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Expert who recovered the Titan sub wreckage says ocean exploration is about ‘passion and a joy for exploration’

An undated photo shows the tourist submersible called the Titan.The Titan sub.

Ocean Gate / Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

  • Ed Cassano led the team that recovered the wreckage of the Titan sub.
  • His company’s remotely operated vehicle, Odysseus 6K, found the wreckage of the Titan.
  • Cassano told a press conference that ocean exploration “was a passion and a joy for exploration.”

The CEO of a company that retrieved the Titan submersible wreckage told a press conference that ocean exploration is  all about “a passion and a joy for exploration.”

Ed Cassano, the CEO of Pelagic Research Services, said ocean exploration was “very compelling” and that he was aware of OceanGate’s activities before the Titan sub’s fateful final trip. “It’s a very small community,” he said.

“Explorers, people who seek to be on the ocean, to go to depth – it’s very compelling. We certainly share those desires. Our whole company is designed to support research and science at depth. There was a passion and a joy for exploration,” said Cassano.

His company sent down a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) called Odysseus 6K to search for the missing sub, and it quickly found the debris nearby the original Titanic wreck.

Odysseus 6K was the only ROV that took part in the search effort able to reach the depths of the Titanic wreckage.

He said that they had prepared to rescue the Titan sub, but it soon became clear that the passengers could not have survived the journey.

“By 12 o’clock, sadly, a rescue turned into a recovery,” Cassano said, as Insider previously reported.

“Shortly after we arrived on the seafloor, we discovered the debris of the Titan submersible,” he added.

Cassano was visibly moved in the press conference, where he described his team’s efforts, appearing to hold back tears.

“I have to apologize, were are still demobilizing, there’s a lot of emotions, people are tired,” he said.

The submersible suffered a “catastrophic implosion” as it descended to view the Titanic wreck. All five passengers onboard the Titan, including OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, died during the incident.

The US Coast Guard has since said that presumed human remains had also been recovered.

Also onboard the sub was British billionaire Hamish Harding, British-Pakistani Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, Suleman, and French sub-pilot and explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

The company charged passengers $250,000 each to participate in the voyage.

Investigation into what went wrong on the doomed sub could take years

Investigators recover a white slab that seems to be debris from the Titan submersible.An annotated picture of recovered debris from the Titan submersible pulled up from the ocean floor.

Paul Daly/The Canadian Press via AP/Insider.

Though it’s difficult to know for sure what happened, an expert previously told Insider, based on analyzing images of the retrieved wreckage, that the most likely scenario was that the vessel’s carbon-fiber hull gave way under pressure.

Jasper Graham-Jones, associate professor in Mechanical & Marine Engineering at Plymouth University, said both the window failing and the hull failing would have led to the implosion of the ship. 

It appears that safety concerns about the design and operation of the vessel were long ignored or dismissed.

Investigators will now be taking a close look at the remains of the ship to determine exactly what happened. 

They’ll be “effectively looking under a microscope, at all the parts. And that would actually give you an idea of how it’s failed,” said Graham-Jones. On Friday, officials in the US said they would report back in one to two years.

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