back to article Time running out for crew of missing Titanic tourist submarine

Time and oxygen are both running out for the crew of an ill-fated expedition to the two-mile deep wreck of the Titanic, which lost contact with its parent vessel less than two hours after beginning its descent on Sunday. The submersible vessel, known as the "Titan," is designed to descend as deep as 4,000 meters (13,120 feet …

  1. David 132 Silver badge

    Where’s Dirk Pitt when you need him?

    This seems like a real-life Clive Cussler novel.

    On a serious note though, I really hope this ends with good news. In absolute blackness and the pressure of 13,000’ of water is not a good way to go. Fingers crossed that the pressure vessel has maintained integrity and the rescuers find it before the oxygen runs out.

    1. EvilGardenGnome

      Re: Where’s Dirk Pitt when you need him?

      Frankly, I'd rather implosion and nigh instant death. If they can't open the hatch, suffocation is the end point. Add to this they likely have no or little food and water, so those could come first.

      Anything that extends the time you live makes you ask an obvious question: Do we kill people to extend the time for the others? I hope to never go through that, and hope they didn't have to either.

      My condolences to their families.

      1. JoeCool Silver badge

        Re: Where’s Dirk Pitt when you need him?

        What would you kill someone with, the BT controller ? besides, struggle takes oxygen, so not much of an option.

    2. Phil Kingston

      Re: Where’s Dirk Pitt when you need him?

      I've asked a few people whether suffocation or pancaking would be their preferred ending. The sheer terror of being locked inside a (possibly pitch-black) tube with other people in the same almost certain-death situation would push me to think implosion would be my preference. But a surprising number seem to want to succumb to the lack of oxygen/build-up of CO2.

      Very much hoping they've rapidly ascended and are floating around, intact, right-way up and a man with a spanner will be with them shortly.

      1. Korev Silver badge

        Re: Where’s Dirk Pitt when you need him?

        The body doesn't really notice a lack of oxygen, but is very sensitive to a build up of CO2 which is very unpleasant. Hopefully they have scrubbers to get rid of it which would make thing slightly less bad for them.

    3. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Where’s Dirk Pitt when you need him?

      This is an interesting one and something I had not even realised that people could do.

      Deep sea exploration is a very high risk activity and in this case is high as it gets. It is an un-tethered vehicle so is totally reliant on it's own capabilities and that of the driver (pilot/captain) as soon as it is released. At these depths the difference between success and failure is a hair's width.

      Unless the vehicle can be found & crucially connected with so that it is under the control of a rescue vehicle the outcome is sadly going to be bad.

      We simply don't know what has happened. Other then "lost contact" there appears to be no other telemetry or transmission to suggest anything has happened. It has just disappeared. One would have thought there would have been some sort of telemetry back to the surface vessel but again, maybe that is not possible.

      One can only hope that the search efforts find something before it is too late. Just locating it is going to be the easy bit (in an incredibility difficult scenario), retrieving it is another thing altogether.

      1. BillG
        FAIL

        Re: Where’s Dirk Pitt when you need him?

        This video is a very good explanation of the design flaws in the sub:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dka29FSZac

        In short, the Titan was not designed by submarine Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), you'll have to watch the video to see why SMEs were deliberately excluded because if I posted it nobody would believe me. It never had an unmanned pressure test at the Titanic's depth. Instead of the reliability and simplicity of a wired control system, the sub is controlled by a COMMERCIAL-GRADE BLUETOOTH game controller (Why? How far can the pilot walk in the sub?) and as far as anyone knows there's no backup if the controller fails. There are multiple single-point of failures. There is also no voice communications and worst of all, loss of communications is considered normal.

        The most damning bit of information is that in 2018 OceanGate's Director of Marine Operations, David Lochridge, was fired for failing to sign off on the safety of the hull at the depth of the Titanic's wreck. The hull is wound carbon-fiber which under pressure does not crack (which can still hold pressure) but shatters (the end comes quickly).

  2. DS999 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    So the ghouls who want to look at where 1000+ people died

    Will become a tourist attraction themselves alongside the Titanic for future ghouls.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: So the ghouls who want to look at where 1000+ people died

      And they can make a movie about it.

      it's wrecks all the way down

      1. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge
      2. Mike 125

        Re: So the ghouls who want to look at where 1000+ people died

        > they can make a movie about it

        James Cameron's all over it this morning (Friday)

        @DS999

        You nailed it

  3. werdsmith Silver badge

    I wonder if some kind of sonar transponder with an independent power source is possible under 2 miles of water. A beacon signal to home in on.

    If ultra short base line position was lost, then it would be a back up system.

    1. UCAP Silver badge

      Aircraft black boxes are capable of handling those sort of depths, and they have a sonar transponder that will generate a "ping" for about a month (on a full battery charge). Developing something like that to for a submersible is should be possible, and should be mandated for submersibles being used to carry tourists. It would also give an independent way of continuously tracking the position of the submersible relative to its mother-ship.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Developing something like that to for a submersible is should be possible, and should be mandated for submersibles being used to carry tourists. It would also give an independent way of continuously tracking the position of the submersible relative to its mother-ship.

        I rather hope that becomes mandatory as well. AFAIK miltary submarines can deploy rescue beacons, but obviously don't operate at these depths. Being unable to reliably track the vessel seems like a serious oversight, regardless of the technical difficulties of doing this.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          >It would also give an independent way of continuously tracking the position of the submersible relative to its mother-ship.

          Tracking the position of a target underwater isn't as simple as that. For ROVs we mostly use the ROVs own IMU and a data link. This is simplified by knowing it's generally on the end of the umbilical.

          You can't locate a pinger from a stationary boat (except in the case of a large survey vessel with a lateral phase array rig) and a tourist boat isn't going to have a towed array

          So you would need the tourist boat to get a signal, then move around a search grid to fixate the position - which if the tourist boat doesn't have a survey grade GPS and DPS is tricky

          At any depth beyond glass-bottom 'look at the pretty fishes' submarine depths you also need to consider halo and thermo-clines and at Titanic depths a whole bunch of other techniques of strictly military or very commercially sensitive interest.

          Finding an aircraft type black-box at ocean floor depths isn't the sort of capability that's easy to fit to a tourist submarine vessel

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Tracking the position of a target underwater isn't as simple as that. For ROVs we mostly use the ROVs own IMU and a data link. This is simplified by knowing it's generally on the end of the umbilical.

            I guess this will be part of the lessons learned, and maybe legal/regulatory changes. If you can't locate a vessel, recovering it becomes a whole lot harder. So make it illegal to operate vessels until you can, especially 'for hire'. This is already SOLAS stuff, ie I can't just build a boat in my shed and start chartering it, or taking paying passengers on it without complying with a bunch of safety regulations that were written in blood.

      2. Stoneshop
        Boffin

        At least

        Developing something like that to for a submersible is should be possible

        Just a standard black box, and a tiedown strap.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Lots of things are possible

      but might be mostly academic. As one of the other posters pointed out, there are only a handful of subs or ROVs that could reach those depths, and none that could rescue someone if they could reach it. So while there are layers of additional tech that could be developed, at a certain point you cross into cowboy country and choose to risk a one way trip. This is a discipline as demanding as space travel, but with a fraction of the budget, and every sub that can hit those depths is essentially bespoke.

      While I can understand the hope some hold on to, the odds are not in their favor, and put it frankly running out of air would be one of the the worst ways to go. It is likely that with the prompt loss of communication and time from surface contact that the sub imploded. While the location of the subs wreck may provide closure, it is unlikely to have a happy ending. So while additional communications or telemetry channels might have provided more clarity, they would be unlikely to change the outcome.

      1. spold Silver badge

        Re: Lots of things are possible

        ...and given that it is around 36 hours left (approx at time of post) the other question is if there was anything capable of helping, is it anywhere near - if you have to factor in significant travel time before you even start anything it looks iffy. It may be academic if there is nothing capable.

      2. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Lots of things are possible

        I wonder if the limit isn't oxygen but carbon dioxide - don't know how much scrubbing they have available :(

        At this point they're either on the surface somewhere without power, they're dead or about to be.

        Oceanic depths are in many ways more challenging than space - at least in space you only need to deal with one atmosphere of pressure.

        1. Phil Kingston

          Re: Lots of things are possible

          If they're on the surface then basically they're still bolted-in to a rapidly-toxifying atmosphere. But will be able to look out the window. A horrible situation.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: Lots of things are possible

            But at least in that case there is the possibility of them being found.

            Even if we locate the sub on the ocean floor now there is no way to get to it, the only benefit would be that we could stop looking elsewhere.

            1. Stoneshop
              Mushroom

              Re: Lots of things are possible

              Even if we locate the sub on the ocean floor now there is no way to get to it

              The type of ROVs deployed have manipulator arms and possibly other tools to grab one of the extremities it has (at least a set of legs it rests on while on the launch/recover platform), pull it free and remove the ballast if it's still at depth.

              Once topside there should be someone with a big-ass angle grinder cutting off the viewport dome (softest part of the construction I'd expect) once it's secured and sufficiently above the surface. Then the hatch bolts, never mind that that would fsck this techbro's toy beyond repair.

        2. R Soul Silver badge

          Re: Lots of things are possible

          "don't know how much scrubbing they have available"

          Considering the sub's toilet facilities consist of a bucket with a screen around it, I'm going to take a wild guess and say the sub has no CO2 scrubbers.

          1. Chz

            Re: Lots of things are possible

            It would be impossible to have a journey of any length in a sealed tube that size, with 5 people in it, without scrubbers.

            One of the many videos of the vessel going around shows the atmosphere package as being a bunch of rebreathers. So yes, they can scrub CO2. I'd say the big question is whether they run out of O2 or scrubbing capacity first. Dying of lack of O2 is one of the more pleasant fatal scenarios - you just go light headed and pass out and die. Whereas too much CO2 has you panicking and gasping like a fish out of water until you die a horrible death.

