Search for missing Titanic sub faces 96 hour race against time

CBS Sunday Morning visits Titanic with OceanGate Expeditions

The search and rescue operation for a submersible craft that carries people to view the wreckage of the Titanic faces a desperate race against time.   

At best, rescuers have 96 hour window to find and recover the vessel, which has gone missing deep in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean with five people onboard. At a press conference about the missing vessel,  Rear Admiral John W  Mauger of the US Coast Guard confirmed that was designed with a 96 hour emergency capability. 

That means the vessel has 96 hours of oxygen in reserve if there is an emergency.

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“We anticipate that there’s somewhere between 70 to the full 96 hours at this point,” said Rear Admiral Maugher at press conference at 9.30pm BST on Monday night.

He  said they are doing “everything” they can to find five people who went missing aboard a submersible vessel on a visit to the Titanic shipwreck.

The Coast Guard official said that a surface search started as soon as alarms were raised and planes were used in the operation as well.  The search area is up to a depth of 13,000ft in a remote area 900 miles east of Cape Cod.

Commercial vessels are being brought in to help.  It could take days to fully bring capacity to bear, Admiral Mauger added/ 

For now, underwater searches are restricted to sonar.  The search is being conducted 900 miles east of Cape Cod in collaboration with the Canadian armed forces and commercial vessels in the area.

“It is a remote area and a challenge but we are deploying all available assets to make sure we can locate the craft and rescue the people onboard,”  said Rear Admiral Mauger.  He said the rescue teams “take this personally” and are doing everything they can to bring those onboard “home safe”

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A Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft had been flown to the area from the “rescue coordination centre Halifax” to help in the search.  The US Coast Guard is working with Canadian forces, who have deployed a C130 aircraft as well as a P8 submarine.

A British adventurer is among those aboard a submarine which has gone missing near the wreckage of the Titanic.  Hamish Harding, chairman of private plane firm Action Aviation, is understood to be aboard the five-person OceanGate Expeditions vessel which was reported overdue on Sunday evening about 435 miles south of St John’s, Newfoundland.

On social media this weekend, Mr Harding said he was “proud to finally announce” that he would be aboard the mission to the wreck of the Titanic.

The US Coast Guard is leading a search for the vessel which involves military aircraft.

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