Presumed human remains recovered from the wreckage of Titan submersible, says US Coast Guard

Remains expected to shed more light on cause of catastrophic incident

Medical professionals will formally analyse presumed human remains recovered from the wreckage of the Titan submersible. The US Coast Guard (USCG) said it received debris and evidence from the sea floor at the site of the deep-sea vessel’s fatal implosion, which killed five people.

British adventurer Hamish Harding and father and son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood were killed on board the vessel near the wreckage of the Titanic, alongside OceanGate Expeditions’ chief executive, Stockton Rush, and French national Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

Large pieces of debris from Titan were transported to St John’s harbour on Wednesday by the Horizon Arctic ship, where it was seen being unloaded by a crane.

Speaking after the evidence was recovered, the Marine Board of Investigation’s (MBI) chairman, Captain Jason Neubauer, said: “I am grateful for the co-ordinated international and inter-agency support to recover and preserve this vital evidence at extreme offshore distances and depths.


“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.”

The USCG said the MBI intends to transport the evidence to a port in the US where they will be able to facilitate further analysis and testing.

The MBI will continue evidence collection and witness interviews to inform a public hearing about the incident, the USCG added.

Pelagic Research Services, whose remote operating vehicle (ROV) discovered the debris fields, said on Wednesday its team is “still on mission”.

A statement said: “They have been working around the clock now for 10 days, through the physical and mental challenges of this operation, and are anxious to finish the mission and return to their loved ones.”

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) previously said they are looking into the five deaths. Safety investigators from the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada made inquiries on Titan’s main support ship, the Polar Prince, after it docked in St John’s harbour on Saturday.

The Titan submersible lost contact with tour operator OceanGate Expeditions an hour and 45 minutes into the two-hour descent to the wreckage, with the vessel reported missing eight hours after communication was lost.

Earlier, video from the Canadian Broadcast Corporation showed what appeared to be the nose of the submersible and other shattered fragments wrapped in white tarp pulled up by a crane.

Footage also showed a shattered part of the hull and machinery with dangling wires being taken off the Horizon Arctic ship at St John’s, where the expedition to the Titanic had set off from.

The Titan was declared last Thursday to have been destroyed in the deep ocean, probably as a result of a “catastrophic implosion” around the time it lost communications, killing all five people on board.

The deep-sea submersible was discovered in pieces on the seabed at at depth of 3,800 metres, about 500m from the bow of the Titanic by a robotic diving vehicle last week, ending a multinational five-day search for survivors. - Agencies