            1. Wanting more

              Re: Lots of things are possible

              It's going to be cold too. A quick google suggests between seawater at that depth is 0 and 3 deg C and will be sapping away the heat in the sub. That's well within hypothermia territory.

        3. Dizzy Dwarf Bronze badge

          Re: Lots of things are possible

          Fry: "How deep can this thing go?"

          Professor Farnsworth: "This is a spaceship: its pressure rating is between one and zero"

        4. Dr Dan Holdsworth
          Boffin

          Re: Lots of things are possible

          Less than one atmosphere, actually.

          What you absolutely need is the same partial pressure of oxygen that you get on earth, plus a smidgeon of carbon dioxide to keep you breathing, plus just a little nitrogen. That adds up to about 20 to 25% of one atmosphere in spacecraft and in space suits.

          This is especially important in space suits because you want to be able to bend the arms at least without too much effort, and fighting one atmosphere of pressure is annoying. a fifth of an atmosphere is much easier to cope with.

          This also means that a slight leak in a suit (over and above what you are always going to get from diffusion through suit materials) is going to be much less dangerous at the lower pressures.

          So yes, space is much less dangerous than deep ocean travel, especially with the high bar to actually getting there meaning that you are always going to have a decent budget in space travel. With deep ocean travel, any bloody numpty can rock up and have a go, and some do. Some are even daft enough to put people inside their machines.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Lots of things are possible

            Always wondered why modern spacecraft Shuttle/ISS/Mir operate(d) at 1atm STP ?

            The Apollo 1 fire might have made people nervous of pure oxygen but that's because they tried it to 1.2atm (how they managed to have a team in Florida who had never been Scuba diving ?)

            Even if you launch at 1Atm you have plenty of time to vent the onboard air and refill to 0.2bar O2 on the way up.

            I assume a Nasa weird safety rule ? We need people to be able to bail out of an exploding Space Shuttle at 20,000ft without worrying about the bends !

        5. JoeCool Silver badge

          scrubbing

          According to the cbs journalist reporting on the Titan, the ecidence points to either hull implosion or complete loss of electrical. Are the scrubbers purely mechanical, or do they need power?

      3. hoola Silver badge

        Re: Lots of things are possible

        From something my daughter read apparently the submarine has had issues previously with loss of communication and actually becoming stuck because it jammed on a piece of the wreck.

    3. James O'Shea

      Sure you can. Indeed, it's been done. The problem is, in every previous case the beacon marked the place where the wreck was found... if the beacon survived the event that caused the wreck. Imploding at 3800 metres down will cause dieseling, where the imploding air causes everything in its path (which is everything inside the sub) to catch fire. Briefly. Until the water arrives to put the fire out. Very few things can withstand the dieseling followed by extreme pressures. Aircraft transponders will work even at extreme depths, but that's because the pressure gradually builds on the way down. Aircraft are designed o keep air pressure in, not water pressure out, and won't go very deep before cracking and letting water in, at which point pressure inside and out is equal and builds slowly as the aircraft sinks. They were already at depth, two hours out of 2.75 hours to target, when the signal was lost. If the thing imploded, there will be pieces of sub scattered over a wide area. USS Thresher, lost in a lot shallower water (2600 metres, not 3800) was scattered over 130,000 square metres. There will be fewer big pieces and lots of little pieces (No nuclear reactor or steam turbines). Don't even bother looking for bodies, the dieseling will have effectively vaporised them.

      1. Catkin Silver badge

        Re. the bodies, Project Azorian allegedly recovered the remains of Soviet submariners from an implosion in 4.8km of water and buried them at sea. It's not been disclosed, as far as I'm aware, what state they were in but it was enough to put in a steel casket for reburial and the fact this happened is fairly credible as a recording of the burial was provided to Soviet authorities (who didn't dispute this claim).

      2. trindflo Bronze badge

        Dieseling

        I'd never heard of this, but it makes sense. The sudden increase in pressure would cause a proportional spike in temperature. Enough to cause spontaneous combustion of meat; that is hard to imagine, but again makes sense when I look at the numbers. So you would go up like a matchstick then get hit by the icy sea at a high enough velocity it would be like hitting a solid wall. It would certainly be quick.

        1. sebacoustic

          Re: Dieseling

          The air bubble will heat up a lot as it reduces in size to 1/300, but the millonaires' bodies inside are nigh on incompressible (just as if they were ordinary people) and they won't heat up much. The sub is only 6.7m long on the outside so a very rough calculation gives me 20m^3 air volume, in all you have less than 30kg of air in there, if that gets hot it's barely enough to cook the bodies to "well done" let alone burn them up. Thin dry combustible things like their clothes might burn (silk doesn't catch fire easily tho) but not the bodies.

      3. John Robson Silver badge

        "if the beacon survived the event that caused the wreck"

        The beacon should be external to the pressure vessel, therefore having a gradual increase in pressure anyway.

        There is still a chance that the shockwave from the implosion could cause significant damage, but there is no reason for everything to be inside the (de)pressurised volume

        1. Stoneshop

          Beacon

          The beacon should be external to the pressure vessel, therefore having a gradual increase in pressure anyway.

          Also, it should be pinging from the moment it's released from the launch platform so that whatever happens to the sub and the beacon, they'll know where it was when it happened.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: Beacon

            Have to be a pretty low data rate to allow for any other communications, but yes.

            1. Stoneshop

              Re: Beacon

              A ping a minute sounds good enough to me, given the speed at which movement (and indeed, most things) tend to happen under water.

          2. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: Beacon

            Most submersibles have an acoustic data link and a locator beacon.

            It's been reported that Titan only has the data link. No backup, and the data link has failed on previous expeditions.

            It does seem very slapdash.

            WTF would you use a wireless controller? If nothing else, you really don't want to rely on batteries at both ends.

            Use a wired one, take a spare!

    4. HMcG

      Not only possible, but industry standard. The current generation of USBL transponders used throughout the oil industry is the Kongsberg cNode family of acoustic transponders, which are rated to 4000m. Newer HiPAP systems are capable of positioning to 0.2- 0.3% of water depth, so roughly 10m. Dive bells are required to have a minimum of 2 emergency transponders, in addition to operational ones. There is no reasonable excuse for not having a similar number on this thing.

      1. fajensen
        Pint

        There is no reasonable excuse for not having a similar number on this thing.

        We don't wanna harm business and limit innovation by regulation? Usually works!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There is no reasonable excuse for not having a similar number on this thing.

        Money spent on those unneccessary gadgets is money that could be in my wallet. There's the reasonable excuse that counts most.

    5. NoneSuch Silver badge
      Facepalm

      There are very few regulations on subs as most of them are in the hands of the military.

      Expect that to change with additional legislation due to recent events. Same thing happened when the Titanic went down with limited life boats.

      1. Catkin Silver badge

        I wonder what the unintended consequences will be. For that legislation, it resulted in the SS Eastland disaster (half as deadly as Titanic).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Another dire James Cameron movie?

        2. Mooseman Silver badge

          " it resulted in the SS Eastland disaster"

          The Eastland was a disaster waiting to happen - it had nearly capsized long before the extra lifeboats were added. To make it faster the ship had its draught reduced which effectively made it top heavy. Adding lifeboats to an already unstable ship was the icing on the cake, but that was helped along by the owners choosing to increase the number of passengers along with the full compliment of lifeboats.

    6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      some kind of sonar transponder

      this has happened before..

      There's at least one case of a submersible in the North Sea being trapped on the sea bed in the 70's. Yes they did use "pingers" to navigate around the legs of the drilling rig.

      They were rescued in time, but the CO2 level got high. That means killer headaches, gasping for breath and thick "brain fog" :-(

      Can I count the number of single point failures in this design?

      No backup submersible (SOP for the offshore oil business)

      No backup game controller!! WTF

      BTW 10m of water --> 1 atm additional pressure.

      4000m --> 400atm

      That's higher than the pressure inside the Shuttle main engines.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jerry-riggedness?

    Jerry-rigged appearing stuff isn't comforting...however, facing 6000-ish psi (400-ish bar), I imagine that everything important was thoroughly FEA-ed.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Jerry-riggedness?

      BBC reported that it'd not been "classed" by any recognised maritime design safety agency. The company itself says something like it's too far ahead of regulators for the vessel to get regulated...

      Making a pressure hull out of two materials (CF and titanium) that have different Young's moduli sounds like a fraught engineering challenge, especially as unexpected loads in CF can lead to damage accumulating with each loading / unloading cycle. The hull either side of the joint between the CF and titanium is going to want to compress by different amounts... There's a lot riding on exactly how they've joined titanium to CF... I'm also not reassured by the apparent presence of a real time hull health monitoring system. You don't need one of those, if you've got the material properties / quality correct. It's presence suggests a lack of certainty about these...

      The fact that it's not been located suggests that there's been a number of omissions in the overall design. Things like an automatic disaster pinger (which military subs can have), and an independent location pinger, plus systems on the support ship to detect and log these. Ideally, "comms lost" ought to mean a fall back to (in the best case) "still got a locator ping, and it's heading up", or (in the worst case) "got emergency beacon ping, heading down". However, "Comms lost" after 1hr or so and a hunt for a missing sub suggests that back up methods for locating the vessel and understanding its status do not (usefully) exist.

      1. UCAP Silver badge

        Re: Jerry-riggedness?

        BBC has also reported that the manufacturer of the submersible's view port only rated it to a depth of 1,300 m; the Titanic lies in 3,800 m.

      2. Chz

        Re: Jerry-riggedness?

        Not just the loads on the carbon fibre, but someone I know who's dealt with (remote) deep diving vehicles told me that at that pressure even titanium will slowly "rot". They never got more than 2 years or 5 dives out of their drones before needing replacement. Didn't say how long a dive was for the them, so it's hard to extrapolate to the Titan.

        1. bazza Silver badge

          Re: Jerry-riggedness?

