The clock does tell the hours. This is unfortunately the case for the five crew members of the Titan the submersible from which contact was lost as it approached the wreckage titanic at a depth of 3,800 meters in the waters of the North Atlantic, between the United States and Canada.
As the minutes counted down, the hope of a happy rescue diminished. He Titan He had 96 hours of oxygen. Captain Jamie Frederick, of the Coast Guard in Boston, where the operation is coordinated, said Tuesday that the margin has since been reduced to 40 or 41 hours.
The specialists calculated this Tuesday that they had between 54 and 70 hours left at most to survive. The limit may be lower, depending on the respiratory rate, a factor in which having limited diving experience plays a role.
“We are focused day and night on finding the submersible, but until today all these search efforts have not yielded any results,” he stressed.
He could not even guarantee that, if he was located soon, they would have enough time for the rescue due to the complexity of the operation. In large part due to the lack of the necessary equipment. An American ship with the capacity to investigate below the surface arrived in the area on Tuesday and another from Canada was expected, in addition to an increase in planes, which with the sound detection buoys have marked the initial search.
The ‘Titan’, which was heading for the wreck of the ‘Titanic’, lacked approval or security systems
Frederick stressed the difficulty of mobilizing and delivering this precise material since the area to be surveyed, “the size of Connecticut” (14,356 km) is 600 kilometers from the Canadian coast of Newfoundland and 1,400 from Cape Cod (Massachusetts). Rescue ships sail at 32 kilometers per hour. “We are working against the clock and trying to have the equipment and experts available as soon as possible,” he said. French President Emmanuel Macron ordered to send the Atalante a boat that incorporates a robot to go to the depth.
“Families should be prepared for bad news,” David Marquet, a retired US Navy captain who was commander of the nuclear submarine, told NPR. USS Santa Fe and today the author of best-selling books.
“A small submersible (6.7 meters), a huge ocean, very deep waters, several hundred kilometers from the coast, which requires another ship for its rescue. There are many challenges on this mission,” he added. Among these, that the occupants cannot open the submersible if it is on the surface because it does not have a hatch, this must be done from the outside.
Since Sunday, when the mother ship released it Polar Prince after an hour and 45 minutes of immersion, in what was an adventure of two and a half hours, nothing has been heard again, nor are there any clues.
The track disappeared at 0945 hours, but its loss was not reported to the coast guard until 1745 and to Canada until 2113. This delayed the rescue and may be crucial.
One of the surprising issues is the precariousness of the ship and that its travelers accepted that it was an “experimental” contraption, piloted by “a video game controller”, which lacked any approval or certificate from a regulatory entity and, therefore, there were no bent security systems.
The occupants had to sign a disclaimer from OceanGate Expeditions, the company that owns the submersible and organizer of the experience, a document that stated the absence of licenses.
Not only that, but they accepted possible “physical injury, disability, emotional trauma, or death.” This is the document read by Hamish Harding, a 59-year-old British billionaire and Guinness record holder, who made several posts on the networks before his disappearance. Along with him were the Frenchman Paul-Henry Nargeolet, who has more than 35 dives at the site of the titanic ; the rich British of Pakistani origin Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleiman. An OceanGate spokesperson confirmed that Stockton Rush, its director and founder, was the fifth passenger.
The rescuers talk about the complexity of the operation and France sends a ship
In a 2018 letter obtained by The New York Times , leaders in the submersible industry, have already warned Rush that his experimental approach could land him in trouble. “From something minor to a catastrophe,” they predicted.
The tracking capacity, until this second day focused on aerial vision and sound capture buoys, extended below the surface and at greater depth.
Even if the submersible is located in remote territory, at 3,000 meters, recovering it will be a difficult task, Marquet said. This is because even the best divers do not safely go below the surface more than a few hundred meters.
The US Navy uses a remotely operated vehicle to reach depths of 6,000 meters. The conditions of the Titan (about 10,000 kilos), made of titanium and carbon fiber filament, the size of six cars, would make it easier to tow it to the surface.