Titan submersible implosion: The US Coast Guard on Thursday confirmed that the Titan OceanGate submersible on its journey towards the wreckage of the Titanic ship of 1912 imploded near the shipwreck, killing all five passengers inside.
The incident brought a tragic end to days of intense search operations for the ill-fated vessel after it was reported missing four days ago. The deceased passengers included the CEO of OceanGate, Stockton Rush, Pakistani billionaire Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman.
Let’s have a look at the passengers who volunteered to join the expedition to the shipwreck of the Titantic:
Rush, 61, was the CEO of OceanGate and the pilot of the ill-fated submersible that imploded on Thursday. He founded the OceanGate company in 2009 with the motive for increasing access and exploration of deep oceanic bodies. Before that, he was an engineer and had contributed in designing an experimental aircraft and other submersible vessels. He had a child-like enthusiasm for underwater exploration and disregarded some safety regulations in the process, CNN reports. He is married to Wendy Rush, who is the great-great-granddaughter of Isidor and Ida Straus, who tragically died when the Titanic sank in 1912.
Harding is a British businessman and a trained jet pilot, who also served as the Chairman of Action Aviation, a private jet dealership based in Dubai. According to BBC, Harding visited the South Pole several times, once with astronaut Buzz Aldrin and also went on a space flight in 2022 by Jeff Bezos-owned aerospace company Blue Origin. Harding holds three Guinness World Records, including one for longest duration into the deepest part of the Mariana Trench and another record for the fastest circumnavigation of the world. He is survived by his wife Linda , two sons Rory and Giles, and step-children Brian Szasz and Lauren.
The 48-year-old Shahzada Dawood is one of Pakistan’s prominent businessmen and comes from one of the country’s wealthiest families. He was the vice-chairman of Pakistan’s Engro Corporation, a large fertiliser farm and has worked in their family’s business, Dawood Hercules Corporation, and the SETI Institute. He was also an advisor to the charitable organization Prince’s Trust International, established by King Charles III. As per Geo News, Dawood was highly interested in exploring natural habitats. Dawood is survived by his wife, Christine, and other child, Alina, who reside in London.
Suleman was Shahzada Dawood’s 19-year-old who was also killed during the catastrophic implosion of the Titan submersible. Geo News reported that Suleman’s aunt, Azmeh Dawood, had been fearful and hesitant while joining the trip. She said he eventually boarded the vessel in an attempt to please his father. Suleman was a a student at the University of Strathclyde, located in Glasgow. He was described as a science fiction enthusiast by his family.
Paul Henri ‘PH’ Nargeolet was a former French Navy diver who was the director of RMS Titanic Inc., the underwater research company that has exclusive rights of recovering artifacts from the shipwreck. In his years of experience in the Titanic exploration, Nargeolet completed 35 dives to the wreck and oversaw the salvaging of 5,000 artifacts, including a 20-ton portion of the ship’s hull. Before this, he was a commander of the French Navy. He is survived by his wife, Anne, three children and a stepson.
Meanwhile, OceanGate did not provide details when the company announced the “loss of life” in a statement or how officials knew the crew members perished. The Titan’s 96-hour oxygen supply likely ended early Thursday.
OceanGate has been chronicling the Titanic’s decay and the underwater ecosystem around it via yearly voyages since 2021.
The Titan was estimated to have about a four-day supply of breathable air when it launched Sunday morning in the North Atlantic — but experts have emphasized that was an imprecise approximation to begin with and could be extended if passengers have taken measures to conserve breathable air.