Jun 22, 2023

Missing Titanic Tourist Submarine Update from U.S. Coast Guard Transcript

Missing Titanic Tourist Submarine Update from U.S. Coast Guard Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsTitan SubmersibleMissing Titanic Tourist Submarine Update from U.S. Coast Guard Transcript

The wreckage of the Titan submersible has been found by the U.S. Coast Guard. Read the transcript here.

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.

Speaker 1 (27:41):

Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining us today and over the past few days. This afternoon, Rear Admiral John Mauger will be providing an update on the most recent findings from ROV operations in search of the Titan Submersible. He’ll provide a brief statement and provide the opportunity [inaudible 00:27:59] for questions [inaudible 00:28:01]. Following the briefing, joint information center staff and I will be here to help you with any of your further needs. May I now please introduce Rear Admiral John Mauger.

Admiral John Mauger (28:38):

This morning, an ROV or a remote operated vehicle from the vessel [inaudible 00:28:39] of the Titan Submersible, approximately 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic on the sea floor. The ROV subsequently found additional debris. In consultation with experts from within the Unified Command, the debris is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber. Upon this determination, we immediately notified the families. On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire Unified Command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families. I can only imagine what this has been like for them and I hope that this discovery provides some solace during this difficult time.

Additionally, we’ve been in close contact with the British and French Council General to ensure that they are fully apprised and that their concerns are being addressed. The outpouring of support in this highly complex search operation has been robust and immensely appreciated. We are grateful for the rapid mobilization of experts on the undersea search and rescue and we thank all of the agencies and personnel for their role in the response. We’re also incredibly grateful for this full spectrum of international assistance that’s been provided. The ROVs will remain on scene and continue to gather information. Again, our most heartfelt condolences go out to the loved ones of the crew. We’ll now take questions.

Speaker 5 (30:50):

[inaudible 00:30:51].

Speaker 3 (30:50):

Can you talk about the delay in the [inaudible 00:30:58]?

Admiral John Mauger (31:03):

This was an incredibly complex case and we’re still working to develop the details for the timeline involved with this casualty and the response.

Speaker 4 (31:21):

[inaudible 00:31:22]-

Admiral John Mauger (31:22):

And so we’ll provide that appraisal.

Speaker 4 (31:27):

… recovery of the bodies.

Speaker 2 (31:28):

[inaudible 00:31:29] from Sky News. John, what [inaudible 00:31:29]?

Admiral John Mauger (31:34):

So this is an incredibly complex operating environment on the sea floor, over two miles beneath the surface. And so the remote operating vehicle has been searching and it is highly capable and we’ve been able to classify parts of the pressure chamber for the Titan Submersible. Let me refer to one of my undersea experts here, Mr. Paul Hankin, to talk about the nature of some of the debris.

Speaker 6 (32:12):

Thank you, Admiral. So essentially, we found five different major pieces of debris that told us that it was the remains of the Titan. The initial thing we found was a nose cone, which was outside of the pressure hall. We then found a large debris field. Within that large debris field, we found the front end bell of the pressure hall. That was the first indication that there was a catastrophic event. Shortly thereafter, we found a second smaller debris field. Within that debris field, we found the other end of the pressure hall, the aft end bell, which was basically comprised of the totality of that pressure vessel. We continue to map the debris field and, as the admiral said, we will do the best we can to fully map out what’s down there.

Speaker 7 (33:22):

[inaudible 00:33:23].

Speaker 8 (33:28):

It’s a very difficult question to ask, but it would be an important one to the families, of course. What are the prospects of recovery that the bodies [inaudible 00:33:35]?

Admiral John Mauger (33:37):

So the questions was related, and I’m restating the question from the standpoint of sometimes it’s hard to hear the question here, what are the prospects for recovering crew members. And so this is an incredibly unforgiving environment down there on the sea floor and the debris is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel. And so we’ll continue to work and continue to search the area down there, but I don’t have an answer for prospects at this time.

Speaker 9 (34:16):

Admiral, [inaudible 00:34:17] Costello at NBC News. Is there any suggestion at all that the sub, itself, collided with the wreckage of Titanic or that, instead, it might’ve imploded above the wreckage and then rained down nearby?

