Titanic sub has ’40 hours of oxygen left’ as rescuers face desperate race against time


The submersible that went missing while diving to see the wreck of the Titanic on Sunday has about 40 hours of breathable air left inside, members of the US Coast Guard said Tuesday, as they continue to search the depths of the ocean.
US Coast Gurad Captain Jamie Frederick said they are running out of time. Image: Getty
Key Takeaways
  • The search efforts, which began Sunday morning when communication with the sub was lost almost two hours after it dove, has “not yielded any results” but will continue, the officials said.
  • Since Sunday, the search-and-rescue mission has involved the U.S. and Canadian coast guards—as the wreck is about 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland and 900 miles off the coast of Massachusetts—as well as Air National Guard aircraft and the Polar Prince, the Canadian research vessel used to transport the submersible to the wreckage site and maintain contact while the sub dives.
  • The search has covered 7,600 square miles, larger than the state of Connecticut, Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick said.
  • A more than 300-foot vessel with remote operation capabilities arrived on site this morning and dove at the last known location of Titan submersible, and that operation is ongoing.
Key Background

Frederick said authorities estimate there is still about 40 hours left of breathable air inside the vessel since the Titan is equipped with 96 hours of life support oxygen.

The search is particularly complicated because its location is so far from any coastline, which makes it logistically difficult to bring rescue crafts to the area, Frederick said. It is also a surface and sub-surface search of the area: “Frankly, that makes it an incredibly complex operation,” he said.

The passengers inside the submersible, which sells tickets to visit the Titanic wreckage for $250,000 are: British businessman Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Sulemon, French Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet and Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, the company that designed and dispatched the submersible.

OceanGate Mystery

Who is missing billionaire Hamish Harding?
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 20: Hamish Harding attends Living Legends Of Aviation Awards at The Beverly Hilton on January 20, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Victoria Sirakova/Getty Images)

In an Instagram post on Sunday, Harding wrote he would be serving as a mission specialist onboard OceanGate Expeditions’ submarine, adding harsh weather conditions are likely to make it the only manned dive to the Titanic’s wreck site this year.

Harding is the chairman of Action Aviation, a British aircraft sales and acquisition firm that lists multiple airliners and business jets on its site.

Harding, who is also a pilot and adventurer, also holds at least four Guinness World Records, including the fastest circumnavigation of Earth by airplane while crossing both poles and the “longest time spent traversing the deepest part of the ocean on a single dive.”

This article was first published on forbes.com

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