According to the U.S. Coast Guard, Titan, a deep-sea submersible carrying a crew of five individuals on an expedition to the century-old wreck of the Titanic, was discovered in fragments on Thursday, following an implosion that resulted in the loss of all lives on board.
Amidst the uncertainty surrounding the cause of the implosion, experts have highlighted several concerning indications about the safety of the submersible before its ill-fated voyage. Here are five key mistakes that could have led to the Titanic submersible’s catastrophic implosion.
Titan was made out of carbon fiber.
The Telegraph reported that the Titan was made up of two titanium domes joined together by a five-inch-thick cylinder of carbon fiber. It was unsuitable for a deep-sea submersible, which usually uses a hull made of stronger materials like steel or titanium.
A carbon-fiber has “no strength in compression,” film director and deep-dive expert James Cameron, who visited the Titanic shipwreck a dozen times and designed vessels for his explorations, told The New York Times.
According to a court filing, OceanGate had been warned about the safety risks associated with using carbon fiber. Former OceanGate employee David Lochridge also raised many concerns about the hull, Insider reported.
Early warnings about the monitoring system were ignored.
OceanGate promoted the advancement of its sophisticated acoustic monitoring system, which aimed to provide timely alerts in the event of a hull failure and allow for appropriate action to be taken.
However, as outlined in Lochridge’s 2018 analysis, which was mentioned in the court filing, the detection system could have been more effective. It could only issue a warning several “milliseconds” ahead of a catastrophic implosion, rendering the system practically useless, Insider reported.
According to the court filing, OceanGate declined to follow Lochridge’s recommendation of “non-destructive testing” on the hull to ensure it was “a solid and safe product for the safety of the passengers and crew.”
OceanGate use loopholes to get past industry-standard safety testing.
There are indications that the vessel never passed strict industry-standard safety testing. In 2019, the company mentioned that the submersible did not need to undergo the safety testing.
According to a report by The Guardian, David Pogue, a journalist who boarded the Titan in 2022, signed a waiver stating, “This experimental vessel has not been approved or certified by any regulatory body.”
According to the court filing, Lochridge also reported that he found that the vessel’s front viewport was only certified to a depth of about 4,200 feet, far less than the depth of the Titanic.
“The paying passengers would not be aware, and would not be informed, of this experimental design,” the court filing said.
OceanGate staff raised safety fears but were ignored.
After Lochridge shared his safety concerns regarding the submersible, his situation took a negative turn. According to a lawsuit, just one day after submitting his safety report, Lochridge was abruptly terminated from his position and escorted out of the building, Insider reported. OceanGate claimed Lochridge had revealed trade secrets, committed fraud, and breached his contract — allegations that Lochridge denied.
There were safety incidents.
Based on court documents reviewed by the Times, a voyage aboard the Titan in 2021 was interrupted due to battery problems, which necessitated the manual attachment of the ship to its lifting platform.
Furthermore, Pogue, the journalist who joined the Titan in 2022, disclosed an incident during which the submersible remained lost for several hours.
“They could still send short texts to the Sub but did not know where it was,” Pogue said of the command ship’s crew. “It was quiet and very tense, and they shut off the ship’s internet to prevent us from tweeting.”
Pogue also mentioned that the submersible lacked an emergency location transmitter, which would emit signals that allow rescuers to find it.
Image and article originally from www.benzinga.com. Read the original article here.