IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


23rd June, 2023 MISCELLANEOUS

Copyright infringement not intended

Context: The Titan was a submersible that vanished near the Titanic wreck site in the North Atlantic on June 19, 2023. Unlike a submarine, which can operate independently underwater for long periods, a submersible depends on a support ship to launch and recover it. 


  • The Titan could carry five people — one pilot and four passengers — to depths of up to 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) for various purposes, such as research, exploration, or filming.
  • The submersible was made of titanium and carbon fibre and had a weight of about 9.5 tons and a size of 6.7 by 2.8 by 2.5 meters (22 by 9.2 by 8.3 feet). It also had 96 hours of life support for its crew.

 What is a submersible?

  • A submersible is a watercraft that is designed to be operated underwater for only a short period.
  • It has limited resources onboard to keep it underwater and the crew alive, plus it needs a support craft to launch and be recovered.
  • It is not a self-sufficient vessel; it cannot go in and out of port by itself.
  • There are various kinds of submersibles, some are remotely operated or pre-programmed drones and others are manned by human crews.
  • They are usually small and simply constructed, and only equipped for short-term dives.

What is a Submarine?

  • A submarine is a watercraft that is capable of operating underwater for extended periods. It can generate power and oxygen and can surface under its control.
  • Submarines are often large and complex vessels that can serve various purposes, such as military operations, scientific research, or tourism. Submarines can stay submerged for months at a time and can reach great depths and speeds.

What happened to the Titan?

  • The Titan was on its way to explore the Titanic shipwreck site when it lost communication with its launch ship on June 18. A phenomenon 'compatible with an implosion' was detected nearby shortly after.
  • The search and rescue mission for the missing vessel and its five passengers was launched by OceanGate Expeditions with the help of other agencies.
  • The pieces of the submersible were found on June 21 at a depth of about 3,800 meters (12,467 feet). The five passengers on board were declared dead after no signs of life were detected.

The cause of the implosion is still under investigation. A submarine expert said that it's likely some part of the Titan's hull was compromised, which may have contributed to its failure. The incident has sparked outrage among some people who accused OceanGate Expeditions of negligence and irresponsibility.