A Coast Guard search operation is underway after a tourist submarine, engaged in an expensive expedition to explore the wreckage of the Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean, disappeared. The submarine, with only about four days’ worth of oxygen remaining, went missing with its passengers, including a renowned explorer, authorities and family members confirmed.
According to the BBC, the Boston Coast Guard initiated the search on Monday for the small submarine, which caters to tourists interested in witnessing the famous shipwreck situated approximately 12,500 feet beneath the ocean’s surface off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
OceanGate Expeditions, a private company specializing in providing tours to the Titanic site, acknowledged that the missing submarine belonged to them and stated that their crew members were on board the vessel. The company expressed its utmost concern for the crew’s well-being and reassured that they were exploring all possible options to ensure their safe return.
The family of world explorer Hamish Harding, one of the passengers on the missing submarine, confirmed his presence through a Facebook post. Harding, a British businessman known for his previous space ride aboard The Blue Origin rocket, shared a photo of himself signing a banner for OceanGate’s latest voyage to the shipwreck. He expressed his excitement about finally being able to visit the Titanic, mentioning that due to unfavorable weather conditions in Newfoundland, Monday’s mission was the only one planned for 2023.
Tickets for the OceanGate submarine tour to view the shipwreck can cost as high as $250,000. The company promotes the eight-day trip as an opportunity to escape everyday life and discover something truly extraordinary. The dives themselves can last up to 10 hours each, and the company often shares updates on recent trips to the Titanic on social media. Additionally, OceanGate relies on Elon Musk’s Starlink satellites for communication while at sea due to the Titanic’s remote location in the middle of the Atlantic.
The Boston Coast Guard has not yet responded to requests for additional information regarding the search. The Titanic wreck has remained a popular tourist destination, allowing visitors to witness the haunting site where over 1,500 passengers perished when the supposedly “unsinkable” ship struck an iceberg and sank on its voyage from Southampton, England, to New York in April 1912.