Presumed human remains found from Titan submersible wreckage says US Coast Guard

29 June, 2023 | Muskan Menghani

Titan World

According to Neubauer, the "presumed human remains" will be transported to the United States for a formal analysis by medical experts and a high level investigation has been commssioned .

The U.S. Coast Guard reported Wednesday that it is likely that human remains have been found in the submersible wreckage that imploded during a dive to view the Titanic. The information was released a few hours after it was revealed that Titan wreckage had reached St. John’s, Newfoundland, after being collected from the seafloor more than 12,000 feet (3,658 metres) below the North Atlantic’s surface. The submersible’s twisted pieces were unloaded at a Canadian Coast Guard pier.

The Titan imploded last week, killing all five aboard, and the cause of the accident is being investigated in great detail by recovering and examining the wreckage. The 22-foot (6.7-meter) vessel’s debris was eventually recovered after a multiday search, which captured everyone’s attention.

In a statement issued late Wednesday afternoon, Coast Guard Chief Capt. Jason Neubauer said, “There is still a significant amount of work to be done to understand the factors that contributed to the catastrophic loss of the Titan and help ensure a similar tragedy does not occur again.”

According to Neubauer, the “presumed human remains” will be transported to the United States for a formal analysis by medical experts. He also said that a high-level investigation into the implosion had been commissioned by the Coast Guard. At a U.S. port, the Marine Board of Investigation will examine and test the evidence, including debris.

The Coast Guard stated that the evidence will be presented by the board at an upcoming public hearing with an undetermined date. According to Neubauer, the evidence will offer “critical insights” into the implosion’s cause.

Around 12,500 feet (3,810 metres) underwater and roughly 1,600 feet (488 metres) away from the Titanic on the ocean floor, debris from the Titan, which is thought to have imploded on June 18 as it was making its descent, was discovered. Together with a number of other American and Canadian government organisations, the Coast Guard is in charge of the investigation.

Carl Hartsfield, who oversees a lab at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution that designs and operates autonomous underwater vehicles and has been a consultant to the Coast Guard, claims that authorities have not revealed the specifics of the debris recovery, which could have taken a number of different paths.

“If the pieces are small, you can gather them together and put them in a basket or some kind of collection device,” Hartsfield said on Monday. A remote-operated vehicle, or ROV, like the one the Canadian ship Horizon Arctic used to search the ocean floor at the wreckage site, could be used to retrieve larger pieces. He suggested using a heavy lift to use a tow line to pull up extremely large pieces.

Requests for comment from Horizon Arctic representatives went unanswered. According to company spokesman Jeff Mahoney, the ROV’s owner, Pelagic Research Services, which has offices in Massachusetts and New York, is “still on mission” and unable to comment on the investigation.

They have been enduring the physical and psychological strain of this operation for the past ten days, according to Mahoney. According to Hartsfield, examining the recovered debris may yield crucial hints about what transpired to the Titan as well as electronic data the submersible’s instruments may have captured.

Therefore, the question is: Is there any data available? And the truth is that I have no idea how to respond to that,” he admitted on Monday. The voyage data recorder of the mother ship of the Titan, the Polar Prince, which is registered in Canada, has been sent to a lab for analysis, according to the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, which is conducting a safety investigation into that ship.

Along with two prominent Pakistani family members, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, British explorer Hamish Harding, and Titanic specialist Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Stockton Rush, the Titan’s pilot and CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, the company that owned the submersible, perished in the implosion.

Although the submersible was registered in the Bahamas, OceanGate is based in the United States. Each participant in the trip was charged $250,000 by the company. The safety of private undersea exploration operations has come under scrutiny following the Titan’s explosion. The investigation will be used by the Coast Guard to enhance submersible safety.