2023 Titan Submarine Missing Updates, Members, Death, Story, Inside & Everything

On June 18 , 2023, the Titan, a tourist submersible operated by OceanGate Expeditions , was lost in the Labrador Sea , off the coast of Newfoundland in Canada . The submersible, designed to carry 5 people, was carrying an expedition of tourists to view the wreckage of the RMS Titanic .  ​Oxygen is expected to run out on Thursday, June 22, 2023 around 08:30 CET. 

2023 Titan submersible incident
Date 18 June 2023 – present
Location North Atlantic, near the wreck of the Titanic
Coordinates 41°43′32″N 49°56′49″W
Participants OceanGate Expeditions
Outcome Submersible missing, search and rescue operation underway
Missing 5



View of the renowned bow of the Titanic wreck , photographed in June 2004.

The RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912 after hitting an iceberg . In 1985, the remains of her were discovered about 400 nautical miles (740 km) off the coast of Newfoundland , in the semi-eponymous province of Newfoundland and Labrador ( Canada ). 3

Titan is a 6.7m, 9.52t vessel, with a descent rate of 5m per minute for 5 people, without seats, made of state-of-the-art materials such as carbon fiber and titanium, has offset displacement propellers horizontal and vertical.

Operated by OceanGate 4 , the vessel is designed to be submerged to depths of up to 4 km “for survey and site survey, research and data collection, film and media production, and offshore hardware and software testing . ” 4 According to OceanGate, it contains “proprietary real-time hull health monitoring (RTM) systems… that [assess] hull integrity on every dive.” 4 The ship has life support to sustain five crew members for 96 hours (4 days). 4 ​5

Typically on board each dive is “a pilot, three paying guests, and what the company calls a content expert.” 1 Once near the dive site, the descent from the surface to the Titanic typically takes three hours, 6 and full immersion takes approximately eight hours. 1 Throughout the voyage, the submersible must communicate with the crew above the water every 15 minutes. 3

OceanGate intended to have multiple expeditions to the Titanic in 2023, but due to bad weather in Newfoundland, the company would only have one expedition in 2023. 16 People who travel to the Titanic with OceanGate, called “Mission Specialists” of company, spend $250,000 for the opportunity to participate in the eight-day expedition. 1 ​7

David Pogue , a reporter who participated in the expedition in 2022, affirmed that all the people who go aboard the Titan sign a form of disclaimer, indicating that they know that it is an “experimental” ship, “that has not been approved or certified by any regulatory body, and could result in physical injury, disability, emotional trauma, or death.” 8 Pogue’s report for CBS Sunday Morning about the OceanGate submersible, questioning its safety, later went viral on social media. 9

Previous concerns

In 2018, the Marine Technology Society wrote a letter to OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush expressing “unanimous concern regarding the development of ‘TITAN’ and the planned Titanic Expedition”, stating that the “current experimental approach…could have negative results.” (from minor to catastrophic) that would have dire consequences for everyone in the industry.” 10 A signer of the letter later told The New York Times that Rush had called him after reading it to tell him that he believed industry standards were stifling innovation. 

In 2018, OceanGate sued former OceanGate submersible pilot and director of marine operations David Lochridge for allegedly violating its confidentiality agreement and making fraudulent statements. 12 In his counterclaim, Lochridge claimed that he had been wrongfully dismissed as a whistleblower for raising concerns about the Titan’s ability to operate safely at extreme depths, stating that the vessel, specifically the transparent window in its forward end, was only certified for reach a depth of 1,300 m (4,300 ft), only a third of the depth required to reach the Titanic. 13Lochridge was also concerned that OceanGate did not perform non-destructive testing on the vessel’s hull prior to manned dives, claiming that he was “repeatedly told that you could not scan the hull or bondline for delaminations, porosity and sufficient adhesion voids of the glue that was being used due to the thickness of the hull». ​ OceanGate and Lochridge were established a few months later. 

A Logitech F710 wireless game controller. A modified version was used aboard the Titan.

The following year, an article published in Smithsonian magazine referred to Rush as a “daredevil inventor.” 17 In the article, Rush is described as saying that the US Passenger Vessel Safety Act of 1993 “unnecessarily prioritized passenger safety over business innovation”. 

The Titan has made three expeditions to the Titanic wreck site, the first of which was in July 2021. 19 In 2022, reporter David Pogue was aboard the surface ship when communication with the Titan was lost during a immersion. 20 Pogue’s December 2022 narrative for CBS Sunday Morning, which questioned Titan’s safety, went viral on social media after the submersible lost contact with its support ship again in June 2023. 21 In her, Pogue commented to Rush:

“I couldn’t help but notice how many parts of this submarine seemed thrown together. The piloting of the ship is done with a video game controller.”

He noted that said Bluetooth game controller was the Logitech F710, priced at US$30, where the joysticks had been modified to steer and launch the submersible, and that the construction pipes were used as ballast. 

On a dive on the Titanic in 2022, one of the Titanic’s thrusters was accidentally installed backwards and the submersible began spinning in circles as it tried to move near the sea floor. As reflected in the BBC documentary Take Me to Titanic, the problem was avoided by turning while holding the game controller sideways. 2324 According to court documents from November 2022, OceanGate reported that on a 2022 dive , the submersible suffered battery problems and, as a result, had to manually connect to a lifting platform, resulting in component damage. external. 

Titan Submarine Missing Incident 

The MV Polar Prince transported Titan and the expedition crew to the Titanic wreck dive site.

