Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Chilling log from Titan sub was ‘entirely fictional’

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The vessel made global headlines in June last year when it disappeared during an expedition to the Titanic wreck (Picture: Oceangate Expeditions)

A communications log purportedly detailing the final exchanges between the doomed Titan submersible and its mothership have been declared fake by investigators.

The vessel made global headlines in June last year when it disappeared during an expedition to the Titanic wreck at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Rescuers launched a desperate search operation to try and save the five voyagers – Stockton Rush, UK billionaire Hamish Harding, French explorer Paul Henry Nargeolet, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, Suleman – before their 96-hour oxygen supply ran out.

But hopes of a miraculous survival were dashed when the US Coast Guard confirmed the OceanGate sub had imploded shortly after beginning its descent.

The so-called transcript emerged soon after and quickly went viral as it purported to lay out the passengers’ final moments as they realised the peril they were in.

According to the log, featuring a minute-by-minute description of events on board and rich in technical detail, cracking noises could be heard and alarms blared before contact was cut off.

The around-the-clock search for the missing Titan submersible engrossed the world for days (Picture: Oceangate Expeditions)
The Titan had been chronicling the Titanic’s decay and the underwater ecosystem around the sunken ocean liner in yearly voyages since 2021 (Picture: Getty Images)
Titan submersible passengers (left to right, top to bottom) Hamish Harding, Stockton Rush, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Suleman Dawood and his father Shahzada Dawood (Picture: Dirty Dozen Productions/OceanGat/AFP via Getty Images)

Now, almost a year after the Titan vanished last June 18, the head of the US federal investigations team looking into the disaster has said the entire thing is bogus.

Captain Jason D Neubauer told the New York Times.: ‘I’m confident it’s a false transcript. It was made up.’

By whom currently remains a mystery.

The genuine communications log between the Titan and its control ship on the surface are in his team’s possession but have not been released.

Capt Neubauer said they have ‘found no evidence’ the five voyagers had any awareness of the imminent catastrophic implosion.

He added that he hopes the truth of the transcript, which was viewed millions of times, will console relatives of the men worried their last moments would have been spent in absolute anguish.

He said: ‘It doesn’t make it any less painful. But it can help.’

Debris from the Titan submersible, recovered from the ocean floor near the wreck of the Titanic, is unloaded from the ship Horizon Arctic (Picture: Paul Daly/The Canadian Press via ZUMA Press)

The inquiry began on June 23 last year and despite calls for it to be finished within a year, Capt Neubauer said that deadline may be pushed back due to the complexity of the investigation.

It comes after acclaimed filmmaker and Titanic expert James Cameron revealed his offer to assist with the inquest has fallen on deaf ears.

In an interview with 60 Minutes, he said of the investigation team: ‘I think they want to do things their way.

‘Frankly, I think they’ve kind of got egg on their face and they don’t want outside opinions. That’s just my interpretation.’

Cameron has been down to the famous shipwreck more than 30 times and designed and piloted a sub down to the deepest known point on Earth.

He said: ‘They should be inviting me but they’re not. Why listen to a scientist?’

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