Coast Guard to investigate Titanic submersible implosion

Coast Guard to investigate Titanic submersible implosion

The US Coast Guard said Sunday it is conducting a marine board of investigation into the submersible implosion of Titan.

The Coast Guard declared a major marine casualty Friday, after it learned the Titanic-bound submersible had suffered a catastrophic failure with the loss of the five lives onboard. The president, Jason Neubauer, vowed to speak at a news conference on Sunday.

The aim is to determine what caused the implosion and deaths of the five men who were on board. The board can also make recommendations to pursue civil or criminal sanctions to the proper authorities, Mr. Neubauer said.

An MBI is the highest level of investigation the Coast Guard conducts and enables the U.S. to fully leverage investigative resources Coast Guard-wide and capitalize on an extensive network of cooperative relationships with international maritime administrations and organizations, he said.

The investigation is now in its phase of evidence-collection, which includes salvaging debris and working with Canadian authorities in the port of St. John's, Newfoundland.

After the investigation is complete, the marine board will issue a report to the Coast Guard with its conclusions and recommendations.

The submersible came to earth on June 18, on a mission to locate the wreckage of the Titanic, which is 900 nautical miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

On board, the British tycoon, Hamish Harding, and Shahzada Dawood, the scions of a Pakistani business dynasty, and the French mariner and Titanic expert Paul Henry P.H. Nargeolet, who has been called Mr. Titanic and Stockton Rush, the CEO of the submersible's operator, OceanGate Expeditions, has called it Mr. Titanic and Stockton Rush.

A fierce search that resulted in worldwide attention was launched in the North Atlantic.

Rear Admiral John Mauger, commander of the Coast Guard district, said the search-and rescue effort ended after debris was discovered Thursday near the Titanic.

This case has been extremely complex, involving a coordinated international, interagency and private-sector response in an unforgiving and difficult to access region of the ocean, Mr. Mauger said at a news conference on Sunday.

The Coast Guard said yesterday that a debris field had been found in the search area, adding that the debris on the ocean floor was consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel. The depth-sea water pressure that appears to have crushed the 22-foot craft would be roughly equivalent in weight to the 10,000-ton Eiffel Tower, experts said.

The colossal forces would have acted so quickly that it would be like the vehicle's carbon-fiber hull s suddenly vanishing before anyone inside knew what was happening, an expert said.

They would have known nothing - the moment this body of water hit them, they would have been dead, said Paul White, professor of underwater acoustics and forces at the University of Southampton.