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OceanGate Expeditions/Handout via REUTERS

The Titan submersible, operated by OceanGate Expeditions to explore the wreckage of the sunken SS Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland, dives in an undated photograph. OceanGate Expeditions/Handout via REUTERS

Canada Launches Investigation into Titan Loss

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 3156
June 23, 2023

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has launched a formal investigation into the loss of the Titan submersible with five people on board.

A team of TSB investigators is currently en-route to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, to gather information, conduct interviews, and assess the incident.

The 21-foot submersible, privately operated by U.S.-based OceanGate Expeditions, was launched from the Canadian-flagged vessel Polar Prince on its fatal dive to the wreck of the RMS Titanic last Sunday.

Approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes into its dive, crews on board support vessel lost contact with the sub, triggering a multi-national search and rescue operation led by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard on Thursday confirmed that the sub sustained a catastrophic loss of pressure following an analysis of debris located on the ocean floor approximately 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic on Thursday.

The TSB reports there were 17 crew members and 24 people on board the Polar Prince at the time of the incident.

As the investigation authority of the flag state of the support vessel involved, the TSB will look into the circumstances of the operation and conduct its investigation in accordance with the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act and international agreements.

“In the coming days, we will coordinate our activities with other agencies involved,” the TSB said.

Following the field analysis, the TSB will conduct an examination and analysis of evidence and prepare a report.

The Polar Prince is owned by St John’s-based Horizon Maritime Services. The ship entered service in 1959 with Canada’s Department of Transport Marine Service and was later transferred to the Canadian Coast Guard in 1962 as the CCGS Sir Humphrey Gilbert, operating as light icebreaker and buoy tender. It was taken out of service in 1986 and has since been rebuilt for operating in Arctic environments.

Horizon Maritime Services provides support to OceanGate Expeditions for its passenger trips to the RMS Titanic. OceanGate led previous expeditions to the Titanic in 2021 and 2022. OceanGates’ founder and CEO, Stockton Rush, was among the five people killed in the accident.

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