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Man with ties to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit Orlando among those that perished onboard Titanic sub

Paul-Henry Nargeolet, one of the people aboard the submersible that tragically imploded as it toured the wreckage of the Titanic had ties to Orlando.

Paul-Henry Nargeolet Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition Orlando

The nail-biting search in the last few days for a submersible operated by OceanGate Expeditions, that was carrying five people to the Titanic, drew to a devastating close when a remote operated submarine from a Canadian ship found debris on the ocean floor.

The five would have perished instantly when the submersible suffered a 'catastrophic implosion' just 1,600ft from the bow of the wrecked ocean liner, the US Coast Guard announced on Thursday.

The victims are OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French Navy veteran Paul-Henri (PH) Nargeolet, British billionaire Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, who was just 19.

OceanGate Expeditions, the company that owned and operated the submersible, said in a statement that all five people in the vessel, including CEO and pilot Stockton Rush, "have sadly been lost."

One of the men who has sadly perished had ties to Orlando. Paul-Henry Nargeolet, who was considered one of the leading experts on the Titanic.

He was the director of underwater research for RMS Titanic Inc, the company who own and operate the Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition on International Drive in Orlando.

Paul-Henry Nargeolet, was known as 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

The 77 year-old deep-diver has visited the wreck site in the North Atlantic more than 30 times in the last 25 years.

It was only in April that Nargeolet was a speaker in Orlando, during a three-day event at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition on International Drive.

In several separate expeditions with RMS, Nargeolet excavated more than 5,000 artifacts from the wreck site, pieces which form the core of Titanic “The Experience” exhibition in Orlando and the “Titanic the Artifact Exhibition” in Las Vegas, Atlanta, and Detroit.

Paul-Henry Nargeolet Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition Orlando

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition on International Drive in Orlando has expressed its sadness of the passing of Nargeolet, posting on their social media accounts of their sadness at the loss of 'Mr Titanic'

RMS Titanic Inc have opened a book of condolences on its website, inviting members of the public to leave memories, stories, and comments for PH and his family.

The company issued the following statement:

We are devastated at the confirmation that the debris found at the wreck site of the RMS TITANIC is that of the missing OceanGate submersible, Titan. Our hearts are with the families and friends of those aboard the submersible as we are collectively and individually mourning the loss of our long-term employee and colleague Paul Henri ‘PH’ Nargeolet. The maritime world has lost an iconic and inspirational leader in deep-sea exploration, and we have lost a dear and treasured friend.

We ask for respect for the privacy of the families and our staff as we all try to come to terms with our loss.

We are exceptionally grateful for the efforts of the US Coast Guard and NOAA in coordinating efforts between agencies, governments, public and private sectors for a regrettable but definitive outcome to this unprecedented mission. The selfless dedication, professionalism, and support of rescue personnel were invaluable during this crisis. We will continue to provide our internal resources to aid and support the ongoing investigation.

Jessica Sanders CEO, E/M Group President, RMS Titanic, Inc.

Paul-Henry Nargeolet Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition Orlando

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