Titanic submarine: OceanGate, company of the imploded Titan submersible, suspends its activities | Business

OceanGate Expeditions, the company responsible for the Titan submersible, which imploded on its way to Titanic’s remains killing five, said it had “suspended all exploration and commercial operations”. The company, based in Everett, Washington (United States), made the announcement at the top of its website, without giving further details on the closure of activities. It was unclear when the post was added to the site.

The site still contained a photo of the sinking of the Titanic with the slogan “explore the most famous wreck in the world”, but it was not possible to book a trip and some of the other features of the site were out of order. There were no further details from OceanGate, which did not immediately respond to an email from The New York Times. A company spokesman, Andrew Von Kerens, said Thursday that Ocean Gate was not disclosing any additional information.

Aboard the submersible that imploded were Stockton Rush, 61, founder and CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, who piloted the vessel; Hamish Harding, 58, British businessman and explorer; Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, French maritime specialist; Shahzada Dawood, 48, British Pakistani businessman; and Dawood’s son, Suleman, 19.

They boarded the ship on June 18 to view the remains of the Titanic 4,000 meters below sea level, but less than two hours after diving the ship lost contact with a Canadian expedition ship at the surface. A few days later, the wreckage of the ship was found on the ocean floor. The discovery of wreckage, including the Titan’s tail cone and other parts, suggested a “catastrophic implosion” with no survivors, according to the US Coast Guard.

Legal experts said they expect family members of the dead to file lawsuits against OceanGate as well as the companies that supplied the parts. But if OceanGate shuts down completely, that narrows the options, said Richard Daynard, a distinguished professor at Northeastern University School of Law. “There is virtually no chance of recovering damages” from the company if it is no longer in operation, he said.

Additionally, passengers were likely asked to sign liability waivers. One of the terms, signed by someone planning to travel on an OceanGate expedition, stated that Titan passengers could suffer physical injury, disability, emotional trauma, and death.

The company charged 250,000 US dollars (the equivalent of 1.2 million reais) to each passenger to participate in the trip. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is conducting a safety investigation of Titan’s Canadian-flagged mothership, the Polar Prince. Security Council officials did not respond to emailed requests for comment on Thursday.

Megan Schneider

"Typical zombieaholic. General twitter fanatic. Food fanatic. Gamer. Unapologetic analyst."

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