Debris Field Discovered Near Titanic in Urgent Rescue Effort

Debris Field Discovered Near Titanic in Urgent Rescue Effort

The US Coast Guard has announced that a debris field has been discovered in the search area near the Titanic by a remotely operated underwater vehicle. The Horizon Arctic, a Canadian vessel, deployed the ROV. Equipped with cameras and sonar, the ROV had successfully reached the sea floor. Sky’s US correspondent, James Matthews, stated that the updated statement was significant. Matthews explained that the word ‘debris’ was not comforting in a situation at a depth where water pressure is immense. The debris, found 4,000m (13,123ft) down, could cause considerable damage to vessels like the Titanic on the seabed. The Coast Guard has scheduled a news conference to discuss the findings at 8 pm UK time.

Experts within the unified command are evaluating the information. Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent, former Commander-in-Chief Fleet of the Royal Navy, told Sky News that the nature of the announcement suggests that the debris is in some way connected with the Titanic. Burnell-Nugent explained that there is a large debris field around the Titanic, covering several hectares. However, if this debris was from the Titanic, the Coast Guard would have made a distinction in the announcement. He believes that, on balance, the debris is probably grim news and suggests that the Titanic might have imploded under the immense pressure of the seawater while it was on its way down.

David Mearns, a rescue expert who knows two of the men onboard, British billionaire Hamish Harding and French submersible pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet, told Sky News that they do not use phrases like “debris field” unless there is no chance of a recovery of the men alive. A debris field implies a break-up of the submersible, indicating the worst-case scenario, which is a catastrophic failure and generally an implosion. Mearns stated that his worst fears have now been realized, and he had been praying for a different outcome. He emotionally expressed that two of his friends are gone.

Titan, carrying five men, disappeared on Sunday in the Atlantic Ocean, 435 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada, during an expedition dive to see the wreck of the Titanic. The urgent rescue effort involves ships, planes, and underwater craft from multiple countries. Rescuers are searching a remote part of the Atlantic Ocean, more than twice the size of the US state of Connecticut, in waters as deep as 4,020m (13,200ft).

On Thursday, a deep-sea robot called Victor 6000 headed to the search area. Victor 6000 has remotely controlled arms that can cut cables and perform other manoeuvres to release a stuck vessel. The robot is also able to go deeper than the Titanic itself. Alongside Harding and Nargeolet are the British businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, alongside OceanGate’s US-based chief executive and founder Stockton Rush.

The US Coast Guard previously predicted that the air supply in the vessel would run out at 12.08 pm UK time on Thursday. The discovery of the debris field is a potential breakthrough in the rescue effort. However, it is yet to be confirmed whether the debris is connected to the missing submersible. Nonetheless, the discovery of the debris field is a significant development in an increasingly urgent, round-the-clock rescue effort.

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