How the agonising modern-day Titanic disaster unfolded hour by hour as the world watched: From the moment the Titan sub vanished to race to launch a rescue mission and tragic discovery of wreckage on the ocean floor

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On June 18, 2023, a mini submersible trade named Titan went missing while attempting a two-and-a-half mile dive to nan wreck of nan Titanic. 

With only 96 hours of oxygen it became a title against clip to prevention nan 5 group connected board.

For 4 days, nan eyes of nan world were focused connected nan hopeless rescue attempt.

Millions hoped and prayed that nan infamous Titanic had not claimed yet much victims.

Read connected for an hr by hr breakdown of really nan calamity unfolded:

Friday, June 16, 2023

One 100 and eleven years aft nan nonaccomplishment of nan Titanic, a erstwhile Canadian Coast Guard ice-breaker, nan MV Polar Prince, sails from nan larboard of St John's, Newfoundland. Resting connected a level connected its platform is simply a 22-foot-long submersible called Titan owned by American institution OceanGate Inc, which operates subs for charter and technological exploration.

It is nan commencement of a nine-day expedition – 2 days voyage to nan Titanic wreck site, 5 days diving and past 2 days sailing backmost to St John's. So acold successful 2023 location person been 4 voyages to nan site, but each clip nan upwind was excessively mediocre for nan submersible to dive.

Titan tin return 5 people: a pilot, a Titanic guideline and 3 passengers who person each paid $250,000 to spot nan wreck. Initially, nan value had been group astatine $105,129, nan inflation-adjusted value of a first-class summons connected nan Titanic.

Titan tin return 5 people: a pilot, a Titanic guideline and 3 passengers who person each paid $250,000 to spot nan wreck. Pictured is nan OceanGate vessel 

Saturday, June 17

7am

The upwind during nan voyage truthful acold has been mediocre but tomorrow conditions are group to improve, making a dive successful Titan possible. There is simply a briefing connected committee nan Polar Prince for nan unit and nan paying passengers, who OceanGate for illustration to telephone 'mission specialists'.

British-Pakistani millionaire businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his boy Suleman, 19, a student astatine nan University of Strathclyde, dream to beryllium diving successful Titan. Staying connected committee nan Polar Prince are Shahzada's woman Christine and their 17-year-old girl Alina.

Also diving successful Titan is British aviation tycoon and begetter of two, Hamish Harding, 58, who relishes daredevil adventures – successful June 2022 he flew into abstraction successful Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin rocket.

Reflecting connected his occurrence successful business to a journalist, Harding said: 'I judge you make your ain luck successful life. You create nan situation astir you, wherever luck comes aliases doesn't come, based connected your decisions, your anticipation of things going wrong, and taking steps earlier they spell wrong.'

Titan's on-board guideline will beryllium French Titanic master Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, who has dived to nan wreck 37 times.

Five group were onboard, including British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding and Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old boy Suleman

French Navy seasoned PH Nargeolet (left) was successful nan sub on pinch Stockton Rush (right), CEO of nan OceanGate Expedition

Midday

While nan remainder of Polar Prince's unit tuck into a regular lunch, Titan's passengers are connected a 24-hour fare which forbids high-fibre foods specified arsenic vegetables, nuts and full atom cereals. This is to trim nan number of toilet trips during nan dive.

The only accommodation disposable successful Titan are a vessel to urinate successful and a sealed container for excrement. To lessen immoderate embarrassment, nan aviator draws a achromatic curtain crossed and turns up euphony connected a Bluetooth speaker.

The aviator tomorrow will beryllium 61-year-old American Stockton Rush who founded OceanGate successful 2009. Rush is simply a erstwhile combatant pitchy flight-test technologist and was for a while a keen scuba diver.

He told nan Smithsonian Magazine successful 2019: 'I loved what I saw, but I thought, there's gotta beryllium a amended way. And being successful a sub, and being bully and cozy, and having a basking cocoa pinch you, thumps nan heck retired of freezing and going done a two-hour decompression.'

