Five men have been trapped inside the Titan, a 22-foot submersible vessel, since Sunday. The vessel lost contact about halfway into its 12,500 ft. descent to view the wreckage of the Titanic. The five passengers have one window, no seats, and no way of contacting the outside world.
The crew members on board include French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, British billionaire and explorer Hamish Harding, OceanGate chief executive Stockton Rush, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, a board member of the Prince’s Trust charity, and his 19-year-old son Sulaiman Dawood.
Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a French maritime expert who has been on over 35 dives to the #Titanic wreck site, is one of the five people aboard the submersible that has been missing since Sunday, according to his literary representative, Mathieu Johann. (via NYT) #OceanGate #Titan pic.twitter.com/xmxF2kGFqo
— Josh Benson (@WFLAJosh) June 20, 2023
OceanGate Expeditions is a private tour company that conducts deep-sea expeditions and brings people to the bottom of the ocean to view the famous Titanic shipwreck for $250,000 a seat. On Sunday morning, the submarine lost contact with the crew of the transportation ship – the Polar Prince –around 5 am, just one hour and 45 minutes into the dive.
The vessel’s signal was lost roughly 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. Crews from America and Canada have been searching for the vessel, unsure if it was able to float to the surface, is on the floor of the Atlantic, or somewhere in between.
The crew will have to deal with claustrophobic and cramped conditions. They also will only have access to one toilet that is separated by only a thin curtain. The vessel’s oxygen supply and the risks of crew members becoming hypothermic are two driving concerns. It is believed the oxygen supply will last until Thursday morning.
A tour of the Submersible vessel was posted, showing the tight quarters the five guests now find themselves in.
A tour of Titan, the submersible vessel that has vanished at sea touring the Titanic. The vessel has mechanisms to surface even if power is lost. pic.twitter.com/lJT2yRgz97
— Ｎｅｒｄｙ 🅰🅳🅳🅸🅲🆃 (@Nerdy_Addict) June 20, 2023
In a statement about the sub’s disappearance, OceanGate said, “Our entire focus is on the crewmembers in the submersible and their families. We are exploring and mobilizing all options to bring the crew back safely.”
They also thanked the governmental agencies assisting them in their search and rescue efforts,
“We are deeply thankful for the extensive assistance we have received from several government agencies and deep sea companies in our efforts to re-establish contact with the submersible.”
According to Daily Mail, Eric Fusil, a University Professor weighed in on the dire circumstances of the situation,
‘The clock is ticking, and any submariner/submersible deep divers know how unforgiving the Abyssal domain is: going undersea is as, if not more, challenging than going into space from an engineering perspective.”