A photo of the titan submarine operated by OceanGate Expeditions.

OceanGate Titanic Submarine Incident

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Updated Sep 28, 2023 at 02:12PM EDT by Don.

Added Jun 20, 2023 at 07:35AM EDT by Philipp.

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OceanGate Titanic Submarine Incident refers to a small tourist submersible operated by the tour firm OceanGate Expeditions going missing with five people on board in June 2023 during a mission to the wreck of RMS Titanic. The incident became a viral subject of discourse and memes on social media following the story becoming international news, particularly surrounding details about the sub using a Logitech gaming controller for operation, the presence of billionaires on board and Brian Szasz, the stepson of British billionaire Hamish Harding. On June 22nd, authorities reported that the sub suffered a catastrophic pressure loss and imploded, killing all five passengers.


On June 18th, 2023, the five-person submarine Titan, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, went missing one hour and 45 minutes after beginning its mission to the wreck of RMS Titanic. On June 19th, 2023, the first media reports[1][2] about the incident were made. On that day, Twitter[3] user @mattxiv tweeted a link to an article about the incident, summarizing it. The tweet (shown below) received over 510 retweets and 12,400 likes in three days.

At 3:29 p.m. EST on June 19th, 2023, OceanGate released[4] a media brief about the missing vessel, reporting that the search and rescue operation (assisted by government agencies and deep sea companies) was underway (shown below, left). At that time, The Coast Guard reported[2] that among the five people on the crew were the submarine pilot and four "mission specialists," tourists paying $250,000 to participate in the expedition who operate sonar equipment and perform research tasks. On June 17th, British billionaire Hamish Harding, one of the participants of the June 2023 expeditions, shared a Facebook[5] post about the upcoming mission (shown below, right).

Hamish Harding June 17 at 5:35 PM - I am proud to finally announce that I joined OceanGate Expeditions for their RMS TITANIC Mission as a mission specialist on the sub going down to the Titanic. Due to the worst winter in Newfoundland in 40 years, this mission is likely to be the first and only manned mission to the Titanic in 2023. A weather window has just opened up and we are going to attempt a dive tomorrow. We started steaming from St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada yesterday and are planning to start dive operations around 4am tomorrow morning. Until then we have a lot of preparations and briefings to do. The team on the sub has a couple of legendary explorers, some of which have done over 30 dives to the RMS Titanic since the 1980s including PH Nargeolet. More expedition updates to follow IF the weather holds! Explorers Club #ActionAviation #OneMoreOrbit #polarprince #Titanic LEG IZ A TIDANIC MISSION V 1.6K Sepa Scott Griffith сада Ray Cit Hanish Harding werde Rast J Nel ADO, JACKS TITANIC EXPEDITION MISSION V Amy D Vic M.Chael Var Kim Thugh 34 Jemi веравну реча Lisa Ducher VINDER 605 shares

The submarine had a 96-hour oxygen supply starting at approximately 6 a.m. EST, meaning that unless found and rescued, the submarine is expected to run out of air on Thursday at 6 a.m.


2022 CBS Article / Video Game Controller

On June 19th, 2023, Twitter user @conzmoleman tweeted[6] extracts from a November 2022 article by CBS News[7] journalist David Pogue, who joined the OceanGate expedition to Titanic (tweet shown below, left). One of the extracts highlighted a disclaimer stating the vessel had not been approved or certified by any regulatory body and waiving responsibility for injuries, trauma or death. Another snippet contained descriptions of "MacGyver jerry-riggedness" present on the sub, most notably construction pipes being used as ballast and a video game controller being used to pilot the sub (shown below, center). The tweet received over 600 retweets and 5,500 likes in one day.

In the same thread, @conzmoleman posted[8] a photograph of four people sitting inside the sub, with the tweet gaining over 1,400 retweets and 4,200 likes in the same period (shown below, right).

If all went well, I would be spending about 12 hours sealed inside on a dive to the Titanic. Not gonna lie; I was a little nervous, especially given the paperwork, which read, "This experimental vessel has not been approved or certified by any regulatory body, and could result in physical injury, emotional trauma, or death." Where do I sign? This is not your grandfather's submersible; inside, the sub has about as much room as a minivan. It has one button. "That's it," said Rush. "It should be like an elevator, you know? It shouldn't take a lot of skill." The Titan is the only five-person sub in the world that can reach Titanic's depth, 2.4 miles below the sea. It's also the only one with a toilet (sort of). And yet, I couldn't help noticing how many pieces of this sub seemed improvised, with off-the-shelf components. Piloting the craft is run with a video game controller. Pogue said, "It seems like this submersible has some elements of MacGyver jerry-riggedness. I mean, you're putting construction pipes as ballast." Warren Commission Test Skull @conzmoleman oh my GOD lol 5:26 PM Jun 19, 2023 4.4M Views Ocean Gate

And yet, I couldn't help noticing how many pieces of this sub seemed improvised, with off-the-shelf components. Piloting the craft is run with a video game controller.

