Titanic sub crew may have known about impending disaster

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Mr Cameron said: “It’s our belief we understand from inside the community that they had dropped their ascent weights and were coming up, trying to manage an emergency.”

While this has not been confirmed, it is believed by some that the dropping of the ascent weights would mean the crew, led by OceanGate founder Stockton Rush, knew something was up and was resurfacing.

The weights on the Titan are used to drag it to the bottom of the ocean; when the crew want to ascend, they are dropped so the sub can rise gradually to the surface.

During his interview, Mr Cameron also criticised the structure and build of the Titan which had diverged from other submersibles in both shape and construction.

Whilst most submersibles of the kind that dive to the Titanic are made of steel or Titanium and are spherical in shape, the Titan was made of carbon fibre with titanium caps at either end.

The reason why most subs are spherical is so the pressure is evenly around the hull. Some experts have said the fact that Titan’s hull was cylindrical means there was more pressure exerted on the vessel and more unevenly.

Mr Cameron said: “There are three potential failure points and the investigation hopefully can localise it down to exactly what happened.”

One of the potential failure points of the Titan is thought to have been the viewport, which reportedly wasn’t designed to be used at the depth the sub was operating at.

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Mr Cameron said: “The viewport at the front was an acrylic viewport. I’m told it was rated to less depth than they were diving to, which is one point.

“They also had two glass spheres on the sub, small glass spheres for flotation, which is a bad idea.

“If I had to put money down on what the finding will be, the Achilles heel of the sub was the composite cylinder that was the main hull that the people were inside.

“There were two titanium end caps on each end. They are relatively intact on the sea floor. But that carbon fibre composite cylinder is now just in very small pieces. It’s all rammed into one of the hemispheres.”

Mr Cameron added that it was “pretty clear that’s what failed” and explained how the pressure cycles would have impacted the hull.

He said that the constant pressurising and depressurising forces on the carbon fibre would have had a cumulative effect over the course of its 10 dives.

The effect of these pressure cycles would have been to create cracks and weaknesses in the material, making it more likely to break.

The reason why traditional submersibles use steel and titanium is that they can go through multiple pressure cycles before developing weaknesses.

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