On Monday (June 19), a search and rescue operation was underway for a submarine that vanished in the North Atlantic while on a mission to investigate the Titanic’s wreckage. When asked about the rescue operations off the coast of Newfoundland, Lt. Jordan Hart of the U.S. Coast Guard in Boston first told CBS News that crews were “currently undergoing a search and rescue operation.”
Rear Admiral John Mauger, who attended the news briefing, confirmed that five persons were on board. A Coast Guard representative identified them as an operator and four mission specialists, a phrase the corporation uses to describe its passengers.
The crew of the Polar Prince, the ship that transported the submersible and expedition members to the dive location, “lost contact with them approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes into the vessel’s dive,” the Coast Guard stated in a tweet. The dive took place on Sunday morning.
Have a Look at the complete tweet provided to you below-
The @USCG is searching for a 21-foot submersible from the Canadian research vessel Polar Prince.
The 5 person crew submerged Sunday morning, and the crew of the Polar Prince lost contact with them approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes into the vessel’s dive.
— USCGNortheast (@USCGNortheast) June 19, 2023
In a statement, OceanGate Expeditions, a business that sends out manned submersibles for deep-sea expeditions, confirmed that its sub was the target of the rescue effort and said it was-
“Exploring and mobilizing all options to bring the crew back safely.”
The company declined to disclose the number of individuals aboard the missing vessel or whether any of them were paying visitors. However, it does accept paying tourists as passengers on its voyages.
The crew members aboard the submersible and their families are the only thing on our minds right now, OceanGate said, adding that it was-
“Deeply thankful for the extensive assistance we have received from several government agencies and deep sea companies in our efforts to reestablish contact with the submersible.”
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The Coast Guard said a C-130 crew was searching for the sub about 900 miles off Cape Cod, and the Rescue Coordination Center Halifax is assisting with a P8 Poseidon aircraft with underwater detection capabilities. According to Mauger at the briefing, while boats also look on the water, aircraft search from above. It has been decided to use sonar buoys in the water to search for the missing submarine.
“It is a remote area and it is a challenge to conduct a search in that remote area, but we are deploying all available assets to make sure that we can locate the craft and rescue the people on board.”
According to Mauger, the Coast Guard collaborates with government and military allies to create a rescue strategy if the vessel is submerged.
“Right now we’re focused on locating the vessel. But at the same time, if we find this vessel in the water then we will have to effect some sort of rescue. We’re coordinating, reaching out to different partners within the U.S. Navy, within the Canadian armed forces, and within private industry to understand what underwater rescue capability might be available.”
The sub can sustain itself for 96 hours if an emergency is on board. We’re using every second of that time as efficiently as possible to find the vessel, Mauger said.
The Canadian Coast Guard confirmed that the Boston Regional Coordination Center was responsible for the rescue effort. A jurisdictional map for the various coastal search and rescue organizations off the coast of North America also shows that the Titanic wreck is located within the Boston Center’s jurisdiction.
An expedition to the RMS Titanic disaster, which is located around 400 miles southeast of the Newfoundland coast, was recently announced by OceanGate on their website and social media channels as being “underway.”
On June 15, the company last tweeted about the Titanic excursion. Take a look at the tweet provided to you below-
It's been an incredibly busy two weeks! Thank you to all of our dive teams who've joined us – here's a look at our Mission 3 and Mission 4 crew.
— OceanGate Expeditions (@OceanGateExped) June 15, 2023
On Saturday, British businessman Hamish Harding announced on Facebook that he was part of the OceanGate expedition, which had left St. Johns, Newfoundland, the day before.
“The team on the sub has a couple of legendary explorers, some of which have done over 30 dives to the RMS Titanic since the 1980s,” Harding stated.
Due to weather circumstances, he said it was “likely to be the first and only manned mission to the Titanic in 2023,” and that the team expected to begin dive operations at 4 a.m. Sunday.
Harding, a seasoned adventure traveler, took a Blue Origin rocket to orbit last year.
Rory Golden, an adventurer, and diver, also posted on his experience on the Titanic expedition. He posted on Facebook on Monday afternoon, saying-
“I’m OK. We are all focussed on board here for our friends.”
He added, “We have a situation that is now the part of a major Search and Rescue effort, being undertaken by major agencies. That is where our focus is right now.”
“The reaction and offers of help globally is truly astonishing, and only goes to show the real goodness in people at a time like this.”
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