U.S. Coast Guard says debris field found while searching for submersible near Titanic

The search for the missing submarine with five people on board said on Thursday that the U.S. Coast Guard had discovered a wreckage on the ocean floor near the Titanic, 96 hours past the limit for breathing air to navigate. It turned out to be dark. outside.

The Coast Guard’s Twitter post did not provide details, including whether officials believed the debris was related to the Titanic, which was on an expedition to inspect the wreckage. Debris was found in the search area by a remote-controlled underwater robot and is being evaluated, he said.

Titan, which launched Sunday morning in the North Atlantic, was estimated to have about four days’ worth of breathable air, but experts say that’s an imprecise approximation to begin with, and that passengers may He stressed that it could be extended if steps were taken to conserve breathable air. And it’s unclear if they survived the submarine’s disappearance.

Rescuers rushed ships, planes and other equipment to the disappearance site. On Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard announced that an undersea robot dispatched by a Canadian ship had reached the seafloor, while a French research institute said a deep submersible robot with cameras, lights and arms was also involved in the operation.

Officials hope the underwater sounds will help narrow the search area, which is twice as large as Connecticut and extends to thousands of miles in four kilometers of water. Coast Guard officials said underwater noise was detected in the search area on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Jamie Pringle, an expert in forensic geosciences at Keele University in the UK, said even if the noise was from a submarine, “the lack of oxygen is the key now. You have to remove the bolt.”

The Titan stalled Sunday afternoon on its way to the site where the iconic ocean liner sank more than 100 years ago, about 435 miles (700 kilometers) south of St. John’s, Newfoundland. was reported. Oceangate Expeditions, which is leading the journey, has documented the decline of the Titanic and the underwater ecosystem around it through annual voyages since 2021.

By Thursday morning, hopes that the ship’s occupants would be found alive had vanished.

Many obstacles still remain, from pinpointing the ship’s location, to reaching it with rescue gear, to bringing it to the surface, assuming it’s still intact. And all this has to be done before the passengers’ oxygen supply runs out.

Dr Rob Larter, a marine geophysicist at the British Antarctic Observatory, stresses that even finding a submarine the size of about 22 feet (6.5 meters) long and about 9 feet (3 meters) high is difficult. bottom.

“You’re talking about a completely dark environment,” he said, which can cause you to miss objects dozens of feet away. “Without fairly accurate location information, it’s like sticking a needle into a haystack.”

Newly uncovered allegations suggest that during the development of the submarine, serious warnings were issued about the safety of the ship.

Broadcasters around the world kicked off their newscasts with submarine news at key hours on Thursday. The Saudi-owned satellite channel Al Arabiya broadcast a clock that counts down to predict when the air might dry up.

1st Coast Guard Precinct Captain Jamie Frederick said yesterday that authorities still hoped to rescue the five passengers on board.

“This is 100% a search and rescue mission,” he said Wednesday.

Frederick said the detected sounds offer an opportunity to narrow down the search, but the exact location and source have yet to be pinpointed.

“Frankly, we don’t know what it is,” he says.

Retired Navy Capt. Carl Hartsfield, now director of the Woods Hole Ocean System Institute, said the sound was described as a “boom” but the search party “contextualized the picture.” We must and we must,” he warned. Eliminate potential anthropogenic sources other than Titan. ”

The report was encouraging to some experts. That’s because submarine crews who can’t communicate with the surface are taught to tap the submarine’s hull to be detected by sonar.

The U.S. Navy said in a statement Wednesday that it would dispatch a specialized salvage system capable of hoisting “large, bulky and heavy underwater objects such as aircraft and small craft.”

Titan weighs 20,000 pounds (9,000 kilograms). The US Navy’s Flyaway deepwater salvage system is designed to lift up to 60,000 pounds (27,200 kilograms), the Navy said on its website.

Oceangate’s CEO, pilot Stockton Rush, is missing on board. His passengers are: British adventurer Hamish Harding. Pakistani businessman Shazada Dawood and her son Suleman. and French explorer and Titanic expert Paul-Henry Narjolet.

In the first comments from Pakistan after Titan’s demise, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman Mumtaz Zahra Barok said on Thursday that authorities were confident in the search effort.

“We don’t want to speculate about the circumstances of this case and we also want to respect the Dawood family’s request that their privacy be respected,” she said.

At least 46 people made safe trips to the Titanic wreck site in 2021 and 2022 on the company’s submersibles, according to a letter Oceangate filed with the US District Court in Norfolk, Virginia, which has jurisdiction over the Titanic sinking case.

One of the company’s first customers characterized a dive on site two years ago as “Operation Kamikaze.”

“Imagine a metal tube several meters long and a metal sheet for the floor. Arthur Roibl, a former businessman and adventurer from the city, said. “You can’t be claustrophobic.”

The lights were turned off to conserve energy during the two-and-a-half-hour descent and ascent, with only fluorescent psyllium lighting, he said.

The dive was repeatedly postponed to work out battery and balance weight issues. In total the voyage took 10.5 hours.

The submarine was equipped with seven back-up systems to return to the ground, including falling sandbags, lead pipes and inflatable balloons.

Nicolai Lauterman, a deep-sea ecologist and lecturer in marine biology at the University of Portsmouth, UK, said Titan’s disappearance highlights the dangers and unknowns of deep-sea tourism.

“I think it’s important to remember that the deep sea is a very harsh place for us humans,” he said.

“Even the most reliable technology can go awry, and so accidents do happen. Expect more incidents like this as deep-sea tourism grows.”


Associated Press reporter John Gambrel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Ben Finley of Norfolk, Virginia. Frank Jordan in Berlin. Danika Kirka in London. and John Lester of Paris contributed to this report.

https://ktla.com/news/nexstar-media-wire/nationworld/rescuers-make-last-desperate-push-as-final-hours-of-oxygen-on-missing-titanic-submersible-tick-down/ U.S. Coast Guard says debris field found while searching for submersible near Titanic

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