Crews race to find Titanic under lost in the North Atlantic | News
A US Coast Guard official says authorities are conducting a ‘complex search effort’ with 40 hours of oxygen left in the vessel.
Washington, DC – Search and rescue teams are racing under challenging conditions to find an underwater vessel that had been searching the wreckage of the Titanic before it went missing in the Atlantic Ocean, a US Coast Guard official said.
Captain Jamie Frederick told reporters Tuesday that the US coast guard and navy, the Canadian military and coast guard, and the ship’s parent company, OceanGate Expeditions, are working under a unified command to conduct the search.
“This is a complex investigative effort, requiring multiple agencies with subject matter expertise and specialized equipment,” Frederick said.
He said at 1pm (17:00 GMT) that the ship with five people on board had about 40 hours of oxygen left, stressing that the immediate priority was to find him. The sub initially had a 96-hour oxygen supply before it went missing on Sunday.
“The combined team is working around the clock to bring all available assets and expertise to bear as quickly as possible in an effort to resolve this complex problem,” he said.
Frederick vowed to continue the “unexpected” push to find the ship, named Titan. He said there is a “full-court press effort” to obtain equipment needed for the investigation.
The OceanGate tour costs $250,000 per person. Their journey begins in St John’s in the Canadian province of Newfoundland before heading out to the Titanic wreck site hundreds of kilometers to the east, according to the company’s website.
The passengers on the missing ship are: British-Pakistani Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, Suleman; British billionaire Hamish Harding; Paul-Henri Gargeolet, 77-year-old French explorer; and Stockton Rush, founder and CEO of US-based OceanGate Expeditions.
On Tuesday, Frederick said search teams had covered 20,000 square km (7,600 square miles) as of Sunday – “an area larger than the state of Connecticut”.
“It is a unique act; it is a challenging activity. But right now, we’re focused on putting everything we can on and investigating as hard as we can and getting assets out as quickly as we can, ” said Frederick.
He said that aircraft have searched the surface of the water and under the sea using sonar beacons.
When asked if the search and rescue teams have the ability to recover the vessel if it is found, Frederick said, “Right now, all of our efforts are focused on the sub. What I will tell you is that we have a group of the best experts in the country in the unified command, and if we get to that point, those experts will be looking at what the next course of action is. “
Another US Coast Guard official told reporters that visibility was limited on Monday due to fog but was improving on Tuesday.
White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters later Tuesday that President Joe Biden is following the investigation closely.
“The president wants the coast guard to continue to participate in that, and the navy is standing by if they’re needed because they have deep water capabilities that the coast guard wouldn’t necessarily have, Kirby said.