A small submersible operated by OceanGate, named the Titan, has lost contact approximately one hour and 45 minutes into its dive. The submersible was carrying five individuals, and efforts are underway to rescue them. The tour firm OceanGate is exploring all available options for the rescue mission.
The expedition, which allows participants to visit the Titanic wreck at a depth of 3,800 meters (12,500 feet), comes at a price of $250,000 (£195,000) for an eight-day trip. Various organizations, including government agencies, the US and Canadian navies, and commercial deep-sea firms, are collaborating to aid the rescue operation.
The Titanic wreck is located around 435 miles (700 kilometers) south of St John’s, Newfoundland, but the rescue mission is being coordinated from Boston, Massachusetts. The missing submersible is believed to be OceanGate’s Titan, a sizable submersible capable of accommodating five individuals and typically equipped with a four-day emergency oxygen supply.
During a news conference, Rear Adm John Mauger of the US Coast Guard mentioned that they estimated there to be between 70 and 96 hours of available time for the rescue. The search efforts involve two aircraft, a submarine, and sonar buoys. However, the remote location of the search area poses challenges for the operations.
The submersible’s usual configuration includes a pilot, three paying guests, and a “content expert.” Each complete dive to the Titanic wreck, including the descent and ascent, takes approximately eight hours. OceanGate owns three submersibles, but only the Titan is capable of reaching the depths required to access the Titanic wreckage.
The Titan weighs 23,000 pounds (10,432 kilograms) and can reach depths of up to 13,100 feet. According to OceanGate’s website, it provides 96 hours of life support for a crew of five. The Polar Prince, a vessel used for transporting submersibles to the wreckage site, is involved in this expedition, as confirmed by its owner in an interview with the BBC.