ll five people who had been aboard the Titan submersible which went missing near the wreck of the Titanic have died.
“These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans. Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.”
The remains of the Titan were found 1,600ft from the wreck of the Titanic.
The five who lost their lives are father and son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood, Oceangate CEO Stockton Rush, Paul-Henri Nargeolet and Hamish Harding.
A huge search operation which began earlier this week has ended in tragedy.
We will have all the updates this evening.
Welcome back to our live coverage.
The US Coast Guard is continuing to search for clues about what happened to the Titan submersible after it was confirmed the pilot and four passengers died in a catastrophic implosion.
It’s not clear exactly when or where the implosion occurred. But a senior military official said on Thursday that a US Navy acoustic system detected an “anomaly” on Sunday that was likely the Titan’s fatal implosion.Officials say there isn’t a timeframe for when they will call off the massive international search.
The prospect of finding or recovering remains is unknown.
Tributes have been released by the families of the victims - Oceangate chief executive and Titan pilot Stockton Rush, two members of a prominent Pakistani family Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, British adventurer Hamish Harding and Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
Goodnight from our live Titan blog
That’s it from the Titan blog for tonight. Our news teams will be back first thing on Friday.
Pakistan pays tribute to London-based businessman Shahzada Dawood and his teenage son
Pakistan’s foreign ministry has paid tribute to the Dawood family after it was confirmed UK-based businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman are believed to have died on board the Titan submersible.
A statement on Twitter said: “Our deepest condolences to the Dawood family and the family of other passengers on the sad news about the fate of Titanic (sic) submersible in the North Atlantic.
“We appreciate the multinational efforts over the last several days in search of the vessel.”
Titan loss will ‘inspire us in the name of science and exploration’
Richard Garriott, president of the New York-based Explorers Club, sends his deepest condolences for the loss of the Titan sub, adding: “Our hearts are broken. Their memories will be a blessing and will continue to inspire us in the name of science and exploration.”
US Coast Guard: We had right gear on site to find them if they’d been alive
Addressing whether the US Coast Guard had the necessary equipment to locate the missing Titan, Rear Admiral John Mauger said: “We had the right gear to find them”.
“We were able to mobilise an immense amount of gear to the site in just a really remarkable amount of time given the fact that we started without any sort of vessel response plan for this,” he added.
“We’ve really had the right gear on site and worked as swiftly as possible to bring all of the capabilities we had to bear to this search and rescue effort.”
US Coast Guard: Five ‘major pieces’ of debris from the Titan sub recovered
Five “major pieces” of debris from the Titan submersible have been recovered, the US Coast Guard said.
A spokesman said: “We found five different major pieces of debris that told us that it was the remains of the Titan.
“The initial thing we found was the nose cone, which was outside of the pressure hull.
“We then found a large debris field, within that debris field we found the front-end bell of the pressure hull. That was the first indication that there was a catastrophic event.
“Shortly thereafter we found a second smaller debris field. Within that debris field we found the other end of the pressure hull.
“We continue to map out the debris field, and as the admiral said, we will do the best we can to fully map out what’s down there.”
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly says deaths ‘tragic'
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has described the suspected deaths of the pilot and four passengers on the missing Titan submersible as “tragic”.
He tweeted: “Tragic news that those on the Titan submersible, including three British citizens, have been lost following an international search operation.
“The UK Government is closely supporting the families affected and expresses our deepest condolences.”
Titan implosion early into expedition to Titanic wreck, US Coast Guard suggests
Read Admiral Mauger tells reporters it is too early to tell what the timing of the implosion but suggests it happened early on in the expedition.
He said the US Coast Guard had sonar buoys out in the water for 72 hours.
Since in place, none detected “any catastrophic events”.
Sounds heard on the ocean floor, reported yesterday, did not appear connected to the Titan, he told reporters.
Rear Admiral Mauger said there are nine vessels on the scene but although the search continues, personnel will be demobilise soon.
“We have medical personnel on the scene, we have other technicians on scene, and we will begin to demobilise personnel and vessels from the scene over the course of the next 24 hours,” he adds.
“This is an incredibly difficult and dangerous environment to work in.”
Bodies of five crew may not be recovered, says US Coast Guard
Rear Admiral Mauger says he cannot confirm whether the US Coast Guard will be able to recover the bodies of the five passengers on board the Titan sub.
He told reporters: “This is an incredibly unforgiving environment.”
Titan discovery might offer families ‘some solace during this difficult time’
Rear Admiral John Mauger said that he offered his “deepest condolences” to the families of the five people on board Titan, adding that he hoped the discovery of debris from the craft offered them “some solace during this difficult time.”