          It'd be very interesting to know what is meant by "slowly rot" - sounds like an interesting (if irritating) phenomena! Any explanation available? It would be gratefully received!

          Titantium does have its drawbacks. Lockheed found with the A12 / SR71 project that chlorine contamination was a problem (marker pens, tap water), was was cadmium (cad-plated tools), iron (steel tools). Scratch a panel with a steel tool, and some time later it'd fall to pieces along the scratch line. Things of that nature. I think that this is much relieved by alloying titanium with other things, but that also detracts from the strength of pure titanium too. I'm fairly sure that most "titanium" one comes across in the consumer market is far from pure (any expert out there care to supply corrections - most welcome!).

          So, possibly, titanium undergoing flexure in a nasty witches brew of chemicals / ions (sea water) is vulnerable to degradation that way.

          The USSR built the Alpha submarines out of titanium. It'd be interesting to know what their experiences were like too. I suspect that they used plenty of it...

      3. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: Jerry-riggedness?

        Not to mention the fact that the carbon fibre doesn't really do anything in this pressure hull. CF is strong in tension (for it's weight) but doesn't do much at all in compression. This pressure hull is basically made out of epoxy as you can pretty much disregard the CF for strenght purposes in this application. The entire thing was just a disaster waiting to happen and the interviews with the "designer" of the thing don't give me much confidence in his engineering capabilities either. The ballast drop system seems to rely on tilting the sub by moving occupants to one side or the other. Which doesn't work of the thing is sitting on the bottom.

        Last reports I've heard is that a rythmic banging was heard on hydrophones at least 4 hours apart, which makes it likely they're on the bottom. And which makes it certain they'll die from either lack of Oxygen (the merciful way to go) or die from excess CO2 (Which will be agony). IF they still have battery power for heating that is, because if they don't they might well be dead from hypothermia before then. Even if they locate them, there is no way they can get any submersible capable of reaching them to the location, deployed and down to them in time. Not to mention it wouldn't be able to do anything. The only thing I can think of is attaching a floatation bag and putting a tiny amount of gas in, but that gas would expand to the point of bursting the bag within probably a quarter of the way up. And the ascend would be uncontrolled, extremely fast and extremely dangerous.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Jerry-riggedness?

          You can make carbon fibre pressure vessels using overwinding techniques, either with or without a metal liner, and if you get your winding angles right, they can be used to withstand external pressures. In this case though, I'd expect the pressure vessel to be titanium.

          1. Stoneshop

            Re: Jerry-riggedness?

            The pressure is outside of the vessel, not inside. Its walls are loaded on compression.

        2. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Jerry-riggedness?

          No flotation bag is going to work at that depth.

          It's 380 bar at the bottom.

          Commercially available high pressure air tanks are up to around 250bar. Open the valve at depth and the water rushes into the air tank!

          While you might be able to get custom tanks rated for 400bar, that's going to be really expensive and filling such a vessel would be interesting as nitrogen or CO2 would be in the supercritical liquid phase.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Jerry-riggedness?

        "BBC reported that it'd not been "classed" by any recognised maritime design safety agency. The company itself says something like it's too far ahead of regulators for the vessel to get regulated..."

        "Move fast and break things" meets "extreme environments & engineering challenges". Not having a catastrophic failure would be more unexpected than having one.

        Next time someone says "billionaires are smart, that is why they are billionaires" I will (1) laugh in a nasty manner and (2) point to this as yet another example. If I had the money for paying for one of those rides and wanted to do it I would first hire a first rate engineering team (with the appropriate specialisations) to tell me if it was safe and sane (skipping consensual for now).

      5. Timop

        Re: Jerry-riggedness?

        Yeah there are some simple issues like thermal expansion differences between CF and titanium which is not that nice in the long run if you have >30 K temperature differences on each diving cycle.

        Heads for carbon delamination and tails for fatique fracture in titanium.

    2. deive

      Re: Jerry-riggedness?

      From the article: "According to Pogue, the waiver he had to sign stated: "This experimental vessel has not been approved or certified by any regulatory body, and could result in physical injury, emotional trauma, or death.""

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Jerry-riggedness?

      A former employee was fired for complaining about the lack of safety: https://newrepublic.com/post/173802/missing-titanic-sub-faced-lawsuit-depths-safely-travel-oceangate

      So I'm not sure it's certified by anyone.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Jerry-riggedness?

      i'd imagine that hand calculations were used to size the parts, (you can look up pressure vessel design formulas in a book) and then FEA used to aid the design of the areas where the pressure vessel is compromised. (i.e. the hatch, window, and any pass-throughs for cables for control systems.)

  5. Killing Time

    Transponder

    You would like to think that the scenario where an emergency surfacing event was considered (probably some way from the support ship) and some independent means of locating the vessel on the surface would have been considered as a mitigating measure as part of the design risk assessments, over and above the sonar comms.

    Sadly, as there is no mention at this time of this facility being fitted or operating, it doesn't bode well for the outcome.

    1. graeme leggett Silver badge

      Re: Transponder

      this is where the bit about the vessel not being regulated/registered/approved becomes important.

      1. Killing Time

        Re: Transponder

        "this is where the bit about the vessel not being regulated/registered/approved becomes important."

        But is it though?

        What organisation would regulate/register/approve? When something is inherently high risk and of no particular strategic value to a nation state, which public / governmental body would stick it's head above the parapet and say 'yeah, this is safe'?

        Besides, the company themselves are unlikely to be absolute idiots. They are going to risk assess and mitigate risks as best they can to ensure their business has a future.

        Finally, the potential clients paying top dollar are not likely to be fools and more than likely do some kind of due diligence regarding mitigation of risks. The notion that self made wealthy people are just lucky is a fallacy, they have above average intelligence and like taking risks but not unacceptable risks.

        Frankly, the personal opinion on 'jury rigged' I give very little credence to without more detail. The fact that the ballast may have been repurposed from another use is immaterial, its still ballast.

        1. pdh

          Re: Transponder

          > Besides, the company themselves are unlikely to be absolute idiots. They are going to risk assess and mitigate risks as best they can to ensure their business has a future.

          Not to mention -- their CEO was onboard. That has to be interpreted as a strong vote of confidence on his part; you'd think he would know if the craft was dodgy.

          1. CrackedNoggin Bronze badge

            Re: Transponder

            But the man now leading the search on behalf of OceanGate was originally scheduled to go on this trip, but cancelled at the last minute due to "urgent business".

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Transponder

            Hubris and delusion are not uncommon CEO traits. Quite a few of them have come unstuck as a result - the CEO of the company that owned the Titanic for instance. He had so much confidence in his unsinkable ship he went on its maiden voyage. It didn't end well.

          3. fajensen

            Re: Transponder

            you'd think he would know if the craft was dodgy.

            CEO's have this filter where everything "bad" or "inconvenient" that is standing in their way is minimised and dismissed.

            That trait is in addition to being installed at the top of a low-pass filter where every level in the organisation massages the information "on the way up" so only "Move the KPI News", Good News and Superb News ever reaches the excecutive floor.

          4. david bates

            Re: Transponder

            Google 'people killed by their own inventions'

            Hubris is a thing

          5. HMcG

            Re: Transponder

            "That has to be interpreted as a strong vote of confidence on his part;"

            I would interpret it as reckless bravado and a lack of a proper engineering understanding of the subject matter.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Transponder

          >What organisation would regulate/register/approve?

          Atlantis

        3. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: Transponder

          "Besides, the company themselves are unlikely to be absolute idiots. They are going to risk assess and mitigate risks as best they can to ensure their business has a future."

          But you are reliant on the company having the knowledge to identify a risk like this and be able to mitigate it.

          The CEO has gone on the record saying he deliberately avoided employing former Navy submariners because they're all 50 years old and white, which to him wouldn't inspire "the next generation". He has a point of course, but his alternative was to fill the company with college graduates instead. That in itself is fine, but they don't have real world experiences of the subject. That in itself is obvious given how this submarine has gone to sea with no locating devices, no (from what can be seen) way of recycling the air or at least scrubbing it, and that they felt it was fine to stick a porthole on a craft that's meant to go 3,800m down that's only rated for 1,300m.

          Something like this can be high risk, but should still have some sort of regulation attached to it. Flying is high risk, as is motorsport, but both sectors have regulations in place to mitigate or minimize the risk experienced. It's an interesting thing to note in regards to carbon fibre that Gordon Murray (F1 fan car man, questionable designer of the MP4/4 that won all but one race) said he wouldn't use carbon fibre wheels for his new cars. When asked why he said that carbon fibre as a material means that it will either be a wheel or shatter, there is no middle ground. And that's the problem with carbon fibre, unless you are paying close attention to the material and check it for defects, then it doesn't just deform a bit then crack, it full on shatters. There is a reason why carbon fibre isn't used on submarine hulls like this and it's not because "it's beyond regulators", it's because if a submarine is at crush depth the metal can deform before it gives way, it gives the occupants time to blow to the surface. Carbon fibre in the same situation would just shatter.

          Regulations are often written in blood, but it doesn't stop cowboys like the Stockton Rush fella from thinking the rules don't apply to him or he knows better. Now he's paid the price for that ignorance with his own life and the life of the 4 others on board.

          1. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: Transponder

            "He has a point of course..." Of course? Choosing diverse hires over talented and knowledgable hires may have cost him his life. Utter woke stupidity.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Transponder

              "El Reg Anti-Woke Squadron - DIVE!"

            2. wolfetone Silver badge

              Re: Transponder

              "Utter woke stupidity"

              Haven't you got a book to burn or something instead of coming on here talking shite?

              He has a point in recruiting young hires to the project, because people are fickle and if they see some 25 year old building a submarine they too will think "Wow, that's cool, I can do that" more than they'll look at a rather rotund 50 year old bloke with grey hair doing the same thing. That's human nature in a nutshell, nothing "woke" about it.

              There is no problem hiring like that - providing you have older more experienced people working along side them in order to help develop them. The second part he didn't do.

