Who is Paul-Henri Nargeolet? The French explorer on missing Titanic submarine

Dubbed ‘Mr Titanic,’ Paul-Henri Nargeolet is amongst five people missing on board the vessel Titan

People in this article

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Before 77-year old French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, who is reportedly the world’s leading authority on the Titanic wreck site, went missing alongside Hamish Harding, Shahzada and Suleman Dawood, and Stockton Rush, he issued a chilling warning on deep dives in 2019. Paul-Henri Nargeolet told the Irish Examiner the following: “If you are 11 m or 11 km down, if something bad happens the result is the same.”

Nargeolet, the director of underwater research for RMS Titanic, Inc went on to say that “When you’re in very deep water, you’re dead before you realise that something is happening, so it’s just not a problem.”

According to the BBC, the latest in the Titan sub situation is that “noises have been picked up in the hunt for a missing submersible has offered a glimmer of hope that the five men on board are alive. The sounds were recorded by sonar buoys in a massive rescue operation, which is racing against time to find the Titan in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. It was lost on a deep-sea voyage to the Titanic wreck three days ago.”

Although Paul-Henri Nargeolet was born in Chamonix in the French Alps, he started his early life in Africa. After spending 20 years in the French Navy where he became a commander, he went on to specialise in deep submersibles. It was his specialism that led to the first recovery expedition of the Titanic back in 1987.

On RMS Titanic Inc's Instagram profile, they posted the following from Jessica Sanders, President RMS Titanic, Inc: "Paul-Henry (PH) Nargeolet is a precious member of the RMS Titanic, Inc. family whose passion for Titanic and diving led him to complete over 35 submersible dives, more than anyone, and his knowledge of the wreck site is unparalleled. We trust and have faith his experience will help navigate this critical situation. We continue to offer all resources at our disposal to support and help the coordinated rescue mission to bring everyone back safely."

“We are devastated with the news, but remain steadfast in our hope for a safe rescue for all. PH is more than a colleague, he is a friend. No one has more experience at the wreck site than PH, and no one has a better chance of navigating through equipment failures than he does. We remain hopeful.”

Paul-Henri Nargeolet was married to American newsreader Michelle Marsh until she passed away in 2017. He reportedly now lives in Connecticut whilst his children are said to reside in Cork, Ireland.

The Evening Standard reported that "Downing Street said it was ready to provide support and assistance if needed."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.