Submarine Passenger’s Bodies Likely Didn’t Register Any Pain, Expert Says

On Thursday, an expert described in detail what the five victims of the Titan submersible explosion must have felt like.

Hours after discovering debris near the sunken Titanic ship, the United States Coast Guard reported Thursday that the five occupants aboard the submersible had been lost in a horrific implosion.

Titanic expedition leader G. Michael Harris told reporters that this is the inevitable consequence of being at such a great depth and under such intense pressure. That sub would collapse in two nanoseconds, and it would take your spinal cord four nanoseconds to register to your brain. 

In other words, they would have felt nothing. It takes longer for your eyes to transmit a visual signal to your brain. So the passengers didn’t see a thing either.

Rescue diver Butch Hendrick thanked everyone involved and said he hoped the submersible had someone become trapped or entangled. 

Dr. Michael Gullen, who was once trapped aboard a sunken ship, said he views the incident as a catastrophic failure.

It had electrical backup systems and other automatic systems to bring it back up to the surface if something went wrong, and when none of these systems activated to get it back up to the character indicated that there must have been a catastrophic failure, Gullen said.

The search crews have not located the bodies of the five missing passengers. Scientifically, the reality is that there are no intact bodies to be found. 

The victims include British millionaire Hamish Harding, OceanGate CEO and pilot Stockton Rush, Pakistani business tycoon Shahzada Dawood, Suleman Dawood, and Titanic researcher Paul-Henri Nargeolet. 

On Sunday, the submersible set sail from the coast of St. John’s, Newfoundland, but it hadn’t heard from its mother ship in over two hours. Since the submersible only carries 96 hours’ worth of oxygen, scientists predicted when it would have run out of oxygen— Thursday.

The submersible was immediately the target of a search that lasted several days and ended with the discovery of the wreckage.