‘Claustrophobic’ photos show how small the submarine that went missing during a Titanic tour really is.
After approximately one hour and 45 minutes into its dive, the US Coast Guard announced the loss of contact with the small submarine that is lost somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean.
OceanGate, the tour firm organising the expedition, assured that every available option was being considered in the efforts to rescue the five individuals who were aboard the submersible.
Now, photos have emerged of the sub’s compact size, leaving many around the world astonished.
Watch as a journalist who has been on the now-missing submarine for a Titanic expedition explains what it’s like to be on it…
The search operation, involving US and Canadian teams, is urgently attempting to locate the small craft.
The submersible, which measures 263 inches x 110 inches x 98 inches – roughly the size of a minivan – vanished while exploring the Titanic’s underwater resting place.
The missing submersible is known as the Titan.
Its passengers are securely fastened inside the vessel, making escape almost impossible in case of emergencies.
David Pogue, a CBS journalist who previously journeyed in the small submersible to the Titanic, has revealed that options are limited if anything goes wrong.
He tells the BBC: “There’s no backup, there’s no escape pod. It’s get to the surface or die.”
Communication with the submersible is also challenging, as there is no GPS system, and the vessel can only receive text messages relayed through its support ship, which must be directly above the sub for effective communication.
Clips from the CBS documentary featuring the submersible have circulated on social media, drawing attention to its unconventional design.
On Twitter, one person says: “Y’all please watch this. It’s a CBS story that aired a while back about that submarine that is now missing. The creators of that missing submarine are DEEPLY unserious.”
A second adds: “The PlayStation controller and the one button are the strongest indicators that no national government had oversight of this thing.”
Some social media users are expressing disbelief at the notion of willingly entering the confined space, with one person questioning the appeal of spending hours inside the bolted-shut submarine, which can only be opened from the outside, for a brief glimpse of the underwater gravesite.
They write: “I just can’t imagine paying $200k or whatever to spend 10 hours in this thing – which is bolted shut and can only be opened from the outside – with four other people to travel to the bottom of the sea for a quick glimpse of a watery gravesite.”
Another person comments: “This thing is tiny. Can’t imagine how scary it must be.”
Government agencies, the US and Canadian navies, and commercial deep-sea companies are collaborating in the search and rescue operation.
The five individuals on board the submersible have approximately 96 hours of air supply, with reports indicating that their oxygen is expected to run out on Thursday morning.
However, even if the submersible is miraculously found and its occupants are alive, experts warn that conducting a recovery mission near the Titanic wreckage will be immensely challenging.
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“Titanic herself lies in a trench. There’s lots of debris around.
“So trying to differentiate with sonar in particular and trying to target the area you want to search in with another submersible is going to be very difficult indeed.”
As the search operation continues, hopes remain for a successful outcome despite the complexities and risks involved in navigating the treacherous depths of the Atlantic Ocean.
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