Company Behind Titanic Sub Says Passengers Have 'Sadly Been Lost' (UPDATE)

An aircraft searching for the missing OceanGate Expeditions submersible reportedly detected "banging" from the area it and the five people onboard went missing.

David Ryder / Getty Images

UPDATED 6/28 12:38 p.m. ET: Debris from the Titan submersible is seen in new port photos shared by numerous news outlets on Wednesday. Per the Associated Press, a vessel carrying the debris has returned to a port in St. John’s area of Newfoundland.

Earlier on Wednesday, Pelagic Research Services—an ocean services company that worked on recovery efforts in the investigation—said its team had “successfully completed off-shore operations.”

UPDATED 6/22 4:50 p.m. ET: OceanGate, the company behind the missing sub issued a statement saying the passengers have "sadly been lost," according to CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

OceanGate says in a new statement that they believe the passengers of the Titanic submersible have “sadly been lost."

— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) June 22, 2023
Twitter: @kaitlancollins

"The debris is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber," Rear Adm. John Mauger, commander of the First Coast Guard District said in a press conference. He added that the the debris was found 1,600 feet from the Titanic wreck.

— OceanGate Expeditions (@OceanGateExped) June 22, 2023
Twitter: @OceanGateExped

UPDATED 6/22 12:10 p.m. ET:  The U.S. Coast Guard said a "debris field" was discovered by a remote operated vehicle (ROV) discovered near the Titanic wreckage site, CBS News reports.

While the source of the debris has yet to be identidied, the Coast Guard says that the information is currently being evaluated.

UPDATED 6/22 10:55 a.m. ET: Rescue efforts to recover the missing Titanic tourist submersible are ongoing as the emergency oxygen supply on the vessel is suspected to have run out.

Per The Independent, U..S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral Hohn Mauger said the operation is still considered an "active search and rescue" rather than a recovery mission.

"We continue to keep the crew members and the families in our thoughts as we proceed with this search and rescue while we’re cognisant of the time and we’ve factored in a lot of data and information into the search," he said. "This is still an active search and rescue at this point and we’re using the equipment that we have on the bottom right now, the remote-operated vehicles to expand our search capability, and then also to provide rescue capability as well.”

The Explorer's Club, of which both passengers Hamish Harding and Paul-Henri Nargeolet are members, shared a statement on Thursday addressing the belief the oxygen onboard the submersible craft has been used up. “We remain hopeful for the successful rescue of the five crew members. While the planned life support supply depletes, we believe crew conservation and the near-freezing temperature could prolong life support,” reads the statement.

The U.S. Coast Guard also confirmed that further help has arrived on the scene and weather conditions have improved. “Conditions for the search and rescue are favourable right now and so we’re making the most of this weather window and the good conditions,” added Mauger. "We have aircraft still flying overhead looking for any indications of the submersible on the surface. But our focus right now is on the sub-sea search with the new capabilities that we have brought on line."

Weather on scene: winds at 14 mph with gusts up to 19mph. Sea state is 4-5ft swells with an air temp of 50°f. #Titanic

— USCGNortheast (@USCGNortheast) June 22, 2023
Twitter: @USCGNortheast

See original story below.

An aircraft involved in the search for and rescue operation to recover the missing Titanic tourist submersible detected "banging" sounds in 30-minute intervals coming from the general area the vessel and its five passengers went missing.

Per an internal email sent to Department of Homeland Security leadership, as obtained by Rolling Stone on Tuesday, a Canadian aircraft detected an unspecified "banging" sound. “RCC Halifax launched a P8, Poseidon, which has underwater detection capabilities from the air,” reads the email. “The P8 deployed sonobuoys, which reported a contact in a position close to the distress position. The P8 heard banging sounds in the area every 30 minutes. Four hours later additional sonar was deployed and banging was still heard.”

In another email obtained by CNN, DHS leadership was told that "additional acoustic feedback" was heard. A "white rectangular object" was located as part of the search efforts, but a research vessel investigating the object was later "diverted to research the acoustic feedback instead." The search and rescue effort also includes a remotely operated vehicle, which continued its search into the evening on Tuesday with various operators standing by.

While the email does not state what caused the sound or when it was detected, the email update stated “the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre is working to find an underwater remote-operated vehicle through partner organizations to possibly assist.” In a statement shared on Twitter, the Boston Coast Guard confirmed the Canadian surveillance aircraft "detected underwater noises in the search area." Additionally, the travel and research group the Explorers Society stated on Tuesday that sonar detected what was described as "tapping sounds" at the location, which could imply the crew is alive and "signaling" for help.

Canadian P-3 aircraft detected underwater noises in the search area. As a result, ROV operations were relocated in an attempt to explore the origin of the noises. Those ROV searches have yielded negative results but continue. 1/2

— USCGNortheast (@USCGNortheast) June 21, 2023
Twitter: @USCGNortheast

The OceanGate Expeditions Titan submersible has been missing since Sunday, June 18. The vessel lost contact with the Coast Guard around one hour and 45 minutes into its journey to the Titanic wreck site in the Atlantic Ocean. Titan is holding four passengers and one pilot. The individuals on board have since been identified as Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, British billionaire Hamish Harding, and French Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet. The passengers paid $250,000 to take a journey to the wreck site of the Titanic, which is 3,800 meters below sea level.

News of the missing submersible craft has sparked a lot of discussion online. Reports the Titan was being piloted by a Logitech controller received specific attention, as did previous comments made by OceanGate Expeditions CEO Stockton Rush, who said the craft once got lost for two hours on a dive. "We run the whole thing with this game controller," Rush said in a resurfaced (no pun intended) interview.

The wreck site of the Titanic, which sunk in 1912 during its maiden voyage from the UK to NYC, was discovered in 1985 after decades of efforts to locate the ship. James Cameron, who has himself gone on many deep-sea dives to visit the site, depicted the sinking of the ship in his hugely successful 1997 film.

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