The missing OceanGate Titan submersible has now passed the deadline for its oxygen supply as the desperate search for the vessel continues.
The world is now praying for a miracle after the U.S. Coast Guard predicted the vital oxygen supply would end at 7.08 am EST.
“Banging” sounds had been heard at 30-minute intervals from the depths of the Atlantic, as Slay News reported.
The noises could possibly be from the men striking the side of the sub.
However, experts have warned that the sounds could be from debris falling from the wreckage.
Nevertheless, the sub has not yet been located.
Those stuck onboard include British billionaire Hamish Harding, OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French navy veteran PH Nargeolet and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, who is just 19 and a student at Strathclyde University.
The U.S. Coast Guard has said that the rescue operation is “still in an active search.”
There are no plans yet to shift to a recovery phase as the desperate families of the so-called “Titan Five” wait for news.
A deep water robot sub has reached the Atlantic floor – and another is descending the 12,500ft of ocean fast.
“The Canadian vessel Horizon Arctic has deployed an ROV that has reached the sea floor and begun its search for the missing sub,” a spokesman said.
And a French ship viewed as the best and final hope of finding the missing Titanic submersible has also dropped its remote-controlled sub to find five missing adventurers.
L’Atalante has deployed Victor 6000, which can reach depths of 20,000ft and will arrive at the Titanic’s wreck in the next two hours.
Victor 6000 has arms that can cut cables – or dislodge a trapped or stranded vessel – and may be able to fix a cable onto the sub before it is hauled several miles to the surface by a giant winch with more than three miles of cable called a Flyaway Deep Ocean Salvage System on Horizon Arctic.
Despite fears their oxygen supplies have run out, there is still hope in the most desperate of situations.
Experts believe that the 96-hour oxygen supply number is an imprecise estimate and could be extended if those on board have taken measures to conserve breathable air including lying still and even sleeping.
Guillermo Sohnlein founded OceanGate with Rush in 2009.
Sohnlein believes that the window for finding them could go beyond the U.S. Coast Guard’s prediction.
He said: “Today will be a critical day in this search and rescue mission, as the sub’s life support supplies are starting to run low.
“I’m certain that Stockton and the rest of the crew realized days ago that the best thing they can do to ensure their rescue is to extend the limits of those supplies by relaxing as much as possible.
“I firmly believe that the time window available for their rescue is longer than what most people think. I continue to hold out hope for my friend and the rest of the crew.”
Titan lost communication on Sunday while about 435 miles south of St John’s, Newfoundland, during a voyage to the Titanic off the coast of Canada.
The last “ping” of its homing device was heard on Sunday afternoon – directly above the world’s most famous wreck.
Above the Titanic is a flotilla of at least ten ships, two robot subs, and several aircraft scanning the Atlantic for any sign of Titan as sonar continues to hear a banging noise from the depths.
Shipping experts at Marine Traffic have shared an animation of the ships rushing to the search zone.
Titan’s mothership Polar Prince has been searching the area since Sunday and is zig-zagging the site in the hope that it will appear on the surface or get back in contact after communications cut out more than 72 hours ago.
Rob Larter, a marine expert at the British Antarctic Survey, told a press conference on Thursday that he thought the Victor 6000 was the “main hope” for underwater rescue.