Titanic tourist sub missing in the Atlantic Ocean runs out of oxygen
The Titanic tourist submersible that vanished on a trip to the 111-year-old shipwreck at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean is believed to have run out of oxygen — but authorities pushed ahead with the search operation Thursday morning.
OceanGate Expeditions, which operates the Titan sub and whose CEO, Stockton Rush, is aboard the missing vessel, told the Coast Guard on Sunday evening that the vehicle was equipped with only 96 hours of oxygen, with the timer running out around 7:08 a.m. Thursday.
The status of the five passengers aboard the ill-fated trip remains unclear as US and Canadian officials work around the clock to attempt to locate the missing Titan sub 900 miles east of Cape Cod.
The Coast Guard on Thursday morning confirmed that a remote-operated vehicle “has reached the sea floor” and started searching for the missing sub.
“The French vessel L’Atalante is preparing their ROV to enter the water,” it added.
Along with Rush, who served as the vessel’s pilot, the missing include British billionaire Hamish Harding, Pakistani tech and energy mogul Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Sulaiman, and famed Titanic explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
The US Coast Guard said it received word from OceanGate about the missing submersible eight hours after it lost contact with its mothership, the Polar Prince.
Who is on the missing submersible that was headed to the wreck of the Titanic?
OceanGate said the sub disappeared less than two hours after it submerged Sunday afternoon.
Unlike a normal submarine, a submersible is unable to get to the bottom of the ocean and back without its mothership, with Titan depending on the Polar Prince for navigation in the depths.
Experts agreed that the passengers stuck inside the cramped, 22-foot-long sub could’ve actually shortened their 96 hours of oxygen by panicking.
Mike Tipton, head of the extreme environments laboratory at the UK’s Portsmouth University, told Insider that humans can only go for about three minutes without oxygen.
With a dwindling air supply, people can experience restlessness, headaches, confusion, shortness of breath, blue fingertips, increased heart rate, and eventually loss of consciousness, the expert said.
More than three minutes without oxygen can lead to brain damage, and eventually death.
Along with the lack of oxygen, Tipton warned that the passengers could’ve also faced carbon dioxide poisoning inside the sub if its filtration system had been damaged or ran out of power.
The grisly outcome is among the three major fates that experts predicted would have befallen the tourist group.
Along with acknowledging that the vessel could be stuck underwater en route to the Titanic shipwreck, which lies 12,500 feet below the surface, the US Coast Guard said it was possible Titan resurfaced but lacked the means to communicate its location.
Tourist submersible exploring Titanic wreckage disappears in Atlantic Ocean
What we know
A submersible on a pricey tourist expedition to the Titanic shipwreck in the Atlantic Ocean has vanished with likely only four days’ worth of oxygen. The US Coast Guard said the small submarine began its journey underwater with five passengers Sunday morning, and the Canadian research vessel that it was working with lost contact with the crew about an hour and 45 minutes into the dive.
Who is on board?
The family of world explorer Hamish Harding confirmed on Facebook that he was among the five traveling in the missing submarine. Harding, a British businessman who previously paid for a space ride aboard the Blue Origin rocket last year, shared a photo of himself on Sunday signing a banner for OceanGate’s latest voyage to the shipwreck.
Also onboard were Pakistani energy and tech mogul Shanzada Dawood and his son Sulaiman, 19; famed French diver and Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and OceanGate founder and CEO Stockton Rush.
Debris discovered near Titanic site during frantic search for missing crew on OceanGate sub
“We’re doing everything we can do to locate the submersible and rescue those on board,” Rear Adm. John Mauger told reporters. “In terms of the hours, we understood that was 96 hours of emergency capability from the operator.
Coast Guard officials said they are currently focusing all their efforts on locating the sub first before deploying any vessel capable of reaching as far below as 12,500 feet where the Titanic wreck is located.
While the Coast Guard has no submarine capable of reaching those depths, officials are working around the clock to make sure such a vessel is ready if and when the Titan sub is located.
Mauger, first district commander and leader of the search-and-rescue mission, said the US was coordinating with Canada on the operation.
The debris recovered from the US Coast Guard’s Titan submersible search site early Thursday included “a landing frame and a rear cover from the submersible.” source
Search and rescue teams were racing against time on Monday to find a tourist sub that went missing in the north Atlantic while on a dive to the wreck of the Titanic.
