Titanic submersible: Who were the five crew members on board the Titan vessel?

The five person crew of the Titan submersible are believed to have died after the US Coast Guard said the vessel had suffered a 'catastrophic implosion'. Neil Connery and Lucy Watson report

Three Britons are among the five person crew of the Titan submersible who are believed to have died after debris found in the Atlantic was confirmed to belong to the vessel.

OceanGate Expeditions, which operates submersible tours to the Titanic shipwreck, said in a statement that the crew "have sadly been lost".

The development comes after the US Coast Guard said that debris found on Thursday belonged to the Titan, adding that it is "consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber".

Who were the five person crew on the submersible?

Hamish Harding

British billionaire Hamish Harding, has been described by fellow explorer Colonel Terry Virts as "the quintessential British explorer".

Mr Harding is listed as the chairman of Dubai-based private plane firm Action Aviation.

The 58-year-old holds three Guinness World Records, including the longest duration at full ocean depth by a crewed vessel when in March 2021, he and ocean explorer Victor Vescovo dived to the lowest depth of the Mariana Trench.

Hamish Harding has been called the 'the quintessential British explorer'. Credit: PA

On July 9-11 2019, Mr Harding was mission director and crew pilot for the flight mission One More Orbit, which set the current world speed record for the fastest circumnavigation of earth by aircraft over both geographic poles.

In June 2022, he went into space on Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket.

On social media last weekend, he said he was "proud to finally announce" he would be aboard the mission to the wreck of the Titanic, the luxury ocean liner which hit an iceberg and sank in 1912, killing more than 1,500 people.

Shahzada Dawood and Suleman Dawood

Reportedly among the wealthiest people in Pakistan, Shahzada Dawood, 48, was a UK-based board member of the Prince's Trust charity.

He studied law at the University of Birmingham in 1998, and served as vice-president for the Engro Corporation, which makes fertilisers, food, and energy, and of which his 79-year-old father Hussain is chairman.

Mr Dawood was in the submersible with his 19-year-old son, Suleman Dawood, who was a student at Strathclyde University, in Glasgow.

In a statement addressed to the "Strathclyde community", university principal and vice-chancellor Professor Sir Jim McDonald said he knew members would join him in "sending our thoughts and prayers to their families and loved ones".

Suleman Dawood (left) and his father, Shahzada. Credit: Dawood Family

Stockton Rush

As CEO and founder of OceanGate Inc, a company that provides crewed submersible services to enable researchers and explorers to access the oceans' vast resources, Stockton Rush insisted only last year that the mission was safe.

After training as a pilot, he became the youngest jet transport rated pilot in the world at the age of 19.

He obtained his BSE in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University in 1984, and his MBA from the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business in 1989.

The same year, Mr Rush personally built a Glasair III experimental aircraft. He also completed a heavily modified Kittredge K-350 two-man submersible, in which he conducted over 30 dives.

Stockton Rush (left) founded OceanGate Inc. Credit: AP

Mr Rush founded the board of trustees of non-profit organisation OceanGate Foundation, which aims to "catalyse emerging marine technology to further discoveries in marine science, history, and archaeology".

In an interview with CBS News last year, he said about the Titanic mission: "What I worry about most are things that will stop me from being able to get to the surface.

"Overhangs, fish nets, entanglement hazards. And, that's just a technique, piloting technique.

"It's pretty clear - if it's an overhang, don't go under it. If there is a net, don't go near it. So, you can avoid those if you are just slow and steady."

Paul-Henri Nargeolet

Paul-Henri Nargeolet served in the French Navy for 25 years, and was known as "Titanic's greatest explorer".

According to his biography on the website of the Experiential Media Group, Mr Nargeolet was "widely considered the leading authority" on the Titanic shipwreck.

OceanGate's website describes him as a "renowned Titanic expert, having led six expeditions to the Titanic wreck site and lectured at numerous Titanic exhibitions around the world".

Mr Nargeolet was Director of the Underwater Research Program for Premier Exhibitions, RMS Titanic, for over 16 years.

Paul-Henri Nargeolet served in the French Navy for 25 years. Credit: AP

In that time, according to the EM Group, Mr Nargeolet completed 35 dives in the Titanic submersible and "supervised the recovery of 5,000 artifacts".

He was a former commander, sub pilot, ship captain, clearance diver and deep diver for the Marine Nationale, the French Navy.

Mr Nargeolet previously spoke frankly of the dangers of deep-sea exploration, saying: "If you are 11m or 11km down, if something bad happens, the result is the same."

"When you're in very deep water, you're dead before you realise that something is happening, so it's just not a problem."

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