Four months after the catastrophic implosion of the submersible vessel Titan during a deep-sea expedition towards the Titanic wreck, the U.S. Coast Guard has successfully retrieved the remaining wreckage, including what is presumed to be human remains.
The OceanGate underwater craft vanished on June 18 while conducting a mission to investigate the resting place of the Titanic. At the time, there were five individuals on board, sparking an international search and rescue effort. Subsequent investigations revealed that the submersible experienced a devastating implosion during its descent, resulting in the loss of all crew members.
In an announcement made on Tuesday, the Coast Guard confirmed that its Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) had undertaken a follow-up salvage operation to retrieve and transport the remaining Titan submersible debris and associated evidence from the ocean floor of the North Atlantic.
The Coast Guard reported, “Presumed human remains were delicately recovered from within the Titan’s wreckage and have been transported for analysis by medical experts in the United States.” The collected evidence has been transferred to an unspecified U.S. port for cataloging and further analysis.
The salvage mission involved the cooperation of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.
The Marine Board of Investigation is poised to collaborate with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and other international investigative agencies in arranging a joint assessment of the salvaged Titan debris. This will help determine the subsequent steps for forensic examination.
The Coast Guard’s statement conveyed, “The MBI will continue its analysis of the evidence and conduct interviews with witnesses in preparation for a forthcoming public hearing on this tragic incident.”
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The implosion claimed the lives of those aboard the Titan submersible, including Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions; Hamish Harding, a British billionaire and owner of Action Aviation; Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a French diving expert; and Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman, both prominent Pakistani businessmen.
Subsequent to this tragedy, OceanGate has temporarily suspended its exploration and commercial activities.