ENVIRONMENT

‘Presumed human remains’ found in debris field of doomed Titan submersible, US Coast Guard says

Jun 28, 2023, 9:00 PM

Titan debris brought up from the ocean floor is unloaded Wednesday from the Horizon Arctic ship at ...

Titan debris brought up from the ocean floor is unloaded Wednesday from the Horizon Arctic ship at the Canadian Coast Guard pier in St. John's. Photo credit: Paul Daly/The Canadian Press/AP

(CNN) — “Presumed human remains” have been recovered from the seafloor in the area of the doomed Titan submersible debris field, the US Coast Guard said Wednesday.

The remains were recovered “within the wreckage” of the submersible, the Coast Guard said in a news release – an announcement coming nearly a week after authorities determined the Titanic-bound vessel had imploded in the North Atlantic, killing all five men aboard.

US medical professionals will analyze the presumed remains, the Coast Guard said.

Also Wednesday, huge pieces of the submersible were hoisted onto a Canadian pier, according to the company leading the effort and photos of the task.

A white panel-like piece – taller than the two men guiding it onto land – and another similarly sized part with cords and wires draped with white tarp were taken off the anchor handling vessel Horizon Arctic at the Canadian Coast Guard pier in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, photos by The Canadian Press’ Paul Daly show.

It was not immediately clear what the pieces are. Titan was made of carbon fiber and titanium and weighed 23,000 pounds, with room for only five adults, according to OceanGate, which operated the craft as part of its offering for extreme tourists to get close to the century-old wreckage of the Titanic for $250,000 per person.

The company that owns the remotely operated vehicles that brought Titan’s remains to the surface, Pelagic Research Services, for now has “successfully completed” the offshore work and Wednesday morning was “in the process of demobilization from the Horizon Arctic,” which owns the ships, it told CNN.

Crew members “have been working around the clock now for ten days, through the physical and mental challenges of this operation, and are anxious to finish the mission and return to their loved ones,” the company said in a statement.

Pelagic Research Services deferred questions to the US Coast Guard, adding its team cannot comment on or provide any information related to the investigation into the Titan’s demise. The company will hold a news conference at its East Aurora, New York, operations base after “our team has regrouped,” it said.

A Transportation Safety Board of Canada spokesperson declined to comment to CNN, saying more information about its investigation is forthcoming as warranted.

The tail cone and other debris from the submersible were found by a remotely operated vehicle about 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic, which the Titan had been en route to visit June 18 about 13,000 feet deep in the North Atlantic Ocean, the US Coast Guard said June 22.

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‘Presumed human remains’ found in debris field of doomed Titan submersible, US Coast Guard says