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Crew of missing Oceangate submarine believed to be dead

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oceangate submarine titan
Isabeljohnson25, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

OceanGate, a prominent deep-sea exploration company, announced on Thursday that all five individuals aboard their state-of-the-art submersible, the Titan, are believed to have died. The announcement came shortly after the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed the discovery of debris on the ocean floor near the Titanic which rests 2.4 miles beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.

During a dive on Sunday morning, contact with the submarine was lost just over an hour into its descent. The crew of the supporting vessel, Polar Prince, reported the unsettling incident, prompting an immediate search and rescue operation. Rear Admiral John Mauger, speaking at a press conference, confirmed the presence of an operator and four mission specialists aboard the missing sub.

Intense efforts were concentrated in an area where underwater noises had been detected by Canadian aircraft. Despite the intensified search, the location of the missing vessel remained a mystery until the recent discovery of debris by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard officials had previously estimated that the five passengers on board the Titan would exhaust their air supply around 7:10 a.m. ET on Thursday, further adding urgency to the search mission.

According to Rear Adm. John Mauger of the Coast Guard, the debris found on the ocean floor is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the submersible. When asked about the possibility of a collision with the Titanic, he confirmed that the debris was found near the bow of the iconic ship.

Carl Hartsfield from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution stated that the debris data aligns with an implosion in the water column. He emphasized that the area where the debris was discovered lacks any Titanic wreckage and is located approximately 200 meters away from the bow, in line with the last communication’s reported location.

Authorities continue to allocate substantial resources to the ongoing recovery operation.

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