Coast Guard Registers Possible Sign of Life
During the search for the missing submarine in the North Atlantic, tapping sounds were heard. According to the New York Times, doubts about the safety of the underwater vehicle had already been raised.
Search teams involved in the search for the missing submarine "Titan" in the Atlantic may have heard a sign of life from the occupants. The US Coast Guard reported on Twitter that on Tuesday, using sonar, they registered a tapping sound every 30 minutes in the region where the submarine is believed to be.
Four hours later, even after additional sonar devices were deployed, the tapping was still audible, it was further stated. However, the memo did not specify when exactly and for how long the sounds were heard.
The dive boat, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, had set off on Sunday for a tourist dive to the wreck of the sunken Titanic. After about two hours, contact with the support ship was lost, and since then, there has been no trace of the underwater vehicle and its five occupants.
Additional ships support the rescue operation
The presence of rescue forces has been further reinforced. Eight more ships are on their way to support the search in the Atlantic. This includes four ships from the Canadian Coast Guard, the French research vessel "L'Atalante," and the Canadian "HMCS Glace Bay," which has a decompression chamber and medical personnel on board, as stated by the US Coast Guard.
Time is running out: According to estimates by authorities, the oxygen on board the "Titan" is expected to last until Thursday noon. The US Coast Guard tweeted that an area of approximately 26,000 square kilometers has already been searched. That's larger than the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
OceanGate reiterated that every effort is being made to rescue the five missing individuals. "All possible steps are being taken to safely bring back the five crew members," a statement read. They expressed "profound gratitude for the urgent and comprehensive support received from multiple government agencies and deep-sea companies.
" Concerns about the safety of the "Titan"
According to an article in the New York Times, executives in the submarine industry had expressed concerns about the safety of the "Titan" years ago. "We fear that OceanGate's current experimental approach could lead to negative results (ranging from minor to catastrophic)," they wrote in a letter dated 2018, which was published by the newspaper.
OceanGate was accused of misleading marketing in the letter. CEO Stockton Rush, who is also among the missing crew members as the captain of the submarine, was urged to have the "Titan" tested by an independent party. This aligns with the impression of reporter David Pogue from the US network CBS, who had participated in the dive last year. He told the BBC that the vehicle seemed improvised to him. "You control this submarine with an Xbox game controller," Pogue said.
Arthur Loibl, a Titanic fan from Straubing in Lower Bavaria, was one of the first passengers on board the "Titan" in 2021. He told the news agency dpa that he had paid about $110,000 for the dive at that time. It is difficult to assess what could be the reason for the disappearance of the submarine. However, he mentioned that it must be terrible for the crew. They sit in a tight space, close to each other, with their feet overlapping.