A well-known Pakistani father and son duo is among a crew of five passengers who are now believed to be dead after going missing for days in a submersible that sought to explore the wreckage of the Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean.
What happened: The 21-foot sub, known as Titan, launched from a Canadian research vessel into the North Atlantic on Sunday morning. An hour and 45 minutes later, it lost contact with the ship. OceanGate Expeditions, its operator, said the sub can reach depths of up to 13,100 feet with 96 hours of oxygen for a crew of five. The wreckage of the Titanic was around 12,500 feet below sea level.
Who’s in it: The crew included Pakistani billionaire Shahzada Dawood, 48; his son Sulaiman Dawood, 19; British businessman Hamish Harding, 58; French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77; and OceanGate’s own CEO, Stockton Rush, 61.
Dawood is one of Pakistan’s richest citizens, with most of his family’s wealth coming from the Dawood Hercules Corporation, which his grandfather, Seth Ahmed Dahwood, founded in 1968.
The latest: Search efforts have since been made to locate the sub. By Monday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard told reporters that the crew had at least 70 hours’ worth of oxygen left. On Tuesday, the Coast Guard announced it had detected mysterious underwater banging sounds in the North Atlantic occurring every 30 minutes.
On Thursday, however, debris that belonged to the external body of the sub was found in the search area and deemed to be consistent with a “catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber.” OceanGate announced that the crew “have sadly been lost.”
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. These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans. Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.
What happens next: Medical personnel and nine vessels involved in the search will be demobilized in the next 24 hours. However, remote operations will continue on the seafloor for an unspecified amount of time.