Daughter of explorer in Titanic Five says she is comforted by fact he is in the place he


The daughter a French explorer on board the missing Titan submersible said she was still holding out hope they would be rescued – shortly before news broke that debris from the vessel was found on the ocean floor this morning. 

The comments from Sidonie Nargeolet, the 39-year-old daughter of oceanographer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, came before a landing frame and rear cover of the missing Titan were discovered, leading officials to believe the five-man crew, Nargeolet included, is now dead.

Experts said the debris suggests the vessel suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’ sometime after descending into the ocean depths on Sunday, potentially claiming all five of the lives on board.   

As workers’ search entered a critical phase Thursday morning, Sidonie told Reuters she was living with ‘a lot of stress, very mixed emotions’ about the fate of the missing mariner – whose knowledge of the lost ship earned him the nickname ‘Mr Titanic’.

The 77-year-old spent more than two decades in the French Navy before leading several expeditions to the famous wreck in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Sidonie Nargeolet, the daughter of one of five thought to have perished in the missing sub, has said she still has hope the team will be rescued - but is comforted by the fact her dad, a renowned oceanographer, is in the place he loved most

Sidonie Nargeolet, the daughter of one of five thought to have perished in the missing sub, has said she still has hope the team will be rescued – but is comforted by the fact her dad, a renowned oceanographer, is in the place he loved most

The tear-jerking comments from Sidonie (far right), the 39-year-old daughter of French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet (seen second from left), came just before a landing frame and rear cover of the missing Titan were discovered on the ocean floor

The tear-jerking comments from Sidonie (far right), the 39-year-old daughter of French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet (seen second from left), came just before a landing frame and rear cover of the missing Titan were discovered on the ocean floor

Nargeolet was on board the missing OceanGate submersible, the Titan (file image), which is now believed to be lost

Nargeolet was on board the missing OceanGate submersible, the Titan (file image), which is now believed to be lost

‘I really hope they will find them and safe. I think we have to trust what they are doing and be confident,’ Sidonie, 39, told Reuters in the town of La Massana, Andorra, where she lives.

Sidonie said her father’s vast experience with submarines made him ‘know how to react to problems’ and she was confident he was able to manage the situation well.

‘He is very passionate about the Titanic since they found it 30 years ago and I know now he is at the place he would like to be.’

Her father’s colleagues have described him as a leading expert on the Titanic with more than 35 dives to the wreck under his belt after a two-decade career in the French navy.

His daughter said she learned about the accident on Monday, when she received a text message from her father’s spouse saying he should have been back at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

‘I cried a lot,’ she said of her reaction to the news. She had last seen her father just before Christmas last year in Andorra.

‘He sent me a message a week before (getting in the submersible) telling me the weather was bad, so they hadn’t been able to go down, but that there was a great atmosphere,’ she said. ‘I sent him a message on Sunday for Father’s Day but he didn’t reply.’

Sidonie said her father had made his first trip to the wreck in 1987. On one trip in another vessel operated by U.S.-based OceanGate Expeditions, he told her that he was not sure he would return safely, although he eventually did.

‘He knows how to handle a crisis situation. He is prepared for it. Here, I think that with the other people he would have explained to them, therefore, to breathe gently, so that we use less oxygen. 

‘And he also knows how to reassure them, that’s very important. Maybe kick the submarine, so they can hear it,’ she said.

'I really hope they will find them and safe. I think we have to trust what they are doing and be confident,' Sidonie, 39, told Reuters in the town of La Massana, Andorra, where she lives

‘I really hope they will find them and safe. I think we have to trust what they are doing and be confident,’ Sidonie, 39, told Reuters in the town of La Massana, Andorra, where she lives

With 37 dives to the Titanic wreck under his belt, her high-profile dad (pictured) earned the title of a 'super-hero' in his native France - but is now believed to be dead along with four other onboard the ill-fated submersible

With 37 dives to the Titanic wreck under his belt, her high-profile dad (pictured) earned the title of a ‘super-hero’ in his native France – but is now believed to be dead along with four other onboard the ill-fated submersible

