Coroner warns human remains of sub-victims likely never to be found among newly discovered wreckage
A coroner has warned that it is unlikely that the remains of the Titan Five will ever be recovered, despite large parts of the underwater wreckage being brought to the surface for examination.
Photos taken Tuesday show huge chunks of metal being unloaded this morning from the Horizon Arctic ship at the Canadian Coast Guard pier in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.
But experts say the chances of recovering bodies are slim because the five men aboard the submarine were almost certainly destroyed immediately when it imploded.
Authorities were quick to cover the debris with tarpaulins before taking them away for assessment – some of which appeared to be parts of the external cover and landing frame.
OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French Navy veteran Paul-Henri (PH) Nargeolet, British billionaire Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, 19, were killed instantly when the ship malfunctioned.
Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford told DailyMail.com there is still little chance of human remains being recovered so the families of the victims can be buried or cremated
Despite large parts of the wreckage having been recovered, Richland County coroner Naida Rutherford tells DailyMail.com there is still little chance that human remains will be recovered so that the families of the victims can be buried or cremated.
She said, “When you have an explosion or an implosion, there’s debris or traces of debris.
“There is a possibility, but given the environment in which this happened, it is highly unlikely that they will find any remains.
“Even on land you have animal activity, and in a vast ocean, so many animals and creatures, and the pressure down there.
‘I think it is unlikely that any remains will be found, certainly not in whole sections. Given the circumstances in which the implosion occurred, it would be very difficult to identify the remains – and it will be difficult to determine who they belonged to.
Their bodies would have sustained extensive thermal damage and blunt force trauma from the implosion.
Those are things we know as fact.
The US Coast Guard confirmed last week that those aboard the submarine would have died “immediately” – but confirmed they were unsure of the “prospects” for recovering the remains.
An investigation has been launched into the cause of the underwater implosion that destroyed Titan.
The front of Titan, where the lookout port was located, was clearly recognizable between the sections that have been recovered
Experts have repeatedly feared for the safety of the Titan submarine before the tragedy
The huge chunks of metal were unloaded this morning from the Horizon Arctic vessel at the Canadian Coast Guard pier in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.
Several large pieces of the ship have been recovered from the ocean, but other parts are believed to have been decimated by the implosion
A debris field was found on the sea floor 1,600 feet (500 meters) from the bow of the Titanic, which is more than two miles (nearly four kilometers) below the ocean’s surface and 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
Canada, which helped search for the submarine, said Saturday it was conducting its own probe.
The Canadian-flagged cargo ship Polar Prince towed the Titan out to sea last weekend, but lost contact about an hour and 45 minutes after the submarine launched into the depths of the ocean.
The announcement of the implosion ended a multinational search and rescue operation that had attracted the world’s attention since the tourist vessel went missing
Professor Christopher Viney, from the University of California MERCED in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, told DailyMail.com that the location of the five men on the submarine may have influenced how they died.
Shahzada Dawood, 48, one of Pakistan’s richest men, who along with his teenage son Suleman Dawood, 19, (together, left) died on the Titan, along with British explorer Hamish Harding (right)
Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate, which launched Titan, died aboard the submarine last Sunday along with his four passengers, including PH Nargeolet (right)
Titan went missing on Sunday, June 18 while on a mission to the Titanic wreck
He said, “The word catastrophic means different things to different people. It doesn’t mean it was completely crushed to dust for engineers and you won’t find anything at all.
“For engineers, it means it’s irreversibly bad, with no survivors. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s broken into small pieces – the integrity has been breached and then pressure from the outside comes in.
“It doesn’t have to fall apart. A hole allows it to fill with water quite quickly, which can lead to crushing of the hull.
“If you weren’t killed by the breaking and the carbon fiber coming in, you would be killed by the water.
“Someone sitting near the collapsed area might have been crushed by it, and someone farther away might not.
They were quickly covered with large tarpaulins before being lifted by cranes onto trucks which took them away for assessment
Titan’s carbon fiber hull and its acrylic viewing window were subject to several warnings, and James Cameron called them “potential points of failure” on the ship
“The footage doesn’t show it being crushed evenly. The only way to find out is to replicate it, scale it, and see what happened by putting it back together.
“Hopefully people learn from this because it sounds very much like they were warned by the experts that the carbon fiber hull would cause a problem.”
Safety fears were repeatedly raised by experts who said the ship was not suited for the immense depths to which it was traveling.
Critics said the carbon fiber hull was not fit for purpose and also raised the alarm about the clear viewing window, which was not certified to such depths.
Leaders of the Marine Technology Society’s Manned Underwater Vehicles committee sent a letter to OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush urging him to exercise caution.
The letter, obtained by the New York Times, warned that “the company’s current ‘experimental’ approach” could lead to problems “from minor to catastrophic.”
A large round piece of the Titan, similar to the sections at each end of the hull, was also recovered
Will Kohnen, chairman of the profession’s Marine Technology Society Submarine Committee, added that he thought the implosion would mean the submarine was gone “in a fraction of a second.”
He told DailyMail.com, “It implodes inwardly in a matter of a thousandth of a second. And it’s probably a mercy, because that was probably a kinder ending than the incredibly dire situation of four days in a cold, dark, and confined space.
“So this would have happened very quickly. I don’t think anyone has had time to realize what happened.
“There are some very high forces involved, and we know that something failed and something happened that triggered it.
‘That’s why we have rules for design and regulation, because the smallest mistake can have the biggest consequences.’