The submarine is supposed to be guided by the surface ship via text messages as GPS is unavailable underwater.

Later on June 19th, Twitter[9] user @FnpMarieOH tweeted a clip from the November 2022 CBS News story, with the tweet earning over 6,300 retweets and 33,000 likes in one day (shown below).

On June 20th, 2023, Twitter[14] user @burgerkrang posted two screenshots of social media posts made by Brian Szasz, the stepson of the missing billionaire Hamish Harding, one a Facebook post[15] confirming that Harding was on board of the sub, and the other a picture of Szasz at a Blink-182 concert in San Diego made on June 19th (shown below, left and center). The tweet received over 3,400 retweets and 35,200 likes in one day. Szasz later deleted the photograph of himself at the concert.

Brian Szasz 14h ● Hamish my stepdad is lost in a submarine thoughts and prayers that the rescue mission will be successful. LEG-12 mirror.co.uk Stepson confirms Brit billionaire Hamish Harding on missing submersible i Brian Szasz 14h It might be distasteful being here but my family would want me to be at the blink-182 show as it's my favorite band and music helps me in difficult times! 3 BLINK-182 36 OFFICIAL MERCHANDISE OFFICIAL Me ANDISE Col-Rica blink 182 ● blink Blink 182 K-182 link-18 blis 182 blink-182 ●●● GALLE RUNDVE

Szasz' attendance of the concert was reported on by TMZ,[16] Pop Crave[17] and other media, with the topic becoming a viral subject of discussions.

Banging Sounds Detected

On June 20th, 2023, Rolling Stone[18] reported on an internal government memo that a Canadian aircraft searching for the submersible detected "banging sounds" coming at 30-minute intervals in the area where divers disappeared. An additional sonar deployed four hours later confirmed the finding.

Submarine Debris Found / U.S. Coast Guard Press Conference

On June 22nd, 2023, the U.S. Coast Guard held a press conference to explain the debris found close to the Titanic earlier that day. The Coast Guard is assuming the five men on board the missing Titan submersible died after a "catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber," which reportedly resulted in the sub imploding. The press conference[19] was live-broadcasted (shown below) on YouTube, garnering 98,000 views and 876 likes in just 40 minutes.

"Simpsons Did It" Theory

Some online noticed the events aligned with a 2006 Simpsons where Homer goes on a submarine journey, gets stuck and runs out of oxygen. Coincidentally, Simpsons writer and producer Mike Reiss has traveled multiple times with OceanGate.

However, the episode aired before OceanGate was founded and Mike Reiss did not write the episode in question, meaning the parallels between Titan and the Simpsons episode are pure coincidence.

MrBeast Nearly On The Sub

On June 25th, YouTuber MrBeast claimed he was invited to go on the Titan but declined. However, his claim was met with doubt online, as the text message invitation he shared was in blue, which would imply he wrote the text himself. MrBeast explained that the friend who sent that text inviting MrBeast also sent him the screenshot. This was also met with some skepticism, as all the passengers on the Titan died, so it is unclear if MrBeast is lying or was invited to join a different submarine voyage to see the Titanic.

Online Reactions

Following the initial news of the incident and the reposts of the details from the 2022 CBS article, the incident became a viral subject of discussions and memes. Following the initial viral tweet about the incident by @mattxiv, Twitter[10][11] users @DementedVoluptu, @lwt_gorgeousrry and others made jokes on June 19th, 2023, referencing "the Orca Wars," a series of recent orca attacks on ships near the coast of Spain (shown below, left and right). The tweet made by @lwt_gorgeousrry received over 1,700 retweets and 25,400 likes in one day.

matt @mattxiv. 21h a tourist submarine where each passenger paid... $250,000 to explore the titanic shipwreck at the bottom of the ocean has gone missing huffpost.com Submarine Exploring Titanic Wreckage Goes Missing, Launching Sear... It's not clear how many people, if any, were on board the submarine or who was operating it. 156 1984 Pessimist: Serving Can't @DementedVoluptu I think we know who did it 12:07 PM. Jun 19, 2023 112.7K Views 12.5K ₁3.1M ↑. Jhené Science era @lwt_gorgeousrry I think they did it but I just can't prove it matt @mattxiv. 21h a tourist submarine where each passenger paid... $250,000 to explore the titanic shipwreck at the bottom of the ocean has gone missing huffpost.com/entry/titanic-... 12:20 PM. Jun 19, 2023 1.7M Views :

More humorous posts about the incident went viral in the following hours. For example, one tweet[12] by user @m_ttt21 on June 19th referencing the ending of the 1997 film Titanic received over 3,600 retweets and 26,900 likes in one day (shown below, left). A greentext shared by an anonymous 4chan user on that day was circulated on Twitter[13] and other social media, with a repost by account @greentexts_bot gaining over 30 retweets and 1,400 likes in a similar timeframe (shown below, right).

