The U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday that debris and evidence recovered from the seabed where the remains of the wrecked Titanic submarine were found contained “presumed human remains.”
The Coast Guard said the remains were recovered “in the wreckage” of the submarine. Press release – The announcement comes nearly a week after authorities confirmed the Titanic exploded in the North Atlantic, killing all five people on board.
The remains, which the military branch said will be examined by U.S. medical experts, are among evidence from a submarine that arrived at a Canadian ship on Wednesday.
Pelagic Research Services, the company that owns the remotely operated vehicles that brought Titan’s remains to the surface, has now “successfully completed” the ocean mission, told CNN.
A white panel-like piece — taller than the two men guiding it ashore — and another piece of the same size covered with ropes and white tarp were among the debris taken from the anchor handling vessel Horizon Arctic by the Canadian Coast Guard ship Horizon Arctic. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, photos by The Canadian Press Paul Daly.
It was not immediately clear what the pieces were. Titan is made of carbon fiber and titanium and weighs 23,000 pounds, accommodating only five adults, according to OceanGate Expeditions, which operates the craft as part of an opportunity for serious tourists to get up close to the Titanic’s century-old wreck. $250,000 per person.
The team members “have been working around the clock for 10 days now through the physical and mental challenges of this operation and are eager to complete the mission and return to their loved ones,” the company said in a statement.
Pelagic Research Services referred questions to the U.S. Coast Guard, whose team could not comment or provide any other information related to the investigation into Titan’s disappearance. It said the company will hold a news conference at its East Aurora, New York location “after our team is reintegrated.”
A spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada declined to comment to CNN, saying more information about its investigation is warranted.
The OceanGate submarine and its five passengers began their descent to the wreck of the 111-year-old Titanic on the morning of June 18. But about an hour and 45 minutes into the sinking, the stranded ship lost contact with its mother ship. It didn’t turn out as expected, triggering a massive, day-long multinational search and rescue operation that caught the world’s attention.
On Thursday, the US Coast Guard announced that the ship had suffered a “catastrophic explosion” that killed all on board.
The tail cone and other debris from the submarine were recovered by a remotely operated vehicle about 1,600 feet from the Titanic.
Over the weekend, the military branch said it had convened a Maritime Investigation Board to investigate the cause of the explosion and make possible recommendations to “pursue appropriate civil or criminal sanctions.”
In its news release Wednesday, the Coast Guard said it is working on an investigative team that is gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses ahead of a public hearing that is expected for additional witness testimony.
“There is still a significant amount of work that needs to be done to understand the factors that led to the catastrophic loss of the Titan and to help ensure that such a tragedy does not happen again,” Capt. Jason Neubauer, head of the investigative team, said Wednesday. .