The five people aboard a missing submersible died in a “catastrophic implosion,” a U.S. Coast Guard official said on Thursday, bringing a grim end to the international search for the vessel that was lost during a deep-sea voyage to the wreck of the Titanic.
“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, the U.S.-based company that operated the Titan submersible, said in a statement. “Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time.”
“The debris field here is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vehicle,” Mauger said.
The five aboard included the British billionaire and explorer Hamish Harding, 58; Pakistani-born business magnate Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his 19-year-old son, Suleman, both British citizens; French oceanographer and Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, who had visited the wreck dozens of times; and Stockton Rush, the American founder and chief executive of OceanGate, who was piloting the submersible.