The US Coast Guard has said investigators looking into the Titan submersible implosion are “taking all precautions” in case they find bodies on the sea floor.
Captain Jason Neubauer, who is leading the probe, said it was a “priority” to salvage debris after pieces of the vessel were found on Thursday about 487m (1,600ft) from the wreck of the Titanic in the Atlantic.
The discovery led officials to conclude that Titan had suffered a “catastrophic implosion” which killed the five men on board.
Speaking at a news conference on Sunday, Cpt Neubauer suggested no human remains had been found so far.
He told reporters: “I’m not getting into the details of the recovery operations but we are taking all precautions on site if we are to encounter any human remains.
“At this time, a priority of the investigation is to recover items from the sea floor.
“We have already mapped the accident site in the field so the other factors would be part of the investigation.”
He also revealed the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch is working “in close co-ordination” with the US Coast Guard to establish what happened as part of its Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) probe.
The review will examine “whether an act of misconduct, incompetence, negligence, unskillfulness, or willful violation of law” contributed to the deaths of the men.
Investigators will then publish a report of their findings and potential recommendations – which could include individuals being “referred to appropriate authorities for prosecution”.
Rear Admiral John Mauger – who led the search – told the same news conference he had been in contact with the families of the men who died to keep them updated.
He also revealed crews had searched a total of 13,000 square miles using 11 ships, five sub-surface probes and four “air assets”.
Since Friday, remotely operated vehicles, known as ROVs, have continued to scan the area as part of a scaled-back search for evidence about what happened.
Meanwhile Titan’s mother ship, the Polar Prince, returned to port on Saturday.
Police in Canada have confirmed that their officers are also looking into the tragedy.
Superintendent Kent Osmond, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said a team of investigators had been established with the “sole purpose” of determining whether a criminal investigation was warranted.