The company behind the Titanic sub that imploded while carrying out a tour of the famous ship’s wreckage, OceanGate, has officially announced Thursday that they will be suspending operations after the incident led to the deaths of five individuals. This is probably the best possible course of action they could take at this point, especially if the claims are true that they ignored potential issues with their submersibles before the tragic incident occurred.
According to ABC News, the company made the announcement through a banner that was published on its website. OceanGate was established in 2009, offering customers an opportunity to go down to the bottom of the ocean and get a close look at the wreckage of the Titanic and the underwater canyons located all around it.
“On June 18, its Titan submersible went missing while on a deep-sea voyage to the Titanic. The remnants of the missing OceanGate submersible, including the tail cone, were found on the ocean floor about 1,600 feet from the bow of the wrecked Titanic on June 22 by a remotely operated vehicle,” the report said.
Last week, the U.S. Coast Guard revealed that the debris they have collected from the submersible did contain “presumed human remains,” which confirms the fate of those aboard the vehicle. Of course, we all already knew these folks were dead, but having their remains makes the whole tragedy more real, especially for the families of the victims.
The Marine Board of Investigation stated that they will be conducting “further analysis and testing” on the evidence brought back to the surface, according to the Coast Guard.
“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,” Marine Board of Investigation Chair Capt. Jason Neubauer went on to say in a statement released on June 28.
Here’s more from the report:
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The U.S. Coast Guard is leading an investigation into the deadly incident, according to the National Transportation Safety Board, which said it will “contribute to their efforts.”
Former National Transportation Safety Board investigator Tom Haueter called the probe “uncharted territory” that could take “months” to analyze the failures.
“This is the first fatality on a passenger carriage submarine I can think of and certainly the first one going into Titanic at this depth,” Haueter stated in an interview with ABC News. The report also revealed that The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are looking into the circumstances surrounding the incident, launching a full investigation of their own into the five deaths to see if they might “indicate criminal, federal or provincial laws have been broken.”
OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush was among the five passengers killed on the experimental submersible, which has come under scrutiny for its carbon fiber constructionand design. Stockton had previously defended the decision to manufacture the Titan with carbon fiber, saying he believed a sub made with carbon fiber would have a better strength-to-buoyancy ratio than titanium.
ABC News stated that OceanGate has conducted 14 total expeditions, along with 200 dives, across the Pacific, Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. This is a service that folks dropped $250,000 per passenger for, which is an insane amount of money.
In the words of the mighty Joe Exotic, I don’t think OceanGate will ever financially recover from this.