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Live updates | Titan's catastrophic implosion likely killed 5 occupants instantly, experts say

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This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against ...
FILE - This undated image provided by OceanGate Expeditions in June 2021 shows the company's Titan submersible. Rescuers are racing against time to fi...
FILE - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Warren Deyampert is docked as a member of the Coast Guard walks past, Tuesday, June 20, 2023, at Coast Guard Base B...
FILE - This 2004 photo provided by the Institute for Exploration, Center for Archaeological Oceanography/University of Rhode Island/NOAA Office of Oce...
FILE - In this image released by Action Aviation, the submersible Titan is prepared for a dive into a remote area of the Atlantic Ocean on an expediti...
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick, center at microphone, faces reporters during a news conference, Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at Coast Guard Base ...
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick, left, faces reporters as Carl Hartsfield, director and senior program manager Oceanographic Systems Laboratory...
Carl Hartsfield, director and senior program manager Oceanographic Systems Laboratory, center, faces reporters as Royal Navy Lt Cdr Rich Kantharia, le...
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick, center left, at microphone, faces reporters during a news conference, Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at Coast Guard...
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick, right, faces reporters as Royal Navy Lt Cdr Rich Kantharia, left, looks on during a news conference, Wednesday...
U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick, left, faces reporters as Paul Hankins, U.S. Navy civilian contractor supervisor of salvage, right, looks on du...
In this photograph released by Action Aviation, company chairman and billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding looks out to sea before boarding the submer...
This undated photo provided by SETI Institute shows Shazada Dawood, SETI Institute Trustee. Father-and-son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood are facing crit...
This undated photo provided by SETI Institute shows Shahzada Dawood, SETI Institute Trustee. Father-and-son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood are facing cri...
This photo combo shows from left, Shahzada Dawood, Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henry Nargeolet, Stockton Rush, and Hamish Harding are facing critical danger ...
U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger, commander of the First Coast Guard District, talks to the media, Thursday, June 22, 2023, at Coast Guard Base ...
U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger, commander of the First Coast Guard District, talks to the media, Thursday, June 22, 2023, at Coast Guard Base ...
This photo combo shows from left, Shahzada Dawood, Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henry Nargeolet, Stockton Rush, and Hamish Harding are facing critical danger ...
This image provided by Maxar Technologies, shows multiple search and rescue ships in the ocean close to the location above the wreck of the Titanic, o...
In this image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane based at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., flies ov...
In this image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, crew members prepare to depart from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, on a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules...
In this satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies, from top to bottom, the vessels L'Atalante, Horizon Arctic, Deep Energy, and Skandi Vinland se...
FILE - This undated photo provided by the SETI Institute shows Shahzada Dawood, SETI Institute Trustee. The missing submersible Titan imploded near th...
CORRECTS SPELLING OF THE NAME TO HENRI, INSTEAD OF HENRY This photo combo shows from left, Shahzada Dawood, Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Stoc...
In this satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies, from top to bottom, the vessels Horizon Arctic, Deep Energy and Skandi Vinland search for the ...
U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger, commander of the First Coast Guard District, talks to the media, Thursday, June 22, 2023, at Coast Guard Base ...
A boat with the OceanGate logo is parked on a lot near the OceanGate offices Thursday, June 22, 2023, in Everett, Wash. The U.S. Coast Guard said Thur...
FILE -Flowers adorn the renovated Isidor and Ida Straus memorial plaque as Macy's and the Straus Historical Society celebrate its rededication during ...
FILE - Director James Cameron walks in Purmamarca, Jujuy province, Argentina, on June 8, 2023. Cameron says the search operation for a deep-sea touris...
This photo combo shows OceanGate Expeditions' Titan submersible (top) and The Pisces IV submersible (bottom). The Titan, developed and operated by Oce...

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against ...

FILE - This undated image provided by OceanGate Expeditions in June 2021 shows the company's Titan submersible. Rescuers are racing against time to fi...

FILE - The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Warren Deyampert is docked as a member of the Coast Guard walks past, Tuesday, June 20, 2023, at Coast Guard Base B...

FILE - This 2004 photo provided by the Institute for Exploration, Center for Archaeological Oceanography/University of Rhode Island/NOAA Office of Oce...