On June 16, the Titanic wreck expedition departed from St. John’s, Newfoundland , aboard the research and expedition ship MV Polar Prince, which arrived at the dive site on June 17, beginning operations the next day, at 9 a.m. 13 During the first hour and a half of the descent, the Titan communicated with the Polar Prince every 15 minutes, but the communication stopped after a recorded communication at 11:47 a.m. 13 The vessel was expected to resurface at 6 :10 pm 13​ At 6:35 pm, authorities were notified of the incident. 13According to the Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Center, the Titan was reported to be behind schedule at around 9:13 p.m.

Several potential errors could have occurred. The most catastrophic is the instantaneous implosion , another possibility is that the Titan’s communication equipment has failed, meaning they cannot communicate with the crew above the water but are free to navigate. 28​ It is also possible that there is a problem with the ballast system, which controls the descent and ascent of the boat. 28 Another scenario is that the Titan “hooked onto a piece of debris that could prevent it from returning to the surface”. 28

Search and rescue operations

June 19

On June 19, teams from the United States Coast Guard Northeast Sector , based in Boston , launched search missions for the submersible and the five people on board 900 nautical miles (1,700 km) off the coast of Cape Cod ( Massachusetts ). 29 30 The Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Center reported that a Royal Canadian Air Force Lockheed CP-140 Aurora aircraft is part of the search.

The Coast Guard has indicated that the search and rescue mission is difficult due to the remote location, but Rear Admiral Mauger has stated that they are “deploying all available resources”. 7 Beyond the difficulty of the location, all search and rescue operations are impacted by “weather conditions, lack of light at night, sea state and water temperature”; Underwater search and rescue is even more difficult. 28 While many submersibles are equipped “with an acoustic device, often called a pinger , that emits sounds that rescuers can detect underwater”, it is unclear if the Titan has such a device. 28

The search currently has two facets: a search above the water’s surface and an underwater sonar search. 8 This involves the use of three C-130 Hercules aircraft , two from the United States and one from Canada, as well as a Canadian P-8 aircraft equipped with sonar buoys. 832 Neither country has submarine vessels capable of easily assisting in search and investigation missions. 28 The United States Navyit has an underwater rescue vehicle, although it cannot reach the potential depth where the Titan would supposedly be, as well as remotely operated vehicles, which may have a difficult time reaching the site in time. 28

June 20

Deep Energy (pictured in the Netherlands, 2015) arrived with two ROVs on June 20.

The Deep Energy pipelaying ship , operated by TechnipFMC , arrived at the site on June 20, 2023 with two ROVs and other equipment suitable for the depths to the seabed in the area. 33 As of 10:15 ADT, the US Coast Guard had logged 10,000 square miles (26,000 km 2 ). 34 Later that same day, the US Navy announced that it would send experts and a Flyaway Deep Ocean Salvage System (FADOSS) ship lifting system, which is designed to lift large, heavy objects from the depths. from sea. 35 Support was expected to arrive on Tuesday night. 35An Air National Guard C-130 also joined the search and rescue mission, with plans for two more to join later in the day. 

The US Coast Guard reported that additional ships and ROVs were en route to assist with the search: CCGS John Cabot, CCGS Ann Harvey, CCGS Terry Fox, Atlantic Merlin (ROV) 37​, MV Horizon Arctic, Skandi Vinland ( ROV), French Research Vessel L’Atalante (ROV) and HMCS Glace Bay. Glace Bay is carrying medical personnel and a mobile decompression chamber. 38 L’Atlante carries Victor 6000, an ROV that can reach depths of up to 6,000 meters (20,000 ft). The ship is operated by the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea, and is scheduled to arrive at the site on the evening of June 21. 39

According to an internal US government memo, sonar from a Canadian P-3 picked up banging sounds as it searched for the submersible. 40 The US Coast Guard officially acknowledged the sounds early the next morning, but reported that initial investigations had yielded no results. 40 John Mauger of the US Coast Guard said the source of the noise was unknown and could have come from the many metal objects at the wreck site. 41 A Canadian P-3 aircraft had previously seen a “white rectangular object” floating on the surface. A ship sent to find and identify the object was diverted to help find the noise. 42

June 21

Despite growing concerns about oxygen levels on the Titan, the Coast Guard stated that they “100%” still view the Titan’s disappearance as a search and rescue mission rather than a recovery mission. 43 At approximately 14:45 ADT, five air and water vehicles were actively searching for the Titan, with another five expected to arrive in the next 24 to 48 hours. 44 Current search and rescue assets include two ROVs, one P-3 aircraft, and one C-130 aircraft. 44

Titan Submarine Missing Passengers and crew on board

  • Stockton Rush : CEO and founder of OceanGate Inc , an American national . 45
  • Paul Henry Nargeolet : Diver, oceanographer, marine archaeologist, French explorer , former Commander of the French Navy, diver, submersible pilot, and member of the French Institute for Research and Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER). 67 Director of underwater research for E/M Group and RMS Titanic, Inc. and “widely regarded as the foremost authority on the wreck site” . He 32 He Ha “led several expeditions to the site of the Titanic and oversaw the recovery of 5,000 artifacts.” 32
  • Hamish Harding : British pilot, explorer, businessman and space tourist . 46 ​7
  • Shahzada Dawood – Dawood Hercules Corporation businessman , investor, Pakistani philanthropist , and member of the board of trustees of the SETI Institute . 47
  • Suleman Dawood: Shahzada’s son. 8


Parks Stephenson, director of the USS Kidd Veterans Museum and Titanic researcher, commented on the Titan’s disappearance via Facebook: “No matter what you may read in the next few hours, all that is truly known at this time is that communications with the submersible they have been lost and that is unusual enough to warrant the most serious consideration.” And he added: “I’m more concerned about the souls on board.” 48 Stephenson has experience in deep-sea exploration such as the Titan program, having previously dived to view the Titanic five times. 48 ​49Stephenson later added that the divers “wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the public demand for information about this wreck”.