As search and rescue missions are still underway in the depths of the Atlantic as crews frantically search for the Titan submarine, Channel 5 in the U.K. is already airing a brief documentary about it. The film, titled ‘Titanic Sub: Lost at Sea’, will likely serve as a news special on the peculiar case. The submarine containing several of the world’s wealthiest people went missing on its course to tour the RMS Titanic shipwreck.
The missing persons case has been making waves across the internet for days now. The disturbing story has attracted public fascination to the Titanic wreck yet again, with thousands learning about the historic tragedy. The case has also spiked an interest in the scientific knowledge of the ocean, as much of its darkest depths are yet to be explored.
Social Media Reactions
The news of the documentary is sparking a slew of mixed reactions. Some feel that the turnaround time is distasteful given that the rescue mission is still underway and the fate of the five passengers aboard the Titan remains unknown. Some feel that not only is the story un complete, but unethical, as the lack of time proves that no families of the missing were consulted. Others feel it could raise awareness surrounding ocean safety.
capitalizing on this shit the day they run out of air is insane ????
— Taylor ???? (@CupOfAdelaide) June 21, 2023
In typical internet culture fashion, some are coping with the eerie story by way of memes. Notably, two of the passengers onboard the Titan are members of Pakistan’s wealthiest families.
me diving 12,000 feet underwater for that billionaire’s wallet pic.twitter.com/IlJwQuTXhJ
— I AM ruben (@FWGRANDEE) June 21, 2023
UK Channel 5 producers when they find the billionaires belongings pic.twitter.com/lpVJG6CAhz
— ???????????? ☄︎ (@xkhyamix) June 21, 2023
Leaked footage from the submarine! pic.twitter.com/xYKyy8ujur
— Joshie (@Joshtified) June 21, 2023
Many question how the missing people would react to it if they are still alive.
this gona be awkward af if they still alive and get found
— lunarboy (@lvnarboymusic) June 21, 2023
Others noted the lines between special reporting and documentaries have become increasingly blurred in the digital age. A special report will simply provide a cohesive set of updates on the troubling case, while a documentary would be lengthier and contain sources close to the personal elements of the story.
for context, if this is something like a 60 minutes special report/Nightline or something, that’s understandable… but a full scale documentary just feels wrong to me, i stand by that.
— Alexis Kraft (@TheAlexisKraft) June 21, 2023
Tech and culture reporter Kat Tenbarge of NBC posted a thread explaining the important distinctions that need to be made in documentary reporting.
The 24-hour news cycle is faster than ever and there are no longer journalists at the wheel. Today's journalist is anyone with an internet connection. They're faster and more successful because they aren't bound to any ethical or legal standards. They spread misinfo constantly.
— Kat Tenbarge (@kattenbarge) June 21, 2023
Why The Titan Is Making Waves
The Titan was first reported missing earlier this week. In the several days since the submarine’s disappearance, several sources have come out regarding the lack of safety protocols in the watercraft, which plunges roughly 13,000 feet into the Atlantic to reach the Titanic’s wreck site. The submarine is roughly the size of a minivan, and is controlled by a video game controller that is available for $29.99 on Amazon.
the titan submarine is controlled by Bluetooth with an old video game controller pic.twitter.com/AN73reFA19
— Richard B. Long (@richblong) June 20, 2023
The shock at the seemingly obvious lack of safety is what has many shocked that so many prominent figures would board the submarine. Chris Brown, a friend of billionaire Titan passenger Hamish Harding, spoke to Good Morning America about his last minute decision to not board the submarine. Brown cited safety concerns.
Chris Brown, a friend of billionaire Hamish Harding, tells @GMA he pulled out of the submersible mission last minute due to safety concerns:
“I found out they used old scaffolding poles for the sub’s ballast — and its controls were based on computer game-style controllers.… pic.twitter.com/nX3rPqOPfX
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) June 21, 2023
Variety reports that the Channel 5 film will “explore the greater context of extreme tourism.” The submarine now has just under 18 hours of oxygen left. All passengers were identified as British businessman Hamish Harding; British-Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman; former French Navy diver Paul-Henry Nargeolet; and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush.