Submersible for Titanic Wreck Exploration Goes Missing: US Coast Guard Leads Search

Submersible for Titanic Wreck Exploration Goes Missing: US Coast Guard Leads Search

A submersible, which was set to explore the wreck of the Titanic, has gone missing, according to reports. The United States Coast Guard is leading the search for the submersible. The Coast Guard revealed that there were five crew members in the 21-foot submersible, which went missing on Sunday morning about 24 hours ago. The crew consisted of one pilot and four “mission specialists.” The search is taking place “900 miles off Cape Cod,” and assistance is being provided by P-8 Poseidon aircraft, which has underwater detection capabilities. The search is being conducted in 13,000 feet of water and is being carried out on the surface and in the water column.

Search Operation

The US Coast Guard has deployed two C-130 Hercules aircraft in the search, while Canada has deployed one C-130, one P-8 Poseidon aircraft and multiple sonar buoys. The Polar Prince also has sonar capable of reaching the ocean floor at the search site. The search is being conducted in a remote area, and the search operation is a challenge. The search will continue through the night.

Company Description

OceanGate, the company that operates the tours, describes itself as “a team of explorers, scientists, & filmmakers dedicated to exploring the deep.” The company takes passengers on deep-sea submersible tours of the wreck for $250,000 each. Last week, the outfit posted photos of what it said were its “Mission 3 and Mission 4” crew. The dives last about eight hours, including the estimated 2.5 hours each way it takes to descend and ascend. Scientists and historians provide context on the trip and some conduct research at the site. The team also documents the wreckage with high-definition cameras to monitor its decay and capture it in detail.

History of the Titanic

The Titanic sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg, killing about 1,500 passengers and crew. The wreckage was found in 1985 and inspired diver James Cameron to make the 1997 movie Titanic. The film went on to win 11 Oscars and gross well over $2 billion worldwide. “The Titanic was the Mount Everest of shipwrecks, and as a diver I wanted to do it right. When I learned some other guys had dived to the Titanic to make an IMAX movie, I said, ‘I’ll make a Hollywood movie to pay for an expedition and do the same thing.’ I loved that first taste, and I wanted more,” Cameron told Playboy in 2009.

Missing Submersible

The missing submersible is believed to be a “truck-sized sub that holds five people and usually dives with a four-day supply of oxygen,” according to the BBC. The company has said, “Our entire focus is on the crew members in the submersible and their families. We are deeply thankful for the extensive assistance we have received from several government agencies and deep-sea companies in our efforts to reestablish contact with the submersible.” David Pogue reposted video from a CBS Sunday Morning piece he did while on an OceanGate expedition last summer, which he says “got lost for a few hours” while he was on board and never found the wreck.

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