US Coast Guard Continues Search Efforts for Missing Submersible Titan and Five Crew Members; Crew of Missing Sub Had 40 Hours of Breathable Air Left Early Tuesday Afternoon

Search patterns used in the search for 21-foot submersible Titan after it went missing 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, on June 20, 2023. – Image Provided by United States Coast Guard

Video of the briefing – Capt. Jamie Frederick, First Coast Guard District, delivers a press briefing in Boston, Massachusetts, about the search for the 21-foot submarine Titan, on June 20, 2023. The Coast Guard is searching for five persons after the Canadian research vessel Polar Prince lost contact with their submersible during a dive, approximately 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Sunday morning. (U.S. Coast Guard video by Petty Officer 3rd Class Briana Carter)

Staff report

BOSTON — June 20, 2023

In a press briefing held today, Captain Jamie Frederick, spokesperson for the First Coast Guard District Response Department, provided an update on the ongoing search efforts for the missing 21-foot submarine Titan and its five crew members. The briefing took place at the Coast Guard’s Rescue Coordination Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

Frederick said the crew of the missing sub has about 40 to 41 hours of breathable air left.

He emphasized that the Coast Guard, along with the United States Navy, Canadian Armed Forces, and the Titan’s parent company, Ocean Gate Expedition, has formed a unified command to coordinate the complex search operation.

Since receiving a report from the Canadian expedition vessel Polar Prince on Sunday evening, the Coast Guard has been coordinating search efforts with multiple agencies and utilizing specialized equipment. The search area, located approximately 900 miles east of Cape Cod and 400 miles south of St. John’s, Newfoundland, spans an extensive 7,600 square miles, larger than the state of Connecticut.

Efforts have focused on both surface and subsurface searches. Coast Guard and Air National Guard aircraft, along with the Polar Prince, have conducted thorough searches using radar, sonar buoys, and visual observation. Despite the extensive search efforts, no signs of the missing submarine or its crew members have been found thus far.

Frederick provided an update on the ongoing operations, stating that the vessel Deep Energy, a 194-meter pipe-laying vessel equipped with underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), has arrived at the scene. The Deep Energy is currently conducting an ROV dive in the vicinity of the last known position of the Titan and the approximate location of the Titanic wreck.

Additionally, a Canadian P-3 aircraft is currently conducting a six-hour search of the area, while several C-130 aircraft and another P-3 are scheduled to fly later in the day. The Canadian Coast Guard cutter John Cabot is expected to arrive in the evening, along with other Canadian Coast Guard vessels and the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Sycamore. The U.S. Navy’s Supervisor of Salvaging and Diving Command is also working in collaboration with the U.S. Transportation Command to deploy additional assets to the search area.

Frederick acknowledged the complexity of the search operation due to the vast area involved and the need for specialized equipment. He assured the public that the unified team is working diligently, utilizing all available assets and expertise to expedite the search efforts. He also emphasized that the top priority remains locating the missing submarine and crew members.

When questioned about the possibility of retrieving the submersible and saving the crew members, Frederick explained that the immediate focus is on finding the submersible. The experts within the unified command will assess the situation and determine the best course of action should the submersible be located.

Regarding the time remaining for potential rescue efforts, Frederick stated that an estimate of 96 hours of breathable air was based on initial reports. As of now, approximately 41 hours have elapsed since the submersible went missing. However, he clarified that the exact timeline and the feasibility of a successful rescue would depend on the circumstances encountered if the submersible is found.

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