The passengers and crew of a submersible that went missing near the Titanic wreckage have just hours of suspected oxygen endurance left, but more planes and ships join the last-minute hunt for those on board.
When the submersible Titan descended Sunday morning with two crew members and three passengers, it was only supposed to be under water for a few hours but was said to have had 96 hours of reserve oxygen on board. If the loading is correct and the oxygen on board is consumed at the suspected rate, this could result in the people on board – assuming the ship is still intact and the people on board still alive – to date being as little as 11: 30 BST (06:30 ET) are.
But conditions aboard Titan are unknown, how quickly oxygen is used up is unknown and how well people on board were able to conserve the oxygen they had available may vary, a scientist told Britain’s state broadcaster BBC this morning . dr Ken LeDez of Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, said if people on board were huddled together to keep warm and refrained from physical activity — and even avoided shivering in the frigid depths of the ocean, by sharing their body heat—that would mean less oxygen consumption.
‘Underwater noise’ discovered in search for missing ‘Titanic’ submarine, but time is running outhttps://t.co/nWPYuylbwQ
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Ultimately, according to Dr. LeDez, some onboard may survive a low-oxygen condition longer than others, calling the notion that some inmates might have a last-minute chance of surviving while others don’t as “disturbing” conversation. The scientist also discussed the potential benefit of the cold on board the submarine, saying the seabed temperature is around 0°C (32°F).
According to the BBC, Dr. LeDez: “If they cool down sufficiently and lose consciousness, there’s a chance they’ll survive – rescuers know that.”
But the discussion of oxygen levels aboard the submersible Titan is based on many assumptions, not the least of which is that the ship’s contact with the surface on Sunday was not the result of a catastrophic failure that destroyed the ship.
Meanwhile, the search continues. The US Coast Guard has released an image detailing the search grids used by air and surface forces to try to locate the submarine. A large red cross appears to indicate Titan’s last known position over the Titanic wreck, and the overlaid grids show a strong orientation toward the southeast search, underscoring local weather and tidal conditions and showing which direction rescuers are thinking, that there is no drive The vehicle would have drifted away within the allotted time.
Over time, more ships have joined the search. The French survey ship L’Atalante is one of the newest, and its publicly released GPS data shows it was traveling at five knots over the Titanic wreck at the time of publication. The ship carries an advanced underwater “robot” (“Remote Operating Vehicle” or ROV for short) that can dive to the depths of the Titanic without being destroyed.
According to NBC, the remote-controlled Victor 6000 could not haul the wrecked submersible under its own power when spotted, but was able to attach a line to haul it up.
Eight ships have arrived or are en route to assist, according to the US Coast Guard, with at least four ROVs and aircraft available to search. One of the ships arriving is HMCS Glace Bay, a Canadian warship that departed Halifax on Tuesday and has a “mobile decompression chamber” and medical staff on board.
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