Titanic: what happens when a submarine implodes and what experts say has happened

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The submersible went missing one hour and 45 minutes into its journey 

Experts have said the submersible that went missing on its way to the Titanic may have imploded and collapsed into pieces, after finding information consistent with that view. NationalWorld reported experts found a debris field near the wreck of the Titanic.

On Thursday, 22 June, Rear Admiral John Mauger confirmed in a news conference that a nose cone of the list submersible had been discovered by a remotely operated vehicle searching for the Titan about 487m from the bow of the Titanic on the seafloor. He said: "This information was considered with the compilation of additional acoustic data provided by other partners and the decision was made to continue our mission as a search and rescue and make every effort to save the lives on board."

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The discovery of the debris came after a senior official in the US Navy confirmed an existing secret system, designed to pick up audio, heard a sound "consistent with an implosion", which was heard near where the submersible lost communication. On Sunday 18 June, the tourist submarine went missing after contact with the vessel was lost around an hour and 45 minutes after it submerged.

Dr David Gallo, senior adviser with RMS Titanic Inc said the timeline suggests something happened "mid-water". Dr Gallo, who describes the Titan's pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet, as his "best friend", told Sky News: "If they weren't there (at the wreck) that means something had to happen mid-water that caused them to lose power or radio communications. The worst case scenario is "probably a collapse - a catastrophic implosion of the sub itself which would be horrific. There's no coming back from that. I would have to say that has got to be the number one option here - which is unpleasant to think about. I don't know how else you can disappear that quickly." 

What happens when a submarine implodes?

The vessel is around 22 feet (6.7 metres) with a speed of 3 knots (3.5km) per hour and, unlike many other water vehicles, it was not tethered to the surface - the Titan was travelling independently in the water. An implosion could occur if any part of the submersible's carbon fibre and titanium hull has suffered a small crack or fault. The implosion itself looks like a bubble which is created by the weight of the water. 

OceanGate Expeditions of their submersible vessel named Titan, launching from its platform, which is used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions/PA Wire)OceanGate Expeditions of their submersible vessel named Titan, launching from its platform, which is used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions/PA Wire)
OceanGate Expeditions of their submersible vessel named Titan, launching from its platform, which is used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions/PA Wire) | OceanGate Expeditions/PA Wire

According to the Daily Mail, G. Michael Harris told Fox News's Jesse Watters on his show the Titan drops to extraordinary depths to reach the wreck of the Titanic - which takes about two and a half hours and more than 10,000 feet.

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"When you're talking 6,000 pounds per square inch, it is a dangerous environment. More people have been to outer space than to this depth of the ocean. When you're diving in these situations you have to cross your T and dot your Is. You have to do everything absolutely perfectly and by the book. Throw in a bunch of tourists in a new sub, which was just created in the last couple of years". Harris continued. "It's not looking good."

What is the latest news on the Titan? 

NationalWorld reported 'banging’ noises have been detected from the search area of the missing deep-sea vessel near the Titanic wreck site. The US Coast Guard on Wednesday morning said: “Canadian P-3 aircraft detected underwater noises in the search area. As a result, ROV (remote operating vehicles) operations were relocated in an attempt to explore the origin of the noises.

“Those ROV searches have yielded negative results but continue. Additionally, the data from the P-3 aircraft has been shared with our U.S. Navy experts for further analysis which will be considered in future search plans.”

The US Navy said it likely detected the "catastrophic implosion" soon after the Titan went missing. Five people are onboard the vessel, including British billionaire Hamish Harding, chairman of private plane firm Action Aviation. The others on board are Shahzada Dawood, his son Suleman and OceanGate’s chief executive and founder Stockton Rush, reportedly together with French submersible pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

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OceanGate released a statement that just before the news conference saying: "We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost.

"These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world's oceans. Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew."

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