Skip to content

These 5 People Died on Titanic Submersible After "Catastrophic Implosion"

There is uncertainty about the prospects of recovering the victims' bodies.

All five individuals aboard the missing submersible that was exploring the Titanic wreckage were presumed dead, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Debris from the submersible, including its tail cone, was discovered on the ocean floor near the Titanic site. Rear Admiral John Mauger expressed his condolences to the families during a news conference.

"The debris is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel," Admiral Mauger said. Rescuers faced a race against time to locate the submersible as it had a limited oxygen supply for only four days. Despite hopes of finding the Titan and its occupants alive, these hopes were shattered by the confirmation of their deaths. Admiral Mauger acknowledged the challenging conditions on the sea floor and expressed uncertainty about the prospects of recovering the victims' bodies.

The submersible industry leaders had previously warned about potential design problems and the lack of adherence to standard certification procedures by OceanGate Expeditions. The company has been offering tours of the Titanic wreck since 2021 at a high cost of up to $250,000 per person, promoting it as an exciting and unique travel experience in the high-risk travel industry. Here's who perished in the submersible.

Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate

OceanGate Expeditions/Facebook

Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate and one of the individuals on board the missing submersible in the North Atlantic, has been known for his passion for deep-sea exploration and disregard for regulations. Rush, often compared to Jacques Cousteau, expressed his belief that safety can sometimes be a waste and boasted about breaking rules in his career. He founded OceanGate in 2009 with the mission of increasing access to the deep ocean through innovation.

Despite concerns raised by employees about safety, Rush's eagerness to explore and innovate has often overshadowed regulatory considerations. His company, OceanGate, operates submersibles for research, film production, and exploration travel, including tours of the Titanic wreck site. 

Hamish Harding


Hamish Harding, an aviation tycoon and passionate explorer, was known for his ambitious expeditions, had set a Guinness World Record, and previously explored the depths of the ocean's Challenger Deep. Harding, a pilot licensed to fly both business jets and airliners, had a lifelong fascination with space and had even traveled to Antarctica with Buzz Aldrin.

He embarked on various record-setting ventures, including a circumnavigation of the world over the North and South Poles. Despite the risks involved in his explorations, Harding saw them as calculated and understood the potential dangers.

Paul-Henri Nargeolet


Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a French maritime expert who has participated in over 35 dives to the Titanic wreck site, is one of the five individuals aboard a missing submersible. He served as the director of underwater research for RMS Titanic, Inc., an American company that holds the salvage rights to the Titanic wreckage.

Nargeolet's extensive experience includes previous dives to the wreck site using the same submersible that is currently missing. His contributions have led to significant discoveries, such as identifying a diverse ecosystem near the Titanic. RMS Titanic, Inc. has not yet commented on the situation, but they expressed support for the search and rescue mission.

Nargeolet's lifelong dedication to the ocean began during his time in the French Navy, where he served as a mine-clearing diver, deep-sea diver, and submarine pilot. He first dived to the Titanic in 1987, and since then, he has been captivated by the ship's allure and has returned multiple times.

Shahzada Dawood and His Son Suleman


Shahzada Dawood, a British Pakistani businessman, and his son Suleman, 19, were the fourth and fifth passengers on the missing submersible. Described as having a passion for adventure and science, Shahzada Dawood is known for his love of travel and nature, often sharing pictures of his explorations. He is an avid fan of science fiction, particularly Star Trek and Star Wars.

Suleman Dawood, following in his father's footsteps, shared a similar interest in science fiction, enjoyed playing volleyball, and was skilled at solving Rubik's Cubes. Shahzada Dawood's social media profiles showcase his appreciation for the environment and his involvement with organizations like the SETI Institute. The Dawood family, currently in Canada, has refrained from commenting.

Criticism and Concerns


Rush has emphasized the significance of underwater exploration for the future of humanity, stating that the sea offers the best chance of survival if the Earth's surface becomes uninhabitable. However, his approach has faced criticism, with former employees raising concerns about safety and design issues. The vessel's reliance on unconventional components, such as a videogame controller for steering, has raised eyebrows.

Despite these controversies, extreme tourism remains a lucrative industry, attracting individuals willing to pay for unforgettable experiences. Rush shared his clients' desire for unique and remarkable adventures, driven by his fascination with the deep sea.

Christopher Roback
Christopher Roback is an experienced news journalist specializing in political, science, and crime news. Read more
Filed Under