A tourist submarine that was exploring the wreck of the Titanic has gone missing in the Atlantic Ocean, sparking a massive search and rescue operation. The submarine, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, had five people on board, including a British billionaire and an explorer. Here is what we know so far about the missing submarine Titanic and the efforts to find it.
The submarine, named Titan, was part of an eight-day expedition to visit the Titanic wreck site, which lies about 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) deep and 700 kilometers (435 miles) south of Newfoundland, Canada. The expedition cost $250,000 per person and offered a rare opportunity to see the remains of the legendary ship that sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg.
The submarine departed from a Canadian research vessel on Sunday morning and began its dive into the Titanic. According to the US Coast Guard, contact with the submarine was lost about an hour and 45 minutes into the dive. The research vessel tried to reestablish communication with the submarine but was unsuccessful.
The US Coast Guard was notified of the situation and launched a search and rescue operation. The operation involves several government agencies, the US and Canadian navies, and commercial deep-sea firms. Two aircraft, a submarine, and sonar buoys are being used to locate the missing submarine.
Who are on board?
The submarine had five people on board: a pilot, three paying guests, and a content expert. The pilot was identified as Stockton Rush, the founder, and CEO of OceanGate Expeditions. The content expert was identified as G. Michael Harris, a Titanic expedition leader and author.
One of the paying guests was identified as Hamish Harding, a 58-year-old British billionaire businessman and explorer. He is the chairman of Action Aviation, a Dubai-based company that specializes in aircraft sales and charter services. He is also an adventurer who holds several world records for flying around the world.
The other two paying guests have not been publicly identified yet.
What are the chances of survival?
The chances of survival for the people on board depend on several factors, such as the condition of the submarine, the amount of oxygen available, the water pressure and temperature, and the location of the wreck site.
According to OceanGate Expeditions, the submarine is designed to withstand water pressure up to 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) deep and has a four-day emergency supply of oxygen. However, if the submarine has suffered any damage or leakage due to an accident or collision with the wreck or debris, it could compromise its integrity and functionality.
The water pressure at 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) deep is about 380 times greater than at sea level. This means that any rescue attempt would require specialized equipment and expertise. The water temperature at that depth is also near freezing, which could pose a risk of hypothermia for anyone exposed to it.
The location of the wreck site is also remote and challenging. It is far from any land or port and subject to strong currents and low visibility. It is also surrounded by debris and hazards that could hamper any rescue effort.
According to Rear Admiral John Mauger of the US Coast Guard, who is leading the search operation, there is still hope for finding and rescuing the people on board. He said that they anticipate that there is somewhere between 70 and 96 hours of oxygen available at this point. He also said that they are taking this personally and are doing everything they can to bring them home safely.
What is being done?
The search operation is being coordinated by the US Coast Guard from Boston, Massachusetts. The operation involves several government agencies such as NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board), Transport Canada, and Canadian Coast Guard.
The operation also involves several naval assets such as USS Gravely (a guided-missile destroyer), HMCS Halifax (a frigate), USS Newport News (a submarine), and USNS Apache (a tugboat). These vessels are equipped with sonar systems that can detect underwater signals or objects.
The operation also involves several commercial deep-sea firms such as Ocean Infinity (a marine robotics company), Triton Submarines (a submersible manufacturer), and, Phoenix International (a marine services company). These firms have provided submersibles, ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), and AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles) that can dive to the depth of the Titanic and assist in the search and rescue.
The operation is facing several challenges such as the distance, the depth, the weather, and the time. The search area is about 1,000 square nautical miles and the depth is about 3,800 meters (12,500 feet). The weather conditions are unpredictable and can change rapidly. The time is also critical as the oxygen supply is limited.
The operation is continuing around the clock and is expected to last for several days. The search teams are hopeful that they will find the missing submarine and its occupants alive.
A tourist submarine that was exploring the wreck of the Titanic has gone missing in the Atlantic Ocean, sparking a massive search and rescue operation. The submarine, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, had five people on board, including a British billionaire and an explorer. The search operation involves several government agencies, the US and Canadian navies, and commercial deep-sea firms. The chances of survival for the people on board depend on several factors, such as the condition of the submarine, the amount of oxygen available, the water pressure and temperature, and the location of the wreck site. The search operation is facing several challenges such as distance, depth, weather, and time. The search teams are hopeful that they will find the missing submarine and its occupants alive.