Rescue teams searching for the missing submersible with five people on board near the wreckage of the Titanic detected “underwater noises” in the area of the disappearance, the US Coast Guard said today, amid fears that oxygen might run out. for the five people on board.
Communication with the 6.5-meter-long submersible Titan was lost on Sunday, almost two hours after it began its descent towards the vestiges of the mythical ocean liner, which lie at a depth of almost 4,000 meters some 600 kilometers from Newfoundland, in the North Atlantic.
“Canadian P-3 aircraft detected underwater noises in the search area. As a result, ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) operations were relocated in an attempt to explore the source of the noises,” it said. on Twitter the first district of the United States Coast Guard.
Searches for the ROV “have returned negative results but are continuing,” the military maritime division added.
According to Rolling Stone magazine, a Canadian P-8 plane involved in the search heard “bangs in the area every 30 minutes. Four hours later, additional sonar was deployed and the bangs were still being heard.”
In addition to those hits, “additional acoustic signals have been heard that will help direct surface resources while maintaining hope of finding survivors,” CNN reported, citing an internal US government document.
The announcement that noises were detected was the most encouraging sign that the five occupants of the American company OceanGate’s Titan submersible could be rescued.
The British millionaire Hamish Harding, president of the Action Aviation company; the Pakistani Shahzada Dawood, vice president of Engro and his son Suleman; the French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet; and Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate Expeditions.
The cost of the tour is $250,000 per passenger.
Ships and planes are heading to the site to reinforce the vast search operation deployed by the US and Canadian coast guards in the area.
The Pentagon announced the dispatch of a third C130 aircraft and three C-17s, while an underwater robot sent by the French Oceanographic Institute will join the search on Wednesday.
The Coast Guard carries out a rescue operation of the tourist submarine in which five people were traveling.
“This is a very complex search and the unified team is working tirelessly to bring to bear all available resources and knowledge as quickly as possible,” US Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick told reporters.
Rescuers estimate that the submersible has oxygen for less than two days.
Former OceanGate Expeditions director of marine operations David Lochridge, fired for questioning Titan’s safety, cited the submersible’s “untested and experimental design” in a lawsuit.
In a message posted on his Instagram account before the trip, Hamish Harding, 58, said he was proud to be part of this mission.
“Due to the worst Newfoundland winter in 40 years, this mission is likely to be the first and only crewed mission to the Titanic in 2023,” he wrote.
Mike Reiss, an American television writer who visited the wreckage of the “Titanic” in 2022, told the BBC that the experience was disorienting.
“The compass immediately stopped working and started spinning, so we had to circle blindly on the ocean floor,” he explained.
“Aware of the danger”
Everyone knows the danger of the expedition, Reiss told the BBC. “You sign a document before going up and on the first page death is mentioned three times,” he added.
The “Titanic” sank on its maiden voyage between the English city of Southampton and New York in 1912 after colliding with an iceberg. 1,500 people of the 2,224 who undertook the trip died in the shipwreck
The remains of the ocean liner, split in two, were discovered in 1985. Since then, treasure hunters and tourists have visited the area.
Alistair Greig, professor of marine engineering at University College London, considers two hypotheses about the accident.
One alludes to an electrical or communications problem, but in that case the submersible could have surfaced and floated until “found.” The submersible can only be opened from the outside.
The other “is that the pressure hull was damaged,” Greig said in a statement.
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They detect “noises” in search of missing submersible near the Titanic