Title: Massive Search Underway for Missing Tourist Submarine at Titanic’s Wreck
A large-scale search and rescue operation is currently underway in the mid-Atlantic Ocean following the disappearance of a tourist submarine during a dive to the wreck of the Titanic on Sunday.
According to the US Coast Guard, contact with the small submarine was lost approximately one hour and 45 minutes into its dive. Tour company OceanGate stated that all possible measures are being taken to rescue the five individuals aboard the submarine.
Tickets for this eight-day trip, which includes dives to the Titanic wreck at a depth of 3,800 meters (12,500 feet), cost $250,000 (£195,000).
Government agencies, the US and Canadian navies, and commercial deep-sea firms are collaborating in the rescue operation, officials confirmed. Although the Titanic wreck is located approximately 435 miles (700km) south of St John’s, Newfoundland, the mission control for the rescue operation is being conducted from Boston, Massachusetts.
The missing submarine is believed to be OceanGate’s Titan submersible, a truck-sized vessel that can accommodate five people and usually carries a four-day emergency supply of oxygen.
During a news conference on Monday afternoon, Rear Adm John Mauger of the US Coast Guard stated, “We anticipate there is somewhere between 70 and the full 96 hours available at this point.” The search involves two aircraft, a submarine, and sonar buoys, but the remote area where the search is taking place presents challenges.
Rear Adm Mauger emphasized that the rescue teams are personally invested in the mission and are doing everything possible to bring the individuals on board the submarine back safely.
The family of Hamish Harding, a 58-year-old British billionaire businessman and explorer, confirmed that he is among those on the missing submarine. Mr. Harding had expressed excitement about being part of the mission to explore the Titanic wreck on social media. However, due to the severe winter weather in Newfoundland, he mentioned that this mission was likely to be the first and only manned mission to the Titanic in 2023.
OceanGate expressed their complete focus on the safety of the crewmembers and their families. The company expressed deep gratitude for the extensive assistance provided by various government agencies and deep-sea companies in their efforts to reestablish contact with the submarine.
The company promotes the eight-day trip on its carbon-fiber submersible as a unique opportunity to step outside of everyday life and discover something extraordinary. According to their website, one expedition is currently underway, and two more are planned for June 2024. The submersible typically carries a pilot, three paying guests, and a “content expert” during dives. Each full dive, including descent and ascent, takes around eight hours.
OceanGate owns three submersibles, with only the Titan capable of reaching the depths required to reach the Titanic wreck. The vessel weighs 23,000 lbs (10,432 kg) and can reach depths of up to 13,100 ft. It is equipped with 96 hours of life support for a crew of five.
The Polar Prince, a vessel used to transport submersibles to the wreckage site, was reportedly involved in the expedition, according to its owner’s statement to the BBC.