‘Human Remains’ Found in Titanic Tourist Submersible Wreckage, U.S. Coast Guard Says

The U.S. Coast Guard has found what appears to be human remains among the Titan submersible debris. The vessel was carrying five passengers to the Titanic wreckage site on June 18 when it imploded thousands of feet below the water’s surface, killing all onboard.

Pelagic Research Services, which owns the ROV that discovered the debris told CNN it had “successfully completed” its recovery efforts at a Canadian ship Horizon Arctic at a Canadian Coast Guard pier in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on Wednesday.

When asked for comment, the U.S. Coast Guard directed Gizmodo to Wednesday’s news release, where they announced that “presumed human remains have been carefully recovered within the wreckage at the site of the incident.” The Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) will transport the evidence to a port in the U.S. where medical professionals will analyze the “remains that have been carefully recovered.”

MBI Chair Captain Jason Neubauer said in the news release, “The evidence will provide investigators from several international jurisdictions with critical insights into the cause of this tragedy.” He added, “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.”

The debris was found on June 22 about 1,600 feet away from the bow of the Titanic and was recovered from a depth of roughly 12,500 feet. Photos of the Titan recovery efforts were released on Wednesday, but it remains unclear which pieces were lifted to the pier.

Pelagic Research Services told AP News on Wednesday that its team is “still on a mission” to investigate the implosion, and said its team has “been working around the clock now for ten days, through the physical and mental challenges of this operation, and are anxious to finish the mission and return to their loved ones.”

Investigators were unsure if they would be able to recover the human remains of those onboard the Titan, having found two debris sites on the sea floor. A nose cone, outside pressure hold, and the front and bell of the pressure hull were found at the larger of the debris sites while the other end of the pressure hull was found at the second, smaller debris site.

Expert Paul Hankins, a director of the Salvage Operations and Ocean Engineering for the U.S. Navy, said at a press conference on Thursday last week that all indicators point to a “catastrophic loss of pressure” and an implosion in the water column of the submersible and Rear Admiral John Mauger said the debris was “consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber.”

The five crew members who were killed during the implosion included OceanGate co-founder, Stockton Rush, who piloted the Titan submersible, former French Navy Officer, Paul-Henry Nargeolet, who is considered to be an expert on the Titanic, Shahzada Dawood, who is one of the board of directors for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), his son, Suleman Dawood, and Hamish Harding who journeyed to space on a Blue Origin rocket in June 2022.

The investigation is ongoing and the MBI said in the news release that it will continue to gather evidence, and Pelagic Research Services told CNN it will hold a news conference at its East Aurora, New York, operations base after “our team has regrouped.”

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