Last Updated: June 22, 2023, 12:26 IST
Washington D.C., United States of America (USA)
The massive search and rescue effort for the missing submersible near the wreck of the Titanic was at a critical stage on Thursday, with just few hours of oxygen supply remaining for the five people on board.
While coast guard officials insisted, they remained “hopeful,” with a surge of assets and experts joining the operation, the challenges remain the lack of oxygen, no power and the cold weather for the people onboard the submarine.
Rescue teams which include US and Canadian military planes, coast guard ships and teleguided robots are focusing in the North Atlantic close to multiple “underwater noises” detected by sonar late Tuesday and Wednesday.
Here are the latest updates from the Missing Titanic Submarine:
- Rescuers, who have received help from around the world, estimate that passengers may run out of oxygen on Thursday morning as the vessel is believed to have less than 10 hours of oxygen remaining, creating a race against time to find the vessel.
- The five people onboard face extreme conditions as it is a claustrophobic, terrifying prospect being trapped in a 22 feet submersible with oxygen running out.
- The submersible may have lost electrical power, which has a role in controlling the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide inside the vessel, according to BBC. As the oxygen level falls, the proportion of carbon dioxide being breathed out by the crew will be rising, raising risk of fatal consequences.
- The crew also face the risk from hypothermia, where the body gets below the normal temperature due to the unusual cold weather. Moreover, if there is no power, then the vessel cannot generate heat.
- As of now, ships and planes have scoured 10,000 square miles of surface water — roughly the size of Massachusetts — for the submersible, which was attempting to dive about 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
- After the noises were detected by a Canadian P-3 aircraft, rescuers relocated two remotely operated vehicles (ROV) that search under the water and one surface vessel with sonar capability.
- The ROV searches have not yielded results but data from the Canadian aircraft has been shared with US Navy experts for acoustics analysis.
- The submersible, named Titan, was carrying British billionaire Hamish Harding and Pakistani tycoon Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, who also have British citizenship, on $250,000 tickets.
- Also on board is the company’s CEO, Stockton Rush, and a French submarine operator Paul-Henri Nargeolet, nicknamed “Mr Titanic” for his frequent dives at the site.
- The 21-foot (6.5-meter) tourist craft lost communication with its mothership less than two hours into its trip to see the remains of the Titanic, which sit nearly four kilometres below the surface of the North Atlantic.