Titan Sub Catastrophic Implosion: Could It Have Been Prevented?


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On June 22, 2023, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that the Titan submersible had imploded, killing all five passengers on board. The debris from the sub was found near the Titanic wreck site.

The Background

On Sunday morning, the watercraft was sunk from its support vessel in an attempt to reach the Titanic debris, which is 12,500 feet below the surface. The Titan, a vessel being observed by the Polar Prince, lost contact with its surface ship approximately one hour and forty-five minutes after their initial contact.

In a battle against time, search crews tried probing the deep sea for the lost Titan submarine. The submersible’s oxygen supply was expected to run out in 96 hours after it lost contact on Sunday Morning. As time passed, the search attempts became more urgent and precise, but in the end, it was all in vain.

The Findings

The Titan sub is believed to have suffered a ‘catastrophic’ implosion that US Navy acoustic detection picked up on Sunday. The five passengers on board are said to have died in the implosion. Stockton Rush, the CEO and creator of OceanGate Expeditions, was on board the Titan with a number of noteworthy people. British millionaire adventurer Hamish Harding, renowned French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Pakistani industrialist Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood were among them.

Oceangate Titan sub victims.

The cause of the implosion is still under investigation, but officials believe it may have been caused by a sudden change in pressure. The submersible was designed to withstand pressures up to 16,000 psi, but it is possible that it was subjected to a higher pressure than that.

A Remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) found five major fragments of the 6.7-metre (22-foot) Titan submarine in a debris field on the seabed some 488 metres (1,600ft) from the bow of the wreck of the Titanic, which rests 4 km (around 2.5 miles) beneath the surface of the ocean in a remote corner of the North Atlantic, US Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger told reporters.

The Titan

The Titan submersible was a 21-foot carbon fibre and titanium vessel that could carry up to five people. It was designed to take tourists to the Titanic wreck site, but it had also been used for scientific research.

The Titan Sub.

It’s not the first time that the submersible had undertaken the voyage to explore the infamous shipwreck. The Titan has made the voyage to the Titanic three times, once a year since 2021.

What Should Not Have Been Done

According to experts, the submarine should not have been operated at its maximum depth. This put additional stress on the sub’s systems.

In addition to the above, the sub’s operator should have been more aware of the risks involved in operating a submersible at such depths. The pressure at those depths is immense, and even a small leak could have catastrophic consequences. The operators should have also been more prepared for the possibility of a power failure. A submersible that loses power at those depths is essentially a death trap, experts say.

Inside the Titan submersible.

The CEO should also not have improvised or used off-the-shelf components. In a video circulating on social media, the CEO makes remarks that he ‘broke rules’ to build the sub.

What Could Have Been Done

According to experts, the sub should have had a more powerful communication system. This would have allowed the crew to communicate with the surface in the event of an emergency. They also believe the sub should have been accompanied by a support vessel. This would have added extra security in the event of a malfunction.

Additionally, the passengers should have received emergency training. This would have provided them with the necessary skills to respond to a crisis.

Eerie Facts

In 1912, Thomas Andrews, the Man who designed the Titanic, sank with it. 111 years later, the man who designed the Titanic Submarine Ocean Gate Titan sank with it in 2023 at the same spot.

Thomas Andrews, , the Man who designed the Titanic.

Furthermore, the wife of Stockton Rush, the Ocean Gate CEO who died on the submersible, is a descendant of two first-class passengers who died on the Titanic, according to a report.

Ida and Isidor Straus.

Stockton’s wife, Wendy Rush, is a direct descendant of Isidor and Ida Straus, who were among more than 1,500 people who died when the iconic vessel struck an iceberg and sank into the sea during a voyage through the Atlantic Ocean in 1912.

The loss of the Titan sub is a tragedy, but it could have been prevented. Hope is that the lessons learned from the loss of the Titan sub will help prevent similar accidents in the future.

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