The fate of the five passengers trapped inside the submersible in the Atlantic Ocean remains uncertain as authorities intensify their efforts to locate the vessel.
As more information emerges about the missing submersible, named Titan, it is revealed that contact was lost with the vessel approximately one hour and 45 minutes after it began its descent on Sunday (18 June 2023).
The purpose of the submersible’s dive was to explore the wreckage of the Titanic as part of an eight-day tour organized by OceanGate, with tickets priced at $250,000.
While the steep cost of the tour makes it exclusive to a select few, CBS News correspondent David Pogue, who had previously been on an expedition involving Titan, shed light on the vessel’s features following its disappearance. Pogue explained to the BBC that GPS and radio communication do not work underwater, leaving rescuers on land unable to establish contact with the submerged vessel.
“When the support ship is directly above the sub, they can exchange short text messages. However, it appears that those messages are no longer receiving any response,” Pogue clarified.
According to Pogue, Titan is equipped with at least seven mechanisms that could potentially facilitate its resurfacing.
However, if the vessel begins to leak or becomes trapped underwater, there is no solution. “There’s no backup, there’s no escape pod. It’s either reach the surface or face certain death,” he stated. Additionally, even if the crew manages to reach the surface, the passengers inside the submersible have no means of opening the hatch from the inside.
“The crew seals the hatch from the outside using 17 bolts. There is no other way out,” Pogue had previously emphasized in his report.
Expanding on this point, Pogue explained to the BBC, “There is no escape, even if you manage to rise to the surface on your own. You cannot exit the sub without the crew outside granting permission.”
It is known that the submersible carries a 96-hour oxygen supply in case of emergencies, meaning time is running out if the passengers remain trapped inside.
Titan typically takes around two hours to descend approximately 12,500 feet below the surface to reach the Titanic’s resting place in the trench.
Rear Admiral John Mauger of the US Coast Guard expressed that all available resources are being deployed to locate the vessel. However, he acknowledged the challenges of conducting a search in such a remote area.
As the search continues, the fate of the passengers trapped inside the submersible hangs in the balance, with hope dwindling as each hour passes.