OceanGate, the company whose Titan submersible went missing at the start of the week as it traveled to view the wreckage of the Titanic, released a statement Thursday afternoon saying that it believes that five people on board have all died.
“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,” the statement said.
The United States Coast Guard announced in a statement earlier in the day that a debris field was discovered near the Titanic.
The discovery was made by a remote-controlled vehicle deployed by the Horizon Arctic, according to The New York Times.
“A debris field was discovered within the search area by an ROV near the Titanic,” USGC Northeast said in a statement. “Experts within the unified command are evaluating the information.”
CNN later reported that the debris discovered within the search area was “assessed to be from the external body of the sub.”
Rear Admiral John Mauger said that the debris that was discovered was “the tail cone of the Titan submersible approximately 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic on the sea floor.”
Additional debris was found and Mauger said that it was “consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber.”
He said that upon the discovery, officials immediately notified the families that their loved ones were deceased.
When asked about recovering the bodies from the submersible, Mauger suggested that it would be difficult to locate the bodies because the debris showed that it imploded due to the intense pressures near the bottom of the ocean.
Mauger suggested that the submersible could have imploded around the time that the ship lost contact with it because rescuers have not detected any catastrophic implosions in the water over the last 72+ hours with the sonar buoys that were deployed to find the vessel.
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