gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); After Titanic submarine disaster, industry faces scrutiny – The Zimbabwe Mail

After Titanic submarine disaster, industry faces scrutiny

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THE fatal accident involving the Titan submersible during its expedition to the Titanic wreckage has raised concerns about the need for additional safety regulations in the deep-sea tourist submersible industry.

However, experts in the field argue that enforcing such regulations may be challenging due to the international nature of the business and the absence of regulations in the high seas where submersibles operate.

The tragedy involving the uncertified Titan, manufactured by OceanGate Inc, resulted in the deaths of all five people on board and drew international attention. While the incident was a rarity in more than six decades of civilian deep-sea submergence, industry leaders anticipate increased scrutiny and potential changes in the industry.

Notably, the lack of regulations and governing bodies in international waters poses difficulties in implementing and enforcing safety measures. Movie director James Cameron, a deep-sea explorer and owner of Triton Submarines, supports the certification of submersibles but highlights the challenge of passing regulations in every country where submersibles operate.

OceanGate has not provided explanations for its decision to forgo certification from third-party industry organizations. Of the approximately 10 submersibles capable of diving to the depth of the Titanic, only OceanGate’s Titan was uncertified. Most tourist submersibles operate at depths of 500 meters or less, exploring coral reefs and other natural phenomena.

Experts suggest that regulators may focus on operational aspects, such as diving procedures, but currently, no governments regulate the manufacture of private submersibles. While acknowledging the loss of life, professionals in the industry express concern about differentiating between the actions of OceanGate and the practices followed by the majority of industry players.

The incident with the Titan may lead to increased oversight, but the inherently unregulated nature of the high seas means that dives in international waters would remain unaffected by potential regulations.