The U.S. Navy detected the moment when the Titan submersible imploded earlier this week after it lost communications with its host ship.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Navy immediately began listening for the Titan once it learned that it had gone dark.
The Navy detected an implosion a short time later near where officials later discovered debris on the ocean floor, about 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic.
“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.”
OceanGate, the company operating the Titan, announced Thursday afternoon that all five people on board the vessel had 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.
Rear Admiral John Mauger said that the debris that was found was “consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber.”
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.
Marine scientist and rescue expert David Mearns said that due to the extreme amount of pressure that was present at that depth, those on board would have been killed instantly.
“The only saving grace is that it would have been immediate — literally in milliseconds — and the men wouldn’t have known what was happening,” he said.