FILE - In this image released by Action Aviation, the submersible Titan is prepared for a dive into a remote area of the Atlantic Ocean on an expediti...

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick, center at microphone, faces reporters during a news conference, Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at Coast Guard Base ...

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick, left, faces reporters as Carl Hartsfield, director and senior program manager Oceanographic Systems Laboratory...

Carl Hartsfield, director and senior program manager Oceanographic Systems Laboratory, center, faces reporters as Royal Navy Lt Cdr Rich Kantharia, le...

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick, center left, at microphone, faces reporters during a news conference, Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at Coast Guard...

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick, right, faces reporters as Royal Navy Lt Cdr Rich Kantharia, left, looks on during a news conference, Wednesday...

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick, left, faces reporters as Paul Hankins, U.S. Navy civilian contractor supervisor of salvage, right, looks on du...

In this photograph released by Action Aviation, company chairman and billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding looks out to sea before boarding the submer...

This undated photo provided by SETI Institute shows Shazada Dawood, SETI Institute Trustee. Father-and-son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood are facing crit...

This undated photo provided by SETI Institute shows Shahzada Dawood, SETI Institute Trustee. Father-and-son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood are facing cri...

This photo combo shows from left, Shahzada Dawood, Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henry Nargeolet, Stockton Rush, and Hamish Harding are facing critical danger ...

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger, commander of the First Coast Guard District, talks to the media, Thursday, June 22, 2023, at Coast Guard Base ...

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger, commander of the First Coast Guard District, talks to the media, Thursday, June 22, 2023, at Coast Guard Base ...

This photo combo shows from left, Shahzada Dawood, Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henry Nargeolet, Stockton Rush, and Hamish Harding are facing critical danger ...

This image provided by Maxar Technologies, shows multiple search and rescue ships in the ocean close to the location above the wreck of the Titanic, o...

In this image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules airplane based at Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., flies ov...

In this image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, crew members prepare to depart from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, on a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules...

In this satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies, from top to bottom, the vessels L'Atalante, Horizon Arctic, Deep Energy, and Skandi Vinland se...

FILE - This undated photo provided by the SETI Institute shows Shahzada Dawood, SETI Institute Trustee. The missing submersible Titan imploded near th...

CORRECTS SPELLING OF THE NAME TO HENRI, INSTEAD OF HENRY This photo combo shows from left, Shahzada Dawood, Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Stoc...

In this satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies, from top to bottom, the vessels Horizon Arctic, Deep Energy and Skandi Vinland search for the ...

U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger, commander of the First Coast Guard District, talks to the media, Thursday, June 22, 2023, at Coast Guard Base ...

A boat with the OceanGate logo is parked on a lot near the OceanGate offices Thursday, June 22, 2023, in Everett, Wash. The U.S. Coast Guard said Thur...

FILE -Flowers adorn the renovated Isidor and Ida Straus memorial plaque as Macy's and the Straus Historical Society celebrate its rededication during ...

FILE - Director James Cameron walks in Purmamarca, Jujuy province, Argentina, on June 8, 2023. Cameron says the search operation for a deep-sea touris...

This photo combo shows OceanGate Expeditions' Titan submersible (top) and The Pisces IV submersible (bottom). The Titan, developed and operated by Oce...

Follow along for live updates on the submersible that imploded deep in the Atlantic Ocean, killing all five people aboard during a voyage down to the Titanic shipwreck.

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TITAN'S CATASTROPIC IMPLOSION LIKELY KILLED 5 OCCUPANTS INSTANTLY

Experts say the Titan submersible suffered a catastrophic implosion that likely killed its pilot and four passengers instantly amid the intense water pressure in the deep North Atlantic.

Maritime researchers called an implosion the worst possible outcome of all the scenarios envisioned during the desperate round-the-clock search to find the missing vessel.

Experts had cautioned that under intense pressure at extreme depths the Titan’s hull could implode, which would result in instant death for anyone aboard the vessel.

The 22-foot long (6.7-meter long), 23,000-pound (10,432-kilogram) Titan’s larger internal volume — while still cramped with a maximum of five seated people — meant it was subjected to more external pressure.

The water pressure at 12,500 feet (3,800 meters) below the surface at the site of the Titanic wreck is roughly 400 atmospheres or 6,000 pounds per square inch.

