The missing OceanGate Expeditions Titan submarine has around 40 hours of air left, the U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed.
The submarine vanished on Sunday in the North Atlantic while on an expedition to visit the wreckage of the RMS Titanic.
Rear Adm. John Mauger of the U.S. Coast Guard said search operations are underway in an area “about the size of Connecticut” about 900 miles off the coast of Cape Cod at a depth of 13,000 feet.
“It is a challenge to conduct a search in that remote area,” Mauger said at a press conference.
“But we are deploying all available assets to ensure that we can locate the craft and rescue the people on board.”
A day before the OceanGate Expeditions-operated sub was launched, billionaire explorer Hamish Harding sent his friend, retired NASA astronaut Col. Terry Virts, an update on his trip.
“Hey, we’re headed out tomorrow, it looks good, the weather’s been bad so they’ve been waiting for this,” Harding said via text message.
“He understood the risks for sure, there’s no doubt about that,” Virts said.
“He went down to the deepest part of the ocean, set a few world records at the Mariana Trench and we talked quite a bit about the risks and the different things that they were going to be able to do,” he added.
“So he was very excited about it.”
Harding said earlier on Instagram:
“I am proud to finally announce that I joined @oceangateexped for their RMS TITANIC Mission as a mission specialist on the sub going down to the Titanic.
“Due to the worst winter in Newfoundland in 40 years, this mission is likely to be the first and only manned mission to the Titanic in 2023.
“A weather window has just opened up and we are going to attempt a dive tomorrow.
“We started steaming from St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada yesterday and are planning to start dive operations around 4am tomorrow morning.
“Until then we have a lot of preparations and briefings to do.
“The team on the sub has a couple of legendary explorers, some of which have done over 30 dives to the RMS Titanic since the 1980s including PH Nargeolet.”
Two other passengers have been identified.
Shahzada Dawood, 48, one of Pakistan’s wealthiest men who is worth around $340 million and his son, Sulaiman Dawood, 19.
The Dawood family wrote in a statement:
“We are very grateful for the concern being shown by our colleagues and friends and would like to request everyone to pray for their safety while granting the family privacy at this time.
“The family is well looked after and are praying to Allah for the safe return of their family members.”
Shahzada Dawood is Vice Chairman of Engro Corporation, one of the largest conglomerates in Pakistan.