Titanic sub latest updates: Families mourn Britons dead on Titan vessel after ‘catastrophic implosion’

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  • June 23, 2023
  • Comments Off on Titanic sub latest updates: Families mourn Britons dead on Titan vessel after ‘catastrophic implosion’


he families of Londoner Shahzada Dawood, his son Suleman, and British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding have paid tribute after they died in the Titan submersible’s “catastrophic” implosion.

The US Coast Guard confirmed the tail cone of the deep-sea vessel was discovered around 1,600 ft from the bow of the Titanic wreckage during a press conference in Boston.

Rear Admiral John Mauger said further debris was also found, in the North Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Newfoundland, that was “consistent with a catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber”.

“This was a catastrophic implosion of the vessel which would have generated a significant broadband sound down there that the sonar buoys would have picked up,” he said.

Undersea expert Paul Hankin said five major pieces of debris helped to identify it as from the Titan submersible – including the vessel’s nose cone and the front end bell of the pressure hull.

The Dawood family released a statement mourning the loss of the father and son.

“Please continue to keep the departed souls of our family in your prayers during this difficult period of mourning,” they said.

Meanwhile, Mr Harding’s family paid tribute to their “dedicated father”. “He was one of a kind and we adored him,” they said.

According to court documents, safety concerns had previously been raised about the Titan submersible by a former employee of OceanGate.

The filings said David Lochridge, OceanGate’s former director of marine operations, claimed wrongful dismissal after flagging worries about the company’s alleged “refusal to conduct critical, non-destructive testing of the experimental design”.

Live updates


No blame, but ‘adjust culture’ going forward, former Royal Navy capt says

A former Royal Navy submarine captain has said that the Titan submersible didn’t follow the same regulations as submarines.

He said: “Most submersibles and all submarines go through a stringent safety process.

“Every time they come back in and every time before they go to sea they do safety checks, check the safety of the hull, state of the hull openings, everything.

“What’s apparent here is they didn’t have to follow the same regulation, and therefore didn’t follow the same regulation. I think that will be where a big focus is.

“That doesn’t mean blame, that’s not what we should be doing, what we should be doing is what’s called adjust culture, where we work out lessons learned and implement them going forward.”


Victims’ bodies may be left ‘in peace’

The bodies of the Titan victims may be left “in peace” instead of being recovered from the ocean, a marine consultancy chief has suggested.

Constellation Marine Services director Captain John Noble told Sky News that the five men are “in a resting place along with hundreds of Titanic passengers”.

“The decision may well be to leave them in peace where they are,” he said.

He said the implosion is expected to be the “start of a very long path by regulators” to tighten rules around deep-sea exploration.

“This is a craft by their own admission that is not doubly safe,” Captain Noble told Sky News.

“I do think the regulators have to come up with specific requirements for all these research craft to make sure that they’ve got some balance for safety, some duplication, some means of escape.”


Titan implosion raises questions over regulations

Operations like the one undertaken by the Titan submersible are scrutinised less than the companies that launch people into space, a maritime policy expert has said.

The Titan operated in international waters, and not under US law or other nations.

The submersible wasn’t registered as a US vessel or with international agencies that regulate safety, Salvatore Mercogliano, a history professor at Campbell University in North Carolina who focuses on maritime history and policy, said.

Experts say wrongful death and negligence lawsuits are likely in the Titan case.

But legal actions will face challenges, including waivers signed by the Titan passengers that warned of the myriad ways they could die.

OceanGate could still face repercussions under the Passenger Vessel Safety Act of 1993, Mr Schoenbaum said.


Son of businessman ‘not very comfortable’ going on Titan

An aunty of 19-year-old victim, Suleman Dawood, said he was terrified to go on the Titan submersible but felt compelled to because it was a Father’s Day present.

Azmeh Dawood, the older sister of businessman Shahzada Dawood, told NBC News that Mr Dawood’s son was “very not into doing it”.

“Suleman had a sense that this was not okay and he was not very comfortable about doing it,” she said.

“But it was a Father’s Day thing. It was a bonding experience and he wanted the adventure of a lifetime just like his father did.

“His father wanted it and that was Sule all the way – he’d do anything for anyone.”

Suleman and Shahzada Dawood



Good morning

The US Coast Guard is continuing to search for clues about what happened to the Titan submersible after it was confirmed the pilot and four passengers died in a catastrophic implosion.

It’s not clear exactly when or where the implosion occurred. But a senior military official said on Thursday that a US Navy acoustic system detected an “anomaly” on Sunday that was likely the Titan’s fatal implosion.Officials say there isn’t a timeframe for when they will call off the massive international search.

The prospect of finding or recovering remains is unknown.

Tributes have been released by the families of the victims – Oceangate chief executive and Titan pilot Stockton Rush, two members of a prominent Pakistani family Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, British adventurer Hamish Harding and Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

Dirty Dozen Productions/OceanGate/AFP