Essential equipment needed to rescue a missing submarine that went missing while en route to the wreck of the Titanic has been withheld by US officials who failed to approve paperwork, a tourism agency has claimed.
Oceangate’s submersible, the Titan, lost contact Sunday morning 12,500 feet below the waves an hour and 45 minutes into its voyage to the famous shipwreck.
There were five passengers on board, and a desperate attempt was made to find the submarine before it ran out of air.
Five names were announced as Pakistani father and son on Monday; a British billionaire adventurer; a French Navy veteran; and CEO of OceanGate.
As of 4:30 p.m. EDT Monday, the sub had 96 hours — or four days — left in the air.
However, rescue efforts are being hampered by US government bureaucracy, with a plane of equipment unable to fly to the scene on the British island of Guernsey until the paperwork is signed.
‘We need to move. We don’t have minutes or hours. “We need to move now,” said David Concannon, adviser to Oceangate.
This is the last sighting of the submersible, Titan, which was launched on Sunday. Hamish Harding is seen in a photo shared by his company. He and four others on board remain unaccounted for
David Concannon, a consultant at Oceangate, was due to go on the Titanic expedition on Sunday, but a last-minute scheduling problem meant he was not available. He said vital rescue equipment was being held back by the US bureaucracy
Equipment needed for the rescue effort (pictured) is currently awaiting transport from the British island of Guernsey
Concannon said emergency permission is required to fly the equipment (above) to the site
‘This equipment has been lying on the tarmac for hours.
‘When I contact the US government, I get ‘out of office’ answers – not from everyone, but from key people who have the sign-off on the matter.’
He told News Nation: ‘This is unacceptable.’
Concannon, who has previously led an expedition and made multiple dives at the Titanic site, was supposed to be the expert on Sunday’s tour of the Oceangate wreck – but a client emergency kept him ashore.
Every minute counts in the race to find and rescue the sub, he said.
“If we move fast, we can reach where the ship is now in 40 hours,” he said.
‘If we get resources flown in from the Guernsey Channel Islands overnight, we can get them on board within a day and we can get there within the window.
‘Right now, it’s at the end of the window, but we can go inside the window where the submarine still has oxygen and that’s what we want to do.’
Government officials have not commented on her allegations, and the US Coast Guard detailed her rescue efforts during a briefing Monday afternoon.
As Concannon detailed the problems, a fleet of rescue vessels desperately headed to the site, about 400 nautical miles from Newfoundland, Canada, to help with the search.
Three Canadian ships were known among them – the Scandi Vinland, the Atlantic Merlin and the Kopit Hopson.
The US Coast Guard is now searching for the missing vessel. The iconic shipwreck sits under 12,500 feet of water about 370 miles off Newfoundland, Canada.
The red circle shows the location of the wreckage of the Titanic and a fleet of boats and aircraft en route to assist in the rescue effort.
Scandi Vineland departed St. John’s, Newfoundland at 2:38 pm local time on Monday and is expected to arrive at its destination on Tuesday, 11:30 am.
Atlantic marlin should be on site by 8:30pm on Tuesday
Kopit Hopson – formerly named Edward Cornwallis – en route to the site
Scandi Vineland left St. John’s, Newfoundland at 2:38 pm local time on Monday and was expected to reach its destination by 11:30 am on Tuesday, according to marine tracking data.
An icebreaker, the Kopit Hopson, left port just before 6pm bound for the rescue area.
And the tug boat Atlantic Marlin left St. John’s at 10:51 PM on Monday and was expected in the zone by 8:30 PM on Tuesday.
They were accompanied by US and Canadian aircraft.
The US Coast Guard launched two C-130 planes to survey the surface, while Canada deployed a CP-140 Aurora 140118 – aircraft ‘that uses sonar technology with buoys’, Chief Petty Officer Robert Simpson said.
C-130s were flown throughout the night by the 106th Rescue Wing based out of Westhampton, New York.
