Debris, possible human remains from imploded Titanic sub return to Canadian port

A view of the Horizon Arctic ship, as salvaged pieces of the Titan submersible from OceanGate Expeditions are returned, in St John's harbour, Newfoundland, Canada on June 28, 2023. (Photo: David Hiscock/Reuters)

The Titan submarine imploded while being towed to the Titanic wreck, but experts have found "presumed human remains" among its wreckage, according to the US Coast Guard.

Following the careful recovery of some of the wreckage on Wednesday, the agency issued a statement saying that "United States medical professionals will conduct a formal analysis of presumed human remains." Parts of the debris were unloaded in eastern Canada.

On Wednesday, debris from the Titan submersible was brought back to land.

A crucial component of the investigation into why the submersible imploded is the delivery of the wreckage to port in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

"I am grateful for the coordinated international and interagency support to recover and preserve this vital evidence at extreme offshore distances and depths," US Coast Guard Chief Captain Jason Neubauer said in a statement.

"The evidence will provide investigators from several international jurisdictions with critical insights into the cause of this tragedy. There is still a substantial amount of work to be done to understand the factors that led to the catastrophic loss of the TITAN and help ensure a similar tragedy does not occur again."

The Coast Guard reported last week that the Titan's wreckage was located on the ocean floor approximately 488 meters from the Titanic and 3,810 meters underwater.

'Major marine casualty'

The submersible imploded during its descent on June 18, and the Coast Guard is currently overseeing the investigation into why.

On June 22, authorities declared that the submersible had imploded and that all five aboard had perished.

Analyzing the physical components of debris recovered during the search, according to one of the experts the Coast Guard consulted with, may yield crucial hints about what happened to the Titan. Additionally, according to Carl Hartsfield of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, there might be electronic data.

"Certainly, all the instruments on any deep sea vehicle, they record data. They pass up data. So the question is, is there any data available? And I really don’t know the answer to that question," he said on Monday.

Along with two prominent Pakistani family members, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, British adventurer Hamish Harding, and Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Ocean Gate CEO and pilot Stockton Rush also perished in the implosion.

The Titan submersible's loss has been classified as a "major marine casualty" by the Coast Guard, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Coast Guard will oversee the investigation.

Although the Titan's owner and operator, OceanGate Expeditions, is based in the US, the submersible was registered in the Bahamas.

When the Titan was discovered, the OceanGate business in Everett, Washington, shut down.

The Polar Prince, the Titan's mother ship, was a Canadian vessel.

Each passenger paid the operator $250,000 to take part in the trip. The safety of private undersea exploration operations has come under scrutiny following the Titan's explosion. The investigation will also be used by the Coast Guard to enhance submersible safety.

Publish : 2023-06-29 07:22:00

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