Experts may have figured out reasons behind Titan sub's implosion. Details here | World News - Hindustan Times
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OceanGate tragedy was combination of cost-cutting and risky design. Experts list out reasons behind Titan sub implosion

ByPaurush Omar
Jul 16, 2023 09:39 PM IST

OceanGate's cost-cutting measures during the construction of the Titan tourist submersible may have contributed to its implosion

OceanGate's attempt to save costs during the construction of the Titan tourist submersible may have contributed to its tragic implosion last month. Engineers have pointed out several flaws in the design, which were likely made to maximize profitability for the vessel's tourist expeditions to the wreckage of the Titanic. One significant cost-cutting measure involved renting a mothership, the Polar Prince, that was too small to carry the Titan on deck. As a result, the submersible was dragged through rough ocean waters for three days, potentially causing damage and instability.

People inspect the Polar Prince ship and the deployment barge, used with the Titan submersible that imploded while carrying five people to explore the wreck of the sunken Titanic, as the Transportation Safety Board of Canada begins its investigation into the loss of the submersible from OceanGate Expeditions, at St. John's harbour, Newfoundland, Canada.(REUTERS)
People inspect the Polar Prince ship and the deployment barge, used with the Titan submersible that imploded while carrying five people to explore the wreck of the sunken Titanic, as the Transportation Safety Board of Canada begins its investigation into the loss of the submersible from OceanGate Expeditions, at St. John's harbour, Newfoundland, Canada.(REUTERS)

Straying from Industry Standards

The Titan diverged from industry standards in various ways, raising concerns among experts. Its hull, shaped like a pill, aimed to fit more passengers at a premium price of $250,000 per head. However, this unconventional design departed from the standard sphere, known to be more suitable for deep-sea voyages.

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Additionally, the central cylinder of the Titan was constructed using carbon fiber instead of the commonly used titanium. The combination of carbon fiber and titanium created joints with dissimilar materials, which experts say could have compromised the submersible's structural integrity under high water pressure.

Skirting Testing and Certifications

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush's approach to testing and certifications has come under scrutiny. Rush opted to skip standard testing and inspections by reputable marine organizations, arguing that obtaining certification would hinder innovation. This decision raised concerns among experts who emphasize the importance of thorough testing for safety and reliability.

OceanGate CEO and co-founder Stockton Rush.(AP)
OceanGate CEO and co-founder Stockton Rush.(AP)

Rush's controversial stance was rooted in his ambition to turn the vessel into a tool for deep-sea mining, using the Titanic expedition as a means to showcase the submersible's design and capabilities.

Also read | Video detailing Titan's sub's implosion viral, watched by 5M people in 11 days

Tragic Implosion of the Titan

On June 18, tragedy struck as the Titan imploded during its dive to the wreckage of the Titanic. The fatal accident claimed the lives of OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, British billionaire Hamish Harding, French Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, and his son Sulaiman Dawood. The implosion has sparked a critical examination of the cost-saving measures, design choices, and lack of proper testing and certifications that may have led to the submersible's catastrophic failure.

Also read | What went wrong with the Titan’s hull, engineers reveal the potential problems with the submersible's designs

While innovation is essential, it should not come at the expense of compromising crucial safety measures. As investigations into the Titan's implosion continue, the industry is reminded of the significance of responsible engineering and the adherence to established safety protocols in submersible design and operation.

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