Missing Titan submersible was using Elon Musk's satellites: 10 points update | World News - Hindustan Times

Titanic tourist submersible missing with 5 onboard was using Elon Musk's Starlink satellites: 10 points update

BySumanti Sen
Jun 20, 2023 11:44 AM IST

A massive search operation has been launched after a submersible carrying five people went missing in the North Atlantic Ocean

A massive search operation has been launched after a submersible carrying five people went missing in the North Atlantic Ocean. United States and Canadian authorities are on the lookout for the submersible and the people who were in it, on a journey to see the remains of theTitanic at the bottom of the ocean. The missing Titan submersible is owned by the company OceanGate.

OceanGate says that the Titan is a 23,000-pound submersible made of carbon fibre and titanium (Hamish Harding/Facebook)
OceanGate says that the Titan is a 23,000-pound submersible made of carbon fibre and titanium (Hamish Harding/Facebook)

The submersible began its journey on Sunday morning, June 18. About one hour and 45 minutes into its descent, the vessel lost contact with the Polar Prince, the support ship that transported it to the site.

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OceanGate says that the Titan is a 23,000-pound submersible made of carbon fibre and titanium. The vessel uses a “proprietary real-time hull health monitoring (RTM) system,” and any time an issue is detected, an “early warning” would be sent to the pilot, to leave “enough time to … safely return to the surface.”

As a search is currently underway, here is a 10-point update on the case:

1) The missing submersible was using Elon Musk's Starlink satellites for its communications at sea

OceanGate Expeditions reportedly uses Elon Musk’s Starlink to communicate while in the ocean. The company tweeted on June 1, “Despite being in the middle of the North Atlantic, we have the internet connection we need to make our #Titanic dive operations a success - thank you@Starlink!”

2) Massive search underway

An extensive search is underway for the vessel and the five people who are missing.Lieutenant Jordan Hart of the US Coast Guard in Boston told CBS News that a “search and rescue operation” is underway off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. Assisting the search are the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a Canadian military aircraft and a Canadian Coast Guard vessel.

3) Inventor Stockton Rush’s assurance

CBS journalist David Pogue claimed that the Titan’s investor, Stockton Rush, told him the vessel was “rock solid.” “It is one of a kind submersible with five-inch thick carbon fibre,” David said. “I have to admit I had some qualms getting on that thing. A lot of the components were off the shelf, improvised. For example, you steer this sub with a game controller.”

He added, “The chief executive and inventor of the sub, Stockton Rush, reassured me that all the stuff may be improvised but the part you care about the capsule, the container that contains people and oxygen, was codesigned with Nasa and the University of Washington and it is rock solid.”

4) British billionaire explorer Hamish Harding believed to be among the missing

Hamish Harding, a British billionaire explorer who has previously travelled on the Challenger Deep to the bottom of the ocean, is feared to be among the five people who were in the submersible. On June 18, Hamish, 58, wrote on Facebook, “I am proud to finally announce that I joined OceanGate Expeditions 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.”

He added, “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.”

5) “They should have surfaced a few hours ago,”Hamish Harding’s friend says

Hamish Harding’s friend Jannicke Mikkelsen has opened up after the vessel went missing. “Every single expedition is dangerous and that is something Hamish taught me. It is why I started the expedition,” she told NewsNation.

“Every expedition has a possibility of death,” she added. “I know Hamish would be calm and they would work together. Every single expedition would have a checklist of options. My fear is that... they should have surfaced a few hours ago but they didn’t. That is scary.”

6) French mariner Paul-Henri Nargeolet believed to be among the missing had issued eerie warning

French mariner Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 73, who is believed to be among the missing, specialises in deep-diving and piloting submersibles. He has previously spent a lot of time at the Titanic wreck.

In 2019, Paul-Henri spoke to the Irish Examiner about the risks of underage voyages. "If you are 11 metres or 11 kilometres down, if something bad happens, the result is the same," the former French Naval captain had said. "When you're in very deep water, you're dead before you realise that something is wrong, so it's just not a problem."

7) OceanGate “working toward the safe return of the crewmembers”

OceanGate has said it is “working toward the safe return of the crewmembers”. The company charges up to $250,000 to take guests to the site of the Titanic. The company has offered tours to tourists since 2021.

8) Titan submersible only had 96 hours of air

An adviser to OceanGate, David Concannon, had said the vessel had a 96-hour oxygen supply starting at roughly 6 am on the day it took off. He told Associated Press that although he was supposed to be on the dive, another client matter held him back.

9) The last communication from the Titan submersible was sent out fromabove Titanic wreckage

The Titan reportedlysends a ping to the Polar Prince every 15 minutes. The last ping was received while the vessel floated above the Titanic wreckage at about 3 pm local time.

10) Former British Navy officer says “timescale” of missing Titan is worrying

Former British Navy officer Chris Parry told Sky News that the vessel may have fallen foul of a “catastrophic failure.” He said the Titan may have even become tangled up in the debris of the Titanic wreck. “It’s very concerning indeed,” he said. “Having listened to the timescale it’s very worrying.”

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