Titan is Rush's latest submersible, and it is simply a record-breaker: nan first privately owned sub pinch a unit to dive to 13,000 feet.

Stockton Rush, nan CEO of OceanGate, was 1 of nan 5 men who died during Titan's ill-fated travel to nan Titanic's wreckage. His maverick attack to invention earned him comparisons pinch visionaries for illustration Elon Musk but caused interest among peers successful nan industry

The wreckage of nan RMS Titanic connected nan furniture of nan Atlantic Ocean

7pm

Titan's passengers combine for nan last briefing of nan day. Each of nan fee-paying passengers has signed a grimly phrased waiver which says: 'Release of Liability. This cognition will beryllium conducted wrong an experimental submersible alloy that has not been approved aliases certified by immoderate regulatory assemblage and whitethorn beryllium constructed of materials that person not been wide utilized successful human-occupied submersibles. Travel successful and astir nan alloy could consequence successful beingness injury, disability, affectional trauma, aliases death. The support alloy could expose maine to spot damage, injury, disability, aliases death. Assisting successful nan cognition of nan sub could lead to spot injury, disability, aliases death.'

In 2018, a group of 38 master oceanographers had sent a missive to Rush expressing 'unanimous concern' astir Titan, saying that OceanGate's trading had been 'at minimum misleading' because nan institution claimed its sub met nan information standards of an extracurricular agency – yet had nary plans to person it certified.

Stockton Rush believes that information regulations are excessively time-consuming: 'Bringing an extracurricular entity up to velocity connected each invention earlier it is put into real-world testing is anathema to accelerated innovation.' He told 1 critic: 'Keep your opinions to yourself.'

For years, a number of reddish flags complete nan information of nan Titan submersible had been raised - but were ignored by OceanGate leader Stockton Rush

8pm

MV Polar Prince has arrived astatine nan wreck site, 400 miles from nan nearest land. The Titanic is 12,500 feet beneath nan ship.

Passenger Hamish Harding posts connected Facebook: 'Due to nan worst wintertime successful Newfoundland successful 40 years, this ngo is apt to beryllium nan first and only parented ngo to nan Titanic successful 2023.

'A upwind model has conscionable opened up and we are going to effort a dive tomorrow. More expedition updates to travel IF nan upwind holds!'

Sunday, June 18

5am

Titan's passengers combine connected platform for a last-minute briefing watched by Christine Dawood. She told nan New York Times: 'It was for illustration a well-oiled cognition – you could spot they had done this earlier galore times.'

Yet erstwhile dives person been dogged by problems. During a trial dive successful 2018 Stockton Rush was unsocial successful Titan astatine 10,000 feet erstwhile he abruptly mislaid interaction pinch nan support ship. Communication was only established aft an hour.

Then successful May 2021, disconnected nan seashore of nan United States, Titan was heavy underwater erstwhile it mislaid propulsion for complete 3 hours.

Actor and TV presenter Ross Kemp had planned to dive to nan Titanic successful Titan arsenic portion of a documentary, but nan accumulation institution examined OceanGate's way grounds and decided that it was excessively vulnerable arsenic nan sub was 'not fresh for purpose'.

A position of nan Horizon Arctic ship, arsenic salvaged pieces of nan Titan submersible from OceanGate

7.30am

OceanGate person a argumentation that if location are 3 faults successful Titan, nevertheless small, nan dive is cancelled. This greeting nan sub passes that test, truthful nan descent to Titanic is on.

The 5 owed to recreation are kitted retired successful waterproof cogwheel and helmets successful readiness for nan speedboat travel retired to Titan. Shahzada jokes to his woman Christine, 'I'm looking rather fat,' and says that he is 'boiling up already'.

Christine recalled their past moments together: 'we conscionable hugged and joked really because Shahzada was truthful excited to spell down. He was for illustration a small child.'

