Titan Submersible Implosion was Likely So Fast that Victims ‘Never Knew it Happened’, Expert Says

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According to an expert in submersibles, the tragedy involving the Titan submersible would have imploded in such a swift and devastating manner that the five individuals on board were likely unaware of their impending doom.

The recent discovery of debris from the OceanGate Expeditions Titan submersible has confirmed the tragic fate of all those aboard.

The Coast Guard revealed that the scattered debris found on the ocean floor, approximately 1,600 feet away from the Titanic’s bow, indicates that the submersible experienced a catastrophic implosion during its dive to the wreckage site, which lies 12,500 feet beneath the surface.

Experts estimated that at the time of communication loss, the submersible would have descended to nearly 10,000 feet below the surface. At such depths, the tremendous water pressure would cause any minuscule flaw or fracture in the hull to instantly lead to an implosion.

Ofer Ketter, an expert in the field and co-founder of Sub-Merge, a private submersible company, described the implosion as an event that would occur within an incredibly brief span of time, possibly within a millisecond or even a nanosecond, if the hull were compromised.

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“They never knew it happened,” he stated in reference to the victims, emphasizing the unfortunate situation’s silver lining of their obliviousness to the event’s unfolding.

Ketter, speaking from Costa Rica, explained that the implosion would have been instantaneous, transpiring before the victims’ brains could register any sensation of pain.

The five individuals who lost their lives in this tragic incident were Sulaiman Dawood (19), his father Shahzada Dawood (48), British billionaire Hamish Harding (58), renowned Titanic explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet (77), and OceanGate founder and CEO Stockton Rush (61).

Regrettably, the recovery of their bodies seems highly improbable due to the widespread distribution of the debris found on the ocean floor.

The immense water pressure at such extreme depths reaches around 6,000 pounds per square inch, a force the Titan submersible’s carbon fiber and titanium exterior were designed to withstand.

Dr. Peter Girguis, an oceanographer and professor at Harvard University, likened the submersible to an overfilled scuba tank that releases gas rapidly through a safety device.

However, when a vessel like the Titan surpasses its structural limits, it succumbs to collapsing or crushing.

Girguis emphasized that the exact nature of the implosion remains somewhat uncertain, stating, “We tend to believe they [implosions] are swift and they tend to be complete, but I want to emphasize again, we don’t exactly know.”

Any breach or leakage, whether from within or outside the submersible, would result in an implosion.

Girguis explained that submersibles and similar vessels undergo rigorous pressure tests and are constructed with safety margins to ensure they can endure pressures exceeding their expected encounters. These safety factors, often around 1.5 to 2 times the anticipated pressure, are integrated into the design and subjected to extensive testing, sometimes up to 10 times.

Ketter concurred with Girguis, highlighting that submersibles are engineered, tested, and pressurized to withstand depths greater than those they are likely to explore.

He used the analogy of attempting to take a hot air balloon to the moon, stressing the futility of such endeavors.

In 2018, the Marine Technology Society sent a letter to Stockton Rush, the head of OceanGate, cautioning him about the critical importance of subjecting the company’s prototypes to proper third-party testing before venturing to such depths. Allegedly, Rush declined to heed this advice.

RIP.

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