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‘Every available asset’ deployed to search
Crews were scouring an area twice the size of Connecticut in waters 4 kilometres deep, said Captain Jamie Frederick of the First Coast Guard District, who noted that authorities are still holding out hope of saving the five passengers onboard the Titan.
“This is a search and rescue mission, 100 per cent,” he said. “… We’ll continue to put every available asset that we have in an effort to find the Titan and the crew members.”
But even those who expressed optimism warned that many obstacles remain: from pinpointing the vessel’s location, to reaching it with rescue equipment, to bringing it to the surface — assuming it’s still intact.
And all that has to happen before the passengers’ oxygen supply runs out, which some have estimated might happen as early as Thursday morning (US time) or it could be as early as this evening AEST.
Safety questions raised before the voyage
North America correspondent Farrah Tomazin writes:
The tour company whose submersible craft went missing during a Titanic wreckage expedition ignored calls to get its vessel independently checked and certified, believing this would stifle innovation.
OceanGate’s Titan submersible vehicle.
As the international mission to find the Titan and its five occupants continued into its third day, documents have placed OceanGate – the company at the centre of the search – under fresh scrutiny over its refusal to have the vessel “classed” despite repeated warnings about the safety risks.
Court filings and industry letters from 2018, along with OceanGate’s own website, reveal how the company was warned by employees and external experts that the Titan should undertake rigorous testing and assessments or run the risk of potentially “catastrophic” problems during its expeditions.
However, in a 2019 blog post titled “Why Isn’t Titan Classed?” OceanGate argued that traditional certification, which is usually done through classification agencies such as the American Bureau of Shipping or Norwegian firm DNV-GL, could hold the company back. Instead, the company insisted its own safety testing and risk assessments were sufficient.
Read the full story here.
Air supply could run out in a matter of hours
Estimates suggest the air supply on board the vessel could run out in a matter of hours.
An international coalition of rescue teams is sweeping a vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean for the Titan, which disappeared on Sunday (US time) while taking five people deep underwater to visit the century-old Titantic wreck as part of a tourist expedition.
Welcome to our live coverage
Good morning. Welcome to our live coverage of the search efforts for the submersible Titan, which went missing on a voyage to the wreckage of the Titanic on Monday (AEST).
Catch up on Farrah Tomazin’s coverage here.
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