isabelle Butera, USA TODAY

Who pays the cost of Coast Guard rescues?

The cost of the search and rescue mission is likely in the millions of dollars – and will fall to taxpayers, said Chris Boyer, the executive director of the National Association for Search and Rescue, a nonprofit education, training and advocacy group.

He said the Coast Guard doesn’t charge people for search and rescue. "That’s their job," he said, noting fear of costs could deter people from seeking lifesaving help.

While some adventure expeditions require patrons to take out insurance policies, few would come close to covering the likely costs of the rescue mission, he said. High-risk adventures have long fueled complex debates about risk and rescue, he said.

"I think it's going to become a larger issue for us. Because it's not just under the water. We now have private spaceships flying private astronauts into space," he said. "What happens when that private spaceship can't come back home?"

– Chris Kenning, USA TODAY

What does it look like inside the missing submersible?

The Titan submersible was about 8 feet high, 9 feet wide and 22 feet long, according to the OceanGate website. It was designed to reach about 13,000 feet deep and travel at 3 knots, the company says. The vessel had a five-inch-thick carbon fiber and titanium hull and four 10-horsepower electric thrusters, according to court filings.

Several exterior cameras provided a live view of the outside, and passengers could access the camera views on a large digital display or on a hand-held tablet, according to court filings. Images posted to the website show people seated on the floor in the small, open space with their legs crossed.

Science writer and CBS correspondent David Pogue, who boarded the submersible for a report that aired in November , told USA TODAY he was concerned about the vessel's safety.

"There were parts of it that seemed to me to be less sophisticated than I was guessing. You drive it with a PlayStation video controller … some of the ballasts are old, rusty construction pipes," Pogue said. "There were certain things that looked like cut corners."

Contributing: Kayla Jimenez, Dinah Pulver and Anthony Robledo, USA TODAY ; The Associated Press

Russia With Love

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titanic submarine tour implosion

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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Russia With Love - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Kings of Russia

The Comprehensive Guide to Moscow Nightlife

  • Posted on April 14, 2018 July 26, 2018
  • by Kings of Russia
  • 8 minute read

titanic submarine tour implosion

Moscow’s nightlife scene is thriving, and arguably one of the best the world has to offer – top-notch Russian women, coupled with a never-ending list of venues, Moscow has a little bit of something for everyone’s taste. Moscow nightlife is not for the faint of heart – and if you’re coming, you better be ready to go Friday and Saturday night into the early morning.

This comprehensive guide to Moscow nightlife will run you through the nuts and bolts of all you need to know about Moscow’s nightclubs and give you a solid blueprint to operate with during your time in Moscow.

What you need to know before hitting Moscow nightclubs

Prices in moscow nightlife.

Before you head out and start gaming all the sexy Moscow girls , we have to talk money first. Bring plenty because in Moscow you can never bring a big enough bankroll. Remember, you’re the man so making a fuzz of not paying a drink here or there will not go down well.

Luckily most Moscow clubs don’t do cover fees. Some electro clubs will charge 15-20$, depending on their lineup. There’s the odd club with a minimum spend of 20-30$, which you’ll drop on drinks easily. By and large, you can scope out the venues for free, which is a big plus.

Bottle service is a great deal in Moscow. At top-tier clubs, it starts at 1,000$. That’ll go a long way with premium vodka at 250$, especially if you have three or four guys chipping in. Not to mention that it’s a massive status boost for getting girls, especially at high-end clubs.

Without bottle service, you should estimate a budget of 100-150$ per night. That is if you drink a lot and hit the top clubs with the hottest girls. Scale down for less alcohol and more basic places.

Dress code & Face control

Door policy in Moscow is called “face control” and it’s always the guy behind the two gorillas that gives the green light if you’re in or out.

In Moscow nightlife there’s only one rule when it comes to dress codes:

You can never be underdressed.

People dress A LOT sharper than, say, in the US and that goes for both sexes. For high-end clubs, you definitely want to roll with a sharp blazer and a pocket square, not to mention dress shoes in tip-top condition. Those are the minimum requirements to level the playing field vis a vis with other sharply dressed guys that have a lot more money than you do. Unless you plan to hit explicit electro or underground clubs, which have their own dress code, you are always on the money with that style.

Getting in a Moscow club isn’t as hard as it seems: dress sharp, speak English at the door and look like you’re in the mood to spend all that money that you supposedly have (even if you don’t). That will open almost any door in Moscow’s nightlife for you.

Types of Moscow Nightclubs

In Moscow there are four types of clubs with the accompanying female clientele:

High-end clubs:

These are often crossovers between restaurants and clubs with lots of tables and very little space to dance. Heavy accent on bottle service most of the time but you can work the room from the bar as well. The hottest and most expensive girls in Moscow go there. Bring deep pockets and lots of self-confidence and you have a shot at swooping them.

Regular Mid-level clubs:

They probably resemble more what you’re used to in a nightclub: big dancefloors, stages and more space to roam around. Bottle service will make you stand out more but you can also do well without. You can find all types of girls but most will be in the 6-8 range. Your targets should always be the girls drinking and ideally in pairs. It’s impossible not to swoop if your game is at least half-decent.

Basic clubs/dive bars:

Usually spots with very cheap booze and lax face control. If you’re dressed too sharp and speak no Russian, you might attract the wrong type of attention so be vigilant. If you know the local scene you can swoop 6s and 7s almost at will. Usually students and girls from the suburbs.

