Images do not depict wreckage of OceanGate’s Titan Submarine

by Michael Nguyen
OceanGate's Titan Submarine Wreckage

THE ALLEGATION: Images illustrate the wreckage of OceanGate’s Titan submarine following a report from U.S. authorities about the demise of all five passengers on board.

AP’S VERIFICATION: Incorrect. The U.S. Coast Guard validated to The Big Big News that no photographs of the wreckage have been made publicly available so far. Two of the disseminated photos were actually captured in 2004, displaying the wreckage of the Titanic itself; the other image was initially posted on a Twitter account that identifies as a satirical outlet, sharing AI-created visuals.

THE DETAILS: On Thursday, the Coast Guard declared that the submarine, which was transporting five individuals to the Titanic, underwent a catastrophic implosion near the wreck site, resulting in the loss of all lives on board.

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Hopes of rescuing the five men were extinguished earlier when the submarine’s oxygen was projected to deplete, and wreckage was located around 1,600 feet (488 meters) from the Titanic in the North Atlantic.

Post the announcement, social media users falsely professed, in both English and Spanish, that a sequence of photos exhibited the wreckage of the submarine.

“One of the Facebook posts, written in Spanish, says, “Images of the remains found of the #Titan submarine of the Ocean Gate company,” including two pictures of human objects covered in sand and another image with vessel debris.

“OceanGate was located but tragically, none survived,” expressed another Facebook user in English, posting the same photos. “The underwater robot discovered the Titan’s debris on the ocean floor. They found out that there was a devastating implosion as they attempted to surface.”

However, the Coast Guard mentioned that the search team – also involving the U.S. Navy, the Canadian Coast Guard, and OceanGate – hasn’t disclosed any photos or videos of the debris.

“Unless issued from our official press releases or our social media, these photos aren’t verified,” stated the military branch in an email.

In a reverse image search, the AP determined that two of the images, seemingly displaying shoes and kitchen utensils, were captured in 2004 near the Titanic and do not correlate to the Titan’s wreckage.

A caption for one of these images, available in the AP’s archives, reads, “This 2004 photo provided by the Institute for Exploration, Archaeological Oceanography Center/University of Rhode Island/NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration illustrates a coat and boots remains in the mud on the seabed near the Titanic’s stern.”

The third image, displaying a boat in the sand, was uploaded from the Twitter account @prince_of_fake, known for its parodic content and sharing of AI-generated visuals.

The Titan departed Sunday afternoon and was reported later that day approximately 435 miles (700 kilometers) south of St John’s, Newfoundland, en route to the site where the Titanic sank over a century ago, according to AP reports.

In 2021 and 2022, at least 46 people have successfully made the journey to the Titanic wreck aboard the OceanGate submersible, as per company documents filed in the federal court in Norfolk, Virginia, which oversees matters related to the liner’s sinking.
This is part of the AP’s commitment to combat widespread online misinformation, including collaborations with external firms and organizations to provide accurate context to circulating misleading content. Learn more about AP’s fact-check

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about OceanGate’s Titan Submarine Wreckage

What is the claim that was fact-checked in the article?

The claim being fact-checked was that photographs are showing the remains of OceanGate’s Titan submersible after a tragic incident led to the deaths of all five people on board.

What was the result of the fact-check?

The fact-check found that the claim was false. The U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that no public images of the Titan submersible wreckage have been released. The photos being shared were either from a 2004 expedition to the Titanic or from a parody Twitter account.

Did any survivors emerge from the OceanGate’s Titan submersible incident?

No, unfortunately, all five individuals aboard the Titan submersible perished when the vessel imploded near the Titanic wreck site.

Were images of the Titan wreckage released by the search team?

No, the search team, which includes the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Canadian Coast Guard, and OceanGate, has not released any photos or videos of the wreckage.

Who was part of the search team for the Titan submersible wreckage?

The search team consisted of the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Navy, the Canadian Coast Guard, and OceanGate.

More about OceanGate’s Titan Submarine Wreckage

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OceanDiver88 June 29, 2023 - 6:04 am

Can’t even begin to imagine the panic they must’ve felt when things started to go wrong. tragic loss.

NathanB June 29, 2023 - 10:05 am

u know, it’s crazy how misinformation spreads like wildfire on the internet! Thank god for fact-checking!

InvisibleTruth June 29, 2023 - 11:25 am

Always verify before you believe anything on the internet…

Hopeful_Heart June 29, 2023 - 1:53 pm

Sending love and light to all affected by this tragedy… Always keep hope alive.

TitanicHistoryBuff June 29, 2023 - 2:59 pm

Interesting to know those photos were actually from the titanic!

JennaSays June 29, 2023 - 9:48 pm

So sad to hear about the people on board. My thoughts and prayers go to their families 🙁

Riley_J June 29, 2023 - 10:38 pm

It’s so important to verify stuff like this before sharing. Misinformation can cause so much unnecessary pain.

TechGuy321 June 30, 2023 - 1:46 am

Wow, its crazy to think there are still places in the world we cant reach safely. RIP to those lost.


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