Experts have recovered presumed human remains from what is left of the Titan sub that imploded during a dive to the Titanic wreck, with the death of five people, the US Coast Guard said Wednesday.
“United States medical professionals will conduct a formal analysis of presumed human remains that have been carefully recovered,” the agency said.
On board were British adventurer Hamish Harding, French submarine expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Pakistani-British tycoon Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, and Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, which operates the sub.
They were presumably killed instantly when the Titan sub, roughly the size of an SUV, imploded at a depth of more than two miles beneath the crushing pressure of the North Atlantic.
Mangled debris found from the small submersible was offloaded earlier today in eastern Canada, bringing a laborious search-and-recovery effort to a close.
That debris will now be taken aboard a US Coast Guard cutter to a US port for further analysis, the organization said.
“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,” said the leader of the US probe into the tragedy, Captain Jason Neubauer.
The Titan sub’s nose cone and a side panel with electronics and wires hanging out were seen being hauled from a ship onto a flatbed truck at a Canadian Coast Guard dock in St. John’s, Newfoundland, in television photos.
Pelagic Research, the New York-based business that owns the Odysseus remote-controlled vehicle used in the search for the stricken submersible, has announced that its offshore search-and-recovery operation has concluded.
Canadian officials declined to comment on the sub debris retrieval.
Titan was reported missing on June 18, and the US Coast Guard announced last Thursday that all five persons aboard died after the submersible imploded.
A debris field was discovered on the seafloor 1,600 feet (500 meters) from the Titanic’s bow, which is more than two miles (almost four kilometers) below the ocean’s surface and 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.
The declaration of the implosion brought to an end a multinational search-and-rescue operation that had captivated the world’s attention since the tourist vessel went missing.
The Coast Guard has opened its highest level investigation into this disaster, known as a Marine Board of Investigation.