Matt @m_ttt21 the people on that missing titanic submarine when they "wake up" tomorrow 9:49 PM Jun 19, 2023 · 1M Views Activer Windows Accédez aux paramètres pour activer Windows. all band Autistic behavior www.a 23 KB JPG > be me > always had a fascination about the titanic wreck > always wanted to experience the wreck for myself but there has been no way to do it > suddenly there is a crazy British man that is funding a tour with a submarine > I do some quick research > tickets are 250,000. > f--- > save up some years and take a small loan to afford a ticket > around 2 years later I secure myself a ticket > meet up at the base station > get some quick training since its kinda dangerous > we climb down into the submarine > finally > we ventured down into the depths > lost contact an hour and 45 minutes > never seen again > The US Coast Guard estimates the vessel has between 70-96 hours of emergency oxygen left

Brian Szasz / Titanic Submarine Billionaire Stepson

Brian Szasz is the stepson of British billionaire Hamish Harding, who was among the five people on board the OceanGate. He became a trending a topic since the news of his stepdad going missing, as people began to look into his online presence and social media posts.

☆ CRAY ☆ @craymusic Subscribe Hi, the man Brian who has a photo with me where I signed his shoe. I've never talked to him before in my life other then that show where I did a meet and greet. I had no idea who he was until later. He's been blocked and banned from all my shows since. 11:04 AM Jun 21, 2023 · 1.1M Views 243 Retweets 74 Quotes 4,309 Likes 247 Bookmarks @audioguy182 @craymusic thank you so much! great set! thanks for signing my jordans! nice to meet you! QUAR SU Brian LOV QRA Jyr At th CRAY's you 4:32 AM May 11, 2023 486.1K Views REZZ

Killer Whales Attacking Boats

Killer Whales Attacking Boats refers to a series of rumors and online jokes connecting the submarine missing and the Killer Whales attacking boat stories.

Guybrush Tweetbad @Meat__Hook *BANG BANG BANG* THE WATER IS SAFE SEND MORE BILLIONAIRES *BANG BANG BANG* NEWS BBC Breaking News @BBCBreaking - 14h Banging sounds heard during search for missing Titanic sub on Tuesday, US media report, quoting internal government memo bbc.in/3XhFtcw 3:45 AM Jun 21, 2023 7.6M Views :

Iron Lung

Iron Lung is a 2022 indie horror video game developed and published by David Szymanski. The player assumes the role of a convict sentenced to explore an ocean of human blood in a midget submarine called the Iron Lung. In June 2023, the game has often been referenced in the context of the Titan submarine incident.

HOW TO FRIGHTEN THE NEW GENERATION, PUT THEM IN A SUBMARINE UNDER AN OCEAN OF BLOOD FUNNY THOUGHTS AND JOKES PUT THEM IN A SUBMARINE WHERE THE DOOR HAS BEEN WELDED SHUT. THERE ARE NO WINDOWS. THERE IS NO WAY SEE ANYTHING= THERE IS A CAMERA ON THE FRONT OF THE SUBMARINE THERE IS SOMETHING TRYING TO RIP APART THE SUB AH04KO @HelloH04K0 David Szymanski: In my game, I created the Iron Lung as a cautionary tale. Billionaires: At long last, we have created the Iron Lung from the classic sci-fi game Don't Create the Iron Lung 4:17 PM Jun 20, 2023 1.9M Views Ocean 20 DEPTH 033.10 322.16 186.36 O David Szymanskl causing a magically submarine to go missing to sell more copies of iron lung

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Top Comments


Ok, so, apparently, an ex-employee had been fired because he wouldn't stop asking questions about the safety of the sub

Forget the x-box controler. There had been no stress tests about the longterm durability of the carbonfiber hull, because there is no method right now to test for that. Furthermore, the viewport produced by another company was only certified for 1400m in depth while OceanGate insisted that the sub could go at 4000m depth.

They're turbo-dead. That thing just collapsed on itself and killed them instantly.


This kid's probably the only one I'll genuinely feel sorry for. If it's true that they all signed a waiver that said that they could possibly die, then I can't believe his father would be okay with his son going. Seriously, what the hell!?


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