The statement came four days after the Titan went missing on Sunday, June 18, while on a mission to explore the Titanic wreckage.
After debris was found in the search area, off the bow of the sunken Titanic, the Coast Guard said it was consistent with a “catastrophic implosion.”
“On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families,” Rear Adm. John Mauger of the Coast Guard said on June 22. “I can only imagine what this has been like for them and I hope that this discovery provides some solace, during this difficult time.”
Those on the Titan were CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding and Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
OceanGate, the company that charters private tours to explore the shipwreck, issued a statement also on June 22 saying that those on the sub “have sadly been lost.”
As the Coast Guard and OceanGate presumed the five people aboard Titan are dead, their families and close ones remember them.
Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions
The company behind the mission released a statement on June 22, stating that the five people “have sadly been lost.” They also expressed their condolences for their CEO and the families of the ones who died.
“We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost,” OceanGate said in a statement. “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.”
It added that this is “an extremely sad time for our dedicated employees who are exhausted and grieving deeply over this loss.”
“The entire OceanGate family is deeply grateful for the countless men and women from multiple organizations of the international community who expedited wide-ranging resources and have worked so very hard on this mission. We appreciate their commitment to finding these five explorers, and their days and nights of tireless work in support of our crew and their families,” it continued. “This is a very sad time for the entire explorer community, and for each of the family members of those lost at sea. We respectfully ask that the privacy of these families be respected during this most painful time.”
The late wife of the CEO, Wendy Rush, was the great-great-granddaughter of Isidor and Ida Straus, two first-class passengers who gave up their places on lifeboats and died on the Titanic.
British billionaire Hamish Harding, the owner of Action Aviation
Harding’s family and Action Aviation Today also expressed their grief in a statement to NBC News. In it, they called him “a loving husband to his wife and a dedicated father to his two sons.”
“We are united in grief with the other families who have also lost their loved ones on the Titan submersible. Hamish Harding was a loving husband to his wife and a dedicated father to his two sons, whom he loved deeply,” the statement began. “To his team in Action Aviation, he was a guide, an inspiration, a support, and a Living Legend. He was one of a kind and we adored him. He was a passionate explorer — whatever the terrain — who lived his life for his family, his business and for the next adventure.”
“What he achieved in his lifetime was truly remarkable and if we can take any small consolation from this tragedy, it’s that we lost him doing what he loved. He will leave a gap in our lives that can never be filled,” it continued. “We know that Hamish would have been immensely proud to see how nations, experts, industry colleagues and friends came together for the search and we extend our heartfelt thanks for all their efforts. On behalf of the Harding family and Action Aviation, we would like to politely request privacy at this incredibly difficult time.”
French dive expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet
Nargeolet’s family also wrote in a statement that their “hearts are broken” over his death.
“Today (June 22) we have been notified by the United States Coast Guard that our beloved Paul-Henri Nargeolet has died due to a catastrophic event while on the Titan submersible. Our hearts are broken over the loss of our extraordinary father and husband,” the statement, shared by his stepson, John Nathaniel Paschall, to NBC News read. “He is a man who will be remembered as one of the greatest deep-sea explorers in modern history. When you think of the Titanic and all we know about the ship today, you will think of Paul-Henri Nargeolet and his legendary work.”
They added that what they will remember him most for is “his big heart, his incredible sense of humor and how much he loved his family.”
“We will miss him today and every day for the rest of our lives. At this time, we would like our privacy to be respected as we grieve the loss of our loved one. We extend our sincere gratitude to everyone involved in the search and rescue process. We would also like to extend our deepest sympathies to the families of Stockton Rush, Hamish Harding and Suleman and Shahzada Dawood,” the statement concluded.
Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, Suleman Dawood
The father and son's family also shared their "profound grief" when announcing the death of Suleman and Shahzada Dawood.
“Our beloved sons were aboard OceanGate’s Titan submersible that perished underwater. Please continue to keep the departed souls and our family in your prayers during this difficult period of mourning," the family said in a statement released by the Dawood Foundation.
The family thanked those involved in the rescue operations and their “untiring efforts" that were a "source of strength for us during this time."
“We are also indebted to our friends, family, colleagues, and well-wishers from all over the world who have stood by us during our hour of need. The immense love and support we receive continues to help us to endure this unimaginable loss,” the statement said, before offering their condolences to the families of the other people who were aboard the Titan.
The Coast Guard said the U.S., Canada, France and Great Britain will have to determine who will investigate the incident and whether to recover the victims.
Still to be determined is who will pay for the search and recovery.