Search and rescue teams are engaged in a challenging mission to locate a submersible vessel that went missing while exploring the wreckage of the Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean. A United States Coast Guard official has provided updates on the ongoing efforts, highlighting the urgency of the situation.
Captain Jamie Frederick addressed the media on Tuesday, emphasizing the collaborative nature of the search operation. Multiple agencies, including the US Coast Guard and Navy, the Canadian military and coastguard, and OceanGate Expeditions, the parent company of the vessel, are working together under a unified command to conduct the search.
The search effort is intricate, requiring the expertise of various agencies and specialized equipment. “This is a complex search effort, which requires multiple agencies with subject matter expertise and specialized equipment,” Frederick stated.
By 1 pm (17:00 GMT) on Tuesday, the vessel, named Titan, had approximately 40 hours of oxygen remaining, making it crucial to locate it swiftly. Initially equipped with a 96-hour oxygen supply, the clock is ticking to find the submersible.
Frederick assured the public of the relentless dedication of the unified team to locate the vessel. He described their efforts as an “unwavering” push and emphasized the urgency of the situation. “The unified team is working around the clock to bring all available assets and expertise to bear as quickly as possible in an effort to solve this very complex problem,” Frederick affirmed.
Moreover, Frederick highlighted the significant efforts being made to acquire the necessary equipment for the search. He referred to a “full-court press effort” to obtain the resources required to support the operation effectively.
The OceanGate expedition, costing $250,000 per person, commences in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, before journeying to the Titanic wreckage site located hundreds of kilometers to the east, as indicated on the company’s website.
The missing vessel carries five individuals: Shahzada Dawood, a Pakistani-British national, and his 19-year-old son, Suleman; Hamish Harding, a British billionaire; Paul-Henri Gargeolet, a 77-year-old French explorer; and Stockton Rush, the founder and CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, a US-based company.
Since Sunday, search crews have covered an expansive area of 20,000 square kilometers (7,600 square miles), exceeding the size of the state of Connecticut. Captain Frederick acknowledged the unique and challenging nature of the operation, emphasizing the team’s unwavering commitment to search diligently and deploy assets as quickly as possible.
Aircraft have been deployed to search both the surface of the water and the underwater terrain using sonar buoys. While the ability to retrieve the vessel remains uncertain, Frederick confirmed that the current focus is on locating the submersible. The unified command consists of a team of experts who will assess the situation and determine the appropriate course of action if the vessel is found.
On Monday, visibility was hampered by fog, but conditions improved on Tuesday, providing search teams with better visibility. White House national security spokesperson John Kirby mentioned that President Joe Biden closely monitors the search operation. Kirby also noted that the Coast Guard continues to participate, while the Navy stands ready with deep-water capabilities if necessary.
The race against time continues as search and rescue crews persist in their efforts to find the missing Titanic submersible. With the joint collaboration of multiple agencies and the unwavering commitment of the unified team, hopes remain high for a successful resolution to this complex search operation.