titanic submarine

OceanGate Suspends All Operations Following Titan Sub Disaster

Photo: Paul Daly/The Canadian Press via AP

OceanGate, the operator of the ill-fated and apparently ill-conceived Titan submersible, is halting all business operations following the deadly implosion of the vessel during a dive to the Titanic last month.

A new one-sentence statement placed at the top of the company’s website stated that it has “suspended all exploration and commercial operations.” The site provided no further details about the length of the suspension or whether the move was permanent. Additionally, the website still advertises OceanGate’s Titanic expeditions, urging would-be customers to “explore the world’s most famous shipwreck.”

It was a little more than two weeks ago when the Titan submersible went missing on a June 18 expedition to view the wreck, prompting an international search-and-rescue operation. Days later, a remote-operated submersible searching the ocean floor discovered debris from the Titan indicating it had suffered what the U.S. Coast Guard described as a “catastrophic implosion.”

The implosion instantly claimed the lives of all five people onboard, including OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, who co-founded the company back in 2009, as well as another crew member and three paying passengers. Debris from the Titan and presumed human remains were reportedly recovered last week by the Coast Guard, which is currently conducting an investigation into the incident.

OceanGate is ceasing operations as questions continue to arise about the safety of the Titan and whether the company disregarded what now seem to be prescient warnings about fatal flaws in its design. Numerous experts in deep-ocean exploration believed that the Titan’s carbon-fiber pressure hull was a disaster waiting to happen. As a recent New Yorker report detailed, those concerns about the submersible’s safety were repeatedly raised directly to OceanGate and to Rush himself but ultimately went unheeded. There were also allegations in the report that the company didn’t just dismiss warnings and opt against obtaining independent safety certification for the vessel, but set up its expedition business in ways that allowed it to avoid U.S. safety regulations regarding submersibles used for tourism.

OceanGate Suspends All Operations After Titan Sub Disaster