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Owner of Titanic salvage rights holding virtual memorial service for OceanGate passenger

The company that owns the salvage rights to the Titanic is holding a virtual memorial service Wednesday for one of the five passengers who died onboard the OceanGate Titan submersible. 

RMS Titanic Inc. said in a series of tweets that the event honoring French mariner Paul-Henri Nargeolet, which is being streamed at 2:30 p.m. ET, will “provide an outlet for the world-wide Titanic and Oceanographic communities to remember our colleague and friend, and express our grief together.” 

“Five men, Husbands, Fathers, Sons- one just 19 years old perished together and we, again, extend our condolences to the families and friends of those lost,” the company said. “We are all deeply mourning.” 

Nargeolet was the director of underwater research for the Atlanta-based company, according to The Associated Press. 

“OceanGate has suspended all exploration and commercial operations,” the announcement read in red text. 

The Titan submersible suffered a catastrophic implosion 1 hour and 45 minutes into its descent toward the wreck of the Titanic. The submersible passengers included U.K billionaire Hamish Harding, OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, father-son pair Shahzada Dawood and Suleman Dawood, and Nargeolet. 

OceanGate had charged tourists $250,000 for a ticket on the submersible to visit the legendary Titanic wreckage. Legal experts say the families of those aboard do not have a legal avenue to sue the company. 

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Photo of submarine that imploded

OceanGate, the company that owned the submersible involved in a fatal implosion while en route to explore the Titanic wreck, announced the suspension of its operations on July 6, 2023. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP, File)

A Canadian government agency, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, also announced in late June that it is opening an investigation into the OceanGate Titan submersible and the cargo vessel which provided support from the surface. 

“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,” it said at the time. “A team of TSB investigators is traveling 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.” 

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