Nearly three weeks after its submersible vessel Titan imploded, killing all five people on board, OceanGate is suspending all exploration and commercial operations.
The organization posted on its website on Thursday that it would no longer be sending individuals down to the wreckage of the Titanic, or elsewhere.
OceanGate declined the Guardian’s request for further comment.
OceanGate, a private company, was founded in 2009 by Stockton Rush and Guillermo Söhnlein. Using leased commercial submersibles, the company has spent the better part of the past 13 years taking customers to various places including the shipwrecks of the Andrea Doria and the Titanic.
OceanGate rose to global prominence in June when one of its submersible vessels went missing. The US Coast Guard would later confirm that the Titan suffered a “catastrophic implosion” and all those on board, including Rush, were killed. Outside of Rush, those killed were the British adventurer Hamish Harding, 58; the French Titanic explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77; and the British Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his 19-year-old son Suleman.
Last week, the presumed human remains of those lost were recovered from within the wreckage.
Officials noted that the Coast Guard would transport the evidence recovered from the North Atlantic to a US port. There, medical professionals were slated to conduct a formal analysis of the remains.
“The evidence will provide investigators from several international jurisdictions with critical insights into the cause of this tragedy. There is still a substantial amount of work to be done to understand the factors that led to the catastrophic loss of the Titan and help ensure a similar tragedy does not occur again,” said Jason Neubauer, a chair captain with the Marine Board of Investigation.
The film director and deep sea expert James Cameron told Reuters in the wake of the implosion that he was skeptical when he heard OceanGate was making a deep-sea submersible with a composite carbon fibre and titanium hull.
“I thought it was a horrible idea. I wish I’d spoken up, but I assumed somebody was smarter than me, you know, because I never experimented with that technology, but it just sounded bad on its face,” Cameron said.
Many other experts within the field reportedly shared their uneasiness with OceanGate’s submersible for this voyage, telling Rush and others at OceanGate prior to embarking that “there were multiple points of failure”