According to a new report obtained by the New York Times, the five people aboard the Titan submersible spent their final moments listening to music in darkness. Other details, including the last known photo of passengers, have also surfaced, alongside how they prepared for their planned 12-hour trip.
The Tragic Loss of Communications
Communications were lost with the Titan one hour and 45 minutes after it set off on June 18, sparking a race against time to find the 21-foot-long vessel that had just 96-hours of emergency oxygen and limited rations on board. The US Coast Guard announced the following Thursday that debris had been found on the seabed, 1,600 feet (488 meters) from the bow of the Titanic, leaving experts to determine “a catastrophic implosion of the vehicle” that has claimed the lives of everyone on board.
The passengers on board were British billionaire Hamish Harding, 58, OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, 61, French navy veteran Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his son Suleman, 19. Suleman was “terrified” but went along as a Father’s Day gift. Photos of Dawoods on board the vessel have also been released.
The Journey to St. John’s
The Dawoods almost did not make the ill-fated voyage following the cancellation of their initial flight from Toronto to Newfoundland, where the vessel set off from. Their rebooked flight was also delayed; however, the pair eventually made it to the town of St. John’s in time for the trip.
Preparations for the Voyage
In preparation for the voyage, the five divers met aboard the submarine’s mothership to discuss safety procedures. They were also told to consume “low-residue” foods, such as vegetables, the day before the dive and to not drink coffee that morning. The passengers were informed on the request of OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush that they could play music of their choosing on the submarine’s Bluetooth speaker but that no country music was allowed. Thick socks and a hat were required clothing items as the temperature within the vessel would decrease as the submarine submerged deeper in the water.
Descending into Darkness
Descending at a speed of 25 meters per minute, those on board would feel no sense of motion. It has also been revealed that the first four OceanGate dives to the wreckage of Titanic this year did not reach site, with experts warning of several safety concerns.