London June 23 2023: We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost, Ocean Gate released this statement.
"On behalf of the US Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families," Rear Adm Mauger says.
Rear Admiral Mauger says he cannot confirm whether the US Coast Guard will be able to recover the bodies of the five passengers on board the Titan sub.
"This is an incredibly unforgiving environment," he adds
The US Coast Guard says their thoughts are with the families and making sure they have an understanding as best as they can provide on what happened and to begin to find some closure.
In terms of the large process, they are going to continue to investigate the site of the debris field.
There’s a lot of questions about how, why and when this happened.
Those are questions that we will collect now while governments meet and discuss an investigation.
The site of the fatal accident is believed to be 1600ft (487m) off the bow of the Titanic wreck.
It's in an area where there is not any debris of the Titanic.
Rear Admiral Mauger says right now there are nine vessels on the scene, as the search for more details continues.
"We have medical personnel on the scene, we have other technicians on scene, and we will begin to demobilise personnel and vessels from the scene over the course of the next 24 hours," he says.
"This is an incredibly difficult and dangerous environment to work in."
The debris field is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel, Rear Admiral Mauger says.
Throughout the search, the coast guard had listening devices in the water, but did not detect any catastrophic failures, he reiterated.
It is too early to tell what the timing of the implosion was, Rear Adm Mauger tells reporters.
He said the US Coat Guard had sonar buoys out in the water for 72 hours. Since they had been in place, they had not detected "any catastrophic events," he adds.
There doesn't appear to be any connection between the noises and the location on the sea floor, Rear Adm Mauger says.
"We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost" says Ocean Gate.
Ocean Gate statement added, "These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans. Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew."
This is an extremely sad time for our dedicated employees who are exhausted and grieving deeply over this loss. The entire OceanGate family is deeply grateful for the countless men and women from multiple organisations of the international community who expedited wide-ranging resources and have worked so very hard on this mission.
We appreciate their commitment to finding these five explorers, and their days and nights of tireless work in support of our crew and their families.
This is a very sad time for the entire explorer community, and for each of the family members of those lost at sea.
We respectfully ask that the privacy of these families be respected during this most painful time."
The five were:
Hamish Harding, 58, a British adventurer who has previously been to space and made multiple trips to the South Pole
British businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48, a member of one of Pakistan's richest families and a supporter of two charities founded by King Charles
His son Suleman Dawood, a 19-year-old student
Paul-Henry Nargeolet, 77, a former French Navy diver who has reportedly spent more time at the Titanic wreck than any other explorer and was part of the first expedition to visit it in 1987
Stockton Rush, 61, the chief executive of OceanGate, the firm that operates the Titanic voyages on the lost submersible.