All five people aboard the Titan submersible are believed to be dead after debris was discovered in the search area was consistent with a “catastrophic implosion”, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The debris was found off the bow of the Titanic, officials said.
“On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families,” Rear Adm. John Mauger of the Coast Guard said. “I can only imagine what this has been like for them and I hope that this discovery provides some solace, during this difficult time.”
The submersible lost contact an hour and 45 minutes after beginning its journey with a 96-hour oxygen supply. That amount of breathable air was forecast to run out on Thursday morning, at 7:10 am ET, according to the United States Coast Guard.
A senior U.S. Navy official confirmed that an underwater acoustic detection system heard banging was likely the implosion of the Titan submersible.
“The U.S. Navy conducted an analysis of acoustic data and detected an anomaly consistent with an implosion or explosion in the general vicinity of where the Titan submersible was operating when communications were lost,” the official said in a statement. “While not definitive, this information was immediately shared with the Incident Commander to assist with the ongoing search and rescue mission.”
Those on board have been identified as Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, the company behind the mission; British billionaire Hamish Harding, the owner of Action Aviation; French dive expert Paul Henry Nargeolet; and prominent Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman.
“Our friends and fellow Explorers Club members Hamish Harding and Paul-Henri Nargeolet are lost, along with Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, while trying to reach the RMS Titanic,” Club President Richard Garriott de Cayeux said.