All five on Titanic tour sub presumed dead after debris found – National & International News – THU 22Jun2023

All five on Titanic tour sub presumed dead after debris found.

Supreme Court rules against Navajo Nation in water rights case.


All five on Titanic tour sub presumed dead after debris found

The US Coast Guard announced the discovery of debris from OceanGate’s Titan submersible that had been missing since Sunday. The small 21-foot sub was carrying five people, including the pilot and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush. The four passengers were British billionaire explorer Hamish Harding; Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman; and French explorer and Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

The group was on a mission to view the remains of the sunken luxury liner Titanic in the North Atlantic. Searchers found debris from the sub about 1,600 feet from the Titanic’s bow. The Coast Guard said the condition of the debris was consistent with a “catastrophic implosion”. Before the debris was discovered, it was unclear whether the sub was intact or whether any of those aboard could still be alive. The sub had enough oxygen for about 96 hours, which would have run out early Thursday morning.

According to publicly available legal documents, David Lochridge, OceanGate’s former Director of Marine Operations, had raised serious concerns that the vessel was not sturdy enough for deep sea exploration. Deep sea submersibles are usually constructed of titanium, but he hull of the Titan was mostly carbon fiber. Lochridge attempted to bring his concerns to the company’s leadership but was fired.

Stockton Rush, OceanGate’s now deceased CEO, once told a reporter “at some point, safety is just pure waste”.

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Supreme Court rules against Navajo Nation in water rights case

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court has denied the Navajo Nation’s suit to have the federal government safeguard a sufficient supply of water to the reservation. The tribe signed treaties with the US government in 1849 and 1868, establishing a “permanent home” for the Navajo Nation, which today occupies portions of northeastern Arizona, northwestern New Mexico, and southeastern Utah. The Navajo insist that these treaties came with a promise that the federal government would ensure the reservation had a water supply sufficient for their needs.

The tribe’s request was simply that the US government conduct a thorough assessment of the tribe’s water needs and create a plan for meeting them. The Nation is largely dependent on water from the lower Colorado River Basin, which also supplies water to several Southwestern states (including California) and parts of Mexico. Six of the states recently struck a management agreement to share out the dwindling supply of water from the basin more equitably.

The Navajo and other tribes in the region were not party to this agreement. If the Supreme Court had ruled in the Navajo Nation’s favor, it would have been an acknowledgement that the Navajo water rights pre-dated even California’s, which has the oldest of the six states involved. In water rights, greater seniority gives greater access.

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