Nfld. & Labrador·Video

This submersible takes passengers to the Titanic … and it has a toilet

You can often find interesting vessels in St. John’s harbour, but this one is about as special as it gets: a submarine, used for making exploratory dives to the wreck of the Titanic. Watch this video to get a look inside the sub, and see video of the Titanic on the ocean floor.

The submersible Titan takes scientists, artists, and well-heeled tourists to the site of the legendary ship

Go inside a submarine used to explore The Titanic wreck

2 months ago
Duration 2:48
It can take five passengers to The Titanic on the ocean floor, you can pilot it with a gaming controller...and it has a toilet. Climb aboard Titan, a unique submarine used to explore the world's most famous shipwreck.

You can often find interesting vessels in St. John's harbour, but this one is about as special as it gets: a submarine, used for exploratory dives to the wreck of the Titanic. 

The submersible Titan, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, is used to transport all kinds of passengers to the site of the world's most famous shipwreck, including scientists, artists, and well-to-do tourists. The OceanGate crew were in St. John's with the sub after making 10 dives to the wreck site over the past several weeks.

"Titan is the only five-person sub capable of going to the Titanic depth, which is half the depth of the ocean," said Stockton Rush, founder and CEO of OceanGate. The sub's unique, smooth-walled design makes it especially suited to bringing regular people along for the ride.

"There's no switches and things to bump into, we have one button to turn it on. Everything else is done with touch screens and computers, and so you really become part of the vehicle and everybody gets to know everyone pretty well."

An image of The Titanic wreck on the ocean floor, from video taken by the submersible Titan in 2021.
In an image of the Titanic from video taken by the submersible Titan in 2021, the wreck is decaying due to an ocean bacteria that attacks the ship's iron hull. (OceanGate)

The sub also has one very special amenity that guests appreciate. "We have a toilet," said Rush. "We're the only deep-diving sub that actually has a toilet, which is a big concern for a lot of people when they're going to spend 10 hours in a sub with four people they barely know."

This is just the second year that OceanGate has used Titan to visit the Titanic, but Stockton says they'll be back next season. He says the enduring fascination with the Titanic helps make all sorts of long-term science possible.

"The love of the Titanic, the interest in the Titanic, is the reason we go there," said Rush, "Almost nowhere else in the deep ocean can you get funding to go back every year for decades, and see how coral reefs develop, and see how metals decay, and see how currents change. You can't justify that, no government will pay for that, nobody wants to go back to just some old reef. But people do want to go back to the Titanic, and that's why we go, because people want to go."

Watch the video above to take a look inside Titan and see the Titanic on the ocean floor.

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Zach Goudie is a journalist and video producer with CBC in St. John's.


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