Titanic submersible was harrowing ordeal

Most of our country, and much of the world, for that matter, was gripped by the story about the submersible with five people aboard that went missing as it traveled to view the wreckage of the Titanic. On Thursday a debris field from the submersible was found, meaning it had suffered some sort of catastrophic implosion at some point during its trek to the bottom of the sea. At the time the debris field was found, hope was growing short of finding the crew inside alive. The search was being confined to an area where banging sounds were picked up last Wednesday in the remote North Atlantic Ocean, sparking hope in some quarters even as the craft’s oxygen waned.
We know now, however, with the submersible wreckage found, that those on board perished. There is now an effort to recover the sumbersible debris field and attempt to determine what happened on the craft.
According to a CNN article, the submersible, which is roughly the size of a minivan, was carrying one pilot and four “mission specialists” when its mother ship lost contact with it the morning of June 18. The contact was lost about one hour and 45 minutes into the descent. The descent to the Titanic wreckage, which sits 12,500 feet below sea level, takes about two and a half hours.
It was noted those on board faced a series of dire situations. If the submersible was intact, the passengers would be dealing with dwindling oxygen levels and fighting cold it was told to CNN. Hypothermia would be an issue “if the sub is still at the bottom, because the deep ocean is just above freezing cold,” said David Gallo, senior adviser for Strategic Initiatives, RMS Titanic, which owns the exclusive salvage rights to the 1912 wreck site. “It’s like a visit to another planet, it’s not what people think it is. It is a sunless forever, cold environment – high pressure.”
Chilly conditions and lack of light meant those onboard would need to conserve energy, said Joe MacInnis, a physician and renowned diver who’s made two trips to the Titanic wreck.
The fact that technology has advanced to the point that humans have the means to travel to these depths of the ocean is amazing. However, just like with space travel (which it seems the world is much better at and knows more about) traveling to the deepest depths of the ocean floor can be fraught with risk, and what happened with this submersible is proof of that. When humans travel to explore this “last frontier,” they do so knowing the worst could happen and hoping it does not.
Perhaps the worst part of the tragedy was the heartless memes the ordeal created, with many people taking glee in the situation. Have we completely lost our humanity?
What happened was a tragedy, but we are confident it won’t stop deep sea travel. We mourn those lost but know that there will still be plenty of people willing to get into a submersible and make that trip. We know because for every space shuttle that exploded, more followed. Humans are curious and adventurous. Sometimes that ends in the worst ways possible.

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