Submersible Craft Used for Titanic Wreck Tours Goes Missing in Atlantic Ocean
June 19, 2023: In a concerning development, a submersible craft operated by tour firm OceanGate, which is used to take people on expeditions to see the wreckage of the Titanic, has gone missing in the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. The disappearance of the craft, known as the Titan submersible, has triggered a large-scale search and rescue operation to locate both the vessel and its crew.
OceanGate, renowned for its exclusive $250,000-per-seat tours to the iconic shipwreck, has expressed its utmost concern for the crew members and their families. The company is actively exploring all possible avenues to ensure the safe return of the crew and has sought the assistance of government agencies and deep-sea firms in the search and rescue efforts.
The Titan submersible, estimated to be the missing craft, is a sizable vehicle resembling a truck that can accommodate up to five individuals. Equipped with a four-day supply of oxygen, the submersible typically carries a pilot, three paying guests, and a designated "content expert" during its dives. It remains unclear at this time when communication with the craft was lost.
OceanGate's statement emphasized the company's unwavering focus on the safety and well-being of the crew and expressed gratitude for the extensive support received from various government agencies and deep-sea companies involved in the rescue operation.
The Titanic, which sank in 1912, rests approximately 3,800 meters (12,500 feet) beneath the ocean's surface. The wreckage, lying about 600 kilometers (370 miles) off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, has been the subject of extensive exploration since its discovery in 1985. The ship's remains are divided into two parts, with the bow and stern separated by a distance of approximately 800 meters (2,600 feet), encompassed by a vast debris field.
OceanGate's eight-day expeditions offer participants the chance to embark on a remarkable journey outside of their daily lives and discover the extraordinary. The tours, conducted in the company's carbon-fiber submersible, involve a full dive to the Titanic wreck, including the descent and ascent, which typically takes around eight hours.
The company currently has an ongoing expedition, with two more planned for June 2024. OceanGate possesses three submersibles, and the Titan is the only one capable of reaching the depths required to access the Titanic wreckage. Weighing approximately 10,432 kilograms (23,000 pounds), the Titan has a maximum depth capability of 4,000 meters (13,123 feet) and provides 96 hours of life support for a crew of five.