A Canadian military surveillance plane discovered underwater noise as a full-scale search continued in a remote part of the North Atlantic early Wednesday for a submersible that disappeared while taking five people to the wreck of the Titanic.
A US Coast Guard statement didn’t elaborate on what rescuers thought the noise was, but offered a glimmer of hope for those lost abroad aboard Titan, as estimates say only a day’s oxygen supplies remain could have been if the ship had been lost still works.
The discovery of intermittent “popping” sounds near the divers’ last known location was shared with Department of Homeland Security officials in internal emails, it said Rolling Stone.
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According to an internal government memorandum, crew searching for the missing submarine heard popping noises every 30 minutes on Tuesday and four hours later after additional sonars were deployed.
“RCC Halifax launched a P8, Poseidon, which has aerial underwater detection capabilities,” the emails from DHS said. “The P8 deployed sonobuoys that reported contact near the emergency position.
“The P8 would hear popping noises in the area every 30 minutes. Additional sonar was deployed four hours later and popping noises were still heard.”
An extensive search and rescue operation is still underway to find the tourist submersible Titanic, which has been missing in the Atlantic for almost three days with five people on board.
OceanGate Expeditions CEO and founder Stockton Rush, British billionaire explorer Hamish Harding, famous French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood are on OceanGate Expeditions’ submersible Titan.
The vessel went under on Sunday morning (June 18) along with its support vessel, the Canadian research vessel Polar Prince. About an hour and 45 minutes later, the Titan lost contact with the Polar Prince, authorities said.
The Titan is equipped with a four-day emergency oxygen supply.
As Canadian and US authorities intensified the search, previous questions about the submersible’s safety design and development by its owner, US-based company OceanGate Expeditions, came to light.
The wreck of the Titanic, a British ocean liner that struck an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912, is approximately 900 miles (1,450 km) east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts and 400 miles (644 km) south of St. John’s , Newfoundland.
American and Canadian planes have searched more than 7,600 square miles of open sea, an area larger than the state of Connecticut, US Coast Guard Captain Jamie Frederick told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday.
The Canadian military had dropped sonar buoys to listen for sounds that might be coming from Titan, and a merchant ship with a remote-controlled deep-sea submersible was also searching near the site, Mr Frederick said.