Update: The intensive search and rescue operation for the Titan continued throughout the third full day, extending into the overnight hours. Here’s a summary of the ongoing efforts to locate the missing submersible:
Under the command of US Coast Guard officials, the search operation covers a vast area of the ocean, spanning an expanse larger than the state of Connecticut, which is nearly 20,000 square kilometers in size.
Assisting in the rescue mission are teams from Canada’s navy, air force, and coast guard, along with the New York air national guard. Additionally, a French research vessel has joined the collaborative search efforts.
Based on the latest information, the Titan submersible is believed to be positioned approximately 900 miles (1,450 kilometers) east and 400 miles (643 kilometers) south of St. John’s, the capital of Newfoundland.
Contact with the submersible was lost one hour and 45 minutes into its planned two-and-a-half-hour dive to the Titanic wreck site, located at a depth of 3,800 meters.
According to estimates provided by the US Coast Guard, the Titan has approximately 30 hours’ worth of oxygen remaining on board.
Who’s on board?
For those catching up on the story, here’s a recap of the five individuals on board the missing submersible:
- Hamish Harding, a 58-year-old British adventurer who has previously undertaken expeditions to space and multiple journeys to the South Pole.
- Shahzada Dawood, a 48-year-old British businessman and member of one of Pakistan’s wealthiest families. Dawood is also a supporter of two charitable organizations founded by King Charles.
- Suleman Dawood, the 19-year-old son of Shahzada Dawood, currently a student.
- Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a 77-year-old former French Navy diver who holds the distinction of having spent more time exploring the Titanic wreck than any other individual. He was part of the initial expedition to the site in 1987.
- Stockton Rush, a 61-year-old CEO of OceanGate, the company operating the Titanic voyages. It is worth noting that OceanGate previously terminated an expert who had raised safety concerns about the Titan in 2018, according to court documents from the United States.
Oceangate fired expert who warned about Titan safety in 2018:
According to these documents, David Lochridge, who relocated from Scotland to Washington state to work for OceanGate, warned the company about potential safety issues with the Titan’s carbon hull in 2018. He emphasized the need for more rigorous testing and suggested external certification for the vessel.
Despite initially being ignored when raising verbal concerns, Lochridge wrote a report on the matter, which eventually led to a meeting with several officials, including Stockton Rush, OceanGate’s CEO, who is currently on board the missing submersible.
Following the disclosure of confidential information, OceanGate fired Lochridge, prompting a legal battle where the company sued him while he countersued for unfair dismissal. The lawsuit was ultimately resolved, and Lochridge chose not to comment on the situation through his lawyer.
The court documents also revealed that Lochridge discovered the forward viewport of the Titan was only certified for a maximum depth of 1,300 meters, significantly lower than the depth of the Titanic wreck at 3,800 meters beneath the ocean surface.