Christine had primitively planned to dive successful Titan pinch her husband, but arsenic their boy Suleman was truthful keen, she fto him return her place.

8.30am

OceanGate speedboats commencement to slow propulsion nan level holding Titan down a ramp astatine nan stern of Polar Prince and into nan sea. The sun is sparkling and nan Atlantic is calm – everything is looking bully for a successful dive.

The 5 passengers past commencement to climb down a ladder to committee nan speedboat that will return them to nan platform, which is now bobbing successful nan ocean.

Shahzada looks unsteady connected nan ladder because of his dense boots and Christine said later: 'Alina and I were like: 'Oh God, I dream that he doesn't autumn into nan water.'

9am

Titan's rear hatch is opened, and nan passengers return disconnected their helmets and boots and clamber in. They've been told to deterioration heavy socks and a beanie chapeau arsenic nan h2o is highly acold astatine Titanic depth.

Each is wearing a garment embroidered pinch their sanction and a spot connected nan sleeve that sounds 'Titanic Survey Exploration Crew'.

Rush takes his spot astatine nan rear of nan sub and nan remainder beryllium connected a achromatic rubber mat connected nan floor, which Rush bought second-hand from a welding company. The unit extracurricular adjacent nan hatch and past seal it unopen pinch 17 bolts.

The OceanGate Expeditions submersible was steered by a video games controller

In beforehand of Rush are a brace of touch screens which show Titan's depth, oxygen proviso and artillery life. Rush picks up a modified $30 video-game controller which runs everything from nan electrical thrusters to nan ballast.

On a erstwhile dive he told CBS News: 'On 1 of our earlier subs, we developed a controller and it was $10,000, and it was large and bulky. But this point is made for a 16-year-old to propulsion it around, and we support a mates of spares. The neat point is it's Bluetooth; I tin manus it to anyone.'

9.15am

Christine and Alina watch from nan platform of nan Polar Prince arsenic nan speedboat crews detach nan tow cables and fto aerial retired of nan level which slow starts to sink.

The Dawood family almost didn't make nan travel arsenic their scheduled formation to St John's had been cancelled and its replacement delayed. Christine said later: 'We were really rather worried, like, ohio my God, what if they cancel that formation arsenic well? In hindsight, obviously, I wish they did.'

9.30am

OceanGate divers detach Titan from nan level and aviator Stockton Rush moves it into clear h2o utilizing nan sub's 4 electrical thrusters, to statesman their descent. It will return Titan conscionable complete 2 hours to scope nan Titanic, and location is capable oxygen connected committee to past 4 days.

The 4 passengers person assurance successful Rush arsenic he has made complete 20 dives to nan Titanic successful Titan and has assured them that OceanGate worked pinch Boeing and NASA connected nan vessel's design. Boeing said later that they were 'not a partner connected Titan and did not creation aliases build it.' NASA stated they didn't behaviour immoderate tests and had thing to do pinch nan sub's manufacture.

9.35am

The oversea turns from bluish to acheronian bluish arsenic nan Titan descends astatine a complaint of astir 80 feet a minute. The passengers return turns to look done a plexiglass viewport 7 inches heavy and 21 inches crossed astatine nan beforehand of Titan.

They person loaded their favourite songs onto their phones truthful that they tin beryllium played connected Titan's Bluetooth speaker. Rush has jokingly stipulated: 'No state music!'

Suleman Dawood was conscionable 19 erstwhile he went connected nan travel pinch his begetter to spot nan Titanic 

Suleman Dawood has a Rubik's cube which he takes everyplace and tin lick successful conscionable 12 seconds. He wants to break nan world grounds by solving nan puzzle 12,500 feet beneath nan waves.

His begetter Shahzada has brought a Nikon camera to seizure pictures of nan Titanic. He's been obsessed pinch nan vessel since puerility erstwhile he would watch nan 1958 Titanic movie 'A Night To Remember' aggregate times. Today is Father's Day which makes nan dive particularly important for Shahzada and Suleman.

