'Claustrophobic' images of doomed Titan submersible before implosion show reality faced by five passengers

18 March 2024, 16:19

'Claustrophobic' images of doomed Titan submersible before implosion show reality faced by five passengers
'Claustrophobic' images of doomed Titan submersible before implosion show reality faced by five passengers. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

'Claustrophobic' images of the doomed Titan submersible have resurfaced online again, almost a year after it imploded, showing the horrific journey faced by its five passengers.

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The images, from an interview with OceanGate's CEO Stockton Rush, revealed how enclosed the submersible was, and the journey faced by the passengers to the bottom of the sea.

The Titan sub lost contact with its crew, based on the surface of the water, on June 18 last year. It imploded on its way to the wreckage of the Titanic.

Resurfaced images showing Rush and a reporter inside the sub during an interview have been circling on social media in recent weeks.

It comes after documentary The Titan Sub Disaster: Minute by Minute aired on Channel 5 earlier this month, outlining the details of the Titan expedition and the subsequent rescue mission.

It revealed the sub had very confined dimensions of 670 cm x 280 cm x 250 cm - which shocked many online.

Submersible pilot Randy Holt, right, communicates with the support boat as he and Stockton Rush, left, CEO and Co-Founder of OceanGate Inc., June 28, 2013
Submersible pilot Randy Holt, right, communicates with the support boat as he and Stockton Rush, left, CEO and Co-Founder of OceanGate Inc., June 28, 2013. Picture: Alamy
Debris from the Titan submersible, recovered from the ocean floor near the wreck of the Titanic, is unloaded from the ship Horizon Arctic at the Canadian Coast Guard pier in St. John's, Newfoundland, June 28, 2023
Debris from the Titan submersible, recovered from the ocean floor near the wreck of the Titanic, is unloaded from the ship Horizon Arctic at the Canadian Coast Guard pier in St. John's, Newfoundland, June 28, 2023. Picture: Alamy

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Five were killed in the tragic incident, including OceanGate's CEO Stockton Rush, which took place around 1,600 feet (488 meters) away from the destroyed ship.

British billionaire Hamish Harding, businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman, and French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet were also killed in the disaster.

Their initial disappearance led to a frenzied search and rescue effort as it was feared they had plummeted to the bottom of the Atlantic - where the Titanic sank to 12,500ft below the waves - and they were running out of oxygen.

But debris from the sub was eventually found strewn across the ocean floor. Presumed human remains were found on some of the collected debris.

Much of the focus since the catastrophic implosion has been on OceanGate's CEO Mr Rush, who made several unconventional claims about submarine safety.

OceanGate's boss once slammed regulation as an obstacle to innovation but an expert has said last month's Titan implosion was an "avoidable tragedy".

File photo shows the Titan submersible
File photo shows the Titan submersible. Picture: Alamy

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In a 2019 interview with The Smithsonian, Mr Rush said: "There hasn't been an injury in the commercial submersible industry in over 35 years.

"It's obscenely safe because they have all these regulations," he said.

"But it also hasn't innovated or grown — because they have all these regulations."

Since the disaster, social media accounts and the website for the company have disappeared. The company has instead simply left a holding statement saying it has suspended its operations.

The website now says: "OceanGate has suspended all exploration and commercial operations" in white font on a black background.

Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram pages for the company have all either been deleted or set to private.

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