Submiss alert near Titanic wreck site

This is sad, and not good. Probably the last people to see it in person, as I imagine these tours will be illegal going forward.

I wonder what caused the disappearance.

I sailed over the wreck last Summer, and all that was there was just a buoy. Still very somber.


An update from NYT from 2 hours ago:

The news of the missing submersible recalls an OceanGate trip last year that was the subject of a CBS story. During the trip, the CBS correspondent David Pogue reported that “communication somehow broke down”and that the submersible was briefly lost for a couple of hours.

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BBC News - Live coverage:


Prayers for their safe return.

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I have had some experience with the tourist submersibles used over in Hawaii. those had releasable ballast weights that would allow the sub to float to the surface in the event of issues. these were mechanical systems separate from the systems used to operate the sub.
it was reported that there is no escape from inside and that they are bolted down hatches that must be opened from the outside


Of course we all would like to see the safe return of these individuals, in fact Prayers are in order.

But, there’s more than a couple of questions which (IMHO) need to be answered. Questions like who Classes and Regulates these “semi-submersible tourist vehicles”? What Safety Management and Risk Analysis actions go hand in hand? Who licenses and certificate’s the “Pilots”?

Personally, I think that this type of “tourism” should be banned outright unless highly regulated. There are many coastal submersibles and semi-submersibles which are operated in various waters- successfully and generally without incident- but they are generally operating at water depths in less than 75 feet. A scientific mission is one thing, deep ocean tourism another.

God’s Speed for their safe return…


Submarine on expedition to Titanic wreck goes missing, “search and rescue operation” underway


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Does not look like good odds there…

“Most astonishingly, the craft is controlled by a generic video games controller – specifically a Logitech F710 Wireless PC Gamepad from 2011, according to gaming expert Matthew Ruddle – and, rather than using a GPS for navigation, it communicates with a tracking team on terra firma via text messages.”

Inside Titan: Titanic-spotting submarine steered by video game controller (

No GPS signals reach 3800 m. BSL. No VHF radio or cell phone signals either. No tethers.
The communication is with the support vessel on surface (via acoustics. or VLF radio waves (??))

The support vessel shown on the promotional video for Ocean Gate is the very large AHTS vessel Horizon Arctic, ex Bourbon Arctic:

ROV launch facilities (3000 m.BSL) Not stated if an ROV is on board. (??)
No AHC Crane able to reach 3800 mm. BSL on board.

PS> Not sure if that is still the same vessel. (??)

Save the astonishment for some really astonishing. What does it matter what kind of housing or form factor contains the motor control electronics used to control motor speed and thruster tilt? If you want dependable state of the art electronics, look to commercial and industrial sources that have a long mean time between failures and are easily obtained and affordable.

As one who spent 8 years driving manned deep diving submersibles down to 2000 meters I can tell you that 99 percent of the “news” and speculation about this submersible on the net today is at best, uninformed and mostly ignorant ramblings from people who know less than nothing about the vehicles or the industry.


What makes you think none of your questions have been answered years ago? Just because you have some kind of confrontational approach toward an industry about which you obviously have less than zero knowledge doesn’t mean the people involved in this operation are the equivalent of Gulf of Mexico cowboys. There is no operational difference between a tourist and a scientist, physics doesn’t have an opinion.

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Then state fact- who regulates the construction, survey and inspection of these deep sea submersibles? Confrontational approach? Definitely not. Who regulates and certifies the personnel responsible for the safe operations of these “vessels”?

Physics “opinion”? The safety of personnel aboard ANY vessel is a number one concern. You’ve missed the point entirely. Recently- there’s been an upswing in this type of extreme tourism- everything from ascents to Everest, Polar Tourism, Deep Sea Tourism. This upswing has been accompanied by catastrophic and near-catastrophic events; which plainly call for better regulation. And, mind you I am not in favor of over-regulation- just enough to preserve the sanctity of human life.

What are your qualifications in all this- what expert level have you reached?

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Eight years employment as a pilot, instructor, and tech rep by the manufacturer of the world’s deepest diving commercial manned submersibles operating in depths to 2000 meters worldwide in support of military, subsea cable, and oil exploration and inspection.

If you want to know the class status of OceanGates’ boats look here OceanGate | Blog | Why Isn't Titan Classed?

The construction and test standards that apply to the design and construction of manned submersibles are far greater than you realize or apparently willing to accept. The bottom line is if you are uncomfortable with the idea then don’t go for a dive. In the meantime try and refrain from painting the company, its personnel and the industry with the brush of your own insecurities.


Yeah, and the US Navy saved about $38,000 each by using video game controllers on the Virginia class subs… it’s less abnormal than one would realize.

What concerns me is that the hatch on this thing apparently bolts from the outside, so even if they got back to the surface, they could still run out of air if they’re not found soon.


That does seem a bit strange considering that once beneath just a few feet of water no human can exert enough force to open the hatch. On our shallow diving subs (<1000m) we simply used light weight clamps to secure the hatch.

There was probably some concern about the lack of freeboard and flooding through the hatch if it were opened after launch. It doesn’t make much sense to me given their launch and recovery method. Another thing is the interior usually gets miserably hot before closing the hatch. Launching into cold water actually creates a slight vacuum and unless air is bled into the cabin it is difficult if not impossible to open the hatch anyway. Maybe because of the carbon fiber hull material the hatch became a structural element that required solid fasteners for load carrying. I’m sure we will know eventually.

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Who on the sub do they want dead, probably the real question to ask :man_shrugging: “Tragic accident”.