News of the untimely demise of George Hamish Livingston Harding, better known as Hamish Harding, on June 18, 2023, shocked and left the world in disbelief. This article delves into the cause of Hamish Harding’s death, shedding light on the tragic incident that claimed his life and that of four others. Harding, a renowned British businessman, pilot, explorer, adventurer, and space tourist, had an extraordinary life filled with remarkable achievements and daring escapades. From visiting the South Pole multiple times to breaking records for circumnavigating the Earth, his life was an inspiration to many. However, his final journey to explore the wreckage of the Titanic ended in a catastrophic event that shook the world.

Hamish Harding Cause of Death, Hamish Harding (Dirty Dozen Productions)
(PA Media)

Details In Short:

  • Date: June 18, 2023.
  • Time: Submersible lost contact during Titanic dive.
  • Location: North Atlantic Ocean.
  • Name: George Hamish Livingston Harding.
  • Age: 58 at the time of the incident.
  • Occupation: British businessman, pilot, explorer, adventurer, and space tourist.
  • Affiliations: Founder of Action Group, Chairman of Action Aviation.
  • Achievements: Member of The Explorers Club, multiple South Pole visits, Mariana Trench descent, Guinness World Record for Earth circumnavigation, Blue Origin spaceflight, and conservation projects.
  • Cause of Death: Submersible implosion, resulting in fatalities.
  • Other victims: Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood, Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
  • Search-and-rescue: Conducted by US, Canada, and France.
  • Legacy: Remembered as a dedicated father, legendary explorer, and pioneering businessman.

The Illustrious Life of Hamish Harding

Hamish Harding lived an illustrious life filled with extraordinary achievements and daring adventures. Born on June 24, 1964, in the United Kingdom, Harding was a British businessman, pilot, explorer, and space tourist. He was the founder of Action Group and served as the chairman of Action Aviation, a renowned aircraft brokerage company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Throughout his life, Harding pushed the boundaries of exploration. He was a member of The Explorers Club and made multiple visits to the South Pole. In 2016, he accompanied Buzz Aldrin, the famous Apollo astronaut, as they reached the South Pole together. Harding also set records for circumnavigating the Earth and dived to the deepest point of the Mariana Trench in a two-person submarine.

Harding’s passion for adventure extended beyond Earth. In 2022, he flew into space as part of the Blue Origin NS-21 mission. His commitment to conservation was evident when his aviation company, Action Aviation, played a vital role in transporting cheetahs from Namibia to India for a reintroduction project.

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Record-Breaking Achievements

In July 2019, Harding orchestrated the mission known as One More Orbit, where he served as the mission director and crew pilot. This groundbreaking flight set a world speed record for the fastest circumnavigation of Earth by aircraft, covering both geographic poles. The team’s remarkable accomplishment showcased Harding’s unwavering determination and his passion for pushing boundaries. Harding’s thirst for exploration extended beyond our planet. On March 5, 2021, he achieved a significant milestone by diving to the deepest point of the Mariana Trench, known as the Challenger Deep.

Accompanied by Victor Vescovo, Harding reached a staggering depth of 36,000 feet in a two-person submarine, setting records for the greatest distance covered and the longest time spent at full ocean depth. Furthermore, Harding’s ambition reached new heights when he joined the Blue Origin NS-21 mission on June 4, 2022. This suborbital journey to space marked his fifth manned spaceflight, a testament to his unwavering determination to explore the unknown.

Conservation and Humanitarian Efforts

While Harding’s expeditions captured headlines worldwide, his commitment to conservation and humanitarian causes was equally commendable. In September 2022, his aviation company, Action Aviation, played a vital role in transporting eight wild cheetahs from Namibia to India. This ambitious project aimed to reintroduce cheetahs to India, where they had been extinct since 1947. The mission was designated a “flagged expedition” by The Explorers Club, highlighting Harding’s dedication to preserving endangered species and his invaluable contributions to the field of conservation.

Harding’s humanitarian endeavors extended beyond wildlife conservation. He actively supported projects that aimed to uplift underprivileged communities and improve their quality of life. His efforts exemplified the belief that it is the responsibility of individuals and organizations to contribute towards creating a more equitable society.

The Tragic Titan Expedition

Tragically, Hamish Harding’s extraordinary life met a devastating end during the ill-fated Titan submersible expedition on June 18, 2023. The purpose of this expedition was to explore the wreckage of the Titanic, a historic and iconic shipwreck lying deep in the North Atlantic Ocean. Harding embarked on this adventure alongside four others, including individuals such as Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, French adventurer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Oceangate Expeditions CEO Stockton Rush.

While en route to the Titanic, disaster struck as the submersible imploded in the treacherous depths of the North Atlantic Ocean. This catastrophic event claimed the lives of all five crew members, leaving behind a void that cannot be filled. Search-and-rescue missions were promptly launched, with the United States, Canada, and France pooling their resources to locate any survivors or wreckage.

A New Discovery and Confirmation

Two days before what would have been Harding’s 59th birthday, a debris field was discovered approximately 490 meters from the bow of the Titanic. This discovery shed light on the devastating nature of the incident, as the debris found was consistent with a catastrophic loss of the submersible’s pressure hull, resulting in an implosion and the tragic death of all on board. The United States Coast Guard delivered the confirmation of this heartbreaking outcome during a press conference. The debris field served as undeniable evidence of the submersible’s fate and the loss of Harding and the other crew members.

As the world mourns the loss of Hamish Harding and the others who perished in this tragic event, the discovery and confirmation of the wreckage provide a sense of closure and a somber reminder of the risks inherent in exploration. It is a testament to the dedication and perseverance of the search-and-rescue teams that they were able to bring some answers to light amidst the depths of the ocean.

Family Remembers a Legendary Adventurer

The loss of Hamish Harding deeply impacted not only the world but also his loved ones. In a statement released by Harding’s family, his legacy as a dedicated father, a legendary explorer, and an exceptional businessman was celebrated. His passion for exploration and his unwavering pursuit of adventure were fondly remembered, providing solace amidst the grief. Described as a one-of-a-kind individual, Harding’s family adored him for his remarkable achievements and his love for pushing the boundaries of what was possible. He was a passionate explorer who lived his life to the fullest, constantly seeking new adventures for himself, his family, and his business.

Harding’s family found solace in the fact that he lost his life doing what he loved most. They acknowledged the tremendous impact he had on the world and took pride in his remarkable accomplishments. His expeditions to the South Pole, his record-setting voyages, and his space mission were testaments to his fearless spirit and determination.


Hamish Harding’s cause of death was a result of a tragic incident during the Titan submersible expedition. While the world mourns the loss of an exceptional individual, Harding’s legacy lives on. His remarkable achievements, from conquering the Earth’s poles to venturing into the depths of the Mariana Trench and space itself, will forever inspire generations to come. As we remember his adventurous spirit and indomitable courage, we must also acknowledge the risks inherent in exploring the unknown. Hamish Harding will be remembered as a true pioneer, leaving behind a lasting impact on the world of exploration and aviation.

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