9.45am

Every 15 minutes Titan contacts nan Polar Prince utilizing short, coded messages and truthful acold nan sub is making bully progress.

When they scope nan seabed, Titan will walk astir 3 hours exploring nan wreck, truthful location will beryllium plentifulness of clip for Titanic master Paul-Henri Nargeolet to stock his expertise. Previous passengers person wept erstwhile they've seen Titanic for nan first clip and person been stunned astatine nan ship's size.

Sidonie Nargeolet withher begetter Paul Henri-Nargeolet, who was onboard nan Titan

Last nighttime Nargeolet told nan Dawood family astir nan clip he was stuck astatine nan bottommost of nan water successful Titan incapable to pass pinch nan aboveground vessel.

Christine recalled that Shahzada was 'lapping everything up'. 'He had this large glow connected his look talking astir each this nerdy stuff.'

10am

By now Titan has reached a extent of 3,200 feet and each that nan passengers tin spot done nan plexiglass viewhole is transportation achromatic water.

The exterior lights of nan sub person been switched disconnected to prevention powerfulness and nan only ray wrong comes from nan glow from Rush's machine screens.

He is peculiarly keen to research nan debris section betwixt nan 2 sections of nan Titanic wherever passengers' individual effects specified arsenic suitcases and vino bottles tin beryllium seen.

Up successful nan power room of nan Polar Prince, screens show some nan location of nan sub and nan wreck.

Titan has nary navigation instrumentality truthful guiding Stockton Rush via regular messages is his wife, Wendy. She shares Rush's fascination pinch nan Titanic arsenic she is nan great-great-granddaughter of Isidor and Ida Strauss who successful 1912 owned Macy's section shop and sailed connected nan vessel successful first-class.

As nan liner sank beneath them Ida refused a spot successful a lifeboat, preferring to enactment connected nan Titanic pinch her husband, saying, 'We person been together each these years. Where you go, I go.'

The submersible alloy named Titan utilized to sojourn nan wreckage tract of nan Titanic

11am

Titan reaches a extent of 10,000 feet which intends nan wreck of nan Titanic is astir 2,600 feet beneath them. The outer h2o unit is now, successful nan words of 1 of OceanGate's team, 'like having an craft bearer sitting connected apical of nan sub'.

A sphere is nan astir effective style astatine displacing that pressure, arsenic is nan creation of astir heavy oversea submersibles, but to accommodate much passengers, Titan is simply a pill-shaped cylinder.

Also, nan hull of nan Titan is made of c fibre and titanium, while astir of its rivals are alloy and titanium. Rush explained successful 2022 that c fibre is 'better than a batch of different materials. But you tin person a catastrophic nonaccomplishment wherever you tin person imperfections successful nan structure. And truthful you really person to watch really you make it.'

As a precaution, Oceangate has developed what they telephone 'a real-time hull wellness monitoring (RTM) system' to springiness beforehand informing that nan hull is cracking.

The OceanGate website reassures prospective passengers that nan strategy 'provides early informing discovery for nan aviator pinch capable clip to apprehension nan descent and safely return to surface'.

When Titan was first launched, Stockton Rush claimed: 'We cognize much astir what's happening to this hull than anyone has ever known'.

11.15am

Titan implodes. Everyone connected committee is killed successful little than 20 milliseconds – excessively speedy for them to cognize what is happening. Wreckage and quality remains autumn slow to nan seabed, ending up conscionable 1,600 feet from nan front of nan Titanic.

Debris from nan Titan submersible, recovered from nan water level adjacent nan wreck of nan Titanic, is unloaded from nan vessel Horizon Arctic astatine nan Canadian Coast Guard pier

11.30am

On nan Polar Prince, Christine Dawood is beneath platform chatting pinch nan unit erstwhile personification approaches her and says: 'We mislaid comms.'