              Now from my point of view these stupid culture wars you like to partake in have no place in this situation. Why? Because as far as I can tell with the way this thing is built/operated the younger hires would be cheaper to get hold of rather than navy veterans.

              It's his own greed that has cost him his life pal, nothing else.

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: Transponder

                "Utter woke stupidity"

                Unlike rockets, it would seem that hiring Nazis to design your submarines doesn't have a good historical track record. So going woke is probably OK.

            3. Knightlie

              Re: Transponder

              Found the guy still using "woke" unironically...

          2. Dr Dan Holdsworth
            Boffin

            Re: Transponder

            The other problem here is that carbon fibre isn't just carbon fibre. It consists of fibres of polymeric carbon (obviously) and less obviously a resin.

            The idea is that the carbon fibre gives tensile strength, and the resin gives compressive strength. But as always the devil is in the details of this; how malleable and ductile is the resin? If it isn't very malleable then if loaded too far it will crack; this then loads the carbon fibres which as stress increases will start to give way, one by one.

            This is probably what the hull integrity monitoring (likely fibre optic glass fibres which, when they break, stop transmitting light) is all about: spotting minor stress cracking before it becomes anything more.

            The question then becomes what the tolerances are for this damage monitoring; is it being down to military standards whereby any damage is unacceptable, or are we talking pre-disaster NASA standards (which amounted to "It worked last time, it must still be safe) where a level of damage is tolerated?

            We simply do not know.

            1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
              Pirate

              Re: Hull integrity

              I read that the integrity monitoring was acoustic, they had embedded microphones listening for the sound of damage occurring. Which sounds dumb to me, at least as your one and only mechanism, but what do I know?

              GJC

            2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: Transponder

              The idea is that the carbon fibre gives tensile strength, and the resin gives compressive strength. But as always the devil is in the details of this; how malleable and ductile is the resin? If it isn't very malleable then if loaded too far it will crack; this then loads the carbon fibres which as stress increases will start to give way, one by one.

              There has also been video of the cylinder being wrapped. Most carbon fibre I've seen has had a weave, ie strips or strands laid in different directions, presumably to improve strength from different directions. I'm curious how it's would likely fail, and if that would lead to surface wreckage. AFAIK, fibre is weak in compression, and I've seen failures where it either shatters, or ends up as 'fluff' or strands. Being black fibre, that would presumably be hard to locate on the surface, or be drifting on deep currents somewhere. Presumably the titanium endcaps are the major parts that may survive and be located.

              1. JimC

                Re: Most carbon fibre I've seen has had a weave,

                Woven cloth is a convenience with a slight strength penalty. Its utterly normal for high end construction to have individual fibres oriented for the design loads.

                1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                  Re: Most carbon fibre I've seen has had a weave,

                  Woven cloth is a convenience with a slight strength penalty. Its utterly normal for high end construction to have individual fibres oriented for the design loads.

                  Yup, but wouldn't there also be compressive forces from the end caps? I'm also curious whether those were fitted properly. There's a video showing the 5" thick tube having those caps being daubed with resin and the caps attached. It says they're an extremely precision fit and can't then be detached. Every time I've done something similar, you get some resin squeezed out of the joint, which didn't happen. So I wonder how precise those joints really were, especially after a few compression/expansion cycles.

            3. nobody who matters

              Re: Transponder

              "......We simply do not know......."

              Sums up most of this thread tbh.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Transponder

            It was too much faith in carbon fibre that contributed to the collapse of Rolls Royce in 1971. The RB211 was designed with CF fan blades - light and strong enough to withstand the forces from rotation. Unfortunately, they couldn't withstand a chicken - a bird strike would turn the blades to paintbrushes. It wasn't the only issue that led to cost overrun and the need for a government bail-out (and the creation of Rolls Royce (1971) Limited) but it was one in which I had an involvement after the fact. I joined in 1974, in the department working on new ways to manufacture fan blades that were light enough; the size had been set in the overall engine design and CF had promised to be light enough. We eventually came up with away to manufacture hollow metallic blades - light enough to fit the overall spec, not to overload other parts, but strong enough not to fatally disintegrate on bird strikes. 50 years on and, whilst we understand CF better, it's still CF and, as stated, prone to catastrophic failure.

            Whilst at RR, I also specialised in ways to manufacture parts from titanium, but that's another story...

            Anon because I'm now retired and enjoying life!

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Transponder

          "Finally, the potential clients paying top dollar are not likely to be fools and more than likely do some kind of due diligence regarding mitigation of risks. The notion that self made wealthy people are just lucky is a fallacy, they have above average intelligence and like taking risks but not unacceptable risks."

          Have you met any rich people?

          They are generally fucking over confident idiots. majority did get lucky. and no they are not above average itelligence. and they take more risks as they presume their money will save them.

          1. Killing Time

            Re: Transponder

            Have you met any rich people?

            I stated ' self made wealthy' and yes I have thanks, quite a few.

        5. abend0c4 Silver badge

          Re: Transponder

          "They are going to risk assess and mitigate risks"

          They're not really in a position to do that in a situation where no recognised authority will apparently certify the design. And frankly, you're unlikely to see anything through a small viewing port that you couldn't see much better on a screen in the comfort of your own home linked to an unmanned submersible with a camera. It's not just a risky endeavour, it's a pointlessly risky endeavour. The obvious risk mitigation is not to do it.

        6. graeme leggett Silver badge

          Re: Transponder

          If it was operating in national waters, then it would have to adhere to things similar to "Merchant Shipping (Submersible Craft Operations) Regulations 1987, SI 2002/1587" and the like.

        7. Stoneshop
          Facepalm

          Re: Transponder

          Besides, the company themselves are unlikely to be absolute idiots.

          ... classing agencies only focus on validating the physical vessel. They do not ensure that operators adhere to proper operating procedures and decision-making processes – two areas that are much more important for mitigating risks at sea. The vast majority of marine (and aviation) accidents are a result of operator error, not mechanical failure. As a result, simply focusing on classing the vessel does not address the operational risks.

          Adhering to proper operational procedures gets a little difficult the moment you're being squashed by 4km of water column.

          Skipping technical certification because you deem proper operational procedures to be sufficient smells very much like techbro arrogance.

    2. HMcG

      Re: Transponder

      Or even just a coat of orange paint, to make it visible on the surface. White is almost impossible to see at sea, as it is lost in amongst wave crests. That's why lifeboats are orange. That's why fishing buoys are orange.

  6. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

    As Many News Organisations Have Pointed Out

    & make a big thing about control via a Bluetooth video game controller.

    I have this feeling that something mindboggling stupid happened like no spare batteries\depleted charge or something happened to the Bluetooth video game controller, they left without a spare & thus have no means to control the sub.

    I'm hoping for a positive outcome, but frankly I don't see one coming.

    1. PhilipN Silver badge

      Bluetooth video game controller

      J.... H.... C.... ....

      1. navarac Silver badge

        Re: Bluetooth video game controller

        At least it was a Logitech, NOT an Xbox controller made by you know who.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: As Many News Organisations Have Pointed Out

      The thought that came to me was, someone sat on the controller and broke it, and there was no alternative control via a touchscreen

      1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: As Many News Organisations Have Pointed Out

        We'll probably never know, but I wonder what happens if one of the passengers has a panic attack and freaks out in such a confined space? I wonder what the psychological assessments were like prior to departure?

        GJC

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: As Many News Organisations Have Pointed Out

          That may well be why they're bolted in with no way to open the hatch from the inside.

          Someone having a panic attack and trying to open the hatch would be a horrible way for the others to die.

  7. James O'Shea

    Well, they're dead

    Even if the sub hasn't imploded, which it probably has, the nearest rescue subs would be the American Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle assigned to the Atlantic... except that both American DSRVs have been decommissioned and replaced by underwater drones, and this thing is likely 2 miles (3 kilometres) down, where the American DSRVs were designed to rescue from 600 metres and had a never-exceed depth of 1.5 km.

    Note that the drone has a design depth of 610 metres. That's not happening.

    The American DSRVs, now no longer with us, were about as good as anyone else's DSRVs, and a lot closer than most. Mystic, the Atlantic DSRV, could have been on site in under 24 hours, possibly under 18 hours. But it's gone. And even if it were available, there's the problem of finding the sub. DSRVs are not speed demons and don't have the best search equipment, there just isn't space. Even if Mystic was available, it is extremely unlikely that the sub would be found in time.

    You go deep, you go alone, lads and lassies.

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      Re: Well, they're dead

      Upvoted for the detailed and interesting information, rather than for the (undoubtedly correct) conclusion drawn, obviously.

      GJC

  8. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Cant imagine

    a worse fate....

    But I thought these things had their dive weights clamped on by electromagnets... sub loses all power, the dive weights fall off and the sub rises to the surface... although could lead to an even worse fate given the crew hatch is bolted from the outside(according to BBC) so they could bobbing on the surface and still run out of oxygen..

    1. Jedit Silver badge
      Headmaster

      "I thought these things had their dive weights clamped on by electromagnets..."

      Many of them quite probably do. Just not the ones designed by a libertarian "captain of industry" who has repeatedly railed against safety regulations in submersible construction and who cut every possible corner in manufacturing.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Cant imagine

      >crew hatch is bolted from the outside

      Presumably in case it ever went to a negative depth ?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The notion that self made wealthy people have above average intelligence is itself a fallacy, perhaps even bigger than the one you just pulled out your backside.

    Only an idiot would get into any vehicle or building that by design cannot be opened from the inside. The obvious question to ask is how do I get out if this thingie floods or catches fire? And for this particular case the obvious followup is how do I get out if the sub runs out of breathable air? That's nothing approximating to due diligence. It's just basic common sense.

    Maybe the poor sods who are in this submarine did ask those questions. Maybe they didn't. Barring some miracle, we'll probably never know. If they did ask those questions, they presumably decided it was still worth the risk. I hope they are proved right but fear they won't.

