Search continues for missing submersible in Titanic expedition

The search goes on to find the missing submersible said to be carrying OceanGate Expedition’s CEO and four passengers who reportedly spent $250,000 per seat on the Titanic expedition. The clock is ticking as adequate oxygen supply is said to last only until Thursday June 22.

In 2019, OceanGate founder and CEO Stockton Rush went on a mission to offer access to uncharted ocean territories through deep dives by way of manned submersibles. According to the company’s Instagram post: “After several years of research, engineering and innovation, OceanGate launched Titan, the world’s only privately owned 5-person submersible capable of reaching depths as great as 4,000 meters.” The post elaborates that by merging underwater adventure travel with scientific research, OceanGate is ushering in a new era of exploration, beginning with the 2019 Titanic Survey Expedition.” The expedition was targeted to begin in June of the same year.

In another post, Rush was quoted as saying: “The #Titanic Survey #Expedition will give more people a window into our deep #oceans and access to the #historic resting place of the #Titanic. This team will document this historic site for generations to come.” 

RMS Titanic
On April 15 OceanGate posted this photo on their Instagram account with the caption that says: “Today marks 111 years since the tragic sinking of RMS Titanic. We study and document the wreck site with great respect for the men, women, and children who died that night.” / Photo via Instagram @oceangateexped

On Sunday, approximately one hour and 45 minutes into their dive, the submersible Titan lost communications with its parent surface vessel. The expedition that begins in St. Johns Newfoudland should have been a two-hour dive to the Titanic shipwreck which is located about 12,500 feet below sea level.

On March 8 OceanGate posted this photo with a caption that says: Imagine seeing #Titanic’s huge reciprocating engines emerge from the darkness-this image was captured by one of our Mission Specialists, Arthur, as he looked through Titan’s viewport / Photo via Instagram @oceangateexped

The five passengers aboard the Titan include: French diver Paul Henri Nargeolet who reportedly has decades of experience exploring the Titanic–he is also a director of underwater research at RMS Titanic, Inc. a company that has exclusive rights to salvage artifacts from the Titanic; British billionaire Hamish Harding owner of Action Aviation, known as one of the first divers of the Pacific Ocean’s Challenger Deep, said to be the ocean’s deepest point; Shahzada Dawood and his son Sulaiman are from the prominent Pakistani family that owns Dawood Hercules Corporation whose business encompasses energy, petrochemicals, fertilizers, IT, food, and agriculture; Stockton Rush who helms OceanGate is also said to be on board.

Titan is said to have been designed to stay underwater for 96 hours which means its five occupants only have adequate breathing air until tomorrow, Thursday morning.

This media brief was posted on OceanGate’s Instagram account two days ago / Photo via Instagram @oceangateexped

Per Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick, rescue efforts include an area of the ocean larger than Connecticut. In the past, a former director of OceanGate Expeditions gave warning that the submersible posed potential extreme danger due to lack of proper testing. Passengers are reported to have paid $250,000 per head for a seat in the expedition.

An Instagram post by OceanGate states: “The wreck of the Titanic lies about 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. Without any cell towers in the middle of the ocean, we are relying on Starlink to provide the communications we require throughout this year’s 2023 Titanic Expedition.”  Starlink’s Elon Musk has not yet commented.

On the third day of the search, a Canadian aircraft reportedly detected underwater sounds while looking for the submersible within the North Atlantic, according to the Coast Guard. Hope is dimming during the last remaining hours of the vessel’s presumed oxygen supply.

Banner photo via Instagram @oceangateexped.

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