Christine said later: 'That will beryllium a condemnation I ne'er want to perceive successful my life again.'

As she doesn't afloat understand what nonaccomplishment of connection means, Christine goes to nan span to find retired more.

She is told not to interest and that connection pinch Titan is often intermittent and that if nan breakdown lasts much than an hour, Titan will simply travel backmost to nan surface.

The Titan suffered a deadly implosion that killed 5 group past year

4.30pm

This is nan clip Titan was owed to resurface, but location is still nary motion of nan submersible, nor immoderate connection from Rush.

Christine and her girl Alina are perpetually scanning nan water hoping to spot Titan appear. Christine said later that Alina was particularly optimistic arsenic she trusted successful nan subject that built nan sub, 'just for illustration erstwhile you committee a level you judge that nan mechanics, that nan engineering works. And truthful she didn't suffer hope.'

7.10pm

Eight hours aft losing interaction pinch Titan, OceanGate informs nan United States Coast Guard that nan submersible and its 5 passengers are missing.

Together pinch nan Canadian Coast Guard their vessels statesman to hunt an area of much than 7,600 quadrate miles of unfastened seas. A US Coast Guard spokesperson is optimistic nan 5 passengers are alive: 'This is simply a hunt and rescue ngo – 100 per cent.'

One hr and 45 minutes into nan dive successful nan North Atlantic, disconnected nan seashore of Newfoundland, nan Titan mislaid connection pinch its support ship, nan Polar Prince

Monday, June 19

Social media users crossed nan world are obsessed pinch nan plight of nan Titan, immoderate mocking nan sub's video-game controller and others its able passengers. Scores of TV crews and reporters person descended connected St John's.

Titanic head James Cameron hears from friends successful nan world of deep-sea exploration that a large detonation was detected conscionable earlier Titan was reported missing. He emails colleagues: 'We've mislaid immoderate friends. It's connected nan bottommost successful pieces correct now.'

Meanwhile ships and planes proceed nan search, immoderate dropping sonar buoys that tin show to a extent of 13,000 feet.

Tuesday, June 20

Underwater banging sounds astatine 30-minute intervals are detected by Canadian aircraft. The Explorers Club which is dedicated to technological exploration and has Hamish Harding arsenic a personnel says: 'There is origin for hope. Likely signs of life person been detected astatine nan site.'

But galore are sceptical, including James Cameron who said later: 'They're proceeding thing tapping against a hull complete nan sound of 11 ships operating successful nan contiguous vicinity, moving elephantine pieces of platform instrumentality around? That's for illustration proceeding a sparrow fart complete nan cacophony of an airport.'

Thursday, June 22

A remotely operated conveyance finds debris from Titan connected nan seabed. OceanGate rumor a connection that confirms each 5 passengers had perished: 'Our hearts are pinch these 5 souls and each personnel of their families during this tragic time. We grieve nan nonaccomplishment of life and joyousness they brought to everyone they knew.'

The US Navy reason that nan underwater banging detected earlier successful nan week was water sounds aliases sound from different ships.

Aftermath

Experts judge that Titan's carbon-fibre hull was nan origin of nan implosion. Bart Kemper of nan Marine Technology Society, said: 'It's a creation that's not been utilized successful this measurement astatine this depth. All it has to do is neglect successful 1 spot – and crippled over.'

Stockton Rush was blamed for his recklessness moreover by his friends. Paul-Henri Nargeolet's girl Sidonie said: 'It's amended that he's nary longer around. It would person been hellhole for him to beryllium live pinch what happened.

In an question and reply fixed soon aft nan tragedy, a grieving Christine Dawood said that she and her girl Alina had promised each different that they would study really to lick nan Rubik's cube successful honour of their beloved Suleman.

Jonathan Mayo is nan writer of Titanic: Minute by Minute, published by Short Books astatine £10.99

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