There is unlikely to be much more than 24 hours’ worth of oxygen onboard Titan, the submersible that went missing on Sunday while on a trip to the wreck of the Titanic, according to calculations based on figures provided by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Contact with the OceanGate-owned vessel, which has five people onboard, was lost just one hour and 45 minutes after its dive commenced on Sunday afternoon. On Tuesday a sonar detected banging sounds “indicating continued hope of survivors,” though rescue workers have yet to pinpoint the submersible’s exact location.
Onboard Titan are OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French submersible pilot Paul-Henry Nargeolet, billionaire British explorer Hamish Harding and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, along with his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood. Each ticket to the Titanic wreck, situated at a depth of 12,500 feet 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, retails at around $250,000.
When full, Titan carries 96 hours’ worth of oxygen, with Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger predicting the submersible had “somewhere between 70 and the full 96 hours available” at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
This assessment was updated shortly after 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday by Captain Jamie Frederick of the Coast Guard, who told a press conference there is likely about 40 hours of oxygen remaining.
If this figure is accurate Titan is due to run out of oxygen at about 10 a.m. ET on Thursday morning, and had just 23.5 hours of breathable air left as of 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday.
Newsweek has contacted OceanGate for comment via email.
In a statement posted on social media on Monday, after contact was lost with Titan, OceanGate said: “We are exploring and mobilizing all options to bring the crew back safely.
“Our entire focus is on the crewmembers in the submersible and their families.
“We are deeply thankful for the extensive assistance we have received from several government agencies and deep sea companies in our efforts to re-establish contact with the submersible.
“We are working toward the safe return of the crewmembers.”
In an interview with CBS News on Tuesday, veteran Titanic diver G. Michael Harris cast doubt on whether a successful rescue effort could be put together in a matter of days.
He said: “We’ve been salvaging artifacts from the Titanic for the last 25 years-plus, and if you’re set up for the mission, I mean, we’ll usually spend a year, 1 1/2 years planning salvage operation to recover artifacts, to recover different pieces from the Titanic.
“This is not something that you can throw together in 48 hours,” he added. “Plus you have to organize equipment, you have to get equipment out there, and I’m not sure there’s anything close enough that can actually get down to Titanic’s depth to do any good if that is actually where the submersible is.”
Separately, video has re-emerged of OceanGate CEO Rush admitting he had “I’ve broken some rules to make this” during a 2021 interview onboard Titan with a Mexican travel vlogger.
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