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Titanic sub deaths: Navy captain reveals what could have caused Titan submersible to implode | World News

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A former Royal Navy submarine captain has explained the possible reasons for the “catastrophic implosion” suffered by the Titan submersible on its descent to the wreck of the Titanic.

All five people on board are now believed to have lost their lives in the catastrophe after debris from the vessel was discovered on Thursday.

Former captain Ryan Ramsey told Sky News that disregarding standard ways of building submersibles “in pursuit of innovation” in the case of Titan has huge risks, and in this case saw the deaths of five people.

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Image:
(Clockwise from top left) Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Stockton Rush, Hamish Harding, Suleman Dawood and Shahzada Dawood

He believes that one of two things happened:

• The hatch with bolts used to seal the crew in from the outside suffered a failure that caused the hull to collapse

• The pressure hull itself had a defect that fractured from the pressure and caused the same result

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Asked if the “unusual” design of the Titan was reckless, Mr Ramsey told Sky News: “I wouldn’t go so far as to say reckless.

“I would say disregarding standard ways of building these types of submersible in pursuit of innovation has huge elements of risk and in this case that risk has been realised in the loss of people’s lives.”

Mr Ramsey, who captained nuclear attack submarine HMS Turbulent, said that the industry will likely tighten regulation and close the possible “loophole” that existed in the case of Titan.

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When asked about the safety of the sub, Mr Ramsey said that lessons needed to be learned, and that questions remained.

“I think for what’s happened here hopefully they will recover some parts of the hull and they will be able to work out whether it was the pressure vessel that likely imploded or whether it was the hatch and they will learn lessons from that,” he said.

OceanGate, which owned the Titan submersible, said that those on board were “true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans”.

End of ‘extreme tourism’?

But Mr Ramsey predicted that this form of “extreme tourism” would likely be reined in – and he issued a warning.

“All maritime activity has risks because the sea is unpredictable,” he said.

“Submarines operate in somewhere less explored than space in something more complex than a spacecraft.”

Mr Ramsey also expressed his condolences to the families of the five men who died this week, and said visits to the wreck should stop.

“It’s a grave after all and it should be just left alone.”



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