A New Theory on the Titan Submarine Disaster
Last month's catastrophe involving the Titan submarine has sparked a new theory. Experts suggest that there may have been issues even before the descent to the Titanic wreck commenced.
The Titan's Unique Design
Stockton Rush, the CEO of Titan parent company OceanGate, was a visionary. He abandoned the 'standard model' of deep-sea submarines, giving the Titan a unique design that he believed would set a new industry standard. His modifications also made expeditions to the Titanic wreck more profitable, a welcome side effect.
The Cost of Cutting Corners
However, these cost-cutting measures may have cost him and four other occupants their lives last month, according to technical experts in an article in The New York Times. To support their arguments, the experts compare the Titan to the Alvin, a U.S. government research submarine that has completed more than 4,500 safe deep-sea dives since 1973. The two submarines have significant design and protocol differences.
For instance, the Alvin was designed as a sphere with a full titanium hull, while the Titan had a larger, cylindrical cabin made of much lighter carbon fiber — an innovation initially praised. More problematic, say the experts, was how the Titan was transported to the dive site. "While the Alvin was simply transported on the deck of the mothership, the Titan was towed on a small dive platform over the rough waters of the North Atlantic Ocean," they noted. This could have caused damage to the submarine before it even submerged.
The Tragic Outcome
On the morning of June 18, the Titan began a new descent towards the Titanic wreck, almost 4,000 meters underwater. Shortly after, the mothership lost all communication with the submarine, sparking a days-long, internationally followed search. It was later revealed that the Titan had imploded, killing all five occupants: Rush (61), British adventurer Hamish Harding (58), Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood (48) and his son Suleman (19), and French captain Paul-Henry Nargeolet (77).