Titanic Tourist Submarine Vanishes During Expedition, Five People Missing

Tour firm OceanGate, which hosts submersible craft tours of the Titanic shipwreck, said a search is underway.

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A submersible craft that provides tours of the Titanic shipwreck has been missing since Sunday, June 18.

Per the BBC, tour firm OceanGate and the U.S Coast Guard have confirmed a search and rescue operation is underway. The submarine lost contact with the Coast Guard approximately one hour and 45 minutes into its journey to the Titanic wreck site, which is located at the Atlantic Ocean's sea bed, 3,800 meters below sea level.

OceanGate charges $250,000 per person for expeditions to the Titanic. The craft is the Titan submersible, which holds five people and typically dives with four days worth of oxygen. In a statement, the company said it is "mobilizing all options" to safely recover the vessel and everyone on board. Among those on board is 58-year-old British billionaire Hamish Harding, who recently shared his excitement to join an expedition to the shipwreck. Per Reuters, his stepson confirmed on Facebook that Harding was among those missing.

"We are deeply thankful for the extensive assistance we have received from several government agencies and deep sea companies in our efforts to re-establish contact with the submersible," the OceanGate statement continues. The trip set sail from St. John's in Newfoundland.

The Titanic sunk in 1912 when it hit an iceberg during its maiden voyage from Southampton, United Kingdom, to New York City. Over 1,500 people are believed to have died in the sinking of the ship, and it remains one of the deadliest maritime disasters in recorded history. Its wreckage was not discovered until 1985.

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