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21st Jun 2023

First picture from missing Titanic sub search site released

Charlie Herbert

SUB SEARCH

The U.S. Coast Guard has released the first image from the missing Titanic sub search site, showing rescue ships in the middle of the Atlantic.

A massive search and rescue operation is being carried out in the mid-Atlantic after the OceanGate tourist vessel, the Titan, went missing during a dive to the shipwreck with five people aboard.

British billionaire Hamish Harding is on the submersible, along with French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, the founder of OceanGate, Stockton Rush, and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman.

The trip, which is thought to cost £195,000 per head, launched at 4am on Sunday (18 June). However, communications disappeared one hour and 45 minutes into the descent to the wreck site, which sits about 3,800m (12,500ft) below sea level at the bottom of the ocean around 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland but in US waters.

The U.S. Coast Guard has since released the first image of the area that they are focusing their search efforts on.

The coast guard confirmed three vessels had arrived on the scene to join the rescue operation.

Among them are the Canadian Coast Guard’s scientific research vessel, the John Cabot, which has sonar search capabilities, the Canadian Atlantic Merlin and the subsea support vessel Skandi Vinland.

On Wednesday morning, noises were detected by the US Coast Guard that are believed to be banging from the sub.

In a statement regarding the sounds, the maritime search and rescue operation said: “Canadian P-3 aircraft detected underwater noises in the search area. As a result, ROV (remote operating vehicles) operations were relocated in an attempt to explore the origin of the noises.

“Those ROV searches have yielded negative results but continue.

“Additionally, the data from the P-3 aircraft has been shared with our U.S. Navy experts for further analysis which will be considered in future search plans.”

The Explorers’ Club, of which Mr Harding is a founding member, also shared an upbeat message on Wednesday morning.

President Richard Garriot de Cayeux said in a statement:

“There is cause for hope, that based on data from the field, we understand that likely signs of life have been detected at the site.

“They precisely understand the experienced personnel and tech we can help deploy… We believe they are doing everything possible with all the resources they have.”

Even if Titan does manage to make it to the surface though, it will be very difficult to spot due to only a small amount of the vessel sitting above the surface.

The sub passenger will also not be able to release themselves from the craft without outside help, as the vessel’s hatch was bolted on from the outside when they set off.

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