Diving robot comes across debris field while searching for “Titan”.


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As of: 06/22/2023 8:01 p.m

A deep-sea robot has discovered a field of debris during its search for the missing submersible “Titan” – according to the BBC, it is said to be the remains of the “Titan”. However, this has not yet been officially confirmed.

While searching for the missing Titan submersible, a diving robot discovered a debris field near the wreck of the Titanic. This was announced by the US Coast Guard. The British BBC reports that it is said to be debris from the missing boat, citing information from diving experts who are linked to the deep sea and rescue industries. There is no official confirmation yet. At 9 p.m. European time, the coast guard wants to inform about the developments at a press conference.

The “Titan” with five occupants on board has been searched for since it disappeared on Sunday. According to calculations, the oxygen on board the vehicle should run out during the course of Thursday or have already run out if it is still intact.

US Coast Guard Chief of Operations John Mauger previously said they wanted to find the occupants alive. Difficult situations show again and again “that the will to survive also counts”.

Robot searches the seabed

The US Coast Guard and the Canadian Coast Guard have been searching an area of ​​around 20,000 square kilometers almost 650 kilometers off the coast of the Canadian province of Newfoundland from the air and on the water for days. The rescue workers are now concentrating on the use of diving robots. Several special ships with such devices on board are in use in the search area.

The diving robot “Victor 6000” can dive up to six kilometers deep and thus search the seabed around the “Titanic” wreck at a depth of around 3800 meters. He has powerful searchlights and two gripper arms with which he could attach ropes for a salvage to the “Titan” – if he finds the submersible.

Search could take weeks

After arriving in the search area, the special ship “Atalante” began to measure the seabed in the region with special echo sounders in order to enable a more targeted use of the diving robot. British Antarctic Society expert Rob Larter called Victor 6000 the “best hope” for rescuing those missing aboard Titan. However, it could “possibly take weeks of intensive search” to find the tiny submarine in the huge search area. “An objective assessment of the state of affairs: It doesn’t look good,” Larter said.

It usually takes about two hours for a submersible like Victor 6000 to descend to the depths of the Titanic wreck and just as long for it to surface again, said University College London professor Alistair Greig.

Pitch black darkness, huge water pressure

The “Titan”, operated by the company OceanGate Expeditions, set off on a tourist dive trip to the wreck of the sunken “Titanic” on Sunday. After almost two hours, contact with the escort ship broke off, and since then there has been no trace of the 6.5-meter-long mini-submarine. When launched, the submersible had around 96 hours of oxygen for the five men on board – theoretically enough to date.

But even after that, people would probably first pass out and not die immediately, Kenneth Ledez, a professor of hyperbaric medicine, told the BBC. Even after that, there is still hope of finding the five people alive. Human bodies react very differently to a lack of oxygen.

Aboard the missing mini-sub are OceanGate Expeditions chief Stockton Rush, British entrepreneur and adventurer Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman, and French Titanic expert Paul- Henri Nargeolet.

The conditions are difficult in the vicinity of the “Titanic”, almost 700 kilometers south of Newfoundland. It’s pitch black and the water pressure is huge. The forces combed an area almost twice the size of the US state of Connecticut, about 26,000 square kilometers, said the US Coast Guard coordinator for the operation, Jamie Frederick.

Submarine specialist sees little chance

Should the submersible be found anyway, the salvage would take a lot of time. “The whole salvage process is complicated enough,” said Jürgen Weber from the Association of German Submarine Drivers in an interview tagesschau24: “A diving robot would have to go down, attaching a steel cable to the submersible and attaching the other end of the cable to the “FADOSS” system, the US Navy’s lifting system.”

According to the expert, only then can the upward winding process begin. “I fear that this time will not be long enough to survive aboard this submersible.”

Doubts about the safety of the submersible

Doubts had recently arisen about the safety of the “Titan”. This was also ensured by statements from the head of the operating company OceanGate, Stockton Rush, in a podcast by the CBS reporter David Pogue, who rode the “Titan” in 2022. “You know, at some point security is a waste,” Rush said. “I mean, if you want to be on the safe side, it’s best not to get up. Don’t get in your car. Don’t do anything.” Rush is among the missing on board.

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