All five passengers on the missing Titanic sub are believed to be dead, the company which operates the vessel said.
A statement from Oceangate Expeditions read: “We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost.
“These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans.
“Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.
“This is an extremely sad time for our dedicated employees who are exhausted and grieving deeply over this loss.
“The entire OceanGate family is deeply grateful for the countless men and women from multiple organizations of the international community who expedited wide-ranging resources and have worked so very hard on this mission.
“We appreciate their commitment to finding these five explorers, and their days and nights of tireless work in support of our crew and their families. This is a very sad time for the entire explorer community, and for each of the family members of those lost at sea.
“We respectfully ask that the privacy of these families be respected during this most painful time.”
It comes after experts leading the search effort for the submersible found a ‘debris field’ near the wreck of the Titanic.
Rear Admiral John Mauger of the US Coast Guard confirmed that the debris was from the missing submersible during a press conference on Thursday.
“The debris is consistent with a catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber. Upon this determination we immediately notified the families”, he said.
An underwater robot found a tail cone of the missing submersible this morning.