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OceanGate's Five Missing Passengers 'Have Sadly Been Lost,' Company Says On Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that a debris field was found within the search area, identified as belonging to the external body of the submersible.

By Madeline Garfinkle

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
The OceanGate Titan has been missing since June 18.

As the search for the OceanGate Titan, a submarine dedicated to Titanic exploration, continues, the company said it believes the passengers have "sadly been lost."

On Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that a debris field was found within the search area, identified as belonging to the external body of the submersible. The debris is consistent with a "catastrophic implosion" of the submersible, said John Mauger, the First Coast Guard District commander, in a press conference.

Mauger also told reporters that the Coast Guard is still working through the timeline of what went wrong in the "incredibly complex" situation.

Related: Two Billionaires Among the Missing on Tourist Submarine Exploring the Titanic

The Titan, a 21-foot submersible, went missing on Sunday, prompting an urgent rescue mission to find the submarine that was intended to take five passengers to the Titanic wreckage site.

After a nearly four day search of the area, the company issued a statement about the fate of the passengers missing.

"We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost," OceanGate said in a statement, per CNN. "Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time."

Related: Rescuers Searching for Lost Titanic Submarine Detect Sounds

Founded in 2009, OceanGate specializes in deepsea expeditions, many of which are in the "adventure tourism" category.

"We signed waivers that would curl your toes," said David Pogue, a reporter who went on the Titan in 2021 on assignment, per NPR. "I mean, it was basically a list of eight paragraphs describing ways that you could be permanently disabled or killed."

The company began offering trips to the wreckage site in 2021 and has made three successful trips since the launch. The cost of a seat is $250,000, per OceanGate's website, which (as of Thursday) is still offering dates for June 2024.

Madeline Garfinkle

News Writer

Madeline Garfinkle is a News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. She is a graduate from Syracuse University, and received an MFA from Columbia University. 

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