    1. WolfFan

      A lot of early spacecraft had hatches that were bolted down. Famously the Mercury capsules had explosive bolts to allow emergency escape. On at least one occasion the explosive bolts exploded when they weren’t supposed to. Oops.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Yeah but Apollo 1 happened and they've not done it since.

        You don't need to be told the reason as to why!

        1. UCAP Silver badge

          Having mentioned Apollo 1, can we just take a moment to reflect on the the truly awful fate of Guy Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. What we are seeing now is simply a modern replay of a tragic accident that could have been avoided.

          1. PhilipN Silver badge

            Grissom White and Chaffee

            Thanks for the reminder. Tragic heroes whose names had not transited the grey matter since I were a wee lad.

    2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Only an idiot would get into any vehicle or building that by design cannot be opened from the inside.

      So you know more about designing a door to survive 400 bar pressure?

      Very likely this claustrophobic aspect was out of engineering necessity, not carelessness.

      1. UCAP Silver badge

        With the right design you can use the pressure to seal the hatch even more tightly. Keep in mind that there is only one situation when you would want to open the hatch, and that is when you are on the surface.

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          there is only one situation when you would want to open the hatch, and that is when you are on the surface.

          There are two specialisations of that use case though. One is the normal situation where the support crew is there to welcome you back from a successful trip. The other is where something has gone wrong and the submersible has bobbed to the surface undetected and miles from anywhere.

          1. JimC

            > the submersible has bobbed to the surface undetected and miles from anywhere

            But in that case the inevitable result of opening the hatch is that waves break over the submersible and it fills with water and sinks within minutes at best. A craft capable of surviving the open ocean is way more complex, larger and expensive. More of a submarine really. Or you could design a separate ventilation system that can survive the surface, in which case you have further compromises to your pressure vessel and increased risk of explosion.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        yes, as bolting it closed from the outside is obviously suicidal and a stupid fucking idea

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

          Really?

          You are unlikely to be able to bolt it from both sides as then you need a rotating shaft or a few that can sustain 400 bar pressure, so if bolted from the inside and any issue the rescuers can't get in short of cutting the submarine up. So you have to decide what is the more likely scenario - that you are floating in the middle of nowhere undiscovered and can't get out, or you are picked up in distress and they can't get in quickly.

          At the ocean surface I would have thought there are many ways to be found - picked up by search and rescue radar, or distress beacon that goes off automatically to report your GPS position. If you are under water, even close to the surface, you need help. Opening the hatch at even a few meters depth is likely to cause a massive rush of water in (assuming you even have the strength to do that) and I doubt folks could get out before all are sinking.

          1. Stoneshop
            FAIL

            You are unlikely to be able to bolt it from both sides as then you need a rotating shaft or a few that can sustain 400 bar pressure

            This is an engineering problem. A solved engineering problem.

            that you are floating in the middle of nowhere undiscovered and can't get out

            The bigger problem is all of the crew getting out before the craft fills with water and returns to the ocean floor. Mind, oceans are rarely dead calm and without waves, plus you have to be sure your hatch is fully above the surface anyway in the first place. And then? Bravo, you're somewhere in a vast and pretty cold ocean without any life support equipment like isolating flotation overalls, locating beacons or whatever else that might help you being rescued instead of merely recovered.

            or you are picked up in distress and they can't get in quickly.

            The one situation where time might be of the essence is fire, and that would likely have been fatal already if it started while still under water. In every other case a few minutes will hardly make a difference, especially since rescuers on the outside can deploy any tool they have at hand and for instance start by demolishing the viewport dome. That means fresh air, and then time becomes somewhat less of a factor.

            1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

              This is an engineering problem. A solved engineering problem.

              Care to list a part number for such a device?

              Seems there are a lot of folks here quick to assume the designers know nothing as they (a) don't like the idea, and (b) the sub clearly has failed one way or another on this dive (not its first). I know very little about working at such depths but I do know it is REALLY HARD to do and very few folks in the whole world have achieved it. So if you are actually an expert in the please tell us more.

              1. Stoneshop

                Care to list a part number for such a device?

                It's obviously not an off-the-shelf part as you need to have it made to fit where it's supposed to go, but moving parts passing from an atmospheric pressure environment to 400 bar is something that's done in not just a few chemical production processes, for instance.

                So, a solved problem.

                1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

                  Re: Care to list a part number for such a device?

                  Just looked for rotating joints and you are indeed correct, hydraulic ones to 500 bar available as "off the shelf items".

    3. trindflo Bronze badge

      I'm not sure I would want to be in a situation like that knowing that anyone could suddenly have an emotional attack, feel the need to open the door, and that it would be trivial to do so. In addition I suspect the door opens outward, so at any depth human strength would not be enough to force it open against the water pressure.

      Of course, I wouldn't be doing this anyway as I'm not sinfully wealthy, I don't have a death wish, and it actually doesn't sound like that much fine even without the potential visit by Thanatos.

      1. SkippyBing

        You don't want to open it at depth, you want to open it at the surface so you can breathe if you come up miles from the support vessel after an extended stay on the sea bed.

        1. Stoneshop
          Boffin

          you want to open it at the surface

          Err, you want to open some ventilation port that has a 121.3% proven method against water ingress. The craft is positively buoyant without ballast, but it's not going to stick out of the water high enough that ocean waves aren't going to slosh over it.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Congratulations AC, in one paragraph you have spectacularly managed to demonstrate your level of intelligence....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        looks like that is a self reference

  10. Howard Sway Silver badge

    The CEO on board the sub fired the director of operations resposible for safety....

    ... because he demanded an independent inspection of the craft to ensure safety.

    "Lochridge, whose role included overseeing safety on the Titan project, had urged OceanGate to seek classification several years ago, before he was sacked in a disagreement about safety checks on the craft."

    I wonder if he was inspired by any other more famous submarine-inventor CEOs who have a penchant for firing anyone who shows a shred of caution about taking big risks?

    1. cantankerous swineherd

      Re: The CEO on board the sub fired the director of operations resposible for safety....

      In his filing, Mr Lochridge said the viewing port at the forward end of the submersible was built to sustain a certified pressure of 1,300m, although OceanGate planned to take passengers down to depths of some 4,000m.

      - https://www.straitstimes.com/world/titanic-sub-firm-fired-exec-who-raised-safety-concerns-suit

      looks like the forward viewing port went at approx 1301 metres. hope it was quick.

      1. trindflo Bronze badge

        Re: The CEO on board the sub fired the director of operations resposible for safety....

        Nice research. That says it all. Hate to be cold, but it would be unreasonable to risk human life on rescue efforts at depth given that information. There is no reason to expect the sub should have made it halfway to the desired depth, although the point where they lost communications suggests they made it most of the way and the viewport survived way beyond its certification. It would have been quick and filled with so much sensation the human mind would not be able to categorize it - they never knew what hit them.

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: The CEO on board the sub fired the director of operations resposible for safety....

          Putting themselves through that whole process to take turns to peer through a small porthole at a wreck with limited lighting would require certain motivations that I don’t have. When there are remote cameras providing a better view and I can look at the images on my phone now on a train between Portsmouth and Waterloo.

          1. Stoneshop
            Coat

            Re: The CEO on board the sub fired the director of operations resposible for safety....

            I can look at the images on my phone now on a train between Portsmouth and Waterloo.

            Damn, I'm not even close to that train route now. I was much nearer on Monday, but then I was unaware of this matter developing.

            Is there a way that I can see them from other locations?

        2. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: The CEO on board the sub fired the director of operations resposible for safety....

          "There is no reason to expect the sub should have made it halfway to the desired depth" This was not the submersibles first dive to the Titanic. There have been several others where everything worked fine.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The CEO on board the sub fired the director of operations resposible for safety....

            repetative stress problem.

            third time’s a charm....

        3. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: The CEO on board the sub fired the director of operations resposible for safety....

          There was never any possibility of sending a manned submersible down to help. There aren't any near enough, even if someone was willing to go.

          If they are at depth, then the only possible rescue craft is an ROV.

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    So the sub has not been certified

    But they still offer commercial trips.

    Am I supposed to be surprised that something may have gone wrong ?

    I would have thought that offering a commercial service would be surrounded by guarantees that are a bit beyond "We designed the sub with NASA". I would have supposed that there would be a clear trail of paperwork pointing to all the tests that have been done and approved by some authority that is not an employee of the company.

    Apparently not.

    And if the answer is "nobody would be foolish enough to certify", then the response should be "Well I'm not going".

    They went, and I'm guessing they'll stay.

    Frankly, throwing yourself out of a plane with just a few meters of cloth to keep you alive seems positively reasonable in comparison.

    1. ChoHag Silver badge

      Re: So the sub has not been certified

      > Am I supposed to be surprised that something may have gone wrong ?

      All the engineers, some of whom are no doubt itching to get down and rove around the ocean floor, stayed behind. You think with a CEO this stupid they couldn't come up with an excuse to be needed aboard?

      Tells you all you need to know.

    2. SundogUK Silver badge

      Re: So the sub has not been certified

      Everyone on board knew it was not certified and knew it was dangerous. Apparently the disclaimer they had to sign had three points where they had to acknowledge this. People climb Everest every year and every year people die doing it. Some people just want that danger in their lives.

    3. SkippyBing

      Re: So the sub has not been certified

      I am idly wondering which legal jurisdiction any contract/waiver fell under? If they signed at sea would it be the state of registration of the ship, international waters in which case no jurisdiction, or have they explicitly stated on the paperwork it's considered to have been signed in a favourably lenient location?

      1. PhilipN Silver badge

        Jurisdiction

        Most likely the territory where the port of origin of the craft or vessel is located otherwise your final guess - anywhere potential claims tend to zero.

      2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: So the sub has not been certified

        If they signed at sea would it be the state of registration of the ship, international waters in which case no jurisdiction, or have they explicitly stated on the paperwork it's considered to have been signed in a favourably lenient location?

