OceanGate’s Titan submersible, is a commercial submarine that went missing during a dive to the Titanic Shipwreck. OceanGate is a privately held company that provides crewed submersible assets and expertise for commercial, research and military applications.
Aboard the missing submersible known as the Titan are five very wealthy and influential men, hence the buzz. John Kirby, White House National Security Advisor says that Joe Biden (POTUS) is “Watching events closely.” On the same note, according to a source from Buckingham Palace, King Charles, Britain’s King, asked to be kept appraised of the search.
Paul Henry Nargeolet, who is the Captain of the missing Titan, is a veteran diver and an expert on the Titanic wreck. He boasts of over 30 dives to the RMS Titanic since the 1980’s. Stockton Rush, CEO OceanGate, who is rumored to be onboard the Titan, holds a Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. He also has an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Hass School of Business and worked with NASA and Boeing on several aircrafts designs.
Hamilton Harding, is a British Billionaire and a three time Guinness World Record breaker- who could not keep calm about the expedition. He is also an aviator and Chairman of Action Activation who has toured the space through Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin Company. Harding is a renowned dare devil, hence the world records and among the five that are missing along with the Titan.
Shahzada Dawoon and his son Suleiman, are Pakistani business tycoons who are also rumored to be longtime friends of the Monarch. It is said that Mr. Dawoon supports the Monarch’s Charity known as The Prince’s Trust International. The two are also among the five that embarked on this life threatening expedition.
Mike Reiss is an American television writer who has visited the Titanic wreck on the same Titan submersible last year. Speaking to BBC, the journalist described the experience as one that is disorienting. He claimed that during his expedition the compass immediately stopped working and kept spinning around. As a result, they had to flail around blindly at the bottom of the ocean knowing that the Titanic was somewhere around there. Reiss also said that everyone on board is made aware of the impending dangers as they are made to sign a waiver that mentions death three times on the first page alone.
Moreover, the Titan is expected to have had an acoustic link with its surface vessel. Although, videos taken earlier suggest that, the Titan was likely operating independently of the surface ship it was supposed to be tethered to. This link allows for underwater acoustic positioning as well as for short text messages. However, the amount of information shared is limited to basic telemetry and status information.
Nonetheless, given the fact that it’s battery powered, the Titan losing contact with its surface vessel clearly indicates that it suffered power failure. One can only hope there was a back up power source on board to maintain emergency and life support equipment. Unfortunately, it is unclear to this writer whether the vessel has a back up power source.
As of 20 June, 2022, two aircrafts, a submarine and several sonar buoys were sent out in search of the Titan. The sonar buoys are designed to listen for underwater noise, including emergency distress beacons that go off. Jamie Frederick, a Cost Guard Captain, told reporters that the rescue efforts cover an area of 7,600 square miles. A perimeter larger than the US State of Connecticut. However, their efforts have bore no substantial results yet.
In addition to receiving no sound signals and not spotting the vessel afloat the ocean’s surface, the rescue team is also contending with weather conditions. As days go by, the search window keeps shrinking. Experts say that, if the submersible has sunk close to the Titanic wreck, the depth of the site complicates rescue efforts. This is because other vessels, including those designed for Navy submarine rescue, are unable to go deep let alone rescue the five onboard.
It is also feared that, the submersible might have risen to the surface and could be floating about waiting to be found. A scenario that is highly uncomfortable for the passengers as the subs are not designed to be on the surface of the water.
Glimmer of Hope
The Internal US Government Memo, which has been cited by multiple US outlets confirm that sonar buoys have picked banging sounds at regular intervals of 30 minutes.
These news come as a relief as people all over the world are hoping and praying for a successful rescue of the five. The Titan is a vessel that is cramped with a few facilities. The passengers are sealed into a cylindrical capsule that can only be opened from the outside. Also, the air inside the capsule is breathable and is recycled in a similar way to a spacecraft and internal pressure remains constant.
Passengers of the sub also have a viewpoint for visibility and outside cameras that offer a broader view of the surrounding as well. The viewing portals are 21 inches in diameter and only allow two passengers to view at a time. The subs also come with a very small bathroom.
Tim Martin, a Titanic expert says that the ocean is pitch black and freezing cold. He claims that the seabed is muddy and undulating one cannot even see their hand in front of their face. Other experts compare going undersea to going into space, some, even say it could me more challenging.
Subscribe to Switch TV
The Titanic, that the five passengers on the Titan were hoping to tour, is a maiden voyage that hit an iceberg and sank in 1912. The Titanic was making its way to New York from England and had 2,224 people on board. More than 1,500 people died in the Titanic. It was found in 1985 and its remains have since become a tourist site.