OceanGate Expeditions said it had “suspended all exploration and commercial operations” after its Titan submersible presumably imploded during a dive to explore the wreckage of the Titanic last month, killing the company’s founder and four other people.
The company, which is based in Everett, Wash., made the announcement at the top of its website, above footage of previous Titanic explorations and a link to learn more about how to “explore the world’s most famous shipwreck.”
It was not clear when the message was added to the company’s website. There were no further details from the OceanGate, which did not immediately respond to an email.
On board the lost submersible were Stockton Rush, 61, the founder and chief executive of OceanGate Expeditions, who was piloting the vessel; Hamish Harding, 58, a British businessman and explorer; Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, a French maritime expert; Shahzada Dawood, 48, a British Pakistani businessman; and his son, Suleman, 19.
They set off in the vessel on June 18 to see the remains of the Titanic 12,500 feet into the sea, but less than two hours into the dive, the craft lost contact with a Canadian expedition ship on the surface, about 400 miles south of St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Days later, debris from the vessel was found on the ocean floor. The discovery of the debris, including the Titan’s tail cone and other pieces, suggested a “catastrophic implosion” with no survivors, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. On June 28, after an international search-and-rescue operation ended, the Coast Guard said debris and presumed human remains from the submersible had been recovered and returned to land.
The Coast Guard has convened a marine board of investigation, its highest level of investigation, to examine what occurred. The board is working closely with other national and international agencies that responded to the event, including authorities from Canada, Britain and France.