What happened to Titan submarines?Explanation of all theories

Sub Levels

as a missing person search Giant The submarine entered its fifth day of immersion, and the rescue operation continues to search for the deep-sea vessel, but it is believed that there is not much time left to find it before the five people on board run out of oxygen.

The small capsule descended into deep waters off the Atlantic coast on Sunday morning to visit the wreck site. TitanicContact with the surface ship was lost 1 hour and 45 minutes before the start of the voyage. polar prince. The company that owns the submarine, Oceangate, reported the submarine missing to authorities later that night.

Rescuers have been missing for days since. Giant The search now covers an area twice the size of Connecticut. But without knowing what happened to the submarine, I don’t know where to look.

David Andrews, professor of engineering design at University College London (UCL) in the UK, said the ship’s discovery was “a feat”.

An undated photo shows the Titan submarine preparing to descend near the surface. The ship has been missing since Sunday morning.ocean gate

“Even above water, where a successful rescue is most likely, it is still difficult to spot because the vessel is so small and under the water,” he explained. “If the ship is at the bottom of the ocean, it will be even more difficult to find.”

Aboard the deep-sea rover are British billionaire and adventurer Hamish Harding, former French Navy diver Paul-Henry Narjolet, Oceangate CEO Stockton Rush, and British-Pakistani. businessman Shazada Dawood and his son Suleman.

the company said Giant Provides oxygen for 96 hours. As of 6:00 p.m. ET Tuesday, the U.S. Coast Guard expects air supplies to run out around 10:30 a.m. ET Thursday.

But what caused the submarine to fall off the map in the first place? Several potential theories are beginning to emerge.

structural defect

of Titanic The wreck is located approximately 12,500 feet below sea level. This is much lower than most submarines can navigate. According to Oceangate, Giant Only one in five submarines in the world can reach that depth.

At sea depth, the pressure is about 400 bar, but near the surface, the pressure is only 1 bar.

The company emphasized the aircraft’s safety contingencies, saying Rush was “nearly invincible” in 2017, but one possibility is that there was a structural flaw that caused the hull to burst. That’s what it means. Titan’s Hull.

At that depth, the chances of survival are very low, so this is a worst-case scenario from a rescue operation point of view.

Dr. David Gallo, a senior adviser to RMS Titanic and a self-described friend of one of the passengers, called the possibility “terrifying” and told British broadcaster Sky News: I say that it must be the first choice here, but it’s uncomfortable to think about it. “

ever since Titan’s Sunday’s disappearance has raised questions about the safety of submarines, resurfacing long-standing concerns.

One of the company’s former employees sued the company over safety issues in 2018, but explorer Chris Brown told CNN Wednesday he plans to go to sea. Titanic Wreck your ship before you realize the risk and withdraw.

He expressed concern about the off-the-shelf parts the company used. Giantusing a modded game controller.

Oceangate says on its website that off-the-shelf components have helped “streamline” construction, making it “easier to operate and replace parts.”

At a press conference on Wednesday, Shawn Leedt, chairman of the company that owns the car, said: polar princeHorizon Maritime Services defended Oceangate, saying the company “has a very safe operation.”

trapped under the sea

Another possibility is that the submarine suffered a propulsion failure or was caught in debris and stuck on the seabed, although there is still a good chance of survival, which is still not a good sign for the passengers.

“If submarines are on the ocean floor, there are oceanographic research vessels that can dive that deep and have manipulator arms that can attach lines to sunken submarines,” said UCL marine engineering professor Alistair Grieg. mentioned in the comments. Newsweek. Her one such vessel, the Magellan Argus-class Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), is on its way to the search area.

“But it depends on where these ships are and whether they are ready to deploy,” Grieg said. We need to tie it up and bring it to the surface.” Each step takes time and the clock is ticking. “

Having an ROV that can go deep into a search area in time is one thing, but being able to locate it is another. Giant First of all, it poses its own challenges. At about 22 feet long, using sonar to locate the ship in a rough seabed is like trying to find the needle in a haystack while watching the clock.

Massive 360 ​​degree panorama presentation of the Titanic wreck in Leipzig, Germany on January 27, 2017. One theory is that the Titan submarine may have been caught in the ship’s wreckage.Getty Images/Jens Schlueter

Retired Royal Navy Rear Admiral Chris Parry told Sky News on Wednesday that the seabed was “very rugged”. Titanic Because it is in a trench, “it would actually be very difficult, especially trying to distinguish it with sonar, or target an area that you want another submersible to search.”

Simon Boxall, professor of oceanography at the University of Southampton, UK, said: Newsweek on that tuesday Giant “It could have been caught in an old fishing net on the seabed. It could have been part of the seabed.” [Titanic] the wreckage itself. “

Earlier this week, hopes were heightened by the detection of an impulsive sound, believed to be the sound of submarine passengers hitting the hull, but experts say the sound alone can tell the submarine’s position given the currents and distortions in the water. said to be difficult to identify.

electrical fault

Perhaps the most optimistic, but still likely, explanation for the loss of communications is that some kind of electrical failure on board may have caused the system to go down.

In this scenario, Titan’s Passengers are very likely still alive, but unable to communicate with the world, including about their whereabouts. Several ships rushed to the rescue operation and searched for the ship.

According to experts, small submersibles such as: Giant Due to its lightweight construction, it may fall and float to the surface in an emergency. Mr Grieg previously told the BBC that if this were true, “it would be flying around the surface waiting to be discovered”.

But even on the surface, time remains a concern for rescue workers: CBS journalist David Pogue said Giantstated that passengers, once sealed, could not exit the ship without outside help, suggesting that even if the submarine surfaced, passengers inside would still rely on the internal supply of oxygen. are doing.

Dr Ken Redes, an expert in hyperbaric medicine at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, told the BBC that passengers face potentially fatal risks due to the lack of oxygen and the accumulation of carbon dioxide from exhaled air. said it was possible.

“As carbon dioxide levels build up, it becomes a sedative, like an anesthetic gas that puts you to sleep,” he says.

Newsweek I reached out to Oceangate via email on Thursday for comment.

In a statement Monday, the company said it was “fully focused.” Giant crew and their families. “We are deeply appreciative of the extensive support we have received” in the rescue operation, adding that “all options are being explored and fully mobilized to ensure the safe return of the crew.”

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