Admiral John Mauger (34:32):

So the question was, is there any question as to whether or not the sub collided with the Titanic or whether it imploded above and debris field created from that. So the location of the Titan Submersible was in an area that was approximately 1,600 feet from the wreck of the Titanic. I have an expert here that is familiar with that area and can talk about the debris field and what the debris field indicates in terms of where the casualty may have occurred.

Speaker 10 (35:17):

[inaudible 00:35:13] Admiral, really quickly-

Admiral John Mauger (35:17):


Speaker 10 (35:17):

… can you tell me when that-

Speaker 11 (35:17):

Wait, let’s let the expert [inaudible 00:35:18].

Speaker 10 (35:17):

… massive fleet will be called back?

Speaker 11 (35:19):

Hang on a second. The [inaudible 00:35:18] is coming up to answer the question.

Speaker 12 (35:20):

Thank you, Admiral. So the question is, where does the wreck lie in relation to the Titanic? I didn’t hear the admiral’s answer. I think 1,600 feet. Is that correct, Admiral?

Admiral John Mauger (35:31):

Yeah, you got it.

Speaker 12 (35:32):

So that’s off the bow of Titanic. It’s in an area where there is not any debris of Titanic. It is a smooth bottom. To my knowledge, in anything I’ve seen, there’s no Titanic wreckage in that area. And again, 200 plus meters from the bow, inconsistent with the location of last communication for an implosion in the water column. And the size of the debris field is consistent with that implosion

Speaker 12 (36:00):

… implosion in the water column.

Speaker 14 (36:00):

[inaudible 00:36:03]-

Speaker 8 (36:03):

[inaudible 00:36:03] if I can ask a question. In terms of the timing here, you say that this was a catastrophic implosion and I know it’s early on, but is it your estimation that this happened right at the moment when they lost contact an hour and 45 minutes after their descent?

Admiral John Mauger (36:18):

So the question was about the timing of the catastrophic implosion. Right now it is too early to tell with that. We know that as we’ve been prosecuting this search over the course of the last 72 hours and beyond that we’ve had sonar buoys in the water nearly continuously and have not detected any catastrophic events when those sonar buoys have been in the water. So…

Speaker 8 (36:49):

[inaudible 00:36:51]-

Speaker 15 (36:49):

Can you describe what happens from here, sir, and the next days, weeks in terms of finding any more debris? What happens from here?

Admiral John Mauger (36:59):

So the question was what happens from here, what’s the next phase. And so right now, again, our thoughts are with the families and making sure that they have an understanding as best as we can provide of what happened and begin to find some closure. In terms of the large process, we’re going to continue to investigate the site of the debris field. And then I know that there’s also a lot of questions about how, why and when did this happen. And so those are questions that we will collect as much information as we can on now while the governments are meeting and discussing what an investigation of this nature of a casualty might look like. This is something that happened… I’ll just remind everybody. This is something that happened in a remote portion of the ocean with people from several different countries around the world. And so it is a complex case to work through, but I’m confident that those questions will begin to get answered.

Reporters (38:35):

[inaudible 00:38:37].

Speaker 16 (38:37):

[inaudible 00:38:37] before losing contact?

Speaker 17 (38:40):

[inaudible 00:38:41] from the UK. Is there any that time factors, speed, anything that could have prevented this or [inaudible 00:38:50] five people on board, who at this point [inaudible 00:38:51]?

Admiral John Mauger (38:52):

The question was was there any suggestion that time factors may have played a role or a consideration in the casualty here. And so the debris field is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel. Again, while we were prosecuting the search, we had listening devices in the water throughout and did not hear any signs of catastrophic failure from those. And so we’re going to continue to investigate or we’re going to continue to document the information there and understand based on all the information we have the timeline.

Reporters (39:39):

[inaudible 00:39:42].

Speaker 18 (39:42):

[inaudible 00:39:43] needed for the investigation? What does it mean for the resources required for the investigation [inaudible 00:39:49]?

