BOSTON – June 21, 2023
Captain Jamie Frederick of the First Coast Guard District provided an update on the ongoing search efforts for the missing Titan submersible in a press conference today. Captain Frederick, surrounded by experts from the Unified Command, emphasized the complexity of the operation and expressed gratitude for the international assistance received.
Throughout the day and into the evening, yesterday, the Canadian P3, detected underwater noises in the search area, said Captain Frederick.
“We’re searching in the area where the noises were detected, and we’ll continue to do so. And we hope that when we’re able to get additional ROVs to be there in the morning, the intent will be to continue to search in those areas where the noises were detected continuing to be detected and then put additional ROVs down in the last known position where the searches are originally taking place.
“It was my understanding that the P three had heard some noises today as well,” said Captain Frederick.
The search, located 900 miles east of Cape Cod and 400 miles southeast of ST John’s, has posed significant challenges due to the remote location and the coordination required among multiple agencies and nations. The Unified Command has been working tirelessly to bring all available assets and expertise to expedite the search.
Captain Frederick assured that the families of the missing crew members are being fully informed about the current and future search efforts. Close contact has been maintained with the British and French consulates general to address their concerns and keep them updated on the progress.
International support has been instrumental in the operation, with experts from the Royal Navy and a team of highly trained French RV operators joining the search. Canadian partners have also provided critical leadership and significant response capabilities since the start of the operation.
Search efforts have involved both surface and sub-surface elements. Currently, there are five service assets searching for the Titan, with an additional five expected to join in the next 24 to 48 hours. Multiple remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are actively involved in the search, and more are en route to the area.
The search area, approximately two times the size of Connecticut on the surface and up to 2.5 miles deep below, has exponentially expanded due to changing weather conditions, currents, and sea states. These factors have made it challenging to mobilize large amounts of equipment quickly.
Continuous air and surface search assets have been deployed, with significant support from the Coast Guard Air Station in Elizabeth City, the Air National Guard, and the Canadian Armed Forces. A total of two P3 flights and two C-130 flights have been conducted, with one P3 flight ongoing at the time of the press conference.
Yesterday, the Canadian P3 detected underwater noises in the search area. As a result, ROV operations were relocated to explore the origin of the noises. However, no significant findings have been made thus far. The data from the P3 aircraft has been shared with US Navy experts for further analysis, which will inform future search plans.
Captain Frederick acknowledged the complexity of the case and expressed appreciation for the outpouring of support and offers to provide additional equipment. The Unified Command continues to prioritize assets and resources to ensure the most effective response operation. The director for salvage operations with the US Navy supervisor, a representative from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and other experts are working closely with the Unified Command.
In response to questions from the press, Captain Frederick addressed the noises that were heard. He mentioned that the noises, described as banging noises, are being analyzed by a team of experts. The search efforts are focused on the area where the noises were detected, and additional ROVs will be deployed to further investigate the source of the noises.
Regarding the timeline of the search, Captain Frederick emphasized that search and rescue operations remain ongoing, and no discussions about ending the search have taken place. While oxygen levels aboard the vessel are a factor, they are not the sole determining factor in the search effort.
In conclusion, Captain Frederick reaffirmed the commitment of the Unified Command to work diligently and swiftly to locate the missing crew members of the Titan. The families of the crew and the entire team continue to be in their thoughts and prayers.
The press conference concluded with Captain Frederick introducing the members of the search team and taking a few more questions from the media.