Coast Guard officials have provided an alarming update on the missing submersible that disappeared while en route to explore the wreckage of the Titanic. According to their estimates, the vessel has approximately 40 hours of breathable air left.
The submersible lost contact just 1 hour and 45 minutes into its dive on Sunday, as confirmed by the US Coast Guard. At that time, it was believed to have 96 hours of life support available.
During a news conference on Tuesday, Capt. Jamie Frederick from the First Coast Guard District stated, “Based on the initial report, we know there’s about 40 hours of breathable air left.” The submersible was carrying five people.
The search area for the missing submersible has expanded to include underwater regions, as announced by a US Coast Guard commander. A collaborative effort involving Canadian aircraft, USCG aircraft, and New York Air National Guard aircraft has been conducting surface searches over the extensive area, according to CNN.
Unified command, which includes the US Navy, Canadian Coast Guard, Canadian Armed Forces, and Ocean Gate expedition, the company that owns and operates the missing submersible, has been coordinating efforts. Ocean Gate, with its familiarity of the site and knowledge of the submersible’s operational location, is helping establish search priorities.
The US Navy is also dispatching subject matter experts and a “Flyaway Deep Ocean Salvage System (FADOSS)” to aid in the search and rescue efforts. FADOSS is a motion-compensated lift system designed for reliable deep ocean lifting of large and heavy underwater objects. It is anticipated that these assets and personnel will arrive at St. John’s, Canada, to support the ongoing search operation.
In an effort to bolster the search operation, the US military, in coordination with the Coast Guard and US Transportation Command, is deploying military and commercial assets. The Navy’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving, working closely with US Transportation Command, is bringing additional capabilities to the search area. This includes advanced remotely operated dive vehicles capable of operating at extreme depths required for this mission.
President Joe Biden and the White House are closely monitoring the search efforts for the missing submersible. National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications John Kirby acknowledged the ongoing collaboration between the Coast Guard, Canadian officials, and other agencies, with the president emphasizing the importance of the Coast Guard’s continued participation.
King Charles III, of England, has also requested to be kept fully up to date about missing submersible. Shahzada Dawood, one of the individuals aboard the submersible, is known for his long-standing support of The Prince’s Trust International and The British Asian Trust.
Despite extensive search efforts, both on the surface and underwater, the Coast Guard has not yet discovered any trace of the missing submersible. The clock is ticking as officials estimate the crew onboard has approximately 40 hours of breathable air remaining.