Those onboard would have never guessed, their $250K tickets included a meet and greet with the original Titanic crew. Unless you have been living under a rock, you might be aware of the entire story regarding the Titan Submarine that went missing. Oceangate, through an official statement, declared that all 5 passengers aboard the Titan Submarine had died. However, this is not the first time that a deep sea vessel has been lost at the bottom of the ocean. 

There have been several events in the history of the world where submarines have gone missing. Most of these lost submarines have never been found immediately but after years of search. 

Here is a list of some lost Submarines in the past:

1. Titan Submarine

lost submarines- Titan Submarine
The Titan Submarine in the sea.
Image Credit: Amnat phomuang

On 18th June 2023, the Titan Submarine began its expedition to explore the wreckage of the RMS Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean. There were 5 passengers on board the submersible by ‘OceanGate’. Within a couple of hours, the submarine had lost communication. The US Coast Guard started search operations, with the UK, Canada and France also assisting them. Even after restless operations, the Titan Submarine could not be traced. With only 96 hours worth of oxygen, on 22nd June it was presumed the passengers could not survive as the submarine was yet not found. 

Apparently, the Titan Submarine wreckage has been found 1,600 feet away from the actual Titanic shipwreck. The vessel is said to have imploded due to the water pressure, but an official inquiry to find out the fault is yet to be launched. The debris of the submarine has been brought ashore as of now.

2. ARA San Juan Submarine

lost submarine- ARA San Juan Submarine
44 crew missing on ARA San Juan Submarine
Image Credit:

In 2017, the 220-foot-long ARA San Juan Submarine started its journey to its base on the Atlantic Coast. A crew of 44 people was onboard the vessel with food and water that would last them 90 days. However, they only had enough oxygen to last them 7 days when submerged. When the submarine did not report to the Argentine Navy on 15th November, the search operations began. Along with the US Army, other countries such as the UK, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Peru, and Uruguay joined the search. 

According to reports, there was an implosion on the ship due to the entry of water through the ventilation system. They failed to locate the submarine after the 7-hour window. After 1 whole year, on 17th November 2017, the submarine wreck was located almost 3000 feet deep in the ocean. 

3. Kursk Submarine

lost submarine- Kursk Submarine
The recovered Kursk Nuclear Submarine
Image Credit: Frontier India

On August 12, 2000, Kursk, a Russian Navy submarine, was being used to carry out military exercises in the Barents Sea. The 500 feet large submarine had two internal explosions due to a torpedo in poor condition. 95 members of the crew were killed in the blast. However, 23 members survived in the back rooms. They could have been rescued had the go-ahead to carry out international rescue operations would have been received earlier. There was an outrage by the family members of the deceased against the Russian Navy. 

The Russian and Norwegian sailors were able to recover the bodies of the 118 deceased sailors. In the list of submarine accidents, this was one of the biggest maritime catastrophes. 

4. La Minerve Submarine

The La Minerve that sank in 1968 was found half a century later. This lost submarine hence made the biggest headlines at that time. One morning in January 1986, the French Submarine took off from the coast of Toulon to carry out exercises with a Breguet Atlantic Plane. Minutes into the exercise, after making the first contact, the submarine started having difficulties communicating. At 7:55 AM the submarine sent out its last message. 

The search was on from January 28th to February 2nd but it was in vain. The La Minerve with 52 people on board could not be found. Unexpectedly in 2018, a French Team found the submarine miles off the coast of Toulon. 

5. USS Scorpion Submarine

lost submarines- USS Scorpion
The USS Scorpion found
Image Credit: Wikipedia

The USS Scorpion Submarine was one of the lost nuclear submarines that was lost to the depths of the ocean. After making the last contact on May 21st 1968, it failed to respond to the classified correspondence on 24th May. On 27th May the US Navy declared the submarine missing. With 99 men aboard the submarine was last seen in the North Atlantic.  

After some search, it was found that the Scorpion was below its crush depth and might have succumbed to the pressure of the ocean. It was after 5 months that the wreckage was found at a depth of 11,000 feet. 

6. INS Dakar

lost submarine- INS Dakar
INS Dakar found 31 years later
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

With four submarines missing, 1968 was a dark time for maritime catastrophes. The INS Dakar departed from England to join the Israeli Navy. The 6 men onboard the submarine went missing on 25th January. The submarine lost contact somewhere between Crete and Cyprus. Britain, Greece, Turkey and Lebanon along with Israel searched for the submarine but nothing was found. The search was called off after 10 days. The submarine’s wreckage was found after 30-odd years. 

A theory around the INS Dakar includes that the ship has a special totem onboard. However, during refitting the totem was removed and put in a museum. This has led to several conspiracy theories regarding the sinking of the submarine. 

7. KRI Nanggala

lost submarine- KRI Nanggala
53 died onboard the KRI Nangalla
Image Credit: Outlook India

On 21st April 2021, the Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala went missing during a training exercise. The international joint attempt to find the submarine was carried out by Australia, the US, Germany, France, Russia, India, Turkey and South Korea. There were reports of oil being found on the surface where the submarine went missing. Even after intensified search, the submarine was not found. On 24th April, the search for the KRI Nanggala was stopped and the 53 occupants were presumed dead. 

These are some of the submarine accidents that have occurred in the past century. 

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