- By Marie Jackson & Matthew Davis
- BBC news
The US Coast Guard has confirmed that all five passengers on board the missing submersible Titan have died.
Officials said they found parts of the ship among the debris near the wreck of the Titanic.
Rear Admiral John Mauger said the debris was consistent with the “catastrophic explosion of the ship”.
The CEO of the diving company, a British billionaire explorer, a French diver and father and son were all on board.
Mr Mauger said he could not confirm whether their bodies were found because of the “extremely harsh environment” of the ocean.
Here’s what we know about them.
Stockton Rush, 61 years old
Stockton Rush is the chief executive officer of OceanGate, the company that operated the Titanic’s voyages, and the company confirmed he was on board.
He is an experienced engineer who has previously designed an experimental aircraft and worked on other small submersibles.
Mr Rush founded the company in 2009, giving customers the opportunity to experience deep sea travel and making global headlines in 2021 when it begins offering trips to the Titanic wreck site.
For $250,000 (£195,600), his company offers passengers a chance to get a close-up look at what’s left of the famous ship.
Participants travel about 370 miles (595 km) on a larger ship to the area above the wreck site, then make an eight-hour dive to the Titanic aboard a submersible the size of a ship. by truck called Titan.
Speaking to the New York Times in 2022, he defended the business model and said fares are “part of the cost of going into space, and it’s very expensive for us to get these ships and go out.” there”.
A 2017 feature written for the website of Princeton University, where he attended, reported that Mr Rush participated in every OceanGate dive.
Mr Rush was married to Wendy Rush, the great-granddaughter of Isidor and Ida Straus, who died in the wreck of the Titanic after letting women and children escape before them.
The British explorer runs Action Aviation, a private jet dealer based in Dubai and has accomplished a number of feats of discovery.
He’s visited Antarctica several times – once with former astronaut Buzz Aldrin – and flew into space in 2022 on Blue Origin’s fifth manned flight.
He holds three Guinness World Records, including the longest dive in the ocean while diving into the deepest part of the Mariana Trench.
In the summer of 2022, he said Aviation Business Magazine that he grew up in Hong Kong, qualified as a pilot in the mid-1980s while studying at Cambridge, and founded his own aircraft company after earning money in banking software.
He said the Titanic dive was scheduled to take place in June 2022 but was delayed because “the submersible was unfortunately damaged during the previous dive”. He said no one was injured in the incident.
When asked about his exploratory preferences, he said: “My view is that these are all calculated and well-understood risks before we start.”
Later, Brian Szasz, his stepson, said in a now-deleted Facebook post that his stepfather “was missing on (submarine)”.
Friend David Mearns, a marine scientist and expedition leader, described Mr Harding as a “very charming guy” who was drawn to adventure.
Patrick Woodhead, founder of British Antarctic tour operator White Desert, said Mr Harding was an “incredible” air adventurer, and his thoughts and prayers were with for Mr. Harding’s wife, Linda and his sons.
Terry Virts, a retired Nasa astronaut, said his friend is a “typical British explorer” who loves adventure and discovery, but is not an adrenaline junkie.
“Some people watched Netflix, some golfers and Hamish went to the bottom of the ocean or into space, and he set a world record for orbiting the planet,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. .
Mr Harding – along with Paul-Henry Nargeolet, who was also on board – were members of the Explorers Club, a little-known centuries-old group of explorers whose members included Mr. Edmund Hillary and Amelia Earhart.
Its president, Richard Garriott de Cayeux, said Mr Harding’s excitement for the expedition was palpable during a meeting at the Global Exploration Summit last week.
Shahzada Dawood, 48 years old and Suleman Dawood, 19 years old
British businessman Shahzada Dawood comes from one of the wealthiest families in Pakistan. He was traveling on a submarine with his son Suleman, a student.
Mr Dawood lives with his wife, Christine and other child, Alina, in Surbiton, south-west London. The family spent a month in Canada before diving.
Shahzada is the vice president of Pakistan Engro Corporation, a large fertilizer company.
He has worked with his family’s Dawood Foundation, as well as the SETI Institute, a California-based research organization that specializes in the search for extraterrestrial life.
Shahzada is also a supporter of two charities founded by King Charles III – British Asian Trust and Prince’s Trust International.
A Palace spokesman previously said the King’s “thoughts and prayers” were with all on board.
Shahzada’s family says he’s interested in “exploring different natural habitats” and has previously spoken at both the United Nations and the Oxford Union.
He studied in Philadelphia, USA and the University of Buckingham in the UK, where he graduated in 1998.
Suleman is a student at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, where he has just completed his first year at the university’s Business School.
After news of the death of him and his father, Suleman’s aunt told NBC News The 19-year-old said he was “terrified” about the trip, but wanted to please his father.
A family statement describes the teenager as a “big fan of science fiction literature and learning new things”, and has an interest in Rubik’s cubes and playing volleyball.
He just graduated from ACS Cobham International School in Surrey, according to local media reports.
Paul-Henry Nargeolet, 77
On board was Mr. Nargeolet, a former French Navy diver.
Nicknamed Mr Titanic, he is said to have spent more time in the wreck than any other explorer and was part of the first expedition to visit the wreck in 1987, just two years later. when it is found.
He is the director of underwater research at a company that owns the rights to the wreck of the Titanic.
According to company filings, Mr. Nargeolet oversaw the recovery of thousands of Titanic artifacts, including the “large piece,” a 20-ton section of the ship’s hull.
Family spokesman Mathieu Johann described Mr Nargeolet as “a superhero for us in France”.
“He’s a world expert on the Titanic, its concept, the shipwreck, he’s dived in four places around the world,” he said. Reuters.
Just before boarding the submarine, Mr. Nargeolet said he was looking forward to an expedition next year to recover items from the wreck, he added.
Mr. Nargeolet’s wife, Anne, French, lives in Connecticut, while his children live outside France, according to Reuters.
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