A tourist submarine carrying five people–including a British billionaire and one of Pakistan’s wealthiest businessmen–has gone missing while searching the wreckage of RMS Titanic, according to CBS News.
It may only have upwards of 50 hours of air time left, per reports.
Missing Submarine Searching Titanic Wreck Has Two Days Of Oxygen Left
The missing OceanGate Expeditions submersible Titan has the following members onboard: renowned world explorer Hamish Harding, French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, father and son, Shahzada and Sulaiman Dawood.
Stockton Rush, the founder of OceanGate Expeditions, is believed to be the fifth person aboard. The vessel lost signal in the Atlantic Ocean, 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
The five-person crew submerged Sunday morning (June 18). It lost signal in the Atlantic Ocean 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, according to a statement provided by Harding’s “Explorer Club.”
It was supposed to resurface Sunday evening around 6:10 p.m. Authorities were notified 25 minutes later, and a rescue operation was initiated after it failed to do so.
With O2 running out, those 5 ppl are literally counting their last minutes. Even if they find this thing, what next? How are they getting it to the surface? Do we have subs capable of lifting another sub from such depth? #Titanic #OceanGate pic.twitter.com/d9BmKdpQiH
— Nitin Bharadwaj R (@_NBR007) June 20, 2023
Submarine Controlled By Cheap, $30 Video Game Controller, Raising Questions Over Safety
The Titan has a four-day emergency oxygen supply, meaning two days of breathable air left as of this article’s publication.
As of Tuesday, ABC News reports that the submarine has likely descended below the levels of NATO rescue crew capabilities. However, the U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard remain involved in rescue efforts.
OceanGate offers eight-day missions to see the Titanic debris for $250,000 per person, but it’s unclear if anyone aboard was a paying customer. The company said it is “exploring and mobilizing all options to bring the crew back safely.”
You may remember that the @OceanGateExped sub to the #Titanic got lost for a few hours LAST summer, too, when I was aboard…Here’s the relevant part of that story. https://t.co/7FhcMs0oeH pic.twitter.com/ClaNg5nzj8
— David Pogue (@Pogue) June 19, 2023
But subsequent reports have found that a video game controller, starting price $30, controlled the submarine, raising questions about the submersible’s safety.
Paul-Henry Nargeolet (Top Left), Hamish Harding (Top Right), Stockton Rush (Bottom Left) and Shahzada Dawood (Bottom Right) have all been reported missing.
More of the latest details to follow… pic.twitter.com/1cxpam9VSl
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) June 20, 2023
The Submarine Tourists: A British Billionaire World Explorer, French Maritime Expert Among Missing
Even so, the crew is hardly neophytes regarding danger and exploration. Harding had previously joined Jeff Bezos’s fifth crewed mission into space in June 2022, according to The Independent. He also traveled on the Challenger Deep to the bottom of the ocean.
Meanwhile, New York Times reports that Nargeolet is a French maritime expert who has been on over 35 dives to the Titanic wreck orts.
Shahzada Dawood, 48, a UK-based board member of the Prince’s Trust charity and one of Pakistan’s wealthiest businessmen, and his 19-year-old son Sulaiman, are also among those onboard the missing submarine.
In a 2019 Smithsonian Magazine profile, Stockton Rush, the fifth person aboard the submersible, complained about “obscenely safe” diving security regulations.
This short clip will help you understand why the Titanic mini sub is missing and why this was an accident waiting to happen. pic.twitter.com/srrXmFnoTq
— Frida Ghitis (@FridaGhitis) June 20, 2023
Rush took particular issue with 1993 regulations that placed strict controls on safety standards and who could pilot a submersible.
He characterized these developments as “understandable but illogical” and lamented how little the U.S. government prioritized ocean research.
This is a developing story. Be sure to check in with The Shade Room for more updates as they come.
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