Desperate Search for Missing OceanGate Submersible as Oxygen Levels Nearing Finish

In a high-stakes rescue operation, a missing submersible teeters on the brink of disaster as its oxygen supply rapidly dwindles. With only couple hours left before potential catastrophe, the race against time intensifies. The fate of the crew hangs in the balance as authorities and experts mobilize their efforts to avert a tragedy in the depths of the unknown.

Rescuers are in a race against time as they search for the missing OceanGate Expeditions submersible, which vanished while en route to the wreckage of the Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean. The small submersible, named Titan, has a limited air supply of approximately 96 hours, with fears that oxygen may run out on Thursday, June 22 at 11 am BST.

The search area covers a vast and remote region of the ocean, twice the size of Connecticut. The Titanic wreck site sits at a depth of 12,500 feet (3,800 meters), adding to the difficulty of the rescue operation. The US Coast Guard, which is leading the search and rescue mission, remains hopeful but acknowledges the challenges they face. The crews tasked with finding the Titan are facing underwater mountains and valleys, deep-sea water pressure, weather conditions, and a search area twice the size of Connecticut, all in waters 4 kilometers deep.

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Underwater Knocking Noises Hint at Potential Human Presence Near Titanic Site

On board the submersible are five people: British billionaire Hamish Harding, French diver Paul-Henry Nargeolet, OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, and his 19-year-old son Suleman. Families of those on board are eagerly awaiting developments and have expressed their gratitude for the continuous attempts to identify and rescue their loved ones.

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Captain Jamie Frederick of the United States Coast Guard addressed the media, acknowledging the mysterious noises picked up by sonar buoys near the submersible’s last known location. Despite not knowing the cause of these sounds, he emphasized the importance of maintaining hope. Additional tools and resources are expected to arrive soon to aid in the search.

In previous updates, Rear Admiral John Mauger, who is leading the search operation, revealed that initial estimates suggest the submersible may have less than 20 hours of oxygen remaining. However, the exact consumption rate of oxygen by the occupants remains unknown, making it challenging to predict the precise timeline. The search efforts continue in the North Atlantic, with reports of banging sounds detected by sonar and underwater vehicles deployed to investigate.

The journey to the bottom of the ocean to reach the Titanic wreck gets colder and darker the further you go, says Tom Zaller, who runs the company behind Titanic. The Exhibition told AFP “As you get deeper and deeper, it gets darker and darker.” “When you first start off on the top, it’s quite warm inside. But as you descend, it gets cold.”

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The French submersible robot, known as the Victor 6,000, was sent at the request of the United States Navy, which was deploying its own unique rescue equipment intended to remove huge, heavy undersea objects such as lost airplanes or small vessels.

61-year-old Chris Brown had booked on board the submarine alongside his friend Hamish Harding, one of the five people trapped on the missing submarine, but backed out after becoming ‘concerned’ about the quality of the vessel. He said after discovering that OceanGate had used ‘old scaffolding poles for ballast’ and piloted it with ‘computer game-style controllers’ he asked for a refund.

Chris eventually told OceanGate ‘I’m no longer able to go on this thing.’

“I mean, if you just want to be safe, don’t get out of bed, don’t get in your car, don’t do anything,” Stockton Rush said in a 2022 podcast with CBS reporter David Pogue. “At some point, you’re going to take some risk, and it really is a risk-reward question.”

The Dawood family, prominent in Pakistan and deeply concerned for their relatives Shahzada and Suleman, issued a statement expressing their gratitude for the global support and media coverage. They requested privacy during this crisis and focused solely on the safe rescue of their beloved family members.

Fotis Pagoulatos, an expert in naval architecture, highlighted the complexities involved in rescuing the submersible, stating that time is of the essence if it is located. He explained that retrieving a vessel the size of a small bus requires a precise operation, and rescuers may only get one opportunity. Even if the submersible is found, the challenges posed by limited oxygen supply inside could further complicate the rescue mission.

Dr. David Gallo, an oceanographer, speculated on the potential scenarios that led to the submersible’s disappearance. He raised the possibility of a catastrophic implosion, which would be the worst-case scenario. Gallo acknowledged the inherent risks associated with exploring the deep sea and the limited understanding of such environments.

Frank Owen, a search and rescue expert, suggested that the submersible could be near or at the surface based on the sonar-detected banging noises. However, even if it has surfaced, the submersible’s small size would make it challenging to spot. Owen highlighted the importance of retrieving the passengers from the submersible, as the hatch can only be opened from the outside.

Amidst the ongoing search efforts, a friend of Hamish Harding expressed concern about the narrowing window of opportunity to find the missing individuals alive. The anxiety and anticipation are felt by friends and family members who hope for positive news and a successful rescue operation.

A previous OceanGate submersible expedition to the site of the wreckage of the Titanic captured the first 8K footage of the sunken ship.

As the search continues, underwater vehicles have been redeployed to investigate the banging noises detected in the search area. These potential clues raise hopes that the submersible’s occupants may be attempting to send distress signals. The search teams are tirelessly working against time to locate the submersible and ensure the safe return of the crew members.

Some people were upset that the tourist voyage received such an expensive rescue operation while larger boat tragedies with less prominent passengers, such as the deadly wreck of a fishing boat carrying hundreds of migrant passengers near Greece last week, failed to elicit the same public outcry.

The disappearance of the OceanGate submersible is a sobering reminder of the dangers of deep-sea exploration and the merciless nature of the ocean’s depths. It underlines the need for improved safety standards and technology to prevent similar catastrophes and safeguard individuals who engage on these dangerous adventures.


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