Photo: OCEANGATE / copyright
It is a complex rescue operation in which every minute counts.
The authorities are looking in a hurry for a commercial submersible that disappeared this Sunday morning, in the middle of an expedition in which five people They were about to watch the sunken remains of the Titanic.
The ship, called Titan and belonging to the company Ocean Gatehas lost all communication and is believed to be in the remote waters off the Canadian coast of Newfoundland.
The operation, described as “complex”, involves the US Coast Guard and its Canadian counterpart, as well as private boat operators and deep ocean experts.
The challenge for the authorities, the US military reported Monday afternoon at a press conference, lies in the fact that there is an enormous probability that the ship has not emerged from the deep waters in which it was found.
According to Rear Admiral john maugerof the US Coast Guard, the Titan was lost at a depth of about 4,000 meters.
And, in that context, time is crucial.
“We anticipate they have a full 70 to 96 hours of oxygen available at this point,” Mauger, who is leading the rescue operation, said at 4:30 p.m. ET (2030 GMT) Monday.
“It is a remote area and it is challenging to conduct a search in that remote area, but we are deploying all available resources to ensure we can locate the ship and rescue the people on board“he added.
The military noted that, at this time, the capabilities of the Coast Guard are “limited to hearing sounds”, which means that additional resources will be needed to search under the surface of the sea.
“We are doing everything we can to locate the submarine and rescue those on board,” he continued, adding that rescuers have taken this mission “personal”.
During his speech, he confirmed that the five people they are looking for include the “pilot” of the submersible.
The authorities indicated that three passengers and two crew members are on the ship that disappeared 1 hour and 45 minutes after starting the dive.
The three passengers are the British millionaire and adventurer Hamish Harding and Pakistani millionaire Shahzada Dawood and her son Suleman.
They search in the depths, on the surface and from the air
Authorities have deployed C-130 planes, common military transport vehicles, to circle the waters where the submersible is believed to be located.
But they also use a specialized aircraft, in this case Canadian-owned, known as the P–8 poseideitherno. This aircraft has been described as “highly sophisticated” and has capabilities to detect submerged submarines.
Although it is used for military intelligence, the P-8 Poseidon has also been successful during humanitarian rescue operations, and has the ability to fly very close to the surface, indicates the Boeing manufacturer’s website.
The military has placed sound buoys in the sea, in case the Titan leaves the water and has no way of communicating.
Private vessels also joined the rescue, including the Polar Prince, a vessel that transported the submersible to the Titanic wreck site prior to the expedition.
Carly Pickett, a spokeswoman for Horizon Maritime, which co-owns the ship, has confirmed her involvement to the BBC.
Polar Prince It’s an old icebreaker ship of the Canadian Coast Guard.
Horizon Maritime reported that it has also sent an additional vessel, the Horizon Arctic, to help. The company’s website says the Horizon Arctic is “designed and equipped for advanced offshore support operations.”
The Canadian Coast Guard ship Kopit Hopson 1752 has also been deployed.
Private tours to the Titanic
Small submersibles occasionally carry tourists and paying experts to view the wreckage of the Titanic, which sank in 1912 and lies about 12,000 feet below the ocean’s surface and about 400 miles from Newfoundland, Canada.
OceanGate charges $250,000 per person for your eight-day expedition departing from Canada to view the famous shipwreck.
According to the OceanGate website, the submersible has a system for real-time monitoring of pressure changes and the integrity of the ship that alerts the pilot in time for him to abort the dive and return to the surface in the event that be necessary.
The company presents the trip in its carbon fiber submersible as an “opportunity to get out of everyday life and discover something truly extraordinary.”
A full dive to the wreck, including descent and ascent, takes eight hours in total.
The Titanic, once the largest ship of its day, struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage from the English town of Southampton bound for New York on April 14, 1912. Of the 2,200 passengers and crew on board, more than 1,500 died.
The remains of the liner have been extensively explored since they were discovered in 1985.
They are in two parts, with the bow and stern separated by about 800 meters. A huge field of debris surrounds the two parts of the boat.
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