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Titan submersible plunged into exotic, dangerous world on way to Titanic

By Joel Achenbach

22 Jun 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. The fate of those aboard the submersible exploring the wreck of the Titanic is a reminder that when humans invade almost alien environments, there is minimal margin for error.

The news reports this week described the submersible Titan as “lost at sea.” That did not capture the difficulty of a search-and-rescue operation in the cold, darker-than-dark depths of the Atlantic Ocean. The tragedy of the Titan, the debris of which was spotted Thursday near the encrusted hulk of the Titanic ocean liner, is a reminder that when humans invade exotic environments for which they are not adapted there is minimal margin for error.

The submersible, operated by the private company OceanGate as a high-priced adventure travel opportunity, was supposed to visit the Titanic, which rests on the muddy seafloor 12,500 feet below the surface of the Atlantic. But on Sunday, the submersible endured some kind of incident or malfunction and went silent 1 hour 45 minutes into its 2½-hour dive.

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