Last Updated: June 23, 2023, 11:49 IST
Washington D.C., United States of America (USA)
All the five people aboard the missing submersible near the wreck of the Titanic died after their submarine suffered what the US Coast Guard said was a “catastrophic implosion” in the ocean depths.
The tragic news ended the multinational search-and-rescue operation that captivated the world since the tourist craft went missing in the North Atlantic four days ago.
The Coast Guard announced earlier Thursday that an underwater robot had discovered a “debris field” in the search area.
Rear Admiral John Mauger said it was too early to tell when or why the Titan imploded and also declined to be drawn on whether remains of the men would be retrieved.
“This is an incredibly unforgiving environment down there on the seafloor. We’ll collect as much information as we can,” he said.
Mauger said that the search operation had sonar buoys in the water for more than three days in the area and didn’t detect any loud, violent noise, which could have been generated when the submersible imploded.
However, the position of the debris field relatively close the shipwreck and the time frame of the last communication with the Titan seemed to suggest the failure occurred near the end of its descent on Sunday.
The US military had originally detected the likely implosion of the craft on secret underwater sound monitoring devices shortly after it went missing on Sunday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Filmmaker James Cameron, who directed the Oscar-winning movie “Titanic” and has ventured to the wreck in submersibles himself, told Reuters on Thursday that he learned of the acoustic findings within a day, and knew what it meant.
“I sent emails to everybody I know and said we’ve lost some friends. The sub had imploded. It’s on the bottom in pieces right now. I sent that out Monday morning,” he said.
The banging sounds underwater caught by sonar buoys dropped by aircraft on Tuesday and Wednesday had given hope that the Titanic submersible was still intact and that its occupants were alive and trying to communicate by banging on the hull.
However, But Mauger said that ultimately the sounds did not appear to have any relation to the site of the debris.
“There doesn’t appear to be any connection between the noises and the location on the sea floor,” John Mauger said on Thursday.