Company’s submersible suffered ‘catastrophic implosion’ last month, killing five
OceanGate Expeditions, the company whose Titan submersible imploded last month, announced Thursday that it will be shuttering most of its business offerings. “OceanGate has suspended all exploration and commercial operations,” a note on the company’s website reads.
The Titan submersible went missing on June 18, prompting worldwide media attention. Four days after its disappearance, the company announced that it believed five people, including its own CEO, Stockton Rush, has died while on an expedition to visit the Titanic’s wreckage, southeast of Newfoundland. The U.S. Coast Guard said the submersible suffered a “catastrophic implosion.” The other passengers who perished on the voyage included father and son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood, Titanic researcher Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and businessman Hamish Harding. The passengers each reportedly paid the Everett, Washington–based company $250,000 to take part in the trip.
ABC News reports that on June 22, rescue teams discovered parts of the Titan, including its tail cone, about 1,600 feet from the Titanic’s bow, using robotic explorers The U.S. Coast Guard reported recovering “presumed human remains” from the Titan, though testing is still underway.
Rush co-founded the company in 2009 with businessman Guillermo Söhnlein; the latter left the company in 2013. They promised consumers an opportunity to explore rarely seen parts of the ocean floor. The company had conducted more than 200 dives around the world, according to ABC News.
A Rolling Stone report suggested that the company allegedly flouted regulations, rejecting government oversight due to Rush’s concern that it curbed innovation. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has said it would launch an investigation into the implosion if “the circumstances indicate criminal, federal or provincial laws may possibly have been broken.”
Meanwhile, despite announcing the suspension of operations, the OceanGate website bears an ad to “Join a Titanic Expedition” with the asterisk “Limited space available.” The company did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.