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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

Coast Guard Investigation into Titan Submersible Disaster Delayed

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2438
June 18, 2024

The U.S. Coast Guard says its investigation into the tragic loss of the Titan submersible on June 18, 2023, will take longer than expected as we approach the one-year anniversary of the tragedy.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) is still actively investigating the tragic loss of the Titan and five people on board. The investigation, initially expected to take a year, is now stretching beyond its original timeline.

The investigation’s extension is due to several factors, including the need for two salvage missions to the remote North Atlantic to gather evidence and the extensive forensic testing needed, which has inevitably led to delays.

“The investigation into the implosion of the Titan submersible is a complex and ongoing effort,” said MBI Chair Jason Neubauer. “We are working closely with our domestic and international partners to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the incident.”

The MBI is coordinating with multiple investigative agencies that have concurrent jurisdiction or a substantial interest in the marine casualty. Neubauer said he appreciates the international and interagency cooperation in recovering and testing evidence from a remote offshore region and extreme depth.

The loss of the Titan during a commercial dive to view the wreck site of the infamous RMS Titanic led to catastrophic implosion of the submersible with the loss of five lives, including that of the founder and CEO of the adventure tourism company, OceanGate Expeditions. The wreckage of the submersible was found on the seafloor near the Titanic approximately 96 hours after it first submerged.

As the one-year anniversary of the tragedy approaches, the MBI extends its heartfelt condolences to the families and friends affected.

The MBI intends to hold a public hearing session by the end of the year, with details to be announced at least 60 days in advance.

In October, as part of its investigation, the U.S. Coast Guard recovered additional parts of the Titan submersible, including what is believed to be additional human remains. The recovered evidence has been transferred to a U.S. port for cataloging and analysis.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Transportation Safety Board of Canada are also conducting safety investigations into the incident.

“The MBI is committed to ensuring that we fully understand the factors that led to this tragedy in order to prevent similar occurrences in the future,” said Neubauer.

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