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Debris from the Titanic submersible, salvaged from the sea floor near the wreck of the Titanic, is unloaded from the ship Horizon Arctic at the Canadian Coast Guard Pier in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Wednesday, June 28, 2023. Canadian Press (Associated Press)

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Last week, the deadly implosion of the lost Titanic submersible while on a voyage to the wreck of the Titanic shipwreck, which has since been sent back to land, has sparked a worldwide crisis. world attention.

Returning the wreckage to port in St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador, is a key part of the investigation into how the submersible imploded, killing all five people on board. The twisted pieces of the 22-foot submersible were offloaded at the Canadian Coast Guard dock on Wednesday.

The Canadian vessel Horizon Arctic carries a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to search for debris from the submersible on the sea floor near the wreck of the Titanic. Pelagic Research Services, a company with offices in Massachusetts and New York that owns the ROV, said Wednesday that it had completed the offshore work.

Jeff Mahoney, a spokesman for Pelagic Research Services, said the firm’s team “remains on mission” and could not comment on the ongoing Titan investigation, which involves multiple government agencies in the U.S. and Canada.

“They have been working around the clock for ten days, have experienced the physical and mental challenges of this operation, and are eager to complete the mission and return to their loved ones,” Mahoney said.

Debris from the Titanic submersible, salvaged from the sea floor near the wreck of the Titanic, is unloaded from the ship Horizon Arctic at the Canadian Coast Guard Pier in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Wednesday, June 28, 2023. Canadian Press (Associated Press)

The Coast Guard said last week that the wreck of the Titanic lies about 12,500 feet (3,810 meters) underwater and about 1,600 feet (488 meters) above the seafloor. The Coast Guard is leading the investigation into why the submersible imploded during its June 18 descent. On June 22, officials announced that the submersible had imploded, killing all five people on board.

The Coast Guard has called the Maritime Commission to investigate the implosion. It is the highest-level investigation the Coast Guard has ever conducted.

An expert consulted by the Coast Guard during the search said analyzing the physical material of the recovered debris could reveal important clues about what happened to the Titan. There may also be electronic data, says Carl Hartsfield of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

“Of course, all the instruments on any deep-sea vehicle record data. They transmit data. So the question is, is there data available? I don’t really know the answer to that question,” he said on Monday.

Representatives for Horizon Arctic did not respond to a request for comment.

Coast Guard representatives declined to comment on the investigation or the return of the wreck to the coast on Wednesday. Representatives of the National Transportation Safety Board and the Canadian Transportation Safety Board, which are involved in the investigation, also declined to comment.

A U.S. Coast Guard vessel arrives in St. John’s Harbor, Newfoundland, Wednesday, June 28, 2023, following the arrival of the USS Horizon Arctic carrying wreckage from the Titan submersible. A submersible owned by OceanGate Expeditions imploded on its way to the wreck of the Titanic. (Paul Daly/Canadian Press, AP)

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said the Coast Guard has declared the Titan submersible’s loss a “major maritime casualty accident” and that the Coast Guard will lead the investigation.

“As the investigation is still ongoing, we are unable to provide any additional information at this time,” said Liam McDonald, a spokesman for the Canadian Transportation Safety Board.

OceanGate Expeditions, the company that owns and operates the Titan, is based in the United States, but the submersible is registered in the Bahamas. OceanGate was based in Everett, Washington, but shut down after the Titan was discovered.Meanwhile, the Titan’s mother ship, the Polar Prince, was from Canada, with victims from Britain, Pakistan, France and the United States

Killed in the implosion were Ocean Gate CEO and pilot Stockton Rush; two members of prominent Pakistani families: Shahzada Dawood and His son, Suleman Dawood; British adventurer Hamish Harding; and Titanic expert Paul-Henry Nargiolet.

The operator charges $250,000 per passenger for the voyage. The Titan’s implosion has raised questions about the safety of private subsea exploration operations. The Coast Guard also hopes to use the investigation to improve submersible safety.

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Associated Press writer Holly Lamer in Concord, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.

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