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Titan submersible: why was its implosion not announced sooner?

 Important queries regarding the circumstances of the submersible craft's loss and the search and rescue effort. 

The Titan submersible's crew's fate is now known thanks to the finding of its wreckage. But there are still a lot of open issues.

If the underwater implosion was heard on Sunday, why are we only learning about it now?

The US Coast Guard received the information right away, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The US Navy stated that it was decided to "make every effort to save the lives onboard" by continuing the search and rescue operation.

The devil is probably in the details when it comes to making decisions. First, the rescue effort: Scientists weren't entirely certain that what they saw was Titan's collapse. It was crucial to make every effort if there was a chance to preserve lives.

Second, the timing of the information's release. The WSJ claims that the US navy wished to maintain the secrecy of its sub detecting capabilities. This may explain why there were initially no public statements made and why there were little specifics regarding what was discovered and how.

How was the sub allowed to operate if it hadn’t been certified?

Experts claim that by operating in foreign waters, Titan's operators partially avoided the regulations that are in place.

The ship was neither categorised by a marine industry organisation that establishes fundamental engineering standards, nor was it registered with any international organisations. Since the design of Titan was so novel, according to its owner OceanGate, it would take years for inspectors to fully comprehend it.

Bart Kemper, a forensic engineer who specialises in submarine designs and who co-wrote a 2018 letter pleading with OceanGate to adhere to accepted standards, claimed the company avoided having to follow US regulations by deploying in international waters, beyond the purview of national organisations like the US Coast Guard.

Salvatore Mercogliano, a history professor specialising in marine history and politics, claimed that businesses undertaking deepwater operations may have been overlooked because to their location.

Why was the debris only spotted on Thursday?

The simplest explanation—that the search crew was hunting for a 6.7-meter (22-foot) submersible in a region 14,000 square miles in size, or roughly the size of the Netherlands—may be the best one. Titan's remnants may have been discovered on the surface or 3,800 metres below the ocean's surface.

Although the search team had a number of boats and planes at their disposal, the area they were working in and the amount of potential factors they had to cope with were enormous.

Will there be a formal investigation – and if so, by whom?

The salvage operation will undoubtedly be followed by an investigation into the wreckage. The US Coast Guard's first district's Rear Admiral John Mauger stated that investigators would first try to determine why the ship imploded.

"I am aware that there are many inquiries as to how, why, and when this occurred. We will now gather as much information as we can regarding those questions, Mauger said, adding that it was a "complex case" that occurred in a far-flung area of the ocean and involving individuals from numerous different nations.

With the exception of the lack of a flight recorder, Ryan Ramsey, a former submarine captain in the British Royal Navy, told the BBC that the probe would resemble one into a plane crash. It is also unknown who will carry out what, according to the broadcaster, who noted that there is little history for this kind of examination.

Will other operators still dive to the Titanic site?

Although hundreds of dives, some commercial and some for salvage, have been made since the Titanic's wreck was found in 1985, it is uncertain whether they will continue.

According to National Geographic, Deep Ocean Expeditions, a British company, was among the first to sell tickets in 1998 and was still doing dives in 2012. According to the publication, the British company Blue Marble and the Los Angeles-based Bluefish both offered diving services in 2019.

The catastrophic dive by OceanGate was one of 18, according to the business, that were planned for this year. Operations were also carried out in the two years prior.

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