On Thursday afternoon, it was revealed that the debris field found earlier in the day contained pieces of OceanGate's Titan submersible that had been lost at sea since Sunday, when the submersible lost contact with the ship it was traveling with. The US Coast Guard revealed in a press conference that the passengers on board are dead as a result of an implosion.
The five people who were on board the submersible, attempting to visit the site of the famed Titanic shipwreck, are OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzda Dawood, his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
According to CBS, Shahaza Dawood, 48, was a Pakistani billionaire and a resident of the UK with his wife and two children. He was the vice chairman of an investment holdings company, Dawood Hercules, which is part of a family group of businesses. He was also heir to one of Pakistan's largest family fortunes.
His son Suleman, 19, was a science fiction fan and had just completed his first year at Strathclyde University's business school in Glasgow, Scotland.
Hamish Harding, 58, was the chairman of Action Aviation, a company that sells aircraft to wealthy people. He was also a thrill seeker holding several world records and was one of six passengers on Jeff Bazos Blue Origins, a mission flying to the edge of space last year.
"The only problem is that there is no other sub that is capable of going down there to rescue you," he said of underwater exploration two years ago. "Four days of supply doesn't make a difference really. If something goes wrong, you are not coming back."
Titanic expert Paul-Henri Norgeolet was also on board the craft. He was the director of underwater research for the RMS Titanic. He led six expeditions to the Titanic wreckage but had completed 37 total dives throughout his career.
After retiring from the French Navy in 1986 Norgeolet oversaw two deep-sea submersibles at the French Institute for Research and Exploitation of the Sea and led the first recovery dive to the Titanic in 1987, according to NPR.
The OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush founded the company in 2009 and oversaw the development of the submersible craft. He held a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering From Princeton and a master's in business from UC Berkeley.
According to Reuters, Rush was married to the company's communications director Wendy, who is a descendant of two of the wealthiest people that were killed on the Titanic's maiden voyage. Her great-great-grandfather Isidor Straus was the co-owner of Macy's department store, along with his wife Ida were shown in the blockbuster movie "Titanic."
On Thursday, US Coast Guard officials found debris from the submersible about 1600 feet from the bow of the Titanic, along the ocean floor. A spokesperson said, "A Remote Operating Vehicle discovered the debris on Thursday morning. In consultation with experts from within the unified command, the debris is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber."
In a statement, OceanGate said, "We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost."
"These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans," it continued. "Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.”
The craft went missing on Sunday when it lost contact with its ship. It was originally reported that the submersible had a 96-hour supply of oxygen. The length of time the craft was in the water before the catastrophic implosion is still unknown.
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