OceanGate, the company that ran the Titan submersible dive, has expressed its admiration for the five men who lost their lives in the deep-sea expedition.
The company said in a statement that the men were “true explorers” who had “a unique passion for adventure”.
The Coast Guard suspects that the Titan submersible suffered a devastating implosion that killed the five men on board.
On Thursday morning, they announced that they had found debris near the Titanic wreck that matched the Titan.
The submersible went missing on Sunday.
The victims included OceanGate’s CEO Stockton Rush, 61, British-Pakistani entrepreneur Shahzada Dawood, 48, his son Suleman, 19, and British businessman Hamish Harding, 58.
The fifth victim was Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a 77-year-old former French navy diver and famous explorer.
At a press conference on Thursday, Rear Adm John Mauger of the US Coast Guard said that the debris was identified by a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) about 1,600 feet (480m) away from the Titanic wreck.
They found five pieces that confirmed they belonged to the Titan, including a tail cone.
It is not known what caused the implosion or when it happened.
Rear Adm Mauger said he could not say if the bodies of the five men would be recovered.
He said that the seafloor was “an extremely harsh environment” that posed many challenges.
He added that ROVs would stay in the area to continue the investigation into the incident.
Other personnel – such as medical experts and technicians – will start to leave.
Earlier this week, authorities said that Canadian aircraft had picked up underwater sounds that some experts thought could indicate that the sub’s passengers were still alive.
The Coast Guard now thinks that there was no link between the sounds and the location where they found the Titan’s debris on the seafloor.