        There's always jurisdiction. We've had centuries of lawyers ensuring there's always someone to bill. As I understand it, there'd be jurisdiction from the ship's flag nation, wherever the contracting entity is registered, the nationalities of the parties.. Or whichever nation's navy, customers or other LEA asserts jurisdiction. As the frequently do with smugglers and other crimes that happen at sea, in International waters. Maritime law and various treaties has that covered.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rescue by Aliens?

    Passenger Shahzada Dawood is on the board of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Life, Mountain View, CA). I prefer to believe they were squeezed into a wormhole to another galaxy and are now the first humans to make contact with an alien civilization.

    1. breakfast Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Rescue by Aliens?

      They finally locate the sub and drag it to the surface but when they unbolt that door ... it is empty.

  13. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    The Titan has just a single button onboard, with everything else handled via touchscreens and the craft piloted with a Bluetooth video game controller

    I'd demand simple handwheels and levers on my submersible, for reliability's sake, and for the possibility of creative problem workarounds not possible when the computer is God.

    I wonder if the game controller wasn't disabled by simple condensation.

    Icon for "(No) escape".

    1. SkippyBing

      I have to assume they wanted to minimise/eliminate through hull openings. So the Bluetooth controller allowed them to communicate through hull to all the stuff bolted on the outside without having to seal a gland. They probably thought it was a genius move that the world's navies are idiots for not using...

    2. ITMA Silver badge

      Apparently, according to one person who has been on a trip in Titan, the method of dropping the ballast to return to the surface is....

      Get everyone inside to move side to side, making the submersible rock, so that the "construction poles" (scaffolding poles to everyone else) fall of "a shelf".

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-65957709

      What happens if it is sitting on the bottom and they just can't get it to rock enought to drop them?

      Why not use the more standard method of a big container of lead shot which by electrical means (with mechanical backup) you open to drop the lead shot onto the sea bed?

      And, if they are rescued, are they going to be asked to pay for the cost? After all they are all "rich" and got into it knowing full well the risks.

      Why should tax payers pay for it?

      I'm sure this won't be a popular point of view - but then just look at the poverty in Canada and the USA and yet God knows how much is being spent of trying to rescue just 5 people who got into something of their own free will knowing it was a potential death trap

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        I'm sure this won't be a popular point of view - but then just look at the poverty in Canada and the USA and yet God knows how much is being spent of trying to rescue just 5 people who got into something of their own free will knowing it was a potential death trap.

        Mariners are strange, submariners doubly so. They know the sea is an extremely harsh mistress, so tend to drop everything and go help anyone in perill on it. Some of that's formalised in Maritime Law and regulations like SOLAS, or agencies like the Coast Guard or RNLI. You could argue it's enlightened self-interest, so you're out in a very hostile environment and some day, you may be the unlucky one. But it's also the right thing to do. I've heard mayday calls, and the number of nearby vessels offering assistance.

        Costs are stuff to worry about after any SAR is called off, but the priority is to save lives, if there's any possibility of doing so. There's some great documentaries about the Kursk disaster where specialist rescue companies dropped everything to offer assistance. Politics intervened a bit, but the priority was rendering aid.

        1. ITMA Silver badge

          A very valid point.

          How evenly that same principle has been applied in other instances of "peril at sea" - for example:

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-65925558

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-65942426

          Again, a situation where "politics" appears to take precedence.

          I also think that whatever the outcome, Ocean Gateway will almost certainly have some serious lawsuits to answer.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Again, a situation where "politics" appears to take precedence.

            Yep. The Bbc supports illegal immigrants, and has misinformation specialists working for it's inappropriately named 'Verify' department. Some choice extracts-

            The fishing boat had no tracker so is not shown on the map. Neither are coastguard and military vessels which do not have to share their location...

            ...Video has emerged - reportedly shot from the Faithful Warrior - claiming to show supplies being delivered to the migrant ship via a rope in the water. No other ships can be seen. BBC Verify checked it and found the vessel - which is not moving in the footage

            ...The scale of the animated map suggests it travelled less than a few nautical miles, which may be expected of a stricken vessel buffeted by the wind and the waves in the deepest part of the Mediterranean Sea.

            So no AIS data, no video of the claimed 'not moving', two photos from the Greek Coast Guard showing a wake in the daylight one, and dead calm in the second.. So no evidence to support the 'stricken vessel buffetted by the wind and waves'. Alternatively, it could just have been moving slowly because it was massively overloaded. The Bbc may not understand what 'Verify' traditionally means, but does have a lot of experience in drama and narrative.

            But it's also an area where SOLAS and maritime laws & traditions conflict with illegal immigration politics. So vessels may not be in distress, but claim to be so that they're 'rescued' and 'charity rescue' vessels collect the illegal immigrants and take them to shore. Normal vessels coming to assist may then find themselves with liability issues and choose not to intervene, and the 'charities' are exploiting SOLAS to dump illegal migrants on countries. Perhaps the law could change so Coast Guard or Naval vessels can just tow vessels, or take passengers back to their point of origin. But both that, and the OceanGate are examples of human greed over common sense and safety.

            I also think that whatever the outcome, Ocean Gateway will almost certainly have some serious lawsuits to answer.

            And rightly so. Regardless of outcome, they'll almost certainly be fined and sued into oblivion as an object lesson to hopefully prevent anyone else doing something so stupid and negligent.

            1. Mooseman Silver badge

              "The Bbc supports illegal immigrants, and has misinformation specialists working for it's inappropriately named 'Verify' department"

              Are you aware of the laws of libel?

              (Aside from that being utter bollocks of course - unless, and I hesitate to even begin to ask because we all know the answer - you have any actual evidence or proof? No? Colour me shocked)

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Are you aware of the laws of libel?

                Yep. The truth is an absolute defence. Opinions often aren't libellous. And I'd love to see the Bbc try. Nothing says 'Champions of Free Speech' quite like suing people that criticise £5bn+ a year state broadcaster that can't even spell NATO correctly when they're reporting on say, Stoltenberg and he's standing in front of their logos..

                (Aside from that being utter bollocks of course - unless, and I hesitate to even begin to ask because we all know the answer - you have any actual evidence or proof? No? Colour me shocked)

                Sure. Pretty much all of it straight from the horse's ass-

                https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-65650822

                We've brought together forensic journalists and expert talent from across the BBC, including our analysis editor Ros Atkins and disinformation correspondent Marianna Spring and their teams. In all, BBC Verify comprises about 60 journalists who will form a highly specialised operation with a range of forensic investigative skills and open source intelligence (Osint) capabilities at their fingertips.

                And the rest is from the Bbc's own article. It can't verify the ship's position because as it said, there was no AIS data. It has a photo of the ship moving, then not moving in a dead cal, then says the ship moved a few miles because it was battered by winds and wave. It claims to have video, but doesn't show it. It speculates the vessel was stricken and drifting, but provides no evidence, only speculation.. And it doesn't bother waiting for any official investigation before libelling Greece. As there was a significant loss of life, there will be an investigation to determine the cause, and that will be conducted by subject matter experts, not the Bbc's 'disinformation' experts, who frequently aren't experts at all.

                It's doing slightly better on this submersible story, but it's still just speculating, as we all are.

                1. Mooseman Silver badge

                  So, you pick a quote from the BBC article and highlight a few words that PROVE BEYOND DOUBT (thought I'd use caps as that seems to appeal to idiots) that your ideas are correct. After all, a large corporation setting out to deceive you would obviously publicly announce that, wouldn't they? Did you read the rest of the article? I doubt it very much. Again, you are quoting as "facts" supposition by the BBC (along with every other media outlet in the world) as they are trying to report on what MIGHT be happening rather than solid evidence, as there wasnt any at the time.

                  You really are quite ridiculous

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    After all, a large corporation setting out to deceive you would obviously publicly announce that, wouldn't they?

                    Of course. The Bbc has announced both it's 'Verify' venture, headed by a history grad and former DJ, as well as it's TNI (Trusted/Totalitarian News Initiative) based on the ideas set out by their former employee, George Orwell..

                    Did you read the rest of the article? I doubt it very much.

                    This is the problem with people's inability to assess evidence and draw conclusions. I cherry picked a few parts of the article, so this obviously means I can't have read it..

                    Again, you are quoting as "facts" supposition by the BBC (along with every other media outlet in the world) as they are trying to report on what MIGHT be happening rather than solid evidence, as there wasnt any at the time.

                    Facts just aren't what they used to be. The Bbc ran this story under it's 'Verify' brand, which implies it was 'factual' and 'fact checked' rather than speculation or supposition. Yet the article contradicted it's own speculation, ie showing the boat moving, and the sea state. It could have 'fact checked' that by showing the weather conditions for the area at that time. This is SAR 101. Take the vessel's last known position, calculate drift based on wind speed & direction and ocean currents, and you have a probable search area. The Bbc instead chose to show a photo from the Greek Coastguard with the vessel moving. It claimed it had video showing it not moving, but didn't show it. That video was apparently a ship-ship transfer of food & water, so not something you'd normally want to do at speed. If the vessel was faking being in distress, why would you expect it to be moving anyway?

                    But that's another political problem. The vessel called a 'rescue charity' instead of following standard international distress procedures. Or maybe it did transmit a Mayday, and the call was ignored. Transmitting a false distress call is illegal, and can get expensive if/when you're billed, but people smugglers don't care about the law. The official investigation(s) should show the sequence of events, the Bbc was just speculating so it could blame Greece for failing to offer an Uber service.

                    But comms is also an issue in the submersible story, involving another org that's redefined the meaning of 'facts'-

                    https://www.breitbart.com/the-media/2023/06/22/nolte-snopes-forced-to-reverse-fact-check-blaming-elon-musks-starlink-for-sub-tragedy/

                    Snopes, another in a long line of fake fact-checking sites, attempted to suggest that Elon Musk and his Starlink internet system lost contact with the missing Titanic submersible.

