Titanic Tourist Sub Missing in the Atlantic Ocean Runs Out of Oxygen – The Titanic tourist submersible, which disappeared during its journey to the 111-year-old shipwreck deep in the Atlantic Ocean, is thought to have depleted its oxygen supply. Nevertheless, authorities proceeded with the search operation on Thursday morning.
OceanGate Expeditions, the company operating the Titan submersible, informed the Coast Guard on Sunday night that the vehicle had a limited oxygen capacity of 96 hours, indicating that it would reach its limit at approximately 7:08 a.m. on Thursday. The well-being of the five individuals on the ill-fated journey remains uncertain as American and Canadian authorities tirelessly strive to locate the missing Titan sub, located 900 miles east of Cape Cod.
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In an update on Thursday morning, the Coast Guard verified that a remote-operated vehicle has successfully descended to the ocean floor and commenced its search for the lost submarine. “The French vessel L’Atalante is preparing their ROV to enter the water,” it added. Along with Rush, who served as the vessel’s pilot, the missing include British billionaire Hamish Harding, Pakistani tech and energy mogul Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Sulaiman, and famed Titanic explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
The United States Coast Guard reported that it was informed by OceanGate about the disappearance of the submersible eight hours after it had lost contact with its mothership, the Polar Prince. According to OceanGate, the submersible vanished within a span of fewer than two hours after submerging on Sunday afternoon. Unlike conventional submarines, a submersible lacks the capability to independently reach the ocean floor and return without its mothership.
In the case of the Titan submersible, it relies on the Polar Prince for navigation during its deep-sea exploration. Consensus among experts is that the occupants confined within the tight quarters of the 22-foot-long submersible may have inadvertently accelerated the consumption of their 96-hour oxygen supply due to panic. Mike Tipton, the director of the extreme environments laboratory at Portsmouth University in the United Kingdom, informed Insider that humans can typically endure without oxygen for approximately three minutes.
According to the expert, as the air supply diminishes, individuals may encounter symptoms such as restlessness, headaches, confusion, shortness of breath, blue fingertips, an elevated heart rate, and, ultimately, loss of consciousness. The expert further emphasized that surpassing the three-minute mark without oxygen can result in brain damage and eventual death.
In addition to the oxygen deprivation, Tipton cautioned that the passengers might have been exposed to carbon dioxide poisoning within the sub if its filtration system had been compromised or had depleted its power supply. The horrific outcome represents one of the three significant scenarios that experts anticipated could have occurred to the group of tourists.
In addition to recognizing the possibility that the vessel may have become trapped underwater during its journey to the Titanic shipwreck, which rests at a depth of 12,500 feet, the US Coast Guard indicated that there was a chance the Titan submersible resurfaced but was unable to establish communication to relay its whereabouts.
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“If it’s on the surface, we’re fairly sure we’re going to be able to find it,” Coast Guard Capt. Jamie Frederick assured reporters Tuesday. The duration for which the passengers could endure while adrift in the ocean remains uncertain. G. Michael Harris, the leader of the Titanic expedition, had previously advised the families of the five passengers to brace themselves for the worst-case scenario, which he anticipated to be a breach in the hull of the Titan submersible.