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What to know:

— What caused the Titan to implode? Right now, it’s not even clear who will lead the investigation

— How the unconventional design of the Titan sub may have destined it for disaster

— A Titanic expert, an adventurer, a CEO, and a father and son were killed in Titan’s implosion

— Tourist sub’s implosion draws attention to murky regulations of deep-sea expeditions

— ‘Titanic’ director James Cameron says the search for the missing sub became a ‘nightmarish charade’

— How much did Titan submersible search cost? US Coast Guard’s bill alone will be in the millions

— The latest on the Titan submersible tragedy and what’s next in the recovery efforts

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TITAN PASSENGERS LIKELY SIGNED WAIVERS TO ACKNOWLEDGE RISK

The four passengers who died this week when the Titan imploded were most likely asked to sign liability waivers.

One of the waivers, signed by a person who planned to go on an OceanGate expedition, required passengers to acknowledge risks involved with the trip on the Titan vessel and any support vessels.

The waiver, which was reviewed by The Associated Press, said that passengers could experience physical injury, disability, emotional trauma and death while on board the Titan.

Passengers also waive the right to take action for “personal injury, property damage or any other loss” that they experience on the trip, the document states.

The form also makes it clear that the vessel is experimental and “constructed of materials that have not been widely used for manned submersibles.”

The waiver could play an outsized role as families of those who died consider their legal options. Legal experts said that what the investigation into the disaster uncovers will determine much about the case, including what caused the vessel to implode.

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CANADA’S TRANSPORTATION BOARD LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada said Friday it’s launching an investigation involving the loss of the Titan that will focus on the cargo vessel Polar Prince.

Polar Prince is a Canadian-flagged ship that served as mothership to the Titan submersible. The Transportation Safety Board will investigate the Polar Prince in its role as a support vessel and will conduct a safety investigation into the circumstances of the operation, the agency said.

The agency said a team of investigators is traveling to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador to gather information and conduct interviews. It said it will coordinate with other agencies in the days ahead.

There were 17 crew members and 24 people on board the Polar Prince, the agency said.

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TITAN’S UNCONVENTIONAL DESIGN SUBJECTED CRAFT TO MORE WATER PRESSURE

The deadly implosion of the Titan submersible raises questions about whether the vessel exploring the Titanic wreckage was destined for disaster because of its unconventional design and its creator’s refusal to submit to safety checks that are standard in the industry.

The Titan, owned and operated by OceanGate Expeditions, first began taking people to the Titanic in 2021. It was touted for a design that included a carbon fiber composite hull and an elongated chamber for crew and passengers — a departure from more traditional spherical cabin areas and all-titanium construction.

Experts say the cabin where people sit in most submersibles is spherical because water pressure is exerted equally on all areas. By comparison, the Titan’s chamber was a larger, more elongated tube shape.

The 22-foot long (6.7-meter long), 23,000-pound (10,400-kilogram) Titan’s larger internal volume — while still cramped with a maximum of five seated people — meant it was subjected to more external pressure.

While OceanGate promoted the Titan’s carbon fiber and titanium construction as “lighter in weight and more efficient to mobilize than other deep diving submersible,” experts say carbon composites have limited life when subject to excessive loads or poor design which leads to stress concentrations.

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ADVENTURERS DROP OCEANGATE FRAUD LAWSUIT AFTER TITAN TRAGEDY

A pair of adventurers who sued OceanGate for fraud said they have dropped their lawsuit against the company that owned the Titan submersible.

Sharon and Marc Hagle sued OceanGate after they put money down for a trip to the Titanic wreckage site and the voyage never happened. The couple said the trip was both rescheduled and canceled, and they were told they would not receive a refund.

The Hagles are adventurers who became the first married couple on a commercial space flight last year, according to Purdue University, Marc’s alma mater.

The couple said in a statement to The Associated Press on Friday that they have decided to drop their legal action in the wake of CEO Stockton Rush’s death, along with four passengers, and the loss of the Titan at sea.

“Money is a driving force in our economy, but honor, respect and dignity are more important to the human soul,” the statement read. “We wish the entire OceanGate family and the families of those aboard the Titan the very best as they grieve the loss of their loved ones.”

