The Frenchman who knows the most about the Titanic

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He has spent his entire life linked to the sea, exploring it. When he was a child, he already followed the divers and watched them from a boat. He later made a career in the Navy. He has plunged into the depths of the sea to search for black boxes from a crashed plane and recovered items from sunken ships. One day he left his job to pilot a submarine, the Nautile, to be able to see under the sea the prow of the most famous of all: the Titanic.

At 76 years old, Paul-Henri Nargeolet He is one of the greatest experts on the Titanic and holds one of the records for descents to the emblematic boat: more than thirty. Former Navy officer and director of the underwater research program for the remains of the Titanic, this Frenchman was on board the Titan submarine, the expedition device that disappeared on Sunday and who was traveling with five people who wanted to see the remains, 3,800 meters from depth.

In each incursion into the depths of the ocean liner, he rescued objects that are part of the memory of that tragedy in which 1,500 people died: he recovered at least 5,000. Director of exploration for the company RMS Titanic, Nargeolet has lived in the United States for decades, agreed to work for the OceanGate company to continue exploring underwater but this time in a different way, accompanying rich tourists on this trip to 1912, the year of the sinking.

This expert decided to embark on this new adventure, although he was not very convinced of it. According to the French newspaper Le Figarohe himself had told his relatives that I didn’t have much confidence in this new submarinebut that he intended to go anyway “for the beauty of the expedition.”

“I was a bit skeptical of this new technology, but also intrigued by the idea of ​​piloting something new, as if I were a test pilot,” Michel L’Hour, former director of the underwater and underwater archeology department at Marseilles.

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