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A month after the Titan submersible implosion, a memorial ceremony for Paul-Henri Nargeolet, one of five people who died, is due to be streamed live on Wednesday, July 19th.

The French deep-sea explorer and Titanic expert lost his life along with businessman Hamish Harding, OceanGate owner Stockton Rush, and father and son Suleman and Shahzada Dawood during an expedition to visit the Titanic off the coast of Newfoundland on June 18th.

The ceremony is being hosted by RMS Titanic Inc, which was awarded salvage-in-possession status for the wreck of the Titanic in 1994.

“We, with the rest of the world, watched the devastating news unfold that our friend and colleague Paul-Henri Nargeolet (whom we fondly refer to as “PH”) had perished along with four other passengers in the Titan accident,” RMS Titanic Inc said in a statement.

“ 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. We are all deeply mourning,” it said.

“After careful thought and consideration, RMS Titanic, Inc. has decided to host a private memorial ceremony for our PH Nargeolet on July 19, 2023, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm EDT (20h30 - 21h30 CEST), which will be streamed live to provide an outlet for the world-wide Titanic and oceanographic communities to remember our colleague and friend, and express our grief together,” it said.

“The in-person event will be closed to the public, but there is no registration necessary to watch and participate online,” it said.

The online link for participation is here

RMS Titanic Inc said it was also inviting people to share comments and memories of “PH” so they may be presented in a book to the family.

These can be recorded on this link 

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The “maverick design” of the Titan submersible made it more susceptible to implosion, the New York Times has said.

The material used for the submersible may also have been a factor, the newspaper says.

Five people – businessman Hamish Harding, OceanGate owner Stockton Rush, Suleman Dawood with his father, Shahzada Dawood, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet – died last month during a dive in the submersible to the wreck of the Titanic.

A New York Times report quotes Tim Foecke, a retired forensic metallurgist, as stating that the change in hull geometry from a tight sphere to a lengthy tube may have contributed to Titan’s catastrophic failure.

“A spherical hull distributes the stress evenly, making it the best shape for resisting the compressive forces of the abyss,” the newspaper says.

Any other shape will “tend to deform unevenly”.

A larger hull needs to be stronger and thicker to withstand the same pressure as a smaller one, Foecke explained.

Experts who spoke to the newspaper compared Titan to Alvin, a research submersible with an all-titanium hull which has completed more than 4,500 dives since 1973.

It notes that OceanGate created most of Titan’s hull out of carbon fibre, rather than the conventional titanium used for Alvin. Experts said the risky design saved money.

Titan’s hull was larger and held two more passengers than Alvin, which fits three. In three years of dives, OceanGate charged up to 250,000 US dollars per person to visit the Titanic.

Read more in the New York Times here (subscription required).

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