The US Coast Guard has stated that they will continue rescue attempts for the Titanic five, who went missing after their submarine sunk near the Titanic ruin; despite the fact that their oxygen supply is running low, they insist that there is still a rescue mission.
Titan, a privately sponsored submersible expedition to the Titanic debris, lost contact with the surface on June 19.
British billionaire Hamish Harding, American Vince Fraser, Canadian Chris Jewell, and two unidentified males are among the five men on board.
The Coast Guard has been joined in the search by a number of other vessels, including the Horizon Arctic, which is carrying a remotely operated vehicle capable of searching the ocean floor.
The world is in prayer for a ‘miracle’ after rescuers estimated the vital oxygen supply would end at 12.08 pm GMT (7.08 am EST and 9.08 pm Sydney). Banging has been heard at 30-minute intervals from the depths of the Atlantic – possibly from the men striking the side of the sub – but it has not yet been located.
Rear Admiral John Mauger, of the US Coast Guard, said the operation ‘remains an active search’ and he ‘remains hopeful’ thanks to ‘favourable’ weather conditions. Asked about the banging noises, he said initial analysis suggested they were ‘background ocean noise’ but this was still being examined.
OceanGate, the company that built the Titan submersible, has said that the men on board may have longer than expected to survive. The company’s co-founder, Stockton Rush, said that the submersible has a backup oxygen supply that could last for up to 72 hours.
However, the Coast Guard has said that the chances of survival are slim. “The clock is ticking,” said Rear Adm. John W. Mauger. “We’re not giving up, but we understand the realities.”
Those stuck onboard the sub include British billionaire Hamish Harding, OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French navy veteran PH Nargeolet and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, who is just 19 and a student at Strathclyde University.
A deep water robot sub has reached the Atlantic floor – and another is descending the 12,500ft of ocean fast. ‘The Canadian vessel Horizon Arctic has deployed an ROV that has reached the sea floor and begun its search for the missing sub’, a spokesman said.
The rescue efforts for the Titanic Five are a race against time, but the Coast Guard and other rescue crews are determined to find the men alive.