Titanic tourist sub search ‘delayed’ as Navy captain recalls Kursk disaster

The search for the missing Titanic tourist submarine was delayed because of a laggy response which has been compared to the Kursk disaster 23 years ago.

The OceanGate Explorations submersible 'Titan' lost communication with its mothership Polar Prince roughly one hour and 45 minutes into its descent to the Titanic wreck on Sunday (June 18).

The five men on board were left with just 96 hours of air but had the response been swifter, the outlook might have looked brighter, according to former Royal Navy submarine captain, Ryan Ramsey.

READ MORE: Titanic tourist submarine searchers admit 'banging sounds' was 'background ocean noise'

He suggested the search was hampered by delays in getting resources to the area where Titan is believed to have gone missing.

Referring to the Kursk submarine disaster which killed all 118 Russian crew, he said: “There has been a delay and this comes back to the Kursk in 2000.

"The reason that we were able to rapidly deploy within 24 hours to that site was because they rapidly deployed the equipment immediately and that didn’t happen on this occasion.

“They probably lost two or three days getting equipment or ships there.

“There will be a variety of reasons for that, I don’t think it’ll be because they were just sat there and didn’t want to do it, they might have been engaged in other activity and had to decouple from that and then detach to support.”

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There was widespread hope yesterday (June 21) when search vessels picked up 'banging noises' for a second day in a row.

However, Rear Admiral John Mauger confirmed that the noise heard by sonar buoys was simply 'background ocean noise'.

Mauger today spoke about the possibility of stopping the search effort.

He said: “There’s a time and place for that discussion, right now we have this new capability that is available on the sea floor actively conducting the search and rescue, so my focus right now is, and the focus of the unified command, is really on maximising the use of those assets that we have on scene.

“We will remain focused on the search and rescue but continue to take in all available information as we plan out our future operation.”

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