Desperate search continues for Titanic sub missing with five onboard
The Titan, a submersible operated by the US-based underwater tourism company OceanGate, went missing on Sunday in the north Atlantic while on a dive to the wreck of the Titanic. Search and rescue teams were racing against time on Monday to locate the vessel.
According to the US Coast Guard, the sub with five persons onboard had the capacity to stay submerged for 96 hours, although it was unclear whether it was still underwater or had come to the surface and was unable to communicate.
“Complex” Search-And-Rescue Work Underway
The vessel lost contact 1 hour and 45 minutes into its dive. One of those believed to be in the submersible is Paul Henry Nargeolet, a former French navy commander, a submersible pilot and a deep diver. Well-known British explorer Hamish Harding was also booked on the trip.
US and Canadian ships and planes searched a wide area yesterday, some using sonar buoys that can monitor to a depth of around 13,100 feet, the US Coast Guard said.
But the operation was no less than “complex” as it’s unclear if the vessel had surfaced, meaning crews need to search both the ocean depths and the surface.
An adviser to the company said the sub’s 96-hour oxygen supply started around 6 am Sunday, adding officials were planning to use a remotely operated vehicle that could reach a depth of 19,600 feet to the site as swiftly as possible.
An “Unsinkable” Dropped To The Ocean Floor In 1912
The wreck of the Titanic lies on the ocean floor at a depth of almost 13,100 feet. OceanGate Expeditions has been offering visits to the wreck since 2021. To date, the company has ferried about 60 paying customers and 15 – 20 researchers to the site. A ticket costs $250,000.
The RMS Titanic is perhaps the most famous civilian shipwreck of all time. The British passenger liner was marketed as “unsinkable”. But it sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912, when it was holed by an iceberg while on the way from Britain to the US.
The lives of 1,514 of over 2,200 passengers and crew on board were lost. Interestingly, the wreck itself could not be located until the 1980s.