On Monday night, the Coast Guard’s Northeast Division tweeted that the mothership — the Polar Prince — for the submersible was in Oceangate and that U.S. rescue flights continued overnight.
‘Polar Prince and @Rescue106 will continue surface searches throughout the evening,’ they tweeted.
‘Two C-130 flights completed from @USCG CG Air Station Elizabeth City.’
They said search flights to Canada would resume in the morning.
In addition to the C-130s, a CP-140 Aurora 140118 – similar to the Poseidon P-8 Boeing aircraft (shown above) – is deployed and will drop gold buoys into the water in an attempt to detect any sounds.
A video from an earlier mission showed the submersible’s interior underwater since early Sunday morning
“JRCC Halifax assigned a Royal Canadian Air Force Aurora aircraft to 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia, to conduct an aerial search and the Canadian Coast Guard Vessel Kopit Hopson 1752 will assist MRCC Boston in a surface search for the submarine,” the Halifax Rescue Team, Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, tweeted. said in the message.
OceanGate said in its statement that it is ‘deeply grateful for the extensive support we have received from several government agencies and deep-sea companies in our efforts to re-establish communication with the submersible.’
Even when rescue ships get there, they face a huge challenge.
First they need to find the sub: they know where it should be, but it may not be possible to find it in the dark depths.
The US Coast Guard has already said it has no salvage equipment capable of going as deep as the Titanic.
An unmanned vehicle – essentially an underwater drone – can be lowered.
The Polar Prince is an expedition ship used to take tourists to the wreck from Newfoundland
A desperate search is underway to rescue a Titanic tourist submarine that went missing 12,500 feet below the Atlantic Ocean after just 96 hours in the air.
Sailors were diving to the bottom of the ocean to survey the wreckage of the Titanic
The US Navy has a submarine rescue vehicle, the New York Times reported, but it is said to be able to reach depths of only 2,000 feet.
To retrieve objects from the sea floor in deep water, the Navy relies on remotely-operated vehicles, such as those used early to recover an F-35 Joint Strike Fighter that crashed at about 12,400 feet in the South China Sea. 2022.
The vehicle, called CURV-21, can reach a depth of 20,000 feet.
It will take a long time to get CURV-21 into position: the type of ships that transport it usually don’t move at about 20 miles per hour.
If Titan’s batteries run out and are no longer capable of running the heaters that keep the occupants warm, the occupants will soon die of hypothermia.
And if the pressure hull fails, death will occur within a fraction of a second.
The mothership, the MV Polar Prince, departed Newfoundland on Saturday to site the Titanic wreckage, 370 miles away.
The submersible went into the water early Sunday morning.
On board were British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding, 58; French Navy veteran PH Nargiolet; and CEO of Oceangate, Stockton Rush.
Shahzada Dawood and his son Sulaiman Dawood were also on the board.
The elder Daoud is a trustee of the SETI Institute in California, according to a biography published on his website, and vice chairman of Daoud Hercules Corporation, part of Daoud Group.
Among those taking part in the campaign is billionaire Hamish Harding, CEO of Action Aviation in Dubai. She excitedly posted on social media about being there on Sunday
Harding excitedly posted on social media about being on the mission
Oceangate expedition CEO Stockton Rush (right) along with French Navy veteran PH Nargiolet (left) are believed to be taking part in the expedition.
In an interview last year, the CEO, Rush, told CBS News that his was a ‘very unusual business’.
He added: ‘It’s its own category. It’s a new kind of travel.’
He said, their clients are a class of people.
‘We have clients who are Titanic enthusiasts, whom we refer to as Titanics.
‘We have people who have mortgaged their homes and will travel. And we have people who do not think twice about a trip at this cost. We had a gentleman who won the lottery.’
The submarine – it is not a submarine, as it is not independent and depends on a mothership – lost contact with the mothership in one hour and 45 minutes.
Analysts believe it could lose power, or sink and possibly get stuck in debris. Some initially suggested it might have come forward and bobbed without power, but that seems increasingly remote.
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