                    With people quickly pointing out that Ghz radio is not exactly common for communicating underwater due to simple physics. But that's the problem with confusing 'facts' with fiction, when obvious and simple errors are pointed out, the 'fact checkers' lose whatever credibility they had.. Especially when facts get twisted for political reasons.

                    1. Mooseman Silver badge

                      The BBC (among every other media and news organisation) has traffic correspondents - do they cause traffic? They have finance experts to report on financial matter - do they set interest rates? Yet you still happily cling to the deranged idea that a disinformation expert must be there to provide, er, disinformation. Have you considered that you're rather paranoid?

                      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                        Yet you still happily cling to the deranged idea that a disinformation expert must be there to provide, er, disinformation. Have you considered that you're rather paranoid?

                        Are you aware of the laws of libel?

                        The Bbc's disinformation specialists are supposedly there to 'fact check' stories. If they don't, or provide disinformation, they may be doing Winston Smith's job, but aren't providing a public service. Neither they, nor we know exactly what happened in the capsize case, or the sub implosion. With the capsize, the BBC shows evidence that contradicts their narrative, and doesn't show exculpatory evidence it claims to have.

                        It also highlights potential weaknesses, ie who has the responsibility? The harbour masters, port authorities or national agencies that allowed unsafe vessels to set to sea, or rescue agencies that have to pick up the pieces? YT recommended me some interesting nautical stuff. There's a fun place in Miami called 'Haulover Inlet'. This looks FUN! to navigate, and there are weekly videos of small boats and lake boats heading out to seas where they don't belong. So stuff like kids sitting on the bow of a pontoon boat, where they're pretty much guaranteed to be channeled into the props if they fall off. Videos show Miami Police stopping a lot, and can fine some, but sometimes people are just idiots.

    3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      I'd read "Game controller" in various reports over last 2 days, Didnt really bother me but ..

      Only here did I find out "BLUTOOTH" ! !

      thats a {data} bridge too far

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Only here did I find out "BLUTOOTH" ! !

        I've learned it's fairly normal. So you want a pressure vessel that can keep around 5500PSI outside. This is easier if you don't poke holes in it to run cables, so radio links to external devices are standard. I guess if you want a really strong pressure hull, adding even conductive paths and contacts introduces weak points. There's some videos about the submersible James Cameron commissioned that touches on those points, but that cost >$15m, and was designed with safety in mind.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          ah , didnt think of that angle , thanks

  14. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Unhappy

    putting in perspective

    just some perspective from an X Navy submariner...

    Pressure is around 1 psi for every 2 feet of depth. close enough for estimates.

    12,000 feet would be about 6000 psi.

    At 400 feet, a water pressure of around 200 psi is higher than a typical fire hose. So water coming into the people tank is strong enough to knock you on your ass at 400 feet.

    A pinhole leak at 6000 psi would probably "rip itself a new one" as the high velocity water would be strong enough to literally inject you (like one of those pneumatic hypodermic vaccine thingies) or cut body parts off. It would be supersonic so you would not be able to hear it. Chances are it would quickly become a catastrophic failure, in which case the people tank would rapidly pressurize, quite possibly fast enough to cause a diesel explosion involving anything organic inside. High pressure would instantly dissolve all gasses and, you guessed it, if the sudden pressure did not kill you there would be no air to breathe. And it would happen so fast that you wouldn't even be able to say "oh crap".

    The sub is made of titanium and carbon fiber. Titanium can be brittle and I do not even know whether the cyclic stress of going down and up would in any way cause stress cracks or work hardening in the material.

    Safe to say, not very safe.

    1. Winkypop Silver badge

      Re: putting in perspective

      On the money there Bob.

      1. sebacoustic

        Re: putting in perspective

        *money* being the operative word.

        I hope the passengers' estates will be on the hook for all the rescue effort expenses, once they have given up, or succeeded.

    2. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge

      Re: putting in perspective

      I read somewhere that after a previous mission a 5'x6' delamination was detected in the Carbon Fibre... which was repaired.

      Now I have no knowledge at all about CF repairs, but I wouldn't want to trust a cylindrical (of all shapes) vaccuum vessel that had a great big patch with my life.

      The other thing I read was that the only way they bothered to check for incipient failure of the CF was by listening to the pre-failure creaks and groans rather than x-raying/muon tomography at the surface.

      All very well at swimming pool depths but when you are 3km down hearing the failure happen isn't much help when you are about (probably a very brief "about") to be a pancake.

  15. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

    Latest - Banging Detected.

    Hope that they are currently alive, but can they be actually rescued?

    Thoughts go out for a positive outcome

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Latest - Banging Detected.

      Rescue is only possible if they're already at the surface.

  16. Winkypop Silver badge

    OK

    Let’s take an untested, uncertified pressure resistant vessel to an extreme water depth, oh and bring along paying customers.

    It’s a nightmarish scenario that quite literally gives me the shivers.

  17. navarac Silver badge

    Gullible

    It never surprises me how moneyed people can be caught up in gullible schemes. Look at Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos. A fool and his cash are soon parted.

  18. Grunchy Silver badge

    It’s like going to space

    It’s a completely hostile environment, there’s nothing to do there, and the view you get to enjoy isn’t much better than if you had just sent a camera.

    (Personally I was a bit aghast they chose to operate it with an Xbox controller. That’s not even “drive by wire”. What if the batteries expire, did anybody bring any spare AAs?)

  19. This post has been deleted by its author

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    SAR

    It's a good thing all this free Search & Rescue capability is available to rescue these rich tourists.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rescue costs?

    I hope they’ve got a good insurance policy to pay for the rescue attempts of this folly.

  22. MarkB
    Pirate

    Where's Elon?

    Surely this is another opportunity for Elon Musk to show his water-based rescue prowess.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where's Elon?

      You mean TorPaedo guy?

  23. JoeCool Silver badge

    CEO View of regulations

    I found this article that gives some interesting background on the design and amount of risk in the Titan. I see this quote as summing up the design ethos of the sub :

    In a 2019 profile by Smithsonian Magazine, Rush was quoted railing against submarine regulations for prioritizing passenger safety over innovation: “There hasn’t been an injury in the commercial sub industry in over 35 years. It’s obscenely safe, because they have all these regulations. But it also hasn’t innovated or grown—because they have all these regulations.”

    Full link is https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2023/06/20/video-game-controllers-and-a-single-button-what-its-like-on-board-the-missing-oceangate-sub.html

  24. Knightlie
    Alert

    "is designed to descend as deep as 4,000 meters"

    No it isn't. Have you seen the pictures of it? It looks like I built it...

    It doesn't even have a radio, ffs...

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Radio is useless below a couple of metres depth.

      They did however paint it white and black, which is possibly the most effective camouflage possible on the surface of the sea.

      There's a reason lifeboats are orange.

  25. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Unhappy

    "The Titan has just a single button onboard, with everything else handled via touchscreens and the craft piloted with a Bluetooth video game controller, Rush told Pogue"

    Er, wtf? A single bluetooth controller? That sounds like madness to me. If I was going underwater I'd want something solid, made with proper wires thank you. Wires that in case of serious emergency I could cut and splice together like I'm hotwiring a car in order to get the thing back to the surface.

    Can we have a Munch's "The Scream" icon please? This is going to give me nightmares.

    1. Robert 22

      I suppose there is the issue of running wires through the hull without introducing weak points prone to failure. The slightest leak wouldn't stay slight very long.

      It is not clear how much redundancy there is - that is something I would expect to see.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sounds like an utter sh1t show. My degree is in navigation and underwater acoustic navigation systems and I worked for a company making small subs for the military (secret squirrel stuff) and I know what engineering goes in to doing this kind of stuff properly. Safety is paramount, every stage of manufacture is regularly inspected by a classification society, 1000s of man hours of time from highly skilled engineers, whereas this looks like its been knocked together in a garage. Shameful.

  27. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    Amazingly some people seem to be suggesting that the costs of the search and rescue (and best of luck to the tourists/crew) should be borne by them and not the tax payer because these people have money. Forgetting of course that the wealthy people are the ones who disproportionately pay the tax used to fund these rescue services.

    Hopefully everyone will be ok

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      Why should the rest of us pay for rich people's recreational fuck ups? Socialised rescue funding? Are you a communist? I'm betting if they were on dinghy, struggling in the Channel, some people wouldn't be so charitable.

    2. Mad Chaz
      Pirate

      Re: Hmm

      What world do you live in where the rich pay taxes in ANY way close to what ordinary people pay? Not the real one for sure!

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        @Mad Chaz

        "What world do you live in where the rich pay taxes in ANY way close to what ordinary people pay?"

        They dont. They pay vastly more. Incredibly more.

        1. Anonymous Coward
        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          Only in your imagination.

        3. Pascal Monett Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: They pay vastly more. Incredibly more

          Oh you're soo right. Those poor rich people. Their lives are soo difficult !

          Anybody gonna start a GOFundMe for billionnaires ?

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: They pay vastly more. Incredibly more

            @Pascal Monett

            "Oh you're soo right. Those poor rich people. Their lives are soo difficult !

            Anybody gonna start a GOFundMe for billionnaires ?"

            Thats a bit of a tantrum in aisle 3 kinda comment. What has that to do with what we are talking about? The envy is showing in your comment.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: They pay vastly more. Incredibly more

              ^Forelock tugger who thinks they will somehow ascend to riches if they just post enough support for their betters.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm

      What taxes are the 4 passengers paying that is funding the rescue, given their nationality / residence and who is running the search and rescue? OceanGate should be prosecuted for Corporate negligence.

    4. Stoneshop
      FAIL

      Re: Hmm

      Forgetting of course that the wealthy people are the ones who disproportionately pay the tax

      Oh really?

      Maybe in absolute value they'll be paying more than you or me, but not as a percentage of their income.

      Just about the first thing these people do is hiring tax avoidance wizards. Which obviously pay for themselves, otherwise hiring them would be counterproductive.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmm

        Some people think that if they are really vocal about supporting the rich, and work really hard, then they too will become wealthy. Showing that they do not understanding how things work at all:

        Confusing being pissed on for "trickle down" economics.

