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Business News/ News / World/  Titanic bound missing submersible has 70 hours of Oxygen left, alerts US Coast Guard. Top updates
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Titanic bound missing submersible has 70 hours of Oxygen left, alerts US Coast Guard. Top updates

The 21-foot (6.5-meter) tourist craft, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, began its descent on Sunday but lost contact with the surface less than two hours later, according to authorities.

FILE - This undated photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions in June 2021 shows the company's Titan submersible. On Monday, June 19, 2023, a rescue operation was underway deep in the Atlantic Ocean in search of the technologically advanced submersible vessel carrying five people to document the wreckage of the Titanic, the iconic ocean liner that sank more than a century earlier. (AP)Premium
FILE - This undated photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions in June 2021 shows the company's Titan submersible. On Monday, June 19, 2023, a rescue operation was underway deep in the Atlantic Ocean in search of the technologically advanced submersible vessel carrying five people to document the wreckage of the Titanic, the iconic ocean liner that sank more than a century earlier. (AP)

The tourist submersible named the Titan, part of a mission by OceanGate Expeditions, bringing tourists to document the wreckage of the Titanic, the iconic ocean liner that sank more than a century ago, has 70 hours of oxygen left, the US Coast Guard estimated. 

The submersible had a 96-hour oxygen supply when it put to sea at roughly 6 a.m. Sunday, according to David Concannon, an adviser to OceanGate, reported AP

The passengers on the submersible were a pilot, a renowned British adventurer, two members of an iconic Pakistani business family and another passenger. 

The 21-foot (6.5-meter) tourist craft, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, began its descent on Sunday but lost contact with the surface less than two hours later, according to authorities.

According to reports, the submersible had Shahzada Dawood -- the vice-chairman of Karachi headquartered conglomerate Engro -- and his son Suleman. 

Further British businessman Hamish Harding, who had posted on social media about joining the expedition beforehand, is also onboard. Harding is a billionaire adventurer who holds three Guinness World Records, including the longest duration at full ocean depth by a crewed vessel.

US and Canadian coast guards race against time as they clamour to trace the submersible in a ‘remote area’ in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Authorities reported the vessel overdue Sunday night about 435 miles (700 kilometers) south of St. John’s, Newfoundland, according to Canada's Joint Rescue Coordination Center.

Reports stated that Canadian research icebreaker Polar Prince, which was supporting Titan, lost contact with the vessel about an hour and 45 minutes after it submerged.

The rescue team also includes Polar Prince which will continue to do surface searches. According to US Coast Guard, two US Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft also have conducted overflights.

OceanGate’s expeditions to Titanic wreck

OceanGate conducts expeditions to the Titanic wreck site and carries archaeologists and marine biologists. The company also carries people as passengers who pay for a seat. The latter are known as ‘mission specialists’. 

The Coast Guard said Monday that there was one pilot and four “mission specialists" aboard. However, OceanGate's website suggests that the fifth person aboard may be a so-called “content expert" who guides the paying customers.

The vessel, called the Titan, is 22 feet long and typically contains four days of emergency oxygen for a crew of five, including the pilot.

Titanic expedition 2023

The expedition was scheduled to depart from St. John’s, Newfoundland, in early May and finish up at the end of June, according to documents filed by the company in April with a US District Court in Virginia that oversees Titanic matters.

OceanGate’s website had described the “mission support fee" for the 2023 expedition as $250,000 a person.

What is the Polar Prince?

Unlike submarines that leave and return to port under their own power, submersibles require a ship to launch and recover them. OceanGate hired the Polar Prince to ferry dozens of people and the submersible craft to the North Atlantic wreck site. The submersible would make multiple dives in one expedition.

The Titan was supported by Polar Prince ti support the expedition. However, the submersible lost contact within two hours of submerging into the Atlantic ocean. 

What happened to Titanic?

The Humungous ship Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in 1912, killing all but about 700 of the roughly 2,200 passengers and crew. Since the wreckage’s discovery in 1985, it has been slowly succumbing to metal-eating bacteria. Some have predicted the ship could vanish in a matter of decades as holes yawn in the hull and sections disintegrate.

(With agency inputs)

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sayantani Biswas
Sayantani is an editor with Livemint. She covers stories of International and Indian politics, conflict
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
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Published: 20 Jun 2023, 02:51 PM IST
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