As per the company, the Titan was specifically engineered to achieve the greatest depth among all other submersibles, capable of descending to depths exceeding 13,000 feet. It has successfully completed over 200 dives using its three underwater vessels in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico. OceanGate has been conducting deep-ocean explorations since 2009.
This fatal plunge would have been the 14th journey for the remains of the Titanic. Despite encountering some challenges, those expeditions had generally achieved success. The Titan made the initial dive to the world’s most renowned shipwreck in 2021, followed by another in 2022. Technical and regulatory obstacles had hindered their execution, but earlier expeditions had been scheduled as early as 2018. This was not the first voyage of the vessel to the Titanic.
Worries expressed regarding OceanGate’s Titan submarine
While conducting a pre-journey excursion, OceanGate’s CEO, Stockton Rush, who was operating the submersible on this particular occasion, would often elucidate to passengers about the Titan’s pressure container, which was collaboratively developed with NASA and the University of Washington, as was frequently the norm. The pressure vessel was constructed using a combination of carbon fiber and titanium.
David Pogue, a former passenger and correspondent for CBS, explained that the Playstation controller controls the Titan, including the propellers and lights handles, while the rest of the structure consists of various parts. These parts are produced in large quantities to lower construction costs and have been extensively tested and tried. Pogue mentioned that he felt safe once the capsule was securely shut and bolted, but he admitted that it would have been extremely dangerous if anything had gone wrong.
In 2018, The New York Times stated that concerns regarding the Titan were raised by individuals within and outside the organization. David Lochridge, the director of marine operations at OceanGate Expeditions, authored a critical report urging additional testing of the vessel. Subsequently, Rush received a letter from over thirty experts cautioning against the company’s “experimental” method of testing and putting strain on the Titan.
OceanGate’s marine operations director, Arron Newman, informed Velshi Ali of MSNBC that the submersible Titan, which was built by OceanGate and operates as a vessel, needed a prototype that could reach the Titanic at depths of less than 1,300 meters. They learned from the documents that the viewport on Titan, which is the shareholder and passenger-time vessel, was only certified for depths up to 1,300 meters. As a result, they had to undergo a traditional assessment by a leading certified organization, called Lochridge, in order to have the submersible certified for the expedition called OceanGate Expeditions.
During his descent to a depth of 12,000 feet aboard the vessel, Stanley Karl, an expert submersible pilot, sent an email to Rush Stockton, the creator of Titan’s. As they went down further, the sounds grew louder, and after hearing cracking noises, Karl noticed the noises were getting louder. This happened in 2019.
All the information is known up to a certain point, but it will be determined that there have been no criminal investigations conducted. Currently, teams are gathering the pieces that have been mapped out for recovery. Numerous authorities have opened a series of investigations into the catastrophic “implosion” that occurred on Titan in order to figure out what happened.