On Monday, search and rescue teams from the United States and Canada were scouring the Atlantic Ocean in an attempt to locate a submersible that was carrying five individuals to the location of the Titanic wreckage. The submarine disappeared with only four days or less of survival supplies and was reported overdue on Sunday night by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, approximately 435 miles south of St. John’s, Newfoundland. The U.S. Coast Guard in Boston is leading the search effort.
According to Rear Adm. John Mauger, who is in charge of the First Coast Guard District, the search involved two planes from the U.S. and Canada, as well as a commercial ship. As the search continues into the night, additional resources will be added. The location of the operation, which is 900 miles east of Cape Cod and as deep as 13,000 feet, makes the task difficult, as does the need to search both the surface and underwater.
During a press briefing, Mauger stated that conducting a search in the remote area is a difficult task. However, he assured that all possible resources are being utilized to locate the aircraft and rescue the individuals on board.
Contact lost with five crew members
The Coast Guard posted on Twitter that a 21-foot submarine named “Titan” departed from St. John’s and started its dive on Sunday morning. However, an hour and 45 minutes later, the Canadian vessel, Polar Prince, which was providing assistance to the submersible, lost communication with it. OceanGate Expeditions, a deep-sea exploration company based in Washington, stated that it was the owner of the submersible. Although it was a small submarine and less self-reliant than a typical military submarine, it still belonged to the same family.
OceanGate’s trips to survey the Titanic wreckage comprise of both archaeologists and marine biologists. The company also allows “mission specialists” to join the expedition by paying. These individuals have the opportunity to utilize sonar equipment and participate in other duties while onboard the submersible, rotating with the other four members. Recently, the Coast Guard reported that the submersible carried one pilot and four “mission specialists” on its latest voyage.
OceanGate expressed gratitude for the significant aid they received from various government agencies and deep sea corporations to reconnect with the submersible. The team is striving to ensure the safe return of all crew members. According to the information disclosed by the company, Mauger stated that the submersible has a survival capacity of up to 96 hours, including oxygen and fuel. Thus, he assumes that there are anywhere between 70 to the full 96 hours accessible at the moment.
British tourist on board
According to an interview with The Associated Press, David Concannon, an adviser for OceanGate, reported that the company was unable to communicate with their submersible early on Sunday. Concannon, who was originally supposed to participate in the dive but had to cancel due to other client concerns, stated that the team is quickly mobilizing a remotely operated vehicle capable of reaching depths of up to 20,000 feet in order to reach the Titanic wreckage, which is believed to be located at a depth of 12,500 feet.
According to reports, one of the passengers on board the Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket last June was Hamish Harding, the British businessman and chairman of Action Aviation. The company’s managing director, Mark Butler, expressed that they are making all efforts for a rescue mission and there is enough time for it. The equipment on board provides survival options in such situations. All the members are optimistic and wish for the safe return of Harding.
Richard Garriott, the head of the Explorers Club, a New York organization that promotes scientific exploration, disclosed that he met with Harding just a week ago and was able to feel his enthusiasm about the project. In a letter addressed to the members, Garriott expressed his belief that Harding was eager to conduct research at the site. He also expressed his hope that the submersible will be found soon and that the crew will be safe.
Search to continue overnight
Late on Monday, the Coast Guard reported that two C-130 aircraft searches had been finished and the operation would persist through the night. According to the First Coast Guard District, the Polar Prince and Rescue106 will carry out surface searches for the evening, while Canadian and US aircraft will resume the underwater and surface searches on Tuesday.
Titanic facts: When did it sink? How many people died?
The Titanic crashed into an iceberg in the North Atlantic during its first voyage from Southampton to New York City on April 14, 1912. At approximately 2:20 a.m. on April 15, the ship sunk. The sinking resulted in over 1,500 fatalities out of the estimated 2,200 individuals who were on board. The majority of those who perished were third-class passengers and crew members. Specifically, there were 710 deaths among third-class passengers and 700 deaths among the crew. Only 706 individuals survived the catastrophe.
Tourists added for expeditions
OceanGate Expeditions commenced an annual expedition to the wreckage site in 2021, anticipating recurring voyages. The team of archaeologists and marine biologists accompanied by about 40 paying tourists, as the company had promised. The first set of tourists spent between $100,000 to $150,000 each.