Submersible operator Titan, OceanGate, suspend operations

OceanGate Expeditions said it has “suspended all exploration and commercial operations” after its Titan submersible allegedly imploded during a dive to explore the wreck of the Titanic last month, killing the company founder and four others.

The company, which is based in Everett, Washington, made the announcement at the top of his websiteabove footage of Titanic’s previous explorations and a link to read more about how to “explore the world’s most famous wreck”.

It’s unclear when the message was added to the company’s website. There were no further details from OceanGate, who did not immediately respond to an email.

Aboard the lost submersible were Stockton Rush, 61, founder and chief executive officer of OceanGate Expeditions, who was piloting the vessel; Hamish Harding, 58, British businessman and explorer; Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, French maritime expert; Shahzada Dawood, 48, British Pakistani businessman; and his son, Suleiman, 19 years old.

They set out on the vessel on June 18 to view the remains of the Titanic at 12,500 feet at sea, but less than two hours into the dive, the vessel lost contact with a surfaced Canadian expedition vessel, a about 400 miles south of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Days later, debris from the ship was found on the ocean floor. The discovery of the debris, including the Titan’s tail cone and other pieces, suggested a “catastrophic implosion” with no survivors, according to the US Coast Guard. On 28 June, following an international search and rescue operation, the Coast Guard said debris and presumed human remains from the submarine had been recovered and brought ashore.

The Coast Guard has consented to a maritime investigative commission, its highest level of investigation, to look into what happened. The council is working closely with other national and international agencies that have responded to the event, including authorities in Canada, Britain and France.