Footage of the Titan submersible shows the moment it started spinning out of control as the passengers on board waited for help. The incident, which happened in 2022, occurred when the Titan was just 300 metres from the Titanic shipwreck, 12,500ft beneath the surface.
The pilot, Scott Griffith, can be heard saying “We have a problem” as he loses control of the sub, terrifying his passengers as they contemplate their fate.
The footage shows the crew looking anguished Mr Griffith tries to regain control of the troublesome sub as he told them there was something wrong with the thrusters.
The fault meant the sub was spinning uncontrollably in circles and unable to move forwards or backwards.
One passenger can be seen with her head in her hands as the crew endured an agonising wait for help from the crew on the mothership several thousand feet above them.
In the documentary, a concerned Mr Griffith said: “I don’t know what’s going on, I feel like…I don’t know what’s going on. There’s something wrong with my thrusters. I’m thrusting and nothing is happening.”
As the situation worsens, Griffth can be seen working frantically on the computer before asking the crew whether or not they are spinning.
When one crew member says they are, Griffith allegedly panicked and said: “I am?”
He added: “Oh no, we have a problem. When we are thrusting to move forward, one of the thrusters is going backwards right now. The only thing I can do right now is a 360.”
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In an interview after the mission, one of the passengers, Reneta Rojas, said she feared for her life during the incident.
She said: “You know what I was thinking, we’re not going to make it. We’re literally 300m from the Titanic and although we are already in the debris field, we can’t go anywhere but go in circles.”
Another passenger, Oisin Fanning, said: “I was thinking, oh no, don’t tell me that we are 300m away from the Titanic and we are going to have to go up to the surface.”
The documentary also shows OceanGate’s CEO Stockton Rush frantically trying to help the crew from the mothership on the surface. Speaking to the crew, he advised them on how to nurse the broken sub and continue the mission.
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Speaking about the Playstation controller used to manoeuvre the sub, he said: “The right stick is to move forward, back, turn left, turn right. And what’s happening is he’s trying to go forward but it’s getting a turn.”
Following the calamity, the crew was able to successfully operate the Titan and view the Titanic, but just a few months later, in June 2023, the sub would implode on another expedition to the Titanic.
Stockton Rush would be among the crew members killed when the Titan was just a few hundred metres from the Titanic.
After the submersible was reported missing, the US Coastguard launched a rescue mission which lasted until pieces of debris from the Titan were found.
An investigation as to how the submersible imploded is ongoing.
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