Hopes of Rescuing Titanic Tourist Submersible Rest on Deep Diving Bots

Hopes of Rescuing Titanic Tourist Submersible Rest on Deep Diving Bots

Rescuers looking for the OceanGate submersible lost off the coast of Cape Cod are waiting on a French robot capable of diving 6,096.00 m deep. The salvage system is supposed to arrive sometime Wednesday evening, though there’s still no hint that rescuers have pinpointed the exact location of the missing Titanic tourist sub.

Rescuers have been scouring the area where tourism company OceanGate last lost contact with the $US250,000-per-person carbon fibre submersible. Early on Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard revealed that Canadian aircraft “detected underwater noises” in the search area. The coast guard said it had relocated operations to that area to investigate, but the agency said the search “yielded negative results.”

The timeline for finding the missing passengers is tightening, as yesterday afternoon the maritime security agency estimated the submersible would have only 40 hours of oxygen left based on the sub’s stated 96-hour oxygen supply. By Wednesday morning, the amount of oxygen has dwindled to 20 hours left for the sub lost around 1,448 km east of Cape Cod.

French news site Le Figaro reported that the research vessel L’Atlante was on its way to the site. As the site reported, on board is a remotely-operated salvage robot called Victor 6000 that’s capable of diving around 6,096.00 m deep.

At 8:40 a.m. ET Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard said that several ships with side sonar capabilities had arrived to help detect and image objects on the sea floor. Those and other vessels are conducting search patterns in the area, though L’Atlante is still en route, and it’s not expected to arrive until 8 p.m. Wednesday. One of those ships is the Bahamian pipelay vessel Deep Energy, which is used to lay pipes along the sea floor. It also contains a remotely operated vehicle capable of diving 3,000 meters, or a little under 3,048.00 m deep. The Titanic sits on the floor approximately 3,810.00 m below sea level.

The OceanGate sub was supposed to launch at 8 a.m. ET June 18 and resurface at 3 p.m., but just an hour and 45 minutes into the dive the controlling ship, the Polar Prince, lost contact and nothing has been heard from it since.

According to past reports, the five-person Titan sub houses passengers in a tube the size of a minivan. It has one toilet located where everybody can see, and the owners openly talked about how they sourced some parts from places like “Camper World.”

Reports surfaced showing at least one former employee claimed they were fired after expressing safety concerns.

David Pogue, a CBS reporter and New York Times columnist who has reported on the company wrote on Twitter that during his trip with OceanGate, the crew lost connection to the sub for nearly five hours. He even claimed that the crew shut off the internet access to keep passengers from tweeting about the lost sub. The reason why that detail didn’t make it into the report, Pogue said, was because “the company gave us a different rationale for shutting off the Internet… That this could be an emergency, and they needed all channels open… And we had no idea how to confirm whether or not that was true.”

Most of the OceanGate vessel’s passengers are wealthy explorers or businessmen. British billionaire Hamish Harding is among those currently lost, and some attention has turned toward the man’s family. Harding’s stepson Brian Szasz wrote on Facebook offering “thoughts and prayers that the rescue mission will be successful.” TMZ reported Szasz then followed up that post by saying he was attending a Blink-182 concert in San Diego. The billionaire’s scion wrote, “It might be distasteful being here but my family would want me to be at the Blink-182 show as it’s my favourite band and music helps me in difficult times!”

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.