Amid US and Canadian rescuers searches for the submersible that went missing as it visited the sunken Titanic remains with a crew and tourists on-board continuing, an expert believes it is improbable that they will be discovered “in time” as life supporting oxygen is set to run out at 6am BST on Thursday.
Capt Sean P. Tortora, former Captain of a Navy salvage and rescue ship told The Mirror: “I can say any rescue at that depth would be highly unlikely.”
Chris Parry, another expert and former Royal Navy Admiral, said it is possible that the vessel could have suffered from a “catastrophic failure”, or could have gotten tangled up in the famous shipwreck’s debris.
“It’s very concerning indeed,” he confessed. Parry added: “Having listened to the timescale, it’s very worrying.”
Read more: Three passengers onboard missing Titanic submersible named
Numerous rescue efforts are currently underway with teams from Boston, Newfoundland and other available Coast Guard ships all using their resources to locate the submarine. Parry continued to explain the potential “optimistic” and “catastrophic” things that could have happened hundreds or possibly thousands of feet below the water’s surface.
He said: “There’s an optimistic option, and that’s that it’s either lost an umbilical communication with the surface or indeed there’s been a malfunction and the submarine continues to operate but obviously out of contact with its mother ship.
“Obviously, on the other end of the scale, there could have been an accident. It could have become entangled in the wreckage of the Titanic. It could indeed have had a catastrophic failure,” Parry ponders.
“The answer is we don’t know just yet. What we do know, of course, is the wreck site is off the grand banks, it’s a long way from anywhere and the nearest rescue facility will be on the East Coast of the United States.”
UK billionaire and famous explorer Hamish Harding is one of the five people that were on board, as Harding posted on social media about how excited he was in anticipation of his trip on the OceanGate submersible.
On Monday his family confirmed that he was on the missing OceanGate Expeditions submarine.
“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,” Harding wrote alongside a picture of himself signing a banner celebrating the expedition.