The five people on board the Titan submersible have not been located despite an intensive international effort to find them before their air supply ran out
The hope of finding the Titanic sub and its five crew members alive has faded as the oxygen deadline for the craft has passed with no sign of it in the Atlantic Ocean.
The Titan, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, went missing on Sunday morning while diving to the Titanic wreck site. The Polar Prince research ship, which was supporting the mission, lost contact with the sub about an hour and 45 minutes after it submerged, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The five people on board included Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, who was also the pilot of the sub; Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a French submersible expert; and Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Sulaiman Dawood, British-Pakistani businessmen who paid up to $250,000 for a seat on the expedition.
The U.S. Coast Guard said the sub had a 96-hour supply of emergency oxygen, which was estimated to run out at 7.08am U.S. time – 12.08pm in the UK – on Thursday.
A massive search and rescue operation involving multiple agencies from the U.S., Canada, and France was launched to try and locate the sub in an area about 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts and 370 miles south of St. John’s, Newfoundland.
The search area covered more than 10,000 square miles of ocean and was about 13,000 feet deep. The search teams used aircraft, ships, sonar buoys, and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to scan the surface and underwater for any signs of the sub.
The U.S. Coast Guard said it detected some underwater noises in the search area on Tuesday and Wednesday, but they were not confirmed to be from the Titan. The noises were analyzed by experts but found to be inconclusive.
The French government-backed ship Pourquoi Pas? arrived at the scene on Wednesday with its own ROV, Victor 6000, which joined two other ROVs in searching the ocean floor.
The U.S. Navy also sent a specialized salvage system that can lift heavy objects from deep water.
The Horizon Arctic ship, which can carry up to 60 people and has heavy duty cables, reached the site on Wednesday night after traveling 400 miles overnight from St John’s port.
The Canadian military provided a patrol aircraft and two surface ships, including one that specializes in dive medicine.
Three C-17 transport planes from the U.S. military were used to move commercial submersible and support equipment from Buffalo, New York, to St John’s.
OceanGate Expeditions said it was cooperating with the authorities and providing all available information to assist in the search.
The company said it was conducting its first manned expedition to the Titanic wreck site this year, using its Titan submersible that can dive up to 13,123 feet.
The company said its mission was to document and preserve the historic shipwreck and conduct scientific research.