Titanic sub search: ‘Loud bangs’ & underwater noises heard in frantic search, Coast Guard confirms
and live on Freeview channel 276
Loud bangs and underwater noises have been heard in the search for OceanGate’s submersible which went missing after attempting a dive to the wreck of the Titanic. A rescue operation has been launched as five people, including three Brits, remain missing on board.
The submersible, named Titan went missing on Sunday (June 18) and it is thought to have lost contact with its support ship just an hour and 45 minutes into its dive. Meanwhile, it has been reported that only 90 hours of “life support” is available inside the sub, and less than 40 hours now remain available, sparking the frantic search.
However, US Coast Guards have confirmed that ‘underwater’ noises have been heard as their search operation continues.
A tweet from the US Coastguard North East reads: “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.
“Additionally, the data from the P-3 aircraft has been shared with our U.S. Navy experts for further analysis which will be considered in future search plans.”
According to Sky News, regular banging sounds were picked up by sonar devices deployed in the search for the submersible. An internal government memo from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said banging sounds had been detected every 30 minutes on Tuesday (June 20).
Four hours later, after additional sonar devices were deployed, banging was still heard, the memo said. The complex search is being carried out over a vast area covering 20,000 sq. km - which is "larger than the state of Connecticut."
Rescue teams from Canada's Navy, air force and coast guard, as well as the New York state air guard and a French research vessel has also joined the search. Meanwhile, a UK-based deepwater specialist titled Explorers Club has also been contacted to assist with the search. A French research vessel has also joined the search
Three British men are onboard, including businessman Hamish Harding; Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his teenage son.
Missing Titanic sub - Submersible vs Submarine - what’s the difference?
According to the Ocean Explorer website, the difference between a submarine and a submersible is a submarine has enough power to leave port and come back to port under its own power. A submersible has very limited power reserves so it needs a mother ship that can launch it and recover it.
Submersibles are launched from support ships which take the submersible to the site where the vessel will deep dive - similar to how a boat deposits a scuba diver into an area of the ocean to explore. Titan’s location is unknown because it lost contact with its support ship, Polar Prince, as CNN reported.
OceanGate told the BBC, Titan’s dive began on Sunday after Polar Prince escorted the submersible to the site of the Titanic wreckage, which is near Newfoundland, Canada.
However, according to the OceanGate website Titan is paired with a patented, integrated launch and recovery platform making it ‘easy to operate in varying sea states’ using a local appropriately sized ship for the project.
It adds that in coastal waters this means they do not need a large support ship with a crane or A-frame.
In comparison, submarines can propel themselves forward through the water using propellers or jets that shoot out water. These can be powered by diesel engines, or even nuclear reactors, and do not need a support ship to launch.