The 77-year-old - dubbed 'Mr Titanic' for his knowledge about the historic wreck - spent more than two decades in the French Navy before leading several expeditions to the lost ship in the Atlantic Ocean (pictured)

The 77-year-old – dubbed ‘Mr Titanic’ for his knowledge about the historic wreck – spent more than two decades in the French Navy before leading several expeditions to the lost ship in the Atlantic Ocean (pictured)

His 'unparalleled' knowledge of the Titanic and the images he captured during his world renowned dives to the wreck (pictured) helped inspire his friend James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster film

His ‘unparalleled’ knowledge of the Titanic and the images he captured during his world renowned dives to the wreck (pictured) helped inspire his friend James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster film

Despite Thursday's grim discovery, Sidonie said her father's vast experience with submarines made him 'know how to react to problems' and she was confident he was able to manage the situation well

Despite Thursday’s grim discovery, Sidonie said her father’s vast experience with submarines made him ‘know how to react to problems’ and she was confident he was able to manage the situation well

Five people are onboard, including British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding

Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman

Five people were onboard, including British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding and Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, who was just 19

Paul-Henri Nargeolet

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush

The two remaining passengers, Nargeolet (left) Oceangate CEO Stockton Rush (right), are also presumed dead – though the search for the Titanic Five continues 

But she was realistic about time running out.

‘What worries me is that they are not being found because there will be a moment in which they will run out of oxygen,’ Sidonie said.

Nargeolet’s friends have said he is an ‘extraordinary leader’ in crisis situations, and if anyone can keep those onboard calm in the claustrophobic conditions onboard the Titan, it’s him. 

The mariner, born in Chamonix, France, was the first person to have brought up an object – a silver plate – from the Titanic in 1987 and in 2022 he told Le Parisien that he had read ‘200 to 300 books’ on the wreckage.

Since that first dive in 1987, the esteemed mariner has led several expeditions to the sunken cruiser off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, and even supervised the recovery of thousands of artifacts – including the 20-ton section of the Titanic’s hull.

‘He is the world specialist on the Titanic, its conception, the shipwreck, he has dived in four corners of the world – he is a super-hero for us in France,’ said Mathieu Johann, his editor at Harper Collins.

But as searchers made the grim debris discovery later in the day, many are losing hope about the prospect of a safe return for the five-person crew – Sidonie included.

'He is the world specialist on the Titanic, its conception, the shipwreck, he has dived in four corners of the world - he is a superhero for us in France,' said Nargeolet's editor at Harper Collins Thursday

‘He is the world specialist on the Titanic, its conception, the shipwreck, he has dived in four corners of the world – he is a superhero for us in France,’ said Nargeolet’s editor at Harper Collins Thursday

‘Sometimes I don’t check (the news) because I don’t want to hear them saying that they now have very low oxygen. I prefer to listen to positive things, to hope, that they will continue looking for them,’ she said shortly before the new development, struggling to hold back her tears.

‘If they are not found, it will be very sad for us because we will not see him again. What he liked the most was to be in a submarine, (near) the Titanic.’

She took solace in the fact that if he is in fact lost, her father went out doing what he loved most.  

‘He is where he really loved being. I would prefer him (dying) at a place where he is very happy,’ Nargeolet said.

‘So whether he’s in a submarine and whether he’s in the Titanic, I know he likes it. I hope there will be a good outcome, that they will find him. In any case … he is happy where he is… That’s reassuring.’

Experts, meanwhile, for days had warned of the possibility that the Titan had sprung a leak and imploded under pressure experienced during the deep dive, which is roughly 400 times that experienced at sea level. 

‘They would be dead before they knew anything had even happened,’ L. David Marquet, a retired Navy nuclear submarine commander, said earlier this week

If the debris does not belong to the Titan, the Coast Guard has vowed to continue its search. 

Earlier this morning, Rear Admiral John Mauger, who is coordinating the effort from Boston, said during an appearance on NBC’s Today show: ‘People’s will to live has to be accounted for.’ 

The submersible’s oxygen theoretically should have run out at 8am EST (1pm BST) Thursday, according to the 96 hours limit listed on OceanGate’s specs of the ship. 



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