On Monday, a deep-sea submarine that is known for carrying passengers to explore the sunken Titanic unexpectedly vanished in the Atlantic Ocean. The small submersible named the Titan, was carrying five people, including British explorer and businessman Hamish Harding. Early on Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard announced the detection of underwater noises in the North Atlantic Ocean.
A Canadian aircraft participating in the search detected the underwater noises in the specified search area. Crews reported hearing “banging” and “acoustic feedback” sounds, possibly from the Titan submersible. The memo disclosed that the banging sounds were detected every 30 minutes by a Canadian aircraft. Even after the deployment of additional sonar, the sounds persisted four hours later. The unexpected sounds led to the deployment of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) in an attempt to locate the source of the noises. Despite the noise, the initial ROV searches yielded no results.
Canadian P-3 aircraft detected underwater noises in the search area. As a result, ROV operations were relocated in an attempt to explore the origin of the noises. Those ROV searches have yielded negative results but continue. 1/2
— USCGNortheast (@USCGNortheast) June 21, 2023
The U.S. Coast Guard took to Twitter to share the update, stating, “Those ROV searches have yielded negative results but continue.” They further announced that the data from the P-3 aircraft has been shared with U.S. Navy experts for additional analysis. This information will play a crucial role in shaping the future search plans.
Amid growing concerns about the vessel’s oxygen supply, U.S. and Canadian teams intensified search efforts on Tuesday. As of Tuesday morning, a comprehensive search of 10,000 square miles had been conducted, disclosed that the Titan had “about 40 hours of breathable air left” as of 1 p.m. ET Tuesday. This update indicates that the submersible’s oxygen supply could run out by Thursday morning.
Who’s On Board?
The missing submersible was carrying British explorer Hamish Harding, 58, who also serves as the chairman of Action Aviation, a global business aviation sales company. An accomplished adventurer, Harding has ventured into space, holds three Guinness World Records, including the longest time spent traversing the deepest part of the ocean on a single dive, and the fastest circumnavigation of Earth via both geographic poles by airplane.
Just last year, Harding undertook a 10-minute space journey on the New Shepherd rocket, a project of Blue Origin, the space exploration company founded by Jeff Bezos. His current situation underscores the inherent risks of exploration and has led to a desperate race against time to locate the missing vessel.