Anyone following the submersible lost near the Titanic?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by Seattle, Jun 20, 2023.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,646
    Figured it was safe enough. "Hey, we never had a problem with it before!"
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,543
    Hmm, not good, indeed.

    Has this guy Rush gone down with this ship, or is he on the surface buying plane tickets?
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Rush is on board.

    The sounds being heard are encouraging. Apparently, it's standard practice in submarines if you have no other means of communication to bang loudly on the hull for 3 minutes every half an hour. Reports suggest that might be what is being detected.

    The sub still hasn't been located, however, and time is running out to mount any kind of rescue.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,254
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,874
    Stories like this lost submersible generally bring out more misinformation than anything else because TV anchors have to keep talking for hour after hour about subjects they don't understand.

    On one particular British broadcast the anchor mentioned that she is a scuba diver and loves the ocean but that she wouldn't get on this submersible (neither would I) but then she proceeded to explain that the ships that were arriving had decompression chambers on them for when these 5 "tourists" were rescued they would need to go in the recompression chambers because their bodies would be under all that pressure (350 atmospheres) and when they came up all that pressure would have to come out.

    It was all total gibberish of course. The submersible is under 1 atmosphere (that's the whole point of the submersible) and when they come up no decompression would be needed. The ship just happens to have a hyperbaric chamber because the ship is often used for diving operations where that might be needed.

    Someone else stated that there were no co2 scrubbers on board and that they were just inducing more oxygen into the cabin and eventually it would be 100% oxygen in the cabin and very subject to a fire from an electrical spark such as the situation that occurred during Apollo 1 training that resulted in the deaths.

    Nothing like that is applicable here. They are just breathing air. We just don't know how many replacement co2 scrubber canisters they have onboard but that's largely where the 96 hours thing comes in.
     
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    I was that "someone" you are referring to. My source for that was a submarine expert who was asking questions about how - and how well - the atmosphere in the sub is regulated.

    I'm glad you're here to tell us the answer. What's your source?
     
  10. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,874
    You aren't the source although when I generically used the term rebreathers (which technically is just a diving unit with a scrubber in it but does the same thing) you said that wasn't the case.

    My "source" was a reporter that went on that same submersible last year and went though the training program. They have traditional scrubbers where you switch out the canister of sodalime or whatever they are using and put in another. They also have some type that I've never heard of which is a hanging strip almost like flypaper. That was a backup system.

    I saw an "expert" Admiral (I think) who knows his stuff in general but just doesn't have any specific knowledge of this particular submersible and he is the one who went on about an oxygen rich environment due to just having oxygen supplies and no co2 scrubbers but he was just wrong about this submersible (and he didn't imply that he did know anything about this submersible for sure, he was just guessing).

    I dive with some guys who use rebreathers rather than scuba and there is little room for error (where diving is concerned). I assume it's pretty reliable as used in a sub. In diving though it's about as exacting as BASE jumping. In other words, if you do it long enough you are almost bound to die. I have a friend who did die that way.

    I love scuba diving but I have zero interest in rebreathers. The danger for diving doesn't apply to the same technology on a sub though because you can't pass out and drown.
     
  11. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,476
    Paying 1/4 million dollars to sit in a tin can over 12000 feet below the ocean's surface seems peculiar to me.
     
  12. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,254
    I have a few friends who enjoy jumping out of airplanes aka skydiving, and that too doesn’t seem worth the risk.

    I love a good “adventure,” but not much of a risk taker. Not sure the ROI is worth it. But, some people really love these extreme adventures.
     
  13. el es Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    322
  14. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,406
    At least it was quick. An interval of the brain's consciousness spans milliseconds and doesn't care about the difference between being at ground zero of a nuclear explosion and the speed of this sort of thing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2023
  15. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,874
    I hope they can get enough forensic evidence, whether that's retrieving it or getting good video, to figure out where the breach was or at least where it wasn't.

    If the glass port isn't shattered that means it didn't breach there although if it is shattered that doesn't mean much either. The carbon fibre will shatter but it would be interesting to see if the titanium/epoxy/carbon fibre bond is intact and just the rest of it that is shattered.

    I'm sure that is asking for too much but that would be optimal. In reality the breached flaw is probably so minute that it would be hard to pinpoint.
     
  16. Saint Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,752
    It imploded and all die on board.
    Had it been tested at the depth of 4000m?
    Whose fault?
     
  17. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Please read the earlier posts in this thread.

    As far as I am aware, it had not been certified for operation at 4000 m. I am aware that it had made 4 previous dives; I don't know whether those dives were to the Titanic or how deep they were.

    It seems likely that there was a design and/or construction flaw. So, the designers and/or builders would be at fault, if it can be established that they were negligent.
     
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,646
    Not if it was operated outside its specifications.
     
    wegs likes this.
  19. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,254
    Supposedly, Rush had fired a few employees who expressed safety concerns about the hull. Guess we'll have to wait for a more details to come out, but that's a bit chilling to me. Of course, everyone aboard the sub signed a waver, understanding that death could be a possibility, but as a paying customer, you are under the impression that the vessel is safe.

    Anything life threatening outside of OceanGate's control could happen, sure...and cause bodily harm or injury. You take that risk when you decide to experience this tour, but you still assume that the vessel itself is safe.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2023
  20. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    Yes. But the aim of building this one was to go look at the Titanic. I think it is fair to assume that the designers had a specification in mind that they thought would be sufficient for that job.
     
  21. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    39,426
    That won't matter, if negligence can be established in a court.
     
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,646
    Right. But who were the designers?

    If a naval engineer designed it for 3900 meters, and certifed it as such, then he's liable. But if OceanGate had the submarine built to print (which means they gave someone the design and said "build this and I will pay you") then that someone is not liable for any design flaws in the design. Sure, if they spec'd a specific standard for a weld and they did not make the weld to that standard, then they are liable. But that is VERY difficult to prove due to the catastrophic nature of the failure, and a sufficient defense is that the design was not expected to survive anyway.

    Reading about Stockton Rush and his approach, I strongly suspect that something like that occurred. For example, the viewport the sub used was not spec'd to the pressures it would have to withstand. One of his workers, underwater inspection specialist David Lochridge, was fired and sued when he expressed concerns that the submarine had not been subject to NDT, a very common inspection methodology. Rush has stated that
    “At some point, safety just is pure waste. I mean, if you just want to be safe, don’t get out of bed. Don’t get in your car. Don’t do anything.” He has also stated that "I think it was General MacArthur who said you’re remembered for the rules you break. And I’ve broken some rules to make this. I think I’ve broken them with logic and good engineering behind me.” That suggests a disregard for basic design verification.

    If that is the case, then the person who will be ultimately held responsible is now dead.

    It actually does matter. In a landmark case (Hulsey vs Elsinore) a student skydiver sued a dropzone because he became injured due to an instructor's negligence. The case was thrown out on the grounds that they had signed a very explicit waiver, stating that skydiving was in no way a safe activity, and they risked injury or death if they tried it - and that they did not warranty the competence of their instructors or the safety of their gear. What was notable about this case is that the decision was not based on whether the instructor was negligent or not - the case was thrown out because since the student signed the waiver, they no longer had a right to sue due to negligence.

    Needless to say lawyers can try to sue for anything, and they will no doubt try in this case.
     
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,874
    People may sue but they have to have the facts and law on their side but OceanGate also has to have assets to take or there is no point.

    Rush has stated that these trips helped subsidize the company but that they weren't profitable. He said the fuel bill for the mother ship would be a million dollars. I have no idea whether this is factual or not but he did say it.
     

Share This Page