| 17 April 2024, Wednesday |

Submarine exploring Titanic wreck missing, search underway

According to the private firm that controls the vessel, a submarine on a tourist mission to examine the Titanic debris has gone missing off the coast of northeastern Canada.

In a brief statement issued on Monday, OceanGate Expeditions stated that it was “mobilizing all options” to rescue everyone on board the yacht.

The US Coast Guard did not react quickly to calls for comment. According to media reports, the Coast Guard has begun search and rescue efforts.

It was not immediately clear how many people were missing.

The family of British billionaire Hamish Harding said he was onboard. His stepson wrote on Facebook that Harding had “gone missing on submarine” and asked for “thoughts and prayers.” The stepson subsequently removed the post, citing respect for the family’s privacy.

Harding himself had posted on Facebook a day earlier that he would be aboard the sub. There have been no posts from him since.

In a statement, OceanGate said, “We are deeply thankful for the extensive assistance we have received from several government agencies and deep sea companies in our efforts to reestablish contact with the submersible.”

The company is currently operating its fifth Titanic “mission” of 2023, according to its website, which had been scheduled to start last week and finish on Thursday.

The expedition, which costs $250,000 per person, starts in St. John’s, Newfoundland, before heading out approximately 400 miles (640 km) into the Atlantic to the wreckage site, according to OceanGate’s website.

In order to visit the wreck, passengers climb inside Titan, the five-person submersible, which takes about two hours to descend to the Titanic.

The British passenger ship famously sank in 1912 on its maiden voyage after striking an iceberg, killing more than 1,500 people. The story has been immortalized in nonfiction and fiction books as well as the 1997 blockbuster movie “Titanic.”

  • Reuters