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25 April, 2024
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Zero-hour for the Titan submersible as oxygen levels dwindle

World holds its breath as rescuers race to locate 'Titan Five' in the depths of the Atlantic

Source: Daily Mail

Oxygen on Titan is now feared to have run out - but the desperate search for the missing Titanic submersible and the brave adventurers on board reached the floor of the Atlantic today - just as the desperate deadline passed.

The world is now praying for a 'miracle' after the US Coast Guard predicted the vital oxygen supply would end at 12.08 pm GMT (7.08 am EST and 9.08 pm Sydney and approx 2.08 pm Greece time). Banging has been heard at 30-minute intervals from the depths of the Atlantic - possibly from the men striking the side of the sub - but it has not yet been located.

Those stuck onboard include British billionaire Hamish Harding, OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French navy veteran PH Nargeolet and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, who is just 19.

The US Coast Guard has said that the rescue operation is 'still in an active search' with no plans yet to shift to a recovery phase as the desperate families of the so-called 'Titan Five' wait for news.

A deep water robot sub has reached the Atlantic floor - and another is descending the 12,500ft of ocean fast. 'The Canadian vessel Horizon Arctic has deployed an ROV that has reached the sea floor and began its search for the missing sub', a spokesman said.

And a French ship viewed as the best and final hope of finding the missing Titanic submersible has also dropped its remote-controlled sub to find five missing adventurers. L'Atalante has deployed Victor 6000, which can reach depths of 20,000ft and will arrive at the Titanic's wreck in the next two hours.

Victor 6000 has arms that can cut cables - or dislodge a trapped or stranded vessel - and may be able to fix a cable onto the sub before it is hauled several miles to the surface by a giant winch with more than three miles of cable called a Flyaway Deep Ocean Salvage System on Horizon Arctic.

Despite fears their oxygen supplies have run out, there is still hope in the most desperate of situations. Experts believe that the 96-hour oxygen supply