Jamie Frederick, U.S. Coast Guard Coordinator for the Rescue Response
Photo: JOSEPH PREZIOSO / AFP
On Sunday, contact with the submersible "Titan" broke off when it dived to the wreck of the "Titanic" with five adventurers on board. In the meantime, extensive efforts have been made to track down the missing submarine – but so far without success. "Today, these search efforts have yielded no results," said the U.S. Coast Guard coordinator for the operation, Jamie Frederick, in Boston.
The rescuers don't have much time left: there is only oxygen on board for "about 40 to 41 hours," as Frederick explained. At the beginning of the dive it was enough for 96 hours, but now it is correspondingly less. "It's a complex search operation that requires multiple agencies with expertise and specialized equipment." The operation involved Coast Guard and U.S. Navy aircraft and ships, as well as Canadian military resources that scanned an area of around 20,000 square kilometers.
The mini-submarine "Titan", operated by OceanGate Expeditions, set off on Sunday for a tourist dive trip to the wreck of the "Titanic". After almost two hours, contact with the escort ship was broken, and since then there has been no trace of the submarine and the five occupants.
There are three paying passengers on board the Titan. They include wealthy British entrepreneur, pilot and space tourist Hamish Harding, as well as prominent Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and son Suleman, who belong to one of the country's richest families. The French »Monsieur Titanic« Paul-Henri Nargeolet is also on board. The former navy diver knows the wreck of the "Titanic" as well as few.
The "Titanic" had sunk on its maiden voyage from England to New York in April 1912 after hitting an iceberg. Almost 1500 of the 2224 people on board were killed. The wreck of the "Titanic", broken into two parts, was only found in 1985 about 650 kilometers off the Canadian coast. It is located in international waters at a depth of about 4000 meters at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. The largest cruise ship at the time still exerts a great fascination today. Researchers, but also tourists, regularly visit the wreck.