Electro/underground clubs:

Home of the hipsters and creatives. Parties there don’t mean meeting girls and getting drunk but doing pills and spacing out to the music. Lots of attractive hipster girls if that is your niche. That is its own scene with a different dress code as well.

titanic submarine tour implosion

What time to go out in Moscow

Moscow nightlife starts late. Don’t show up at bars and preparty spots before 11pm because you’ll feel fairly alone. Peak time is between 1am and 3am. That is also the time of Moscow nightlife’s biggest nuisance: concerts by artists you won’t know and who only distract your girls from drinking and being gamed. From 4am to 6am the regular clubs are emptying out but plenty of people, women included, still hit up one of the many afterparty clubs. Those last till well past 10am.

As far as days go: Fridays and Saturdays are peak days. Thursday is an OK day, all other days are fairly weak and you have to know the right venues.

The Ultimate Moscow Nightclub List

Short disclaimer: I didn’t add basic and electro clubs since you’re coming for the girls, not for the music. This list will give you more options than you’ll be able to handle on a weekend.

Preparty – start here at 11PM

Classic restaurant club with lots of tables and a smallish bar and dancefloor. Come here between 11pm and 12am when the concert is over and they start with the actual party. Even early in the night tons of sexy women here, who lean slightly older (25 and up).

The second floor of the Ugolek restaurant is an extra bar with dim lights and house music tunes. Very small and cozy with a slight hipster vibe but generally draws plenty of attractive women too. A bit slower vibe than Valenok.

Very cool, spread-out venue that has a modern library theme. Not always full with people but when it is, it’s brimming with top-tier women. Slow vibe here and better for grabbing contacts and moving on.

titanic submarine tour implosion

High-end: err on the side of being too early rather than too late because of face control.

Secret Room

Probably the top venue at the moment in Moscow . Very small but wildly popular club, which is crammed with tables but always packed. They do parties on Thursdays and Sundays as well. This club has a hip-hop/high-end theme, meaning most girls are gold diggers, IG models, and tattooed hip hop chicks. Very unfavorable logistics because there is almost no room no move inside the club but the party vibe makes it worth it. Strict face control.

Close to Secret Room and with a much more favorable and spacious three-part layout. This place attracts very hot women but also lots of ball busters and fakes that will leave you blue-balled. Come early because after 4am it starts getting empty fast. Electronic music.

A slightly kitsch restaurant club that plays Russian pop and is full of gold diggers, semi-pros, and men from the Caucasus republics. Thursday is the strongest night but that dynamic might be changing since Secret Room opened its doors. You can swoop here but it will be a struggle.

titanic submarine tour implosion

Mid-level: your sweet spot in terms of ease and attractiveness of girls for an average budget.

Started going downwards in 2018 due to lax face control and this might get even worse with the World Cup. In terms of layout one of the best Moscow nightclubs because it’s very big and bottle service gives you a good edge here. Still attracts lots of cute girls with loose morals but plenty of provincial girls (and guys) as well. Swooping is fairly easy here.

I haven’t been at this place in over a year, ever since it started becoming ground zero for drunken teenagers. Similar clientele to Icon but less chic, younger and drunker. Decent mainstream music that attracts plenty of tourists. Girls are easy here as well.

Sort of a Coyote Ugly (the real one in Moscow sucks) with party music and lots of drunken people licking each others’ faces. Very entertaining with the right amount of alcohol and very easy to pull in there. Don’t think about staying sober in here, you’ll hate it.

Artel Bessonitsa/Shakti Terrace

Electronic music club that is sort of a high-end place with an underground clientele and located between the teenager clubs Icon and Gipsy. Very good music but a bit all over the place with their vibe and their branding. You can swoop almost any type of girl here from high-heeled beauty to coked-up hipsters, provided they’re not too sober.

titanic submarine tour implosion

Afterparty: if by 5AM  you haven’t pulled, it’s time to move here.

Best afterparty spot in terms of trying to get girls. Pretty much no one is sober in there and savage gorilla game goes a long way. Lots of very hot and slutty-looking girls but it can be hard to tell apart who is looking for dick and who is just on drugs but not interested. If by 9-10am you haven’t pulled, it is probably better to surrender.

The hipster alternative for afterparties, where even more drugs are in play. Plenty of attractive girls there but you have to know how to work this type of club. A nicer atmosphere and better music but if you’re desperate to pull, you’ll probably go to Miks.

Weekday jokers: if you’re on the hunt for some sexy Russian girls during the week, here are two tips to make your life easier.


Ladies night on Wednesdays means this place gets pretty packed with smashed teenagers and 6s and 7s. Don’t pull out the three-piece suit in here because it’s a “simpler” crowd. Definitely your best shot on Wednesdays.

If you haven’t pulled at Chesterfield, you can throw a Hail Mary and hit up Garage’s Black Music Wednesdays. Fills up really late but there are some cute Black Music groupies in here. Very small club. Thursday through Saturday they do afterparties and you have an excellent shot and swooping girls that are probably high.

Shishas Sferum

This is pretty much your only shot on Mondays and Tuesdays because they offer free or almost free drinks for women. A fairly low-class club where you should watch your drinks. As always the case in Moscow, there will be cute girls here on any day of the week but it’s nowhere near as good as on the weekend.

titanic submarine tour implosion

In a nutshell, that is all you need to know about where to meet Moscow girls in nightlife. There are tons of options, and it all depends on what best fits your style, based on the type of girls that you’re looking for.

Related Topics

  • moscow girls
  • moscow nightlife

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