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US Coast Guard says investigation into Titan submersible "will take longer than initially projected"

Inside the OceanGate Titan tragedy
Inside the OceanGate Titan tragedy 10:01

The U.S. Coast Guard continues to investigate the factors that led to the implosion of the Titan submersible while on a descent to view the wreckage of the Titanic, killing all five people aboard.

Tuesday marks one year since the Titan sub, which was owned and operated by OceanGate Expeditions, lost contact with the Polar Prince, a Canadian research vessel, about one hour and 45 minutes into its voyage in the North Atlantic.

On Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation said in an update that its investigation is a "complex and ongoing effort" that will take longer than initially projected.

"We are working closely with our domestic and international partners to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the incident," board chair Jason Neubauer said in a statement.

The Marine Board of Investigation said several factors, including the need to contract two salvage missions to secure vital information, have led to necessary delays and extended the original 12-month timeline for the investigation.

"We're grateful for the international and interagency cooperation which has been vital in recovering, preserving and forensically testing evidence from a remote offshore region and extreme depth," Neubauer said. "The MBI is committed to ensuring that we fully understand the factors that led to this tragedy in order to prevent similar occurrences in the future."

Titanic-Tourist Sub
This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan was used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic.  OceanGate Expeditions via AP

After the Titan sub lost contact with the Polar Prince, a massive international search and rescue effort was launched over several days because of the limited amount of oxygen that would be aboard the sub if it had become trapped beneath the surface.

However, on June 22, 2023, the Coast Guard announced that the sub had experienced a "catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber," during its descent. It confirmed that the Titan's debris was located about 900 nautical miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

Those who died in the implosion were OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, his 19-year-old son Suleman, billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding and French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

OceanGate suspended all operations in early July 2023. The company, which charged $250,000 per person for a voyage aboard the Titan, had been warned of potential safety problems for years.

In October, the Coast Guard announced it recovered "additional presumed human remains" and what is believed to be the last of the debris from the Titan.

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