OceanGate Expeditions, the company that offers the visits to the wreck, which lies on the ocean floor at a depth of almost 4,000m and about 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, has been running expeditions since 2021.
A statement on the company’s website on Monday read: “Our entire focus is on the crew members in the submersible and their families. 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.”
Nargeolet has led several expeditions to the Titanic site and supervised the recovery of 5,000 artifacts, including the recovery of the “big piece”, a 20-tonne section of Titanic’s hull.
OceanGate started taking small crews of “citizen scientists” in a five-person mini sub two years ago. A ticket costs $250,000.
According to the company’s website, Oceangate had an eight-day, seven-night expedition to the wreck planned for 12-20 June. A maximum of six visitors were scheduled to depart and return to St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.
Since 2021, the Bahamas-based OceanGate Expeditions has ferried about 60 paying customers and 15-20 researchers to the wreck.
“We started the business and it was this idea of researchers and wealthy people,” OceanGate founder Stockton Rush told the us in January. “Is there a way to match those people who wanted to have an adventure travel experience with researchers who need funding and a sub?”
From Elon Musk to Rupert Murdoch, a small number of billionaire owners have a powerful hold on so much of the information that reaches the public about what’s happening in the world. The Guardian is different. We have no billionaire owner or shareholders to consider. Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest – not profit motives.
And we avoid the trap that befalls much US media – the tendency, born of a desire to please all sides, to engage in false equivalence in the name of neutrality. While fairness guides everything we do, we know there is a right and a wrong position in the fight against racism and for reproductive justice. When we report on issues like the climate crisis, we’re not afraid to name who is responsible. And as a global news organization, we’re able to provide a fresh, outsider perspective on US politics – one so often missing from the insular American media bubble.
Around the world, readers can access the Guardian’s paywall-free journalism because of our unique reader-supported model. That’s because of people like you. Our readers keep us independent, beholden to no outside influence and accessible to everyone – whether they can afford to pay for news, or not.
Missing Titanic tourist sub: Titan suffered ‘catastrophic implosion,’ killing 5 onboard
Five people who were onboard a submersible that vanished Sunday during a trip to see the wreckage of the Titanic are believed to have died in a “catastrophic implosion” of the vessel, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Titan, a 21-foot submersible owned by OceanGate Expeditions, lost contact with the ship that launched it about an hour and 45 minutes into a dive on Sunday. Since then, officials and commercial vessels from the U.S. and Canada have combed an area twice the size of Connecticut, looking for signs of the Titan.
Officials said a remotely operated vehicle searching the sea floor found parts of the Titan on Thursday morning that indicated it had imploded.
No connection found between Titan, sounds detected during search
Update 3:30 p.m. EDT June 22: Rear Adm. John Mauger of the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday that there did not appear to be any connection between the Titan and underwater sounds detected by Canadian planes on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Earlier, officials said the sounds — described as sounding like “banging” — redirected search efforts and provided hope that the five people onboard the vessel might be found alive.
“Throughout the search efforts we reacted to the information that we had available to us, and while we continued to send it off for deeper analysis,” Mauger said Thursday.
“There doesn’t appear to be any connection between the noises and the location on the sea floor. Again, this was a catastrophic implosion of the vessel which would have generated a significant broadband sound down there that the sonar buoys would have picked up.”
Not clear when Titan imploded, USCG says
Update 3:20 p.m. EDT June 22: It was too early to say Thursday when the Titan submersible that vanished Sunday imploded, killing all five people on board, Coast Guard Rear Adm. John Mauger said.
“We know that as we’ve been prosecuting this search over the course of the last 72 hours and beyond that we’ve had sonar buoys in the water nearly continuously and have not detected any catastrophic events when those sonar buoys have been in the water,” he said.
Debris ‘consistent with a catastrophic implosion’ of Titan
Update 3:10 p.m. EDT June 22: Officials said debris found Thursday morning during the search for the Titan appeared to be “consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel.”
Rear Adm. John Mauger, commander of the First Coast Guard District, said remotely operated vehicles will continue to search the area.
The Titan was about 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic when it appeared to have imploded.
Debris found ‘consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber,’ USCG says
Update 3:05 p.m. EDT June 22: Rear Adm. John Mauger, commander of the First Coast Guard District, said debris found Thursday morning during the search for the Titan appeared to be “consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber.”
