OceanGate, the company responsible for the submersible expedition to the Titanic that went missing, is now reporting that the passengers are dead.
“We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost,” the organization said in a statement obtained by NBC News.
“These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans. Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.”
The world remained captivated by the tourists who went missing on Sunday, just 1 hour and 45 minutes after diving into the depths of the ocean. On Thursday, it was believed that the were expected to run out of breathable oxygen.
A massive search team with participants from across the world frantically continued to look for the vessel throughout the week. The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed on Thursday that a ROV discovered the tail cone, and debris, from the missing vessel near the bow of the Titanic on the sea floor.
“In consultation with experts within the united command, the debris is consistent with a catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber. Upon this determination we immediately notified the families,” Rear Adm. John Mauger said during a press conference with the U.S. Coast Guard. “The debris is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel.”
“This is an extremely sad time for our dedicated employees who are exhausted and grieving deeply over this loss. The entire OceanGate family is deeply grateful for the countless men and women from multiple organizations of the international community who expedited wide-ranging resources and have worked so very hard on this mission,” the statement continued. “We appreciate their commitment to finding these five explorers, and their days and nights of tireless work in support of our crew and their families.”
Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet were onboard the submersible which left from Newfoundland.
“This is a very sad time for the entire explorer community, and for each of the family members of those lost at sea. We respectfully ask that the privacy of these families be respected during this most painful time,” the company concluded.
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