‘Presumed Human Remains’ Recovered From Titan Submersible: U.S. Officials
Police officers speak to crew members onboard the Polar Prince, the main support ship for the Titan submersible, at the Port of St. John's in Newfoundland, Canada. Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Hamish Harding, Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman, died after the missing Titan submersible suffered a catastrophic implosion while trying to reach the RMS Titanic. Picture date: Saturday June 24, 2023.
Jordan Pettitt/PA Images via Getty Images

U.S. officials announced Wednesday afternoon that they had recovered “presumed human remains” from the wreckage at the bottom of the ocean floor where OceanGate’s Titan submersible imploded under extreme pressure.

The Coast Guard said that the remains were “carefully recovered within the wreckage at the site of the incident” and that officials were working to “transport the evidence aboard a U.S. Coast Guard cutter to a port in the United States where the MBI will be able to facilitate further analysis and testing.”

Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) Chair Captain Jason Neubauer said that the evidence that was recovered will be useful to investigators as they seek to piece together what happened.

“I am grateful for the coordinated international and interagency support to recover and preserve this vital evidence at extreme offshore distances and depths,” said Neubauer. “The evidence will provide investigators from several international jurisdictions with critical insights into the cause of this tragedy. There is still a substantial amount of work to be done to understand the factors that led to the catastrophic loss of the TITAN and help ensure a similar tragedy does not occur again.”


Photos and a video showed crews moving at least three large pieces of the OceanGate submersible off the Horizon Arctic ship in St. Johns, Newfoundland. The largest piece pulled from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean appeared to be full of mechanical parts and wires, while two other pieces looked similar to the sub’s external cover and landing frame.

Search crews found parts of the Titan’s wreckage at the bottom of the ocean last Thursday, confirming that all five passengers aboard the vessel “had sadly been lost.” The debris field was discovered by a remote-operated vehicle (ROV) deployed by the Horizon Arctic. 

Rear Admiral John Mauger said that the debris 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 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.

“The U.S. Navy conducted an analysis of acoustic data and detected an anomaly consistent with an implosion or explosion in the general vicinity of where the Titan submersible was operating when communications were lost,” a senior U.S. Navy official told The Wall Street Journal in a statement. “While not definitive, this information was immediately shared with the Incident Commander to assist with the ongoing search and rescue mission.”

Zach Jewell contributed to this report. 

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