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COST OF SEARCH FOR TITAN WILL EASILY STRETCH INTO MILLIONS OF DOLLARS

The cost of the search for the missing Titan submersible will easily stretch into the millions of dollars for the U.S. Coast Guard alone. The Canadian Coast Guard, U.S. Navy and other agencies and private entities also rushed to provide resources and expertise.

There’s no other comparable ocean search, especially with so many countries and even commercial enterprises being involved, said Norman Polmar, a naval historian, analyst and author based in Virginia.

The aircraft, alone, are expensive to operate.

The Pentagon has put the hourly cost at tens of thousands of dollars for turboprop P-3 Orion and jet-powered P-8 Poseidon sub hunters, along with C-130 Hercules, all utilized in the search.

Some agencies can seek reimbursements. But the U.S. Coast Guard is generally prohibited by federal law from collecting reimbursement pertaining to any search or rescue service, said Stephen Koerting, a U.S. attorney in Maine who specializes in maritime law.

The first priority in search and rescue is always saving a life, and search and rescue agencies budget for such expenses, said Mikki Hastings, president and CEO of the National Association for Search and Rescue.

Rescue agencies don’t want people in distress to be thinking about the cost of a helicopter or other resources when a life is in danger.

“Every person who is missing – they deserve to be found. That’s the mission regardless of who they are,” Hastings said.

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TITAN’S IMPLOSION HIGHLIGHTS MURKY REGULATIONS FOR DEEP-SEA VOYAGES

The Titan’s voyage down into the North Atlantic highlights the murkily regulated waters of deep-sea exploration.

It’s a space on the high seas where laws and conventions can be sidestepped by risk-taking entrepreneurs and the wealthy tourists who help fund their dreams. At least for now.

Thursday’s announcement by the U.S. Coast Guard that the Titan had imploded near the Titanic shipwreck, killing all five people on board, has drawn attention to how these expeditions are regulated.

The Titan operated in international waters, far from the reach of many laws of the United States or other nations. It wasn’t registered as a U.S. vessel or with international agencies that regulate safety, nor was it classified by a maritime industry group that sets standards on matters such as hull construction.

Stockton Rush, the OceanGate Expeditions CEO and Titan pilot who was among the dead, had said he didn’t want to be bogged down by such standards.

Experts say wrongful death and negligence lawsuits are likely in the Titan case — and they could be successful. But legal actions will face various challenges, including waivers signed by the Titan passengers that warned of the myriad ways they could die.

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CRITICS POINT TO LACK OF CERTIFICATION FOR TITAN SUBMERSIBLE

Bob Ballard, a member of the research team that found the Titanic wreck in 1985, called the lack of certification by outside experts “the smoking gun” in the case of the Titan submersible.

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Thursday that the Titan, a small craft headed to the wreck of the Titanic, suffered a catastrophic implosion, killing all five aboard.

“We’ve made thousands and thousands and thousands of dives with other countries as well to these depths and have never had an incident,” Ballard said Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “So this is the first time, and the smoking gun is that this is the first time by a submarine that wasn’t classed.”

Appearing on the same show, “ Titanic” director James Cameron called the lack of certification by an engineering entity or “classing bureau” “a critical failure.”

He described several potential problems with the Titan’s design, but said the weakest link was the carbon fiber composite hull.

“You don’t use composites for vessels that are seeing external pressure. They’re great for internal pressure vessels, like scuba tanks, for example, but they’re terrible for external pressure,” he said. “So this was trying to apply aviation thinking to a deep submergence engineering problem. And we all said this was a flawed idea.”

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COAST GUARD SAYS FOCUS REMAINS ON SEARCH, OFFICIAL INVESTIGATION YET TO BE LAUNCHED

Still focused on the search, the U.S. Coast Guard said Friday that an official investigation has yet to be launched into the disappearance and implosion of the Titan submersible.

Coast Guard officials announced Thursday that the craft that was headed to the wreck of the Titanic suffered a catastrophic implosion, killing all five aboard.

On Friday morning, the Coast Guard said an official investigation had not yet been launched because the agencies involved were focused on the search and still determining who has the appropriate jurisdiction and authority to lead it. Possibilities include the U.S. Coast Guard, Canadian Coast Guard, other federal or international agencies, or a joint effort.

The Coast Guard also said it was too soon to say whether any policy changes would be made.