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First Brit to dive to Titanic wreck explains newly released audio from Titan sub disaster

First Brit to dive to Titanic wreck explains newly released audio from Titan sub disaster

Dik Barton has explained what he thinks that banging noise was

The first Brit to dive down to the wreck of the Titanic has given his verdict on what the banging noise rescuers heard during their search for the Titan sub was.

A new documentary by ITN, The Titan Sub Disaster: Minute by Minute, has revealed the noise picked up which gave people hope that the five people on board the Titan sub might have been alive and attempting to signal for help.

A rhythmic banging noise was heard which appeared to be coming every 30 minutes, leading some to wonder if perhaps the five people on board the submersible were still alive.

At the time the US coast guard stressed that it didn't know what the noise was, and the sub is believed to have imploded shortly after contact was lost with it on 18 June resulting in the deaths of all on board.

Dik Barton, the former president of RMS Titanic Inc and the first Brit to dive down to the wreck of the famous ship, explained to LADbible what he thought that noise was, and the role it played in searching for the Titan.

The Titan submersible which was destroyed.
OceanGate/Becky Kagan Schott

"We've listened to it extensively and it's clearly a very mechanical noise," the expert who made multiple dives down to the wreck of the Titanic explained.

“It sounds like a chain that's slipping on a cog, or windlass, or some kind of wind system, which is highly possible because there's a huge amount of activity underwater and out in that ocean, that part of the sea.

“You've got submarine cable laying systems, you've got obviously the normal traffic. Even propeller noises can be misconstrued as all sorts of different indications.

"It has no urgency or stress to it"

"Then the other important thing to understand is that the sound is mechanical, it has no urgency or stress to it, what you'd normally consider be associated with some kind of distress process.

"Mariners and submariners would use the SOS system to transmit the Mayday or some sort of pam pam, but it's very rhythmic.

“Then there's another aspect to this as well, which you have to consider is that it sounds like metal on metal, and there's nothing inside the Titan submersible that would have been an appropriate striking metal object."

This sound was picked up in the search for the Titan sub.
ITN Productions/Channel 5

Barton explained that 'sound travels at 1,500 metres a second underwater' so attempting to pinpoint exactly where it came from would be incredibly difficult.

He said: "So if you can imagine the context of that noise that has been detected, the potential speed at which it travels, and therefore the area that you’d have to search, the ocean is a huge place."

As for the Titan submersible itself, the British diver wasn't a fan of the vessel's design and said he wouldn't have wanted to go near it.

He said: "So effectively you had a carbon fibre tube and two end caps on the end, which were titanium.

"The weakness had already been identified"

"When you're trying to bond those two types of materials together, and to withstand the extraordinary pressures that you're operating at, you've got a significant engineering challenge.

"Clearly the submersible had previously encountered other potential safety issues so the weakness had already been identified."

Barton noted that there had been 'numerous observations and almost protests made by some extremely qualified and capable submarine designers and engineers and even crew'.

Dik Barton, the first Brit to dive down to the Titanic wreck, gave his verdict on the sound.

As for his own experience of diving down to the Titanic, Barton said the ship was the 'ultimate wreck'.

"When you have the opportunity to dive with the schoolboy aspiration of the Titanic, although there are more memorable and more tragic losses at sea and more significant wrecks, she's obviously maintained the mystique.

"It's absolutely all-consuming"

"My first dive was quite extraordinary but it wasn't quite as memorable as my second one because there was so much going on.

"We were piloting and diving in a submersible with a very strict and very focused mission to basically pick up artefacts around the bow section area.

"It's the intensity of that dive, it's absolutely all-consuming. It really is and you're down there for I think probably 16 hours from surface to surface. It's a long day in the office."

The Titan Sub Disaster: Minute by Minute was produced by ITN and continues tonight at 9.00pm on Channel 5.

Featured Image Credit: Becky Kagan Schott/OceanGate/ITV

Topics: Channel 5, Documentaries, News, Titanic, Titan Submersible