The Titan, a crewed submersible operated by OceanGate Expeditions, went missing on June 18, 2023, while on a mission to the wreck of the RMS Titanic. The cause of the disappearance is still under investigation, but it is believed that the submersible may have imploded due to the extreme pressure at the Titanic’s resting depth. The submarine was carrying five people, and all five were presumed dead.
Who were the five people that were killed with the implosion of Titan?
A 22 June statement from OceanGate confirmed the death of the five passengers aboard the Titan, namely Stockton Rush, Hamish Harding, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Shahzada Dawood and his Suleman Dawood. Here’s what we know about them:
Passenger #1 : Stockton Rush
OceanGate’s CEO Stockton Rush, a lifelong explorer who dreamed of becoming the first person on Mars, was aboard the submersible that went missing on June 18, 2023. Rush, 61, founded the research company in 2009 in Everett, Washington, and had a long history of leading expeditions to see the wreck of the Titanic. Another surprising connection between Rush and the Titanic was that his wife, Wendy Rush, was the great-great-granddaughter of a couple who died on the ship 111 years earlier, Ida and Isidor Straus.
Passenger #2 : Hamish Harding
British billionaire Hamish Harding, who had previously traveled to the deepest part of the ocean and circumnavigated the Earth by plane, was also on the mission to the Titanic wreck a few days ago. He believed that the mission was likely to be the only manned mission to the Titanic in 2023, and said he was making this dive because a weather window had opened up. He announced his involvement in the expedition via Instagram a day before the submersible took off, with the caption: “I am proud to finally announce that I joined @oceangateexped for their RMS TITANIC Mission as a mission specialist on the sub going down to the Titanic.” He had also recently made a trip to space on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin New Shephard rocket.
Passenger #3 & 4: Shahzada & Suleman Dawood
Shahzada Dawood, one of the wealthiest businessmen of Pakistan and vice chairman of Engro Corporation, and his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood were among the five people who passed away while touring the remains of the Titanic in OceanGates submersible. Shahzada’s sister Azmeh Dawood described the experience as “like being caught in a really bad film, with a countdown, but you didn’t know what you’re counting down to.” She said it was “crippling” to think about her nephew Suleman, who was reportedly terrified to go on the excursion but did it in an attempt to spend some time with his father on Father’s Day. The Dawood Foundation mourned their deaths in a statement, saying, “Our beloved sons were aboard OceanGate’s Titan submersible that perished underwater. Please continue to keep the departed souls and our family in your prayers during this difficult period of mourning.”
Passenger #5 : Paul-Henri Nargeolet
Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a 71-year-old maritime expert and Titanic specialist, was also on board the Titan. He had extensive experience with the Titanic, having traveled to the wreckage 35 times and served as the director of RMS Titanic, Inc., a company that researches, salvages, and displays artifacts from the famed ship. Nargeolet was a member of The Explorers Club, founded in 1904, along with fellow passenger Hamish Harding. His death has come as a heavy blow to the field of Titanic research.