Like putting a candle to a saint and light a miracle.
Something like this happened this Wednesday in the rescue operation of the five crew members of the submersible Titanlost since Sunday on its way to the remains of the titanicthe search for which is an international issue and a global concern.
In this case, when time runs out, with the 96-hour margin of oxygen available in their reserves practically fulfilled, the candle to hold on to was the detection of some banging noises that were recorded on Tuesday night by Canadian reconnaissance planes under the surface in the North Atlantic.
“We are on a 100% rescue mission,” the captain replied. “We need to have hope,” he added.
Frederick responded in this way to the question of whether this deployment was already a “recovery” operation of the submersible, with no hope of finding the occupants alive.
“It’s a rescue, that’s why we’re doing all this and we’re going to continue putting all available means in the effort to find the Titan and its crew,” he insisted. “We work tirelessly and as quickly as possible,” she said. “Sometimes you have to make a difficult decision, but we haven’t gotten there yet,” he confessed about abandoning the job.
He refused, however, to specify what was the maximum limit for the confidence in survival to continue. Frederick spoke on Tuesday of a margin of 40 or 41 hours, a day later, almost at the limit of those calculations, he deviated from talking about figures despite insistence. “I am not going to enter numbers or percentages,” he reiterated. “Oxygen is one piece of information, but there are others,” he said.
The search is focused on the area where the planes detected sounds, although it is not known if they were human.
A while earlier, Rear Admiral John Mauder said on CBS on Wednesday morning that the margin had been reduced to less than 20 hours.
Experts specify that the vehicle contains a finite capacity of oxygen. Its consumption, on the other hand, can be less than usual, with a gain of 10% or nine hours, if the occupants remain calm and breathe less than usual. On the contrary, if the level of carbon dioxide, the invisible gas that is exhaled when breathing, rises a lot, it can shorten that period.
Another issue is that of food. In a submersible inside a van, “food and water rations are limited,” Frederick said.
In this desperate mission, no one considers the cost. The Coast Guard is clear that the priority is to save lives.