What happened to the Titanic submarine that visited the wreck of the Titanic?

What happened to the Titanic submarine that visited the wreck of the Titanic?

The founder of the Titan submarine, a billionaire, a Guinness World Record holder, a father and his son, along with five passengers who went to see the Titanic wreckage, are sure to know that the small-sized submarine Titan has already disappeared to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Before talking a little deeper about this incident, let's look at this small submarine.

Image Source - BBC
Image Source - BBC

Carbon fiber and titanium metal have been used as materials to make this pressure vessel.

Its dimensions are 670cm x 280cm x 250cm (22ft x 9.2ft x 8.3ft high) and its weight is 10,432 kg or about 23,000 pounds.

The maximum depth it can travel is considered to be 4,000 meters or 13,123 feet.

The maximum payload that can be carried here is 685 Kg or 1,510 lbs and the capacity is about 5 people (1 pilot + 4 crew).

If you take the Life Support, it contains a supply of Oxygen required for a period of 96 hours for five adults. But this can change under the environmental conditions at a depth of about 13,000 feet.

Image Source - BBC
Image Source - BBC

Four Innerspace 1002 Electric Thrusters are used as the Propulsion System here.

If we talk about the integrated technology of this submarine, it is equipped with Sub C Imaging 4k Rayfin camera, Teledyne 2D sonar, 40,000 lumens of external light, 2G Robotics laser scanner, INS/USBL and Real Time Hull Health Monitoring System.

Something special needs to be said about this Real Time Hull Health Monitoring System. That is the pressure at the depth of 4,000 meters, or 13,123 feet, where the wreckage of the Titanic is buried. At this depth, the pressure is more than 400 times the normal atmospheric pressure. That means the pressure at this depth is 6000 PSI, or 413.685 bars. This pressure can be simply expressed as if 35 well-grown elephants are on your body at the same time.

The percentage of damage to the submarine's hull at such a high pressure is very high. The Real Time Hull Health Monitoring System is there to monitor the damage that can be caused by pressure as large as 6000 PSI. The smallest damage on the hull of the submarine can be detected by this, and once it is detected, the submarine can be stopped from submerging immediately.

I hope that all of you will get some understanding about the technical side of this submarine. Now let's talk about our main topic.

On June 18, 2023, the submarine Titan, owned by OceanGate Expeditions, took five passengers to the bottom of the sea to explore the wreckage of the sunken Titanic. 1 hour and 45 minutes after the submarine entered the water, their contact with the ship's crew on the surface was completely lost. From then until now, what happened to the passengers on this submarine and whether they are still alive is still a question for the whole world.

There are several reasons for suspecting this accident.

Battery or equipment failure

Usually, when we get a military-level submarine, we can see that it has a nuclear reactor to supply power. But this Titan submarine is powered by several small battery packs. All the power required to work the Heating system, Communications, Lights, Propulsion system and Navigating system is supplied through this Battery Pack.

But if there is a catastrophic failure, the control of this submarine is lost from the pilot and this submarine sinks to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. According to experts, since the heating system is not working, it can be shown that the on board crew can die faster than dying due to oxygen loss due to the extreme cold in such deep water.

Trapped in fishing net

Fishing nets used in the fishing industry are the most common thing that can be seen at the bottom of the sea. If a small submarine like this gets entangled in a fishing net like this, it is very difficult to recover. In 2005, a small Russian submarine got stuck in a propeller fishing net and stuck on the seabed due to a failure in the propulsion system. Later, after cutting the net by a British underwater drone, he recovered this small submarine.

But this Sub was stuck at a depth of very few feet. But this Titan submarine we are talking about is stuck at a depth of more than 13,000 feet. Reaching such a depth is an extremely difficult task. However, in order to reach it, you must first find the location of this submarine. But even if the location is found using Sonar 2076, the best sonar in the world, this submarine has to come to the surface of the sea.

Because with the pressure at this depth, transferring the crew to another submarine is not as practical as you might think.

Haull Failure

Although the pressure is constantly monitored by the Real Time Hull Health Monitoring System, some people suspect that the pressure at a depth of 13,000 feet broke the wall of the hull, killing the crew and sinking the sub to the seabed.

But we have to exclude this opinion somehow. The reason for that is because a Canadian P-3 Air craft has detected an underwater noise. According to them, it is possible to consider this as a sound made by the Crew of the Sub.

Image Source - BBC
Image Source - BBC


Now you can imagine how an overhead plane would pick up the sounds of the sea. Two similar methods are used for this work.

Passive detection
Active detection
Passive detection works by dropping a sonobuoy into the sea by an aircraft flying over the sea. Like a buoy, it consists of antennas that float on the surface of the sea and several parts towards the seabed. Then they get Propellers, Machinery and all other types of sounds coming from the seabed.

In Active Detection, the antenna part that floats on the sea surface is also composed of a canopy-like part that extends to the sea floor. All the data obtained by this is given to the detected vessel. I will bring a complete description about these in a separate article.

On board fire

Due to the fact that some of the parts used to make this submarine are home made, there has been a problem with their safety and quality. Some people suspect that a fire broke out in the submarine due to some failure in the electrical system and the crew died.

But we have to exclude this opinion in some way. As before, a Canadian P-3 Air craft has detected underwater noise. If the crew burns to death due to an on board fire, there is no possibility of silence.

Image Source - BBC


An average person needs 660 liters of oxygen per day. For the five people here, approximately 3300 liters of oxygen are required per day. Also, at the time of the launch of this submarine, it is stated that there was enough oxygen for 96 hours and you must have understood that oxygen is left for a very limited number of hours at this time. So now you can understand that the chance of surviving here is less than 1% with the remaining oxygen level.

However, if the Titan submarine and the five people can be saved, it is certain that this will be one of the best rescue operations in the world. We can also hope that another great film written under the title of Ocean disaster like Titanic in the history of cinema will definitely be born.

Finally, I have to say 1% Chance, 99% Faith.

Source:bbc.com