It's time to END Titanic trips, says Titanic Society president

It’s time to consider ENDING Titanic trips, president of the Titanic International Society says, because there is ‘relatively little remaining to be learned from the wreck’

  • Charles Haas has himself made dives to the wreck 12,500 feet below the surface
  • Revealed yesterday OceanGate’s Titan sub imploded, killing all five on board

The president of the Titanic International Society has said it could be time to end trips to the Titanic following the Titan submersible tragedy as there is ‘little’ left to be explored of the wreck. 

The five people on board the deep-sea vessel – Hamish Harding, Shahzada Dawood, his son Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henri Nargeolet and CEO of OceanGate Expeditions Stockton Rush – were killed after it imploded on its way to the wreckage.

In a statement published online, Charles Haas, president of the Titanic International Society, set up in 1989 to preserve the history of the Titanic, questioned whether visits to the historic site should continue.

Mr Haas himself has made dives to the wreck – which lies 12,500 feet below the surface – in 1993 and 1996, according to the society’s website.

He said: ‘It is time to consider seriously whether human trips to Titanic’s wreck should end in the name of safety, with relatively little remaining to be learned from or about the wreck.

Charles Haas, president of the Titanic International Society, has questioned whether visits to the site should continue

It was revealed yesterday that the five on board the Titan submersible had been killed when the vessel imploded

‘Crewed submersibles’ roles in surveying the wreck now can be assigned to autonomous underwater vehicles, like those that mapped the ship and its debris field in high-resolution, 3-D detail last summer.

Read more: Descendants of passengers and crew on the Titanic say modern-day adventurers should stop visits to wreck site 

‘The world joins us in expressing our profound sadness and heartbreak about this tragic, avoidable event.’

Mr Hass also paid tribute to Mr Nargeolet, saying his ‘consummate knowledge of the wreck and wreck site was unique and unparalleled’.

He added: ‘Commander Paul-Henri Nargeolet brought to this expedition more than a quarter-century of expertise, making more dives to Titanic’s wreck than anyone on earth.

‘His willingness to share that information kept the world informed about Titanic’s deteriorating condition and helped to rewrite significant parts of the ship’s history. Sadly, that irreplaceable knowledge has been lost.’

The Titan was on its third visit to the wreck, having previously made trips to the site in 2021 and 2022.

Mr Haas said there needed to be an investigation into the voyage.

He said: ‘We believe that an extensive, detailed investigation by the US Coast Guard, the National Transportation Safety Board and/or their Canadian counterparts clearly is warranted.

‘It should deeply inquire into the submersible’s design, structure, communication and safety systems, owners’ policies and emergency preparations and procedures, and the proximity, state of readiness and deployment of deep-sea rescue systems to the site.

Mr Haas himself has made dives to the wreck – which lies 12,500 feet below the surface – in 1993 and 1996, according to the society’s website

‘Additionally, intensive pre-service inspection of deep-sea submersibles should be required by international regulation. Just as Titanic taught the world safety lessons, so, too, should Titan’s loss.’

More than 1,500 passengers and crew lost their lives in April 1912 after the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank. 

Until 2019, no one had visited the wreck for 14 years before five dives were made in eight days to take the first ever 4K images of the ship as it decayed.

Mr Nargoleot is believed to have visited the wreckage more than 30 times.

Charles Haas is an expert on the Titanic, having co-authored five books on the doomed ship. His special interests include exploring the wreck and its artifacts. 

OceanGate was offering wealthy tourists the chance to see the Titanic at a cost of $250,000 per person. 

The news that the vessel had imploded came after debris from Titan was found near the Titanic’s wreck by a remote submarine, confirming that the five men had lost their lives. 

Film director James Cameron, who has visited the wreck a number of times and was a friend of the Frenchman, said there were warning signs ahead of the voyage to the wreck.

Speaking to ABC News about submersible engineering, Cameron said: ‘This is a mature art and many people in the community were very concerned about the sub.

‘A number of the top players in the deep submergence engineering community even wrote letters to the company, saying that what they were doing was too experimental to carry passengers and they needed to be certified.’

Five people were onboard, including British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding and Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, who was just 19

French Navy veteran Paul-Henri Nargeolet (left) and Mr Rush (right), CEO of OceanGate Expeditions

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