Banging sound from Titan Sub search heard for first time in new documentary clip


A new clip from Channel 5’s upcoming documentary “The Titan Sub Disaster: Minute by Minute” includes audio of the eerie “knocking” sound rescuers heard in their search for the Titanic exploration vessel that led them to incorrectly believe at the time that those onboard may have still been alive after the sub lost contact with the surface.
Screenshot 2024-02-28 at 1.08.10 PM

An undated photo shows tourist submersible belongs to OceanGate as it begins to descend at a sea.

Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Key Takeaways
  • The audio, which was not previously released to the public, was given to the documentary’s producers by the Canadian Air Force team that led the search and rescue mission for the five people aboard the Titanic sub when it went missing on June 18, 2023.
  • Reports of rescuers hearing a knocking sound while searching for the sub emerged on the second day of the four-day search, and were confirmed on day three, but the Canadian Air Force told Channel 5 they’d heard banging from the first day and on every search flight.
  • A U.S. Navy official at the time told CBS News that analysis of the banging noises determined they were likely ocean noise or sounds coming from other search ships, and Chris Parry, a former admiral in the British Royal Navy, told TalkTV the sounds could have originated from the Titanic wreck.
What To Watch For

“The Titan Sub Disaster: Minute by Minute” is a two-part documentary from Channel 5 and ITN Productions. It will air on Channel 5 in England at 9 p.m. on March 6 and 7. The documentary will explain how the sonar-recorded sounds played into the rescuers’ search.

Key Background

Tourism company OceanGate took five people to explore the wreck of the Titanic on June 18, 2023 in a small submersible called the Titan. Onboard were OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, ocean explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, aviation mogul Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, 19-year-old Suleman. The “experimental” submersible was unregulated, built using parts from RV supplier Camping World and controlled by a 2011 Logitech gamepad controller, CBS reported at the time.

Less than two hours into the dive, the Titan lost communication with the Polar Prince ship, and OceanGate reported it officially missing when it did not resurface later that day. The world watched as a rescue mission was launched to save the sub, and rescuers searched for signs of life for four days. On the final day of the search, a remotely operated underwater vehicle discovered debris of the Titan about 500 yards from the bow of the sunken Titanic, an indication of a “catastrophic event.”

Experts said the submarine likely imploded under the 6,000 pounds per square inch of water pressure present at the site of the Titanic. The implosion is thought to have been near instantaneous and occurred in less than 40 milliseconds, according to the Associated Press. The U.S. Navy later said secret military acoustic detection equipment picked up on an “anomaly consistent with an implosion or explosion” hours after the Titan went under. Months later, in October, Coast Guard officials said it found debris—along with “additional presumed human remains”—on the seafloor. OceanGate Expeditions suspended all exploration and commercial operations in July of 2023.

This article was first published on and all figures are in USD.

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