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Coast Guard begins investigation of Titan sub tragedy

The U.S. Coast Guard says it plans to recover debris from OceanGate’s Titan submersible, which was lost along with its crew during a dive to the Titanic shipwreck, as part of its investigation into the catastrophe.

“At this time, the priority of the investigation is to recover items from the seafloor,” Capt. Jason Neubauer, who is leading the marine board of investigation, said today during a Boston news briefing.

Debris from the submersible lies about 12,500 feet beneath the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean, about 400 miles from the Newfoundland coast and only about 1,600 feet from the Titanic’s bow. The sub, built by Everett, Wash.-based OceanGate, was on its way to the world’s best-known shipwreck when it lost contact with its support ship a week ago.

An international search-and-rescue operation made use of remotely operated vehicles to find debris from the Titan sub on June 22. ROVs also will be used to recover wreckage from Titan. “I’m not going to give the details of what the recovery has been to date, but the resources are on site and capable of recovering the debris,” Neubauer told reporters.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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