As the frantic last-minute search for the sunken tourist submarine Titanic intensifies and oxygen levels drop on board, more ships are joining the rescue effort.
The additional personnel are expected to be enough to save five crew members of the Oceangate expedition submarine before it runs out of oxygen around 10am British time on Thursday.
A mysterious underwater ‘bang’ was spotted on Tuesday and rediscovered on Wednesday, giving hope, but the U.S. Coast Guard said searchers “didn’t know what it was.” admitted.
The expanded search area expanded “exponentially” and now covers an area twice the size of Connecticut (larger than Wales) and 4.4 kilometers deep.
Five additional vessels bound for the region are not expected to arrive within the next 24 to 48 hours, with some due to arrive after strict oxygen restriction deadlines.
The case comes after the Coast Guard rejected an offer of help from a British company, which experts said was the “greatest hope” to find the missing submarine, saying the deep-sea submarine was too far away. rice field.
Magellan Limited had a vessel “ready to assist” the rescue effort from early Monday morning, and the vessel, which previously visited the Titanic wreck site, is now aboard a plane awaiting clearance to go. there is
The Explorers Club, a community of experienced explorers with two Titan crew members, desperate for the U.S. government to deploy an ROV to the scene, saying it would be “probably our best hope for rescue.” made a petition.
Meanwhile, the distressed families of the missing crew members continued to pray for a miracle. Sabrina Darwood, whose brother, British businessman Shazada Darwood, is on the Titan with his 19-year-old son Sleman, said the family’s “sole focus” was on rescuing them.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Capt. Jamie Frederick offered hope, claiming this was a “100 percent rescue mission” rather than a “recovery.” But he admitted the mission was “very complicated” because it’s so far out in the Atlantic Ocean.
“We must remain optimistic and hopeful in the field of search and rescue,” he said.
“We are in the middle of a search and rescue operation.
The “bang” was first detected by a Canadian P-3 aircraft on Tuesday and was shared with U.S. Navy experts for further analysis, Captain Frederick explained, adding that the noise was also heard on Wednesday.
This discovery prompted the deployment of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to survey the area more closely.
“The search for the ROV has yielded negative results, but the search continues,” he added.
“As for the specific noises, I don’t know what they are. Frankly, those are the noises detected by the P3. That’s why they’re there and what they’re doing. That’s why they put sonar buoys in the water.”
Rescuers are searching the area where the crash was heard, he said, and will “continue searching in the area where the noise was detected” when additional ROVs arrive Thursday morning.
Carl Hartsfield of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said it was “very difficult to distinguish” between human noise and other sounds.
“But I would say that this team has multiple sensors in the area,” he added.
“They are rapidly sending data back to top talent around the world for analysis, and feeding back the analysis results to the integration team to make decisions.”
Captain Frederick declined to ask how much oxygen might be left, revealing that the submarine had food, but he didn’t know how much. The Coast Guard had previously expected the air to run out around 10am British time on Thursday.
The Titan lost contact with its mothership, the Polar Prince, approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes after it began diving to see the wreckage of the Titanic on the ocean floor 12,500 feet (3,800 meters) below sea level.
The five-strong crew on the £200,000-per-seat tour includes Stockton Rush, CEO and founder of Oceangate Expeditions, and British billionaire explorer Hamish Harding. , famous French diver Paul-Henri Narjolet, UK-based Pakistani businessman Dawood and his son Suleman. .
Despite the ship’s disappearance, a spokesperson for the company that operated the ship that launched Titan claimed it was in “extremely safe operation.”
Shawn Reit, co-founder and chairman of Horizon Maritime Services, which owns the Polar Prince, said “emergency procedures were immediately initiated” when the alarm was raised.
Ships heading to the region include the French research ship Atalante, which can reach the depths of the Titanic wreck, and the Canadian ship Grace Bay, which can carry out search and rescue missions.
They join Polar Prince, the Bahamian-flagged pipelayer Deep Energy, and three other Canadian vessels.
“It’s a good combination,” said Matthew Heathlip, a naval history class lecturer at the University of Portsmouth. new york times. “There is a mix of ships whose main purpose is this kind of rescue.”
As the investigation continued, revelations about Oceangate founder Rush unfolded. It turns out that Rush had previously complained about “very safe” regulations that were holding back the industry.
spoke in 2019 smithsonian magazineRush said government regulations are stifling innovation and growth in the U.S. commercial submarine industry.
“The commercial sub-industry has been harmless for over 35 years. With all these regulations, it’s very safe,” said Rush, who was 57 at the time. “But we are not innovating or growing because we have all these regulations.”