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TSB launches investigation into a marine occurrence involving the Canadian-flagged vessel Polar Prince and the submersible Titan

NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR, Canada – The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is launching an investigation (M23A0169) into the fatal occurrence involving the Canadian-flagged vessel Polar Prince and the privately operated submersible Titan.

On Sunday 18 June 2023, the Canadian-flagged cargo vessel Polar Prince was at the Titanic wreck site, 325 nautical miles south-southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland and Labrador, providing surface support to the submersible Titan. There were 17 crew members and 24 people on board the Polar Prince. Five people from the Polar Prince were on board the Titan and approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes after the submersible began its descent, the support vessel lost contact.

On 22 June 2023, the United States Coast Guard confirmed that the debris found on the ocean floor near the Titanic wreckage consisted of pieces of the missing submersible. As a result, the five people on board the Titan are presumed dead.

In accordance with the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act and international agreements, the TSB, as the investigation authority of the flag state of the support vessel involved in the occurrence, will conduct a safety investigation regarding the circumstances of this operation conducted by the Canadian-flagged vessel Polar Prince.

A team of TSB investigators is travelling to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, to gather information, conduct interviews, and assess the occurrence. In the coming days, we will coordinate our activities with other agencies involved.

See the investigation page for the latest information.

***The TSB is an independent agency that investigates air, marine, pipeline, and rail transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.



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