Search for Missing Submarine in Exploration of the Remains of Titanic
(CNN Spanish) — The US Coast Guard has initiated an extensive search and rescue operation for the Titan submarine, which went missing during an expedition to explore the wreckage of the Titanic at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Titan, a submersible capable of carrying up to five people, offers a unique opportunity to witness firsthand the remains of the iconic ocean liner that sank off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada in 1912.
- A Submarine Exploring the Titanic Wreckage Disappears: Intensive Search Underway
OceanGate Expeditions, the company operating the tour, describes it as an extraordinary experience that allows participants to venture beyond the ordinary and discover something truly remarkable, according to an archived version of their website available on the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.
Among the individuals on board the expedition, contact was lost with British businessman Hamish Harding, as reported by his company Action Aviation on social media.
“I am proud to announce that I have joined OceanGate Expeditions as a mission specialist on the Titanic Submarine for their RMS TITANIC Mission,” wrote Harding in a Facebook post on Saturday. CNN reached out to Action Aviation for comment but has not received an immediate response.
The US Coast Guard is now making every effort to locate and rescue the individuals on board the missing submersible, stated Rear Admiral John Mauger during a press conference on Monday.
Here is what we know about the Titan, the submarine that disappeared during the tourist expedition to explore the remains of the Titanic.
Aboard the Titan: Exploring the Depths of the Ocean to Reach the Titanic Wreckage
The expedition to witness the remnants of the Titanic up close begins in St. Johns, a city in the Canadian province of Newfoundland.
According to OceanGate Expeditions, up to five individuals board the submersible and descend into the depths of the ocean. The journey starts with a 400 nautical mile trip to the shipwreck site.
Among the passengers are a pilot, a “content expert,” and three paying tourists.
The archived version of OceanGate’s website provides details about the trip, which costs $250,000.
“Follow in the footsteps of Jacques Cousteau and become an underwater explorer, starting with a dive to the RMS Titanic wreck. This is your chance to step out of the ordinary and discover something truly extraordinary,” states the website. “Become one of the few to witness the Titanic with your own eyes.”
According to OceanGate, the Titan is a submersible weighing just over 10 tons and constructed with carbon fiber and titanium. The company claims that the submersible utilizes a “proprietary real-time hull health monitoring (RTM) system” to analyze vessel pressure and structural integrity. It also provides life support for a crew of five for 96 hours.
A Complex Search Operation
Rear Admiral John Mauger of the US Coast Guard described the search for the Titan crew as a complex operation taking place in a remote location both underwater and on the surface.
Mauger mentioned that the submersible is equipped with 96 hours of emergency oxygen, according to information received from the ship’s operator.
The Coast Guard estimates that there is currently between 70 and 96 hours of oxygen available on the submarine, as stated during Monday’s press conference.
The crew of the Polar Prince, the vessel that transported the Titan to the Titanic wreckage site before it descended into the depths of the ocean, lost contact with the submarine 1 hour and 45 minutes after its descent on Sunday morning, as reported by the US Coast Guard.
OceanGate Expeditions expressed gratitude for the assistance received from authorities in their efforts to reestablish contact with the submersible. “Our primary focus is on the well-being of the crew members and their families,” the company stated in a press release. “We are working diligently to ensure their safe return.”
Contributors: Eric Levenson, Raja Razek, Paul P. Murphy, Tanika Gray, Kristina Sgueglia
The US Coast Guard is conducting a search and rescue operation for a missing submarine that disappeared during an expedition to explore the wreckage of the Titanic. The Titan submarine, capable of carrying up to five people, was being used to offer a firsthand look at the remains of the iconic ocean liner that sank in 1912. Among the passengers on the expedition was British businessman Hamish Harding, who has been reported missing. The US Coast Guard is making efforts to locate and rescue the individuals on board the submarine. The expedition begins in St. Johns, Newfoundland, and includes a 400 nautical mile trip to the shipwreck site.
What risks and challenges do individuals face when exploring the wreckage of iconic ocean liners like the Titanic, and how can these expeditions be made safer for all involved parties
Exploring the wreckage of iconic ocean liners like the Titanic presents numerous risks and challenges for individuals. Some of these risks include:
1. Physical hazards: The wreckage may contain sharp or jagged edges, unstable structures, or debris that can cause injuries to divers or damage equipment.
2. Decompression sickness: Divers exploring deep wrecks face the risk of decompression sickness, also known as the bends, which occurs when ascending too quickly from depth and can result in painful and potentially life-threatening symptoms.
3. Limited visibility and navigation difficulties: The murky underwater environment surrounding wrecks can impede visibility, making it challenging for divers to navigate, potentially leading to disorientation, entanglement, or separation from the dive team.
4. Oxygen toxicity and nitrogen narcosis: Deep dives can expose divers to increased oxygen toxicity and nitrogen narcosis, which can impair judgment, coordination, and decision-making abilities.
To make these expeditions safer for all involved parties, several measures can be taken:
1. Thorough risk assessment and planning: Properly assess the risks involved in exploring the wreck, develop contingency plans, and ensure all participants are aware of potential hazards and how to mitigate them.
2. Qualified and experienced expedition leaders: Employ skilled and qualified professionals who have experience in deep-water wreck diving. They should possess the necessary knowledge and expertise to navigate the challenges and ensure safety.
3. Technical diving equipment: Use advanced equipment specifically designed for deep wreck exploration, such as extended range diving gear, redundant breathing systems, dive computers, and emergency gas supply systems, to enhance safety.
4. Dive buddy system and communication: Maintain a strict dive buddy system, where each diver is paired with another, and establish effective communication protocols to ensure constant contact and immediate assistance if needed.
5. Training and certifications: Require all participants to undergo thorough training and obtain relevant certifications in wreck diving, deep diving, and emergency response techniques.
6. Regular safety drills: Conduct regular safety drills to practice emergency procedures, including proper ascents, managing entanglements, and sharing of equipment, to react effectively in unexpected situations.
7. Environmental preservation and awareness: Promote responsible wreck diving practices to preserve the historical artifacts and maintain environmental conservation while exploring the wreck.
8. Continuous monitoring and research: Collaborate with scientific and research organizations to continuously monitor the wreck, gather data, and improve safety standards based on new findings.
By implementing these measures, the risks associated with exploring iconic ocean liners like the Titanic can be mitigated, ensuring a safer experience for all involved parties.