- Coast Guard has deployed remote operated vehicles to dive for the missing sub
- Even if they find it, raising it to the ocean surface will pose another challenge
- The submersible went down at 8am on Sunday; it has 40 hours of oxygen left
- READ MORE: DailyMail.com’s live coverage of missing submersible Titan
The US Coast Guard has given the bleak warning that it may not be able to rescue the missing Titanic tourist sub – even if it is able to find it.
The Titan submersible has been missing since 9.45am on Sunday morning after being launched into the Atlantic at 8am.
OceanGate Expeditions – the company which runs the tours and is responsible for the sub – did not notify the Coast Guard until 5.40pm.
There are five people onboard, including three wealthy tourists, and the sub’s oxygen supply is now just 40 hours, giving rescue crews until Thursday morning to find it before it runs out.
But even if they locate the missing vessel in time, there is no certainty that it can safely be brought to surface.
At a press conference at the US Coast Guard Station in Boston – which is coordinating the search and rescue effort – First District Response Coordinator Capt. Jamie Frederick said it was not certain the sub could be saved – even if it is found today
The company’s Titan sub submerged at 8am on Sunday morning around 400 miles southeast of St John’s, Newfoundland, according to the US Coast Guard. It lost contact at 9.45am but it wasn’t reported to the Coast Guard until 5.40pm
‘Even with that amount of time left, if you were to find the submersible at this moment, would that give you enough time to save those five people on board?’ he was asked.
‘I don’t know the answer to that question… all I know is we will do everything within our power to effect a rescue,’ Frederick replied.
The Coast Guard has already searched 7,600 square miles of ocean – a search area the size of Connecticut.
At 12,500ft underwater, there are few vessels able to dive deeply enough to find it.
The only ones able to search the ocean floor are remotely operated vehicles which are searching the ocean now.
If they find the sub, getting it to the surface is another feat entirely, requiring specialist equipment that is not yet on-site.
Other experts likened it to requiring a 2.5mile long cable to lasso to the far side of the moon.
There are multiple civilian ships assisting in the search, along with US Navy, Canadian Navy ships and aircraft.
Among pieces of equipment now on the way to the site is a decompression chamber for the five passengers, should they be brought to the surface.
‘Getting salvage equipment on-scene is a top priority,’ Frederick said.
Shahzada Dawood, 48, a UK-based board member of the Prince’s Trust charity, and his son Sulaiman Dawood, 19, are among the five people trapped in the sub
The logistical challenge is immense; the Titanic wreck is situated some 400 miles southeast of St Johns, Newfoundland – around 900 miles east of Cape Cod.
A Canadian Coast Guard cutter is expected to arrive at the search area this evening.
It takes several days for Coast Guard ships to reach the site from the US.
In addition to the underwater remote operated vehicles and Coast Guard ships, several aircraft are surveying the water for any signs of the sub on the surface.
‘We don’t want to exhaust one possibility in place of another. We don’t want to rule out that it is on the surface.
‘If it is on the surface we are fairly certain we will be able to find it,’ U.S. Coast Guard First District Captain Robert Simpson added.
DailyMail.com previously revealed it took OceanGate eight hours to report the submersible as missing.
The company has not yet explained why it took so long to raise the alarm.