Mystery banging noises that sparked hope in desperate search for missing Titan submersible released for first time

28 February 2024, 15:04 | Updated: 28 February 2024, 16:22

Five people died when the Titan submersible suffered a 'catastrophic implosion'
Five people died when the Titan submersible suffered a 'catastrophic implosion'. Picture: Alamy/Social media

By Kit Heren

The banging noises heard by rescuers hunting for the Titan submersible have been released for the first time.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Stockton Rush, UK billionaire Hamish Harding, French explorer Paul Henry Nargeolet, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman, all died last June after the Titan, the deep sea submersible they were in, catastrophically imploded.

The disappearance of the sub, which was heading to the Titanic, on June 18 sparked a huge rescue effort, and at one point banging sounds were heard by the people hunting for the sub - sparking faint hopes that the passengers could be saved.

Investigators believe the Titan imploded as it made its descent into the deep North Atlantic waters.

Titan Sub documentary reveals banging was heard in audio near time of incident

The banging noises, which came at 30-minute intervals, were picked up on sonar by a Canadian aircraft in the Atlantic.

Now they have been played for the first time in a new documentary, and have a hollow, regular beat.

Read more: 'Signs of life': 'Banging' heard by searchers scouring ocean for missing Titanic sub, sparking hopes of rescue

Read more: 'When I think of them, they're asleep down there': Christine Dawood shares agony of losing family in Titan sub implosion

The Oceangate submersible Titan
The Oceangate submersible Titan. Picture: Alamy

At the time, this sparked hope that they could be an SOS message being banged out by the five passengers onboard.

Former Navy submarine captain Ryan Ramsey told the documentary makers: "It could be somebody knocking, the symmetry between those knockings is very unusual.

"It's rhythmic, it's like somebody is making that sound, and the fact that it is repeated is really unusual."

The Titan being launched
The Titan being launched. Picture: OceanGate

The cause of the noises was disputed during the rescue effort, with some experts claiming it was probably caused by sea debris, rather than the desperate passengers.

Coast Guard Captain Jamie Frederick said at the time: "With respect to the noises, specifically, we don't know what they are, to be frank with you."

Stockton Rush is thought to be onboard the vessel
Stockton Rush is thought to be onboard the vessel. Picture: OceanGate

The documentary, Minute by Minute: The Titan Sub Disaster investigates the events leading up to the expedition. It will air on Channel 5 on March 6 and 7.

Crews spent five days hunting the missing sub down before they discovered debris on the ocean floor near the wreck of the Titanic. Passengers had paid £250,000 a head.

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush had claimed that the trip was "safer than crossing the street", with his company coming under fire following the incident for their experimental engineering techniques.

Addressing the banging noises, an internal US government email read: "RCC Halifax launched a P8, Poseidon, which has underwater detection capabilities from the air."

"The PH deployed sonobuoys, which reported a contact in a position close to the distress position. The P8 heard banging sounds in the area every 30 minutes.

"Four hours later additional sonar was deployed and banging was still heard."

But the US Coast Guard said after an "attempt to explore the origin of the noises... searches have yielded negative results but continue".

It was reported last year that US authorities are investigating people involved in the Titanic sub, with a view to possibly filing criminal charges.

OceanGate has since gone out of business.

Channel 5 / ITN Productions / The Titan Sub Disaster: Minute by Minute

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran

Israel hails ‘success’ in blocking Iran’s unprecedented attack

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that the Middle East is 'on the brink'

'The Middle East is on the brink,' UN chief warns, as Israel approves plan of attack after huge Iranian onslaught

Elections 2024 Media Debates

News organisations urge Joe Biden and Donald Trump to agree to debates

Survivors of the attack are set to sue MI5

Hundreds of survivors of Manchester Arena bombing to sue MI5

The UK is set to experience some warm, dry weather

Two-week period when Brits to bask in warm, dry weather revealed, after cold period ahead

Lennix died after being hit by a car on Saturday

Parents pay tribute to 'happy go lucky' son, 8, killed in crash while riding scooter on quiet Wiltshire road

Damien Guerot stepped in in Sydney

Builder who wielded bollard to defend children from rampaging Sydney knifeman says attacker's 'eyes were empty'

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

Israel approves plan of attack after foiling massive Iran onslaught, as world leaders call for 'stabilisation'

The G7 have condemned the Iran attack on Israel

G7 leaders condemn Iran's 'unprecedented' attack on Israel and say they 'stand ready to take further measures'

Russia Ukraine War

More civilians die in Ukraine amid warning US aid delays will hamper Kyiv forces

The minibus lying on its side

Seventeen rushed to hospital after bus carrying football fans overturns on motorway in multiple car smash

Bill Nighy

Bill Nighy and Paloma Faith join celebrities demanding Government act over Sudan

Dawn Singleton was among six victims of the stabbings

Police officer fiancé of Sydney stabbing victim 'discovered she had been killed after being scrambled to the scene'

The IDF said over 300 weapons were fired by Iran.

Israel says Iran conflict 'not over' and vows to 'collect a price when timing is right', as US urges restraint

Poland Abortion

Polish opponents of abortion march against recent steps to liberalise strict law

A boy, 8, was killed in the incident.

Boy, 8, dies after crash on quiet Wiltshire cul-de-sac