Titanic sub hunt chases mystery noises as air supply runs low

The submersible Titan is prepared for a dive into a remote area of the Atlantic Ocean on an expedition to the Titanic on Sunday. (Photo: AP)

US Coast Guard Captain Jamie Frederick announced at a briefing in Boston on Wednesday that remote-controlled vehicles have been moved to the area where the sounds were heard and that additional search tools will be deployed as they arrive. He claimed that a Canadian aircraft equipped with sonar devices had detected the noises over the previous two days.

If the missing crew is still alive, time is running out. It is estimated that the Titan has about 80 hours of air left after starting with about 96 hours in case of emergency. According to Frederick, the crew is also thought to have a small amount of rations on board.

Frederick said, "All we can do is search the area where the noises are. To be honest, "We don't know what they are."

The search for the crew onboard the Titan, which vanished early into a dive to survey the Titanic wreckage on Sunday, is now centered on the unidentified sounds. In what is still a search-and-rescue operation, an armada of ships from all over the world is scouring the North Atlantic about 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on the advice of submarine and ocean experts.

The noise generated by the expanding number of surface vessels makes it difficult to locate and identify the sounds. According to Frederick, so-called ROV searches have turned up nothing so far. The search area is expanding every hour due to the constantly shifting weather, ocean currents, and sea conditions on the surface. The area in question is already 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep and roughly twice the size of Connecticut.

On Sunday, about 1 hour and 45 minutes after it started diving toward the Titanic, which sank in 1912 during its first transatlantic voyage, a mother ship on the surface lost all contact with the Titan.

The Titan, a 6.7-meter-long craft made of titanium and carbon fiber, is intended to function at 4,000 meters of maximum depth.

Even if the submersible were discovered right away, it's unclear if there would be enough time before its air supplies ran out to retrieve it. The US Coast Guard reaffirmed on Wednesday that the task force's objective is to rescue the Titan's crew safely and that the search will continue.

During the briefing, Frederick stated that the case was extremely complex. But he continued, "We must maintain our optimism and hope."

Sometimes, he said, "We don't find what we're looking for." "There are times when you're forced to make a difficult choice. If we keep looking, we might eventually reach that location even though we're not there yet. We will talk about that with the families before I bring it up in front of the public.

While this is going on, France sent out a ship with an underwater robot that can descend to the Titanic site, which is 4,000 meters below the surface. Wednesday morning saw the arrival of three more ships. The US Coast Guard announced that underwater exploration company Magellan will also contribute one of their ROVs "shortly."

The Titanic wreck has been reached several times by Magellan's equipment, which can descend to depths of up to 6,000 meters.

Several privately owned vessels are getting ready to join the search, including one with a decompression chamber and some with underwater search equipment. The Titan and Titanic survey trip's operator, OceanGate Expeditions, oversees the underwater search operation.

Paul Henry Nargeolet, a French maritime expert, and adventurer, and founder of the investment firm Action Group, Hamish Harding, are among the crew members of the Titan. The other three are Stockton Rush, the creator of OceanGate, and Shahzada and Suleman Dawood, a father and son from a prominent family in Pakistan.

Publish : 2023-06-22 11:05:00

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