The passengers that died on the Titan submersible would have been aware of the impending catastrophe for a minute before the implosion, an expert has said.
Spanish submarine expert, José Luis Martín suggested the submersible could have lost stability due to an electrical failure that left it without propulsion, causing it to fall toward the seabed ‘like an arrow vertically’ with its porthole facing down.
He estimated that the sub began freefalling at a depth of around 5,600 feet and fell ‘as if it were a stone and without any control’ for about 3,000 feet until at around 8,600 feet it ‘popped like a balloon’ due to the rapidly changing pressure.
Martin suggested the passengers would have been piled on top of each other in terrifying total darkness throughout the fall, which would have lasted between 48 and 71 seconds.
Days later, its debris was recovered. It was said to have suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’.
Martin offered his theory as to how the submersible failed during an interview with Spanish newspaper Nius.
‘The starting point is that the submarine is descending without any incident and in a horizontal plane until it reached about 1,700 meters (5,500 feet).
‘At that point, there was an electrical failure. It was left without an engine and without propulsion. That’s when it lost communication with the Polar Prince,’ he told the newspaper.
‘The Titan changed position and fell like an arrow vertically, because the 400 kilos of passengers that were in the porthole compromised the submarine. They all rushed and crowded on top of each other,’ Martín added.
‘Imagine the horror, the fear and the agony. It must have been like a horror movie.’
Due to the depth and the lack of both natural light and electricity, the group would have been in total darkness as they sank toward the bottom of the Atlantic, he said.
Martin compared the implosion to ‘puncturing a balloon’ and said it was not caused by depth alone but the sudden increase in pressure as the sub descended like a dart.
The submersible lost contact with the mothership about 105 minutes into its dive and about 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland in Canada.
The US Coast Guard confirmed the victims’ deaths four days later and an investigation into the implosion is ongoing.
On June 18, the OceanGate sub was launched around 8am in the Atlantic Ocean above the site of the Titanic shipwreck.
OceanGate Expeditions took eight hours to report the missing sub to the US Coast Guard after it lost contact.
That led to a massive international response to rescue the five passengers. Ships from across the globe started to make the trek to help search for the missing sub while the hours and estimated oxygen ticked down.
Days later, it was announced the five people aboard the sub were believed to have been killed in a likely implosion.