He offered condolences for the families of the five people who were onboard the submersible.
A remotely operated vehicle found the Titan’s tail cone and other debris early Thursday. OceanGate identified those onboard as the company’s CEO, Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
5 onboard Titan believed to ‘have sadly been lost,’ OceanGate says
Update 2:58 p.m. EDT June 22: In a statement obtained by BBC News, officials with OceanGate said that they believe the five people onboard the Titan when it vanished on Sunday “have sadly been lost.”
The company identified those on board as OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
“These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans,” the statement read. “Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.”
Rescue expert claims Titan’s landing frame, rear cover found
Update 1:40 p.m. EDT June 22: A rescue expert who knows two of the five people who were on board the Titan when it vanished on Sunday told Sky News that the submersible’s landing frame and rear cover have been found.
David Mearns said he learned about the items discovered in a group on the messaging app WhatsApp that involved members of The Explorers Club, an organization that had two members on the Titan, The Guardian reported.
Officials did not immediately confirm the discovery.
His comments came after the U.S. Coast Guard announced that a remotely operated vehicle found a “debris field” during a search on Thursday.
“They don’t use phrases like ‘debris field’ unless there’s no chance of a recovery of the men alive,” Mearns told Sky News. “A debris field implies a break-up of the submersible … that really sort of indicates what is the worst-case scenario, which is a catastrophic failure and generally that’s an implosion.”
Officials are expected to share more information on the search for the Titan at a news conference scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Thursday.
ROV deployed from Horizon Artic found debris field
Update 1:10 p.m. EDT June 22: A remotely operated vehicle deployed by the Canadian vessel Horizon Arctic found the debris field spotted near the wreck of the Titanic during the search for the Titan, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Horizon Arctic deployed an ROV from Massachusetts-based Pelagic Research Services on Thursday morning, company officials said in a statement obtained by WFXT. They added that the ROV, called Odysseus 6K, “has been scanning the seafloor in the rescue area continuously.”
A spokesperson for Pelagic Research Services confirmed to Us that the company’s ROV found the debris field Thursday.
Officials with the Coast Guard announced the discovery of the debris field hours after announcing that the ROV had reached the sea floor and had begun to search.
Officials to provide update on search effort at 3 p.m.
Update 12:20 p.m. EDT June 22: Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard are scheduled to hold a news conference at 3 p.m. Thursday “to discuss findings from the Horizon Arctic’s (remotely operated vehicle) on the sea floor near the Titanic.”
The commander of the First Coast Guard District, Rear Adm. John Mauger, and the district’s response coordinator, Capt. Jamie Frederick, are expected to speak at the news conference.
It comes after the Coast Guard announced that a debris field was found Thursday during the search for the Titan. Officials did not immediately share more information on the discovery.
USCG: ‘Debris field’ found in search area
Update 11:55 a.m. EDT June 22: Officials with the U.S. Coast Guard said they found a debris field in the area where crews are searching for signs of the Titan.
“A debris field was discovered within the search area by a (remotely operated vehicle) near the Titanic. Experts within the unified command are evaluating the information,” Coast Guard officials said in a statement posted on social media.
Officials are expected to share more information at a news conference later Thursday.
OceanGate co-founder: ‘Today will be a critical day in this search and rescue mission’
Update 11 a.m. EDT June 22: Guillermo Sohnlein, who co-founded OceanGate with Stockton Rush, said he believes the window to successfully rescue the five people who vanished Sunday with the Titan “is longer than what most people think.”
“Today will be a critical day in this search and rescue mission, as the sub’s life support supplies are starting to run low,” he said in a statement Thursday. “I’m certain that Stockton and the rest of the crew realized days ago that the best thing they can do to ensure their rescue is to extend the limits of those supplies by relaxing as much as possible.”
He pointed to the rescue of two people who were onboard the commercial submarine Pisces III off the coast of Ireland in the 1970s. The pair had 72 hours of life support when they started their dive but managed to get 12.5 more hours of air, according to NPR. They were rescued with only 12 minutes of oxygen left, the news network reported.
“I would encourage everyone to remain hopeful for getting the crew back safely,” Sohnlein said Thursday. “I continue to hold out hope for my friend and the rest of the crew.”
Rush is among the five people who were onboard the Titan when it vanished on Sunday. He was piloting the submersible, Sohnlein said.
