The urgent search for a missing submersible and its five occupants at the wreckage site of the Titanic in the North Atlantic has been focused on noises heard beneath the waves. The United States Coast Guard is deploying remotely operated vehicles to locate the source of the sounds, while experts are analyzing the noises to determine if they could be from the missing vessel. However, the analysis thus far has been inconclusive.
Additional rescue vessels have joined the extensive search efforts in the large search area, which is twice the size of Connecticut and over two miles deep. The submersible, named the Titan, lost contact on Sunday during a planned two-and-a-half-hour dive to the Titanic wreck.
Captain Jamie Frederick of the United States Coast Guard emphasized that the mission is still considered a search-and-rescue operation, even though there are concerns about the submersible’s limited air supply, which is expected to run out on Thursday morning. Authorities remain hopeful about finding the missing occupants.
According to a report from Rolling Stone magazine, a Canadian search plane detected intermittent “banging sounds” within the search area. However, the report could not be independently verified. The noises are being investigated to determine their origin.
One of the ships en route to the search area carries a French-operated robot capable of operating at the depth of the Titanic wreck. It is expected to arrive on Wednesday evening, providing additional capabilities for the search efforts.
Prior to the incident, leaders in the submersible craft industry had expressed concerns about potential design issues with the Titan and the owner, OceanGate Expeditions, not following standard certification procedures. These warnings have raised questions about the safety and certification of the submersible.
Among the occupants of the missing submersible is Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate. The other passengers include British businessman and explorer Hamish Harding, British-Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, and French maritime expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, who has extensive experience with dives to the Titanic wreck site.