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Underwater noises were heard during a frantic search for the missing submarine with five people on board near the Titanic.

By Patrick Whittle and Holly Reimer (Associated Press)

Rescue teams rushed more boats and vessels to the area where the submarine disappeared on Wednesday en route to the Titanic wreckage, adding to the urgency of underwater sounds detected for the second straight day. I hoped it would help narrow down the search area for the mission I was on.

First Coast Guard Precinct Captain Jamie Frederick said the total area of ​​the search was two and a half miles deep, twice the size of Connecticut, and officials are still hopeful of rescuing five Titan passengers. pointed out that

“This is 100% a search and rescue mission,” he said. “…We will continue to invest all available assets to find Titan and his crew.”

However, those who expressed optimism also ranged from pinpointing the ship’s location to reaching it with rescue gear and pulling it to the surface, assuming it was still intact. He warned that many roadblocks remain. And some speculate that all of this must happen before the passengers run out of oxygen, possibly as early as Thursday morning.

The region of the North Atlantic Ocean where the Titan went missing on Sunday is prone to fog and storms, making it an extremely challenging environment for search and rescue operations, said oceanographer and principal investigator Donald J. Mr Murphy said. Coast Guard International Ice Patrol. The lost submarine is likely at a depth of about 12,500 feet (3,800 meters) below the surface near the Titanic’s water grave.

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

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 (9,071 kilograms). The US Navy’s Flyaway deepwater salvage system is designed to lift up to 60,000 pounds (27,216 kilograms), the Navy said on its website.

Missing on board is Stockton Rush, the pilot and CEO of the company that leads the expedition. His passengers are a British adventurer, two Pakistani businessmen and a Titanic expert.

Authorities said the 22-foot-long carbon-fiber vessel passed its due date Sunday night and began a search in waters about 435 miles (700 km) south of St. John’s Island.

Oceangate Expedition Advisor David Concannon, who oversaw the mission, said the submarine had enough oxygen for four days when it set sail around 6 a.m. Sunday.

Submarine search and rescue expert Frank Owen said the estimated 96-hour supply of oxygen is a useful “target” for searchers, but it’s based only on “nominal consumption.” Owen said Titan’s divers would probably advise passengers to “do whatever it takes to lower your metabolic levels so that you can actually extend them.”

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.

British adventurer Chris Brown, who paid a deposit to join the Titan’s voyage but later withdrew over safety concerns, said the word that the seekers had heard sounds was good news. Yes, and bad news, he said.

“If you’re hearing sounds coming from under the water level gauge, it could mean there’s life in the water, but right now,” Brown said Wednesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” There is time pressure to bring it to the surface.”

Brown has previously criticized the use of simple off-the-shelf video game controllers to control Titan. However, Oceangate said many of the ship’s components are off-the-shelf as they have proven to be reliable.

“It’s designed for a 16-year-old to throw around,” Rush said in an interview with CBC last year, demonstrating the controller by throwing it around the Titan’s tiny cabin. . He said he kept a few spares on board “just in case.”

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

Jeff Carson, professor emeritus of earth and environmental sciences at Syracuse University, said temperatures were below freezing and the ship was too deep for human divers to reach. He said the best way to reach the submarine might be with a robot remotely controlled by a fiber optic cable.

“It sure sucks there,” Carson said. “It’s like being in a snow cave, hypothermia is really dangerous.”

According to the document, Oceangate was warned that the way it developed the test ship could pose a fatal safety hazard.

In a 2018 lawsuit, Oceangate’s director of marine operations, David Lockridge, said the company’s testing and certification was inadequate and “could put passengers at extreme risk on board the experimental submersible.”

The company argued that Rotchridge “is not an engineer and was not hired or asked to perform engineering services on Titan.” The company also said the ship in development is a prototype and not the currently missing Titan.

The Marine Technology Institute, which describes itself as a “professional group of marine engineers, engineers, policy makers and educators,” also expressed concerns in a letter to Oceangate CEO Rush that same year. . The association said it was important for the company to submit prototypes to tests supervised by third-party experts before launch to protect passengers. The New York Times was the first to report on these documents.

The search for missing ships has attracted international attention. In Dubai, where the missing British adventurer Hamish Harding lives, Crown Prince Hamadan bin Mohamed Al Maktoum said: “Dubai and its people wish a safe and hopeful return home.” wrote.

Also on board is Shazada Dawood, a Pakistani national, and his son Suleman, whose eponymous company has investments across the country. In the Pakistani port city of Karachi, his company’s employees, as well as government officials, said they wished them a safe return. French explorer and Titanic expert Paul-Henry Narjolet was also on board.

The disappearance of submarines highlights the dangers associated with deep-sea operations and recreational exploration of the oceans and space, said retired Navy Vice Admiral Robert Mallett, now deputy director of the Institute for Security Policy and Law at Syracuse University. Stated. In two of these environments, he has recently been seen operating in dangerous and potentially lethal environments for people,” Mallett said.

“I think some people believe that modern technology is so good that you can’t have an accident doing something like this, but it’s not,” he says.


Associated Press reporter John Gambrel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Ben Finley of Norfolk, Virginia. and Munir Ahmed of Islamabad contributed to this report.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2023/06/21/the-us-coast-guard-is-bringing-in-more-ships-vessels-to-search-for-lost-titanic-tourist-submersible/ Underwater noises were heard during a frantic search for the missing submarine with five people on board near the Titanic.

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