      2. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        @Stoneshop

        "Oh really?

        Maybe in absolute value they'll be paying more than you or me"

        So yes.

        1. Stoneshop
          FAIL

          Re: Hmm

          Given your history it's useless to suggest you look up the meaning of 'proportionally' and 'disproportionally', but I'll do so anyway.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Hmm

            @Stoneshop

            "Given your history it's useless to suggest you look up the meaning of 'proportionally' and 'disproportionally', but I'll do so anyway."

            You even agree they pay more you muppet as the absolute value. So you get a percentage of their prosperity vs a higher percentage of nothing. Then the question is how you measure proportionally as 'progressive' taxation takes more from the higher incomes. People dont have to take money as incomes if they dont want which I assume you are complaining about, but then how many tax's has it gone through to get to that point?

            You used the words tax avoidance in your previous comment, which is paying the legally mandated amount of tax. Because the more you make the more the gov tries to steal.

            1. Mooseman Silver badge

              Re: Hmm

              "Because the more you make the more the gov tries to steal."

              I never had you pegged as a communist!

              Still, since you believe that our betters, sorry, very wealthy people, pay vastly more tax than us plebs and thus are somehow to be credited for paying for all the things that we mere mortals use, consider the case of the Duke of Westminster -

              Estimated worth, £10 billion. He owns a substantial chunk of London, among other properties. His inherited wealth is exempt from inheritance tax ("death duties" that the rest of us have to pay if our parents were lucky enough to own a house) as the estate was put into a trust. In turn this is theoretically taxable every 10 years for up to 6% of the value of the trust, but there are exemptions: Part of the Trust owns several farms and other businesses, and employs around 1000 people (which is carefully mentioned at every opportunity on its website) and is thus largely exempt. The £3 billion inheritance tax was neatly avoided, as is most of any further taxation on the estate.

              Your beloved victim of what you fondly call fraudulent prosecution has like many very wealthy people carefully avoided a lot of tax - he even boasted about how "smart" that makes him.

              There are countless loopholes to avoid paying taxes if you are wealthy - Business owners can qualify for entrepreneurs’ relief, under which they can pay just 10% CGT when they sell all or part of a company. The standard CGT rate is 20%. This compares with the 40% income tax rate on salaries of between £50,001 and £150,000. HMRC data shows 9,000 people paid just £5.1bn in tax on £33.7bn of capital gains income in the latest financial year available. That works out at an average tax rate of 14.8%, lower than than the basic rate income tax of 20% that people pay on salaries of between £12,501 and £50,000.

              Keep on telling yourself that the very wealthy pay so much more than the rest of us....

              1. codejunky Silver badge

                Re: Hmm

                @Mooseman

                "I never had you pegged as a communist!"

                Its nice how you set the tone for your whole comment. Start with bull on your first line and set my expectation for the rest of your comment.

                "Still, since you believe that our betters, sorry, very wealthy people, pay vastly more tax than us plebs"

                Your green eyes are showing. At what point did I call them betters or the rest of us plebs? Is that how you see yourself? Have you sought help for your... perspective? Dont put yourself down so.

                "His inherited wealth is exempt from inheritance tax"

                So are you are also against the double taxation of death tax?

                "Part of the Trust owns several farms and other businesses, and employs around 1000 people"

                This reminds me of the comment (need to look it up) of a tradesman (think it was a window cleaner) who pointed out he gets hired by people with money because they can afford to hire him. Those of us who work require someone who can afford to pay us. A salary or directly for our time and effort.

                "Your beloved victim of what you fondly call fraudulent prosecution has like many very wealthy people carefully avoided a lot of tax"

                First of all I have highlighted where you are arguing with yourself. You are attributing things to me that I dont see anywhere?

                My response however- And so they should. Avoid is actually not paying more tax than you legally have to. Do you have an ISA? Do you have a pension? Interestingly do you send extra money to the government every year just because you want to?

                "Keep on telling yourself that the very wealthy pay so much more than the rest of us...."

                If you paid so much tax as they did you too would be hiring accountants to avoid paying more than you legally should and it would save you money. That you dont suggests you wouldnt save money by hiring such accountants. So you dont pay that much tax while they do.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Hmm

                  Your green eyes are showing...

                  The TL;DR ravings on an elite apologista who thinks she/he can attain elite status through some jolly hard work and if there was just less bothersome "red tape" holding back the flow of trickle down wealth.

                  (Spoiler Alert: They can't.)

                2. Mooseman Silver badge

                  Re: Hmm

                  "This reminds me of the comment (need to look it up) of a tradesman (think it was a window cleaner) who pointed out he gets hired by people with money because they can afford to hire him"

                  Er, this is the same as avoiding taxes how? I suspect most people use a window cleaner.

                  ""I never had you pegged as a communist!"

                  Its nice how you set the tone for your whole comment. Start with bull on your first line and set my expectation for the rest of your comment."

                  And of course the concept of humour glides gently over your head. I should have known better.

                  "First of all I have highlighted where you are arguing with yourself. You are attributing things to me that I dont see anywhere?"

                  No, you haven't highlighted anything of the sort. And you are a constant apologist for Trump, whether you admit it to yourself or not.

                  1. codejunky Silver badge

                    Re: Hmm

                    @Mooseman

                    "Er, this is the same as avoiding taxes how? I suspect most people use a window cleaner."

                    You really dont grasp what you read do you? I make a comment about people employing people and you ask if that means the employed avoid tax.

                    "And of course the concept of humour glides gently over your head. I should have known better."

                    Read what I just wrote above. It is really difficult to tell what is your humour and what you actually believe. Both seem as surreal as each other.

                    "No, you haven't highlighted anything of the sort"

                    The sections in bold. Sorry if you missed them (ffs).

                    "And you are a constant apologist for Trump, whether you admit it to yourself or not."

                    You are right because you are right because you cant think beyond that! Why do you bother typing when you argue with your own little world?

    5. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Hmm

      OceanGate will end up bearing a lot of the cost - or rather, their insurers will.

      That is how it works, generally.

      During the emergency, everyone within range does whatever they can to save the crew.

      Afterwards the insurers and beancounters get together to refund some of the reasonable costs of the rescuers.

      Otherwise, the captain and crews would have to argue with their ship owners/operators about who's going to pay for their extra fuel etc before responding to a Mayday.

      Seafarers will always want to assist because next time it might be them needing the help. The beancounters back in port, not so much.

      1. codejunky Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Hmm

        @Richard 12

        Hopefully they get rescued. There is a lot of sea out there, I would not want to be stranded out on it never mind under it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmm

          Hopefully they get rescued.

          Amen.

          The sea is indeed cruel. Over 300 died when a boat sank off Greece last week. And fatalities could have been even worse without rescue.

  28. 897241021271418289475167044396734464892349863592355648549963125148587659264921474689457046465304467

    My theory is the bluetooth Playstation controller lost connection very quickly as a passenger's iPhone locked the pilot out - iPhones do have a habit of locking out bluetooth connections for some devices, even when they have been provided with no pairing codes.

    1. gotes

      What use is a cell phone at 4km below sea level? I guess they could take some bad photos or listen to some music. I would expect them to be left on the surface, they're a fire risk.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. 897241021271418289475167044396734464892349863592355648549963125148587659264921474689457046465304467

        Selfies and Tiktoks? The craft's lithium ion batteries bursting into flames, could have resulted in it's carbon fiber hull being compromised and implosion. I wonder what cell format was being used? Mind you, carbon fiber is notoriously hard to make of uniform quality - I wouldn't get into a submersible with a carbon fiber hull.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Based on available information, Starlink doesn't appear responsible for the Titan's connectivity"

    Information like the fact Titan is a submarine and that aside from ELF or ULF ranges, RF doesn't go through water...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting group of people on board.

    Including the CEO.

    I'd be curious.

    How many of those on board might have (for various reasons) a desire not to be seen again?

    How solid are their companies finances?

    Vehicle disappears.

    No chance of survival

    Life insurance payouts virtually guarnteed.

    Ruthless? Breathtakingly cynical? Psychotic?

    Call it "PsychoVision" (TM)

  31. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Toast

    I believe these people are toast since the sub was designed to surface in case of an engine failure, it's naturally buoyant. Also, there hasn't been no release of a radio beacon with a distress signal from the sub. This would allow rescuers to more or less pinpoint its location.

    These two facts indicate that something catastrophic has gone wrong which most likely has already ended the lives of the occupants.

    The support ship should also be hovering right above the sub in order to remain in contact. They don't have a back-up sub to go after the missing sub in case something goes wrong, losing valuable time.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "there hasn't been no release of a radio beacon with a distress signal from the sub. "

      I think that would require Titan to have a radio beacon to eject in the first place.

      I'm not sure there's any evidence that was the case

      "Release the emergency buoy" is a common trope in submarine fiction. IRL in mini-subs......

  32. deviousserfer86

    What a horrible, horrible situation. They should extend the search area up north, since that's where the Gulf stream flows. So if the sub was underwater without power it was probably carried in that direction. I would go even as far as northern tip of Newfoundland.

  33. John H Woods Silver badge

    Debris field contains submarine parts

    yahoo news link

  34. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
    FAIL

    My First Submarine

    When was six years old, I "invented" a submarine. My idea was to take a surplus furnace heating-oil tank, build a hatch in it, clean out the oil, and rig up a shaft, propeller, and electric motor to turn it, and use some banker's glass for a window in the front. Later that year I saw a movie of a submarine, and I wondered why the metal of the hull and hatches was so thick ...

    Some people get their "brilliant" idea, and then never take the next step of wondering what might be wrong with it.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so there are human remains in the wreckage

    But whose?

    BTW isn't someone killing themselves in some badly conceived and executed device pretty much the definition of the Darwin awards?

    I think the CEO is going to be a very strong candidate for this year.

    Assuming he actually is dead.

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