The five people aboard the submersible that visited the sinking of the Titanic died after a “catastrophic loss of pressure chamber.”
A “debris field” equivalent to a submersible was discovered by a robotic deep-sea vessel on Thursday.
Here is the timeline of events leading up to the discovery:
Friday, June 16
The expedition was from St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.
The Launch has new facilities with everything we need to prepare for the expedition! pic.twitter.com/iLgs6CJXUI
– OceanGate Expeditions (@OceanGateExped) April 21, 2023
Saturday, June 17
British billionaire and adventurer Hamish Harding, one of the submersible’s crew, posted on Facebook: “Due to Newfoundland’s worst winter in 40 years, this mission will likely be the first and only manned mission in Titanic in 2023. A The window of time has just opened, and we will try to dive tomorrow.”
“More expedition updates to follow IF the weather continues!”
This is his last post on Facebook.
Sunday, June 18
04am ET (08:00 GMT) – This is when the submersible was originally planned to begin its descent, according to a post by Harding on Instagram. But the descent would begin four hours later, according to the US Coast Guard.
8am ET (12:00 GMT) – The Titan submersible will begin a two-hour descent to the Titanic wreck, located at a depth of 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) in the North Atlantic, the US Coast Guard said.
9:45am ET (13:45 GMT) – Communications between the submersible and the surface vessel were lost an hour and 45 minutes after the start of its descent, the US Coast Guard said.
3pm ET (19:00 GMT) – The submersible is scheduled to return to the surface, the US Coast Guard says. It failed to show.
5:40pm ET (21:40 GMT)– The Coast Guard received a report of an overdue submersible from the Canadian research vessel Polar Prince with five people on board diving to view the Titanic wreck about 900 nautical miles (1667km) east of Cape Cod in US coast.
Monday, June 19
US and Canadian ships and planes are swarming the area, some dropping sonobuoys that can monitor depths of 13,000 feet (4,000 meters), US Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger said. He added that it was a remote area and it was a challenge to conduct the search. Officials are also asking commercial vessels for help.
Officials say if the submersible is intact, it is estimated that there will be between 70 and 96 hours of oxygen.
Tuesday, June 20
Morning – The family of Pakistani-born businessman Shahzada Dawood confirmed that he was on board with his 19-year-old son Suleman.
10:50am ET (14:50 GMT) – France says it will help the search by deploying the Atalante, a deep-sea diving vessel.
In the sun – Sounds were detected for several hours by the Canadian Lockheed P-3 Orion aircraft, equipped with submarine tracking devices. The US Coast Guard – which announced it on Wednesday – did not give an exact time.
Media reports said that Canadian planes detected whistling sounds at 30-minute intervals.
Harding’s friend, Jannicke Mikkelsen, said: “And according to the situation now, it would be a miracle if they were recovered alive.”
The search turned into a massive international operation. Several ships, submarines and aircraft participated in the mission.
Wednesday, June 21
In the sun – The US Coast Guard, US Navy, Canadian Coast Guard and OceanGate Expeditions formed a joint command to manage the search.
2am ET (06:00 GMT) – The US Coast Guard informed the Canadian P-3 aircraft that it detected underwater noises. It said that remotely operated vehicle (ROV) searches were directed to the area of the sounds and the data was also sent to US Navy experts for analysis.
Thursday, June 22
6am (10:00 GMT) – Rough deadline for when the submersible will run out of oxygen, based on US Coast Guard estimates. The vessel has a 96-hour supply from the time it is shut down, according to its specifications. It depends on the intactness of the ship and other factors, such as whether the river still has power in the deep ice.
2pm (18:00 GMT) – A debris field found near the wreck of the Titanic in the North Atlantic contains pieces of the Titan submersible, officials said.
3pm (7:00pm GMT) – The debris is consistent with the loss of a pressure chamber and an implosion, the US Coast Guard said. No one was spared, it added.