Wednesday, June 21, 2023

There are 35 hours of oxygen left in the missing Titanic vessel

 A submersible vessel that was on its way to the Titanic's wreck but is now missing, with five crew members aboard and less than two days' worth of oxygen remaining, was frantically searched by rescuers as they descended on the North Atlantic.

About 900 nautical miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the Canadian Joint Rescue Coordination Centre and the US Coast Guard were on the scene. A research vessel with an underwater robot that can go as deep as 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) was sent by France to the site of the sunken passenger ship.

At a news briefing held in Boston on Tuesday, US Coast Guard Captain Jamie Frederick stated, "There is a full-court press effort to get equipment on scene as quickly as we can."

The US Coast Guard stated that OceanGate Expeditions, the mission's operator, is leading underwater search efforts due to its knowledge of the location. The Titan, a 6.7-meter-long aircraft made of carbon fiber and titanium, was reported missing after air searches yielded no results.

According to the Coast Guard, the Titan was built with a 96-hour oxygen supply in case of an emergency. As of 6 p.m. New York time, the crew had 35 hours of breathable air.

A spokesman for the US Transportation Command said that the command is sending three C-17 transport jets from Buffalo, New York, to St. John's, Newfoundland, with commercial equipment it thinks will be useful for the search. Governor Kathy Hochul stated that the Coast Guard is receiving assistance from the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard.

According to Lieutenant Samantha Corcoran, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard in Boston, the submersible's command ship, the Polar Prince, notified the Coast Guard on Sunday that it had lost contact with the vessel approximately 900 miles (1,450 kilometers) east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Sunday, a C-130 plane equipped with radar was sent to search the area. On Monday, a Canadian P-8 Poseidon, an anti-submarine warfare aircraft, joined them.

“Exploring and mobilizing all options to bring the crew back safely,” OceanGate Expeditions stated in a statement.

The Titan is capable of carrying a pilot and four crew members to a maximum depth of 4,000 meters while simultaneously monitoring their health. OceanGate's website states that the system provides "early warning detection for the pilot with enough time to arrest the descent and safely return to surface."

According to Mark Butler, managing director of the aircraft brokerage based in Dubai, Hamish Harding, chairman, is also absent. The business stated, "the sub had a successful launch and Hamish is currently diving" in a Sunday tweet.

Engro Corp. Vice Chairman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman are two other crew members who come from one of Pakistan's most prominent business families. The Dawood family said in a statement that little was known about what had happened.

Additionally aboard are French pilot Paul-Henry Nargeolet and OceanGate founder and CEO Stockton Rush.

Two days ago, Harding announced on social media that the region was experiencing the worst weather in 40 years.

He wrote, "We are going to attempt a dive tomorrow. A weather window has just opened up." In 2023, this mission is likely to be the first and only human-powered trip to the Titanic.

The New York Times, which first reported the rescue operation, says that the guests pay $250,000.

OceanGate claims that it offers 10-day expeditions to the Titanic wreckage, allowing "qualified explorers" to join as mission specialists and survey the wreckage, document the condition of the sunken vessel, and document the flora and fauna that live there. The fees pay for their education and the participation of the science team looking into the ship that sank in 1912 while making its first transatlantic journey after hitting an iceberg.

OceanGate, with headquarters in Everett, Washington, conducted 2021 and 2022 expeditions to investigate the shipwreck. On June 1, a photo of the Titanic's dive operations and a submersible was shared on its Twitter feed.

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