Rescuers will only have one chance to save everyone on the missing Titanic submarine if it is found, an expert says.
Rescuers face a critical task if they can locate the missing Titanic submersible, which lost communication with tour operators on Sunday.
The submersible carried five crew members, including British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding, 58, Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his son Suleman Dawood, 19.
Stockton Rush (OceanGate’s CEO and founder), 61, and French submersible pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, were also on board when the sub vanished somewhere beneath the Atlantic Ocean.
According to experts, there will be only one opportunity to retrieve the submersible, emphasising the complexity and urgency of the operation.
Watch as images show the construction and testing of the lost Titanic submarine…
On Wednesday morning, the US Coast Guard reported detecting underwater noises in the search area, leading to the relocation of remote operating vehicle (ROV) operations to investigate the source.
However, initial ROV searches yielded no results, and further analysis of data collected by the P-3 aircraft is underway.
Multiple vessels are involved in the search, including the Bahamian research vessel Deep Energy, the French research vessel L’Atalante, and His Majesty’s Canadian Ship Glace Bay.
The involvement of these resources underscores the collaborative efforts aimed at locating the missing submersible.
Naval architect Fotis Pagoulatos has stressed the critical nature of the rescue operation, saying that rescuers will have only one opportunity to retrieve the submersible.
He tells The Wall Street Journal: “You need a ship that can lower a cable to pull the Titan up or have some kind of a claw.
“Even if they find it, there may not be enough time for the rescue because of the oxygen issue inside.
“Pulling up a vessel the size of a small bus is a complicated operation that takes time, and you only get one chance.”
To aid in the rescue efforts, the Navy announced the dispatch of subject-matter experts and a Flyaway Deep Ocean Salvage System.
This is a motion-compensated lift system designed for recovering large undersea objects.
Additionally, the Explorers’ Club, of which Harding is a founding member, has expressed hope and offered support.
President Richard Garriot de Cayeux says: “There is cause for hope, that based on data from the field, we understand that likely signs of life have been detected at the site.
“They precisely understand the experienced personnel and tech we can help deploy.
“We believe they are doing everything possible with all the resources they have.”
While the situation remains critical, with passengers potentially having just hours of oxygen left, efforts are underway to locate and rescue the crew.
The urgency of the situation has spurred collaboration among experts and organisations equipped with specialised equipment and knowledge.
The race against time continues as the world hopes for a successful retrieval operation before the oxygen supply is depleted, currently estimated to occur on Thursday at 11am BST.
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