According to an estimate shared by the U.S. Coast Guard, the oxygen supply on Titan may have run out as of Thursday morning. However, officials cautioned that several factors could impact the amount of life support on the vessel.
Great-great-grandparents of OceanGate CEO’s wife died on Titanic
Update 10:45 a.m. EDT June 22: The wife of OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, who was piloting the Titan when it vanished on Sunday, is the great-great-granddaughter of a couple that died when the RMS Titanic sank in 1912, The New York Times reported.
Wendy Rush’s great-great-grandparents, Isidor and Ida Straus, were on the Titanic during its maiden voyage when it struck and iceberg and sank.
Update 9:55 a.m. EDT June 22: The CEO of RMS Titanic Inc. said the company was “devastated” to learn that the Titan vanished Sunday while one of its employees was onboard.
Jessica Sanders, president of RMS Titanic, Inc., told WSB-TV that Paul-Henry “PH” Nargolet is among the five on the Titan. He has been with the company, which has exclusive salvage rights to the Titanic, for 16 years and has dived to the wreckage of the ship 37 times, according to WSB.
“PH is a part of our family,” Sanders told WSB.
“We need the hope. We need the hope. We are three days into this.”
French vessel that can reach the sea bed arrives at search site
Update 6:33 a.m. EDT June 22: A French vessel with a submersible that is able to reach the sea bed has arrived in the area where rescuers say they believe a banging sound — possibly coming from the missing sub — was heard.
In addition to being able to reach the bottom of the ocean, the submersible, called the Victor 6000, is capable of transmitting images back to the surface, according to The BBC.
The equipment onboard the craft will allow the team on the surface ship to see in real-time what is on the floor of the ocean. The Victor 6000 has two mechanical arms capable of cutting or removing debris.
— Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
‘We are smack dab in the middle of search and rescue,’ USCG says
Update 2 p.m. EDT June 21: The mission to find the Titan remains “100%” a search and rescue mission and not a recovery one, U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick said Wednesday at a news conference.
“We are smack dab in the middle of search and rescue, and we’ll continue to put every available asset that we have in an effort to find the Titan and the crew members.”
Frederick said the five people onboard the vessel had limited food rations. Based on an estimate shared Tuesday, the Titan had about 15 or 16 hours of breathable air left as of 2 p.m. Wednesday.
“That is just one data point, and there are more data points then that that we have to look at,” Frederick said Wednesday. He added that officials sometimes have to “make a tough decision” when their search efforts fail.
“We’re not there yet,” he said.
Underwater noises detected again Wednesday
Update 1:45 p.m. EDT June 21: A Canadian aircraft detected underwater noises again on Wednesday, one day after planes first detected the sounds during the search for the Titan, U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick said.
Officials with the U.S. Navy continue to analyze the data as search crews focus on the area. However, Carl Hartsfield of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution — who has an advisory role in the search efforts — cautioned that noises are “very complex in the ocean.”
“The noises have been described as banging noises but … they have to put the whole picture together in context and they have to eliminate potential manmade sources other than the Titan,” he said at a news conference Wednesday.
“I can tell you from my experience with acoustics that there are sounds by biologics that sound manmade to the untrained ear, but I can assure you that the people listening to these tapes are trained. There are a lot of vessels in the area, and they each make noise, right? So, all of that has to be eliminated, and it’s analysis over time.”
Earlier, Frederick said authorities had yet to determine what exactly was making the noise.
Object spotted Tuesday by aircraft deemed not related to Titan
Update 1:35 p.m. EDT June 21: The Coast Guard said an aircraft searching the Atlantic Ocean for signs of the Titan spotted an object on Tuesday, though officials later determined it was not related to the ongoing search.
Capt. Jamie Frederick said Wednesday that finding such objects during a search is not uncommon.
“There is stuff out in the ocean that is floating,” he said. “We went back, we looked at it. We didn’t determine it to be debris. We don’t think it correlates with the case.”
Crews are searching an area twice the size of Connecticut for any signs of the Titan as oxygen supplies on the vessel continue to dwindle.
USCG on underwater noises: ‘We don’t know what they are’
Update 1:25 p.m. EDT June 21: Officials have yet to determine what the underwater noises heard Tuesday by a Canadian plane were.
“We don’t know what they are, to be frank with you,” Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick said Wednesday at a news conference.
