Sub search turns up empty

Fears are growing that time has run out for the missing submersible Titan and its five passengers.

The latest: The search-and-rescue mission underway in the North Atlantic has yet to find the vessel, and US Coast Guard officials say its air supply will likely be gone around 6 am Eastern time.

Catch-up: On a tour of the Titanic’s wreckage, the minivan-sized vessel lost contact with its support ship on Sunday while descending almost four kilometres to the bottom of the ocean.

  • US-based OceanGate started offering tourists the opportunity to dive to view the Titanic wreckage in 2021, selling tickets for the 2023 journey for US$250,000 a piece.
  • The internet was quick to pick apart the Titan for its short history and janky operating features, like a Playstation controller and interior finishings from Camping World.   

What we know: The search intensified after banging sounds picked up by sonar sparked hope for rescuers. Canadian and US coastguards have been leading the efforts.  

  • After setting sail from St. John’s, Newfoundland, the submersible is thought to be in a remote part of the North Atlantic, either floating around or stuck under sea level.
  • The airtight vessel is reportedly sealed by at least 17 deadbolts, leaving the crew with no way out other than rescuers opening the hatch from the outside. 

Who’s on board: The crew includes the CEO of OceanGate, a father-son duo from a wealthy Pakistani family, a British billionaire explorer, and a Titanic expert. 

Why it matters: It’s a tragic example of the dangers involved with the growing “extreme tourism” industry, which is sending more people on risky ocean- and space-bound voyages.