Missing Titan timeline: The key events in the disappearance of the Titanic submersible


Rescuers are still desperately trying to locate a submersible that disappeared while diving into the Titanic shipwreck.
The Titan submersible, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, was reported missing on Sunday evening in the mid-Atlantic about 435 miles south of St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.
Officials said the five people on board the submersible may have less than 20 hours of emergency oxygen left as of 6 pm on Wednesday.
A privately owned submersible carrying five people on a deep-sea dive to the wreck of the Titanic has been missing at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean since Sunday. Banging sounds, heard across 30-minute intervals, have now been detected by a Canadian seaplane, sending authorities scrambling to locate their source.
On Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard estimated that 40 hours of the vessel’s emergency oxygen supply could remain. The missing crew consist of Hamish Harding, a British billionaire and adventurer; Shahzada Dawood, a Pakistani-British businessman and his son, Suleman; Stockton Rush, chief executive and founder of OceanGate Expeditions; and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a French submersible pilot.

Timeline of the Missing Titan Submersible

Here’s everything we know about the submersible and what might have happened to it.
The Titan is a five-person research and survey submersible owned and operated by OceanGate. According to its website, this private company provides submersibles for commercial, research and military purposes.
It is designed to carry up to five people, usually a pilot and four crew members. Built to dive to depths of 13,123 feet (4,000 meters) and travel at 3 knots (3.5 mph, or 5.6 km/h), the craft is 22 feet (6.7 m) long and weighs 23,000 pounds (10,400 kilograms).
Most major marine operators follow standards set by ship classification societies, although there is no legal requirement to seek classification.
The Titan is a custom-built vessel that has not had its design classified. The submersible is bolted from the outside and made from titanium and filament-wound carbon fibre. This means that the crew inside cannot open it — to be let out, a team on the surface must unseal the hatch.
The submersible has four electric thrusters piloted with a Logitech gaming controller. OceanGate also uses Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite technology during its diving operations. Titan has multiple methods to descend and return to the surface, including propellers; floatation tanks that are flooded with water or filled with air; and weights that can be dropped to provide positive buoyancy.

Chronological Account of the Missing Titan Submersible

The crew members can see out of the vessel and into the deep-sea gloom thanks to an array of lights, laser and sonar scanners, and externally mounted cameras. Passengers can also look out directly from the Titan’s viewport, a pressure-proof window with an internal diameter of 12.3 inches (31.2 centimetres). This makes it the largest viewport of any deep-diving crewed submersible, according to OceanGate.
Pressure sensors on the sub monitor the structural integrity of its hull, which can “determine if the hull is compromised well before situations become life-threatening, and [enable the vessel to] safely return to the surface,” OceanGate said.
It is too early to say what could have happened to Titan, though experts have suggested several potential reasons why it went missing. These include power failure, hull rupture, adverse weather conditions, or the submersible getting snagged on a piece of the Titanic’s wreckage.

The Timeline of Events Surrounding the Missing Titan Submersible

Stefan B. Williams, a professor of Field Robotics at the University of Sydney at the Australian Centre, suggested that the “worst case scenario is that it has suffered a catastrophic failure to its pressure housing. Although the Titan’s composite hull is built to withstand intense deep-sea pressures, any defect in its shape or could compromise its integrity — in which case there’s a risk of implosion,” he wrote on The Conversation.
Williams also wrote that there could have been a fire on board, potentially from an electrical short circuit, which could have stopped the submersible’s electronic systems from working.
Support ships lost contact with the custom-built submersible roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes into its 2.5-hour descent to the Titanic’s wreck, which is located.
Twelve thousand five hundred feet (3,800 m) beneath the surface and about 900 miles (1,500 kilometers) east of Cape Cod, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Harding wrote that the dive took place after a particularly harsh winter, during a brief reprieve from adverse weather conditions before embarking on the voyage.

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Olivia Wilson

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