“What I can tell you is, we’re searching in the area where the noises were detected and will continue to do so, and we hope that when we’re able to get additional (remotely operated vehicles) — which will be there in the morning — the intent will be to continue to search in that area where the noises were detected in, if they’re continuing to be detected, and then put additional ROVs down in the last known position where the search was originally taking place.”
A Canadian P3 aircraft detected underwater noises during Tuesday’s search. Frederick said he could not confirm reports that the sounds were heard at regular, 30-minute intervals.
Officials with the U.S. Navy are analyzing the data.
Search area about twice the size of Connecticut, USCG says
Update 1:20 p.m. EDT June 21: Crews have searched an area twice the size of the state of Connecticut and 2.5 miles deep in an effort to find the Titan, Coast Guard officials said.
The area being searched has expanded “exponentially” since officials began looking for the Titan, Capt. Jamie Frederick said.
“We also have to factor in the ever-changing weather conditions, currents and sea states that expand the search area every hour,” he said. “There is an enormous complexity associated with this case due to the location being … so far offshore and the coordination between multiple agencies and nations.”
Searches continue for source of underwater noises heard Tuesday
Update 1:10 p.m. EDT June 21: Remotely operated vehicles are continuing to search for what caused underwater noises heard Tuesday during the search for the Titan, Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick said.
Officials earlier said a Canadian P3 aircraft first detected the noises.
“Although the (remotely operated vehicle) searches have yielded negative results, they continue,” Frederick said Wednesday at a news conference. “Additionally, the data from the P3 aircraft has been shared with our U.S. Navy experts for further analysis, which will be considered in future search plans.”
Experts from France, UK joining search
Update 1:05 p.m. EDT June 21: Experts from the United Kingdom and France are joining the search for the submersible that went missing Sunday, according to the Coast Guard.
“This is an incredibly complex search operation requiring both surface and sub-surface elements and our unified approach is critical,” Capt. Jamie Frederick said Wednesday. “The location of the search, 900 miles east of Cape Cod and 400 miles southeast of St. Johns (in Canada) makes it exceptionally difficult to mobilize large amounts of equipment quickly.”
Frederick said authorities have been searching for the Titan around the clock.
Original report: Authorities are expected to share an update on the search effort on Wednesday afternoon.
The Coast Guard said early Wednesday that searchers deployed a remotely operated vehicle after a Canadian P3 aircraft detected underwater noises during the search.
“Those ROV searches have yielded negative results but continue,” officials said.
Three vessels joined the search Wednesday, including the Canadian Coast Guard’s John Cabot, a ship that “has side scanning sonar capabilities,” according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
At a news briefing in Ottawa on Wednesday, Canada’s minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Joyce Murray, said the ship has “advanced deep sonar,” according to CNN.
“We have to keep working until we find the submersible,” Murray said. Later, she added, “There have been sounds that have been picked up, and that just means that we will continue to double down and to figure out where the submersible is and how it can be brought to the surface,” Murray said.
U.S. Coast Guard officials have described the search for Titan as a complicated operation requiring strong cooperation between experts, commercial vessels and officials from the U.S. and Canada.
“You’re talking about a search area that’s 900 miles east of Cape Cod, 400 miles south of St. Johns (in Canada),” Capt. Jamie Frederick said Tuesday. “Logistically speaking, it’s hard to bring assets to bear. It takes time, it takes coordination. And then we’re dealing with … you’re dealing with a surface search and a sub-surface search, and frankly, that makes it an incredibly complex operation.”
The Titan was attempting to dive on the wreck of the Titanic, which sank during its maiden voyage in 1912 after hitting an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. More than 1,500 died.
The wreckage of the ship sits about 380 nautical miles south of Newfoundland in Canada at a depth of about 12,800 feet.
Behind the submarine tourism industry, where people pay $250,000 to visit the Titanic
A British billionaire is among the five who are missing in the vessel operated by tourism company OceanGate Expeditions.
What are the details of the trip?
During the expedition, the Titan, which can hold up to five people, including three paying passengers, dives 13,000 feet to reach the wreck of the RMS Titanic which, despite being advertised as “unsinkable,” sank after hitting an iceberg during its maiden voyage in 1912, killing more than 1,500 people. The ship’s wreckage was discovered in 1985 around 350 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Can.
What is the cost?
A seat on OceanGate’s eight-day voyage to the Titanic costs $250,000.