A submarine went missing this Sunday in the Atlantic Ocean off North America while en route to the wreck of the Titanic. The ship is owned by OceanGate Expeditions, a company that organizes deep-sea cruises. Authorities have already launched an operation to locate and rescue the five people on board.
“We are exploring and mobilizing all options to bring the crew to safety,” the company said in a statement. Quoted By the BBC. “Our entire focus is on the crew members aboard the submarine and their families.”
Meanwhile, the US Coast Guard confirmed that five people were aboard the submarine and that rescue operations using air and sea were ongoing.
The initial warning of the submarine’s disappearance was given by the Boston Coast Guard and reported by international media.
The submarine would have lost contact with the Canadian ship Polar Prince, which was used to transport the type of vehicle, about 1,600 kilometers from the state of Massachusetts in the North Atlantic to the site of the sinking of the Titanic. The crew had been diving for about an hour and 45 minutes and were already more than 3000 meters above the surface.
In recent days, OceanGate Expeditions announced on social networks that one of its expeditions is underway. oh site The company is now unreachable.
According to the US Coast Guard, as of 10pm this Monday (Portugal mainland time), the submarine had 70 to 96 hours of oxygen left – meaning, in the best case scenario, enough oxygen until next Friday evening. .
Being a tourist on the Titanic
Small submarines have been used for tours of the Titanic wreck in recent years. Costing tens of thousands of euros for each participant, this is an example of luxury tourism.
The submarine that went missing this Sunday will contain the commander and four crew members, described by Admiral John Mager of the US Coast Guard as “mission specialists”.
It is now known that the four crew members included multimillionaire Hamish Harding, an aviation entrepreneur who had already undertaken space tourism; Paul Henri Narjolet pioneered expeditions to the wreck of the Titanic and the recovery of artifacts from the ship; and Stockton Rush, founder of OceanGate Expeditions.
“I am proud to announce that I have joined Oceangate to visit the Titanic,” Hamish Harding wrote on his social media on Saturday. “With Newfoundland having its worst winter in 40 years, this will be the first and only manned voyage of the Titanic in 2023.”
Titanic was built in Belfast between 1909 and 1911 and sank 111 years ago. More than 1,500 of the 2,200 passengers on board died. The shipwreck lies 3,800 meters deep in the Atlantic Ocean, 600 kilometers off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
A company called OceanGate Expeditions has made several trips to the Titanic. The group may include professional divers, tourists, historians and scientists. Each trip begins in Newfoundland and consists of a series of cruises and multiple dives over eight days. On the cruise ship, the necessary training takes place. There are also sessions on the history and current status of the ship. Each person must pay 250,000 dollars (228,887 euros).
Over the years, the Titanic was subject to deterioration by ocean currents or by bacteria consuming the ship’s material. The submersibles at OceanGate Expeditions are equipped with high-definition cameras and multi-beam sonar. With this tool, experts can determine the state of the Titanic’s wreckage. It also aims to document marine life in the vicinity of the ship. Along with scientists, in this case, tourists also travel.
The news comes at a time when Virgin Galactic confirmed the launch of commercial flights for luxury tourists, who can choose between space or the depths of the seas.
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