Admiral John Mauger (39:51):

So the question was, what are the resources required for the investigation and which ships will be pulling out and staying in. And so it’s too early for me to talk about an investigation. That’s a decision that’s going to be taken outside of the search and efforts that I was leading. But we do have a number of vessels. We have nine vessels on the scene right now. We had medical personnel on scene. We had other technicians on scene. And so we will begin to demobilize personnel and vessels from the scene over the course of the next 24 hours. But we’re going to continue remote operations on the sea floor. And I don’t have a timeline for when we would intend to stop remote operations on the sea floor at this point.

Reporters (40:49):

[inaudible 00:40:50].

Speaker 19 (40:49):

Admiral, as a result of this, do you think there should be changes in the way these are safety rated or inspected so that this won’t happen again?

Admiral John Mauger (41:02):

Yeah. The question was essentially about do you think that there should be changes in safety ratings or inspection for these standards. I know that there’s a lot of questions about why, how, when this happened and the members of the unified command have those questions too as professionals and experts that work in this environment. And this is an incredibly difficult and dangerous environment to work in out there. But those questions about the regulations that apply and the standards, that’s going to be, I’m sure, a focus of future review. Right now we’re focused on documenting the scene and continuing the sub-floor efforts.

Reporters (41:58):

[inaudible 00:41:58].

Speaker 20 (41:58):

[inaudible 00:41:58] timing of this. [inaudible 00:41:59] timing here. We don’t know the timing here, but there was the banging noises yesterday that redirected, re-deployed, the ROVs to this area. Is anything conclusive in those noises and did that redirection and then finding this debris field today all help?

Admiral John Mauger (42:15):

So throughout the search efforts, we reacted to the information that we had available to us and while we continued to send it off for deeper analysis. Again, really complex operating environment for us to work in. Let me check with the experts, but there doesn’t appear to be any connection between the noises and the location on the sea floor. Again, this was a catastrophic implosion of the vessel, which would’ve generated a significant broadband sound down there that the sonar buoys would’ve picked up.

Reporters (43:03):

[inaudible 00:43:03].

Speaker 21 (43:03):

Admiral [inaudible 00:43:04].

Speaker 22 (43:03):

This would be the last question.

Speaker 21 (43:07):

[inaudible 00:43:05] for the families [inaudible 00:43:08]. Admiral, can I just ask you about your comment regarding the families?

Speaker 23 (43:08):

[inaudible 00:43:09] could you talk about the ROV [inaudible 00:43:09] dropped into the ocean today, arrived early this morning [inaudible 00:43:09] debris field? Could you talk about the speed of that? And also were all of the assets involved moved as swiftly as possible to the area? Was any help turned away as some lawmakers [inaudible 00:43:27]?

Admiral John Mauger (43:29):

This was a incredibly complex operation and we were able to mobilize an immense amount of gear to the site in just a really remarkable amount of time given the fact that we started without any sort of vessel response plan for this or any sort of pre-stage resources. And so the equipment that was brought on site this morning that we were using was a Pelagic ROV capable of operating at 6,000 meters, cameras, sonar, other articulating arms and resources on it. And we had to transport it here through C-17 aircraft. This is two aircraft that it took to get this up here. And so we’ve really had the right gear on site and worked as swiftly as possible to bring all of the capabilities that we had to bear to this search and rescue effort. And it was just a huge international and inter-agency effort to make this happen.

So I’m really grateful for all of the responders that came out to support this and really search for the vessel. It is a difficult day for all of us and it’s especially difficult for the families and our thoughts are with the families today. But this was an immense support and we had the right gear on the bottom to find it. So thank you.

Reporters (45:17):

[inaudible 00:45:18].

Speaker 24 (45:17):

[inaudible 00:45:21] if it’s time recover?

Speaker 25 (45:21):

Will you attempt to recover the bodies, can we ask you though? The victims, will they be recovered?

Speaker 26 (45:25):

Thank you so much everyone for attending this afternoon. There are no future planned press conferences. Updates will be shared to the USCG Northeast Twitter page and our staff will be available to take down any questions following this. Thank you.

Speaker 27 (45:37):

Can you spell and give the name for the two gentlemen who just spoke?

Speaker 26 (45:43):

I can get that back to afterwards just so I can confirm. Thank you.

Reporters (45:47):

[inaudible 00:45:47].

Transcribe Your Own Content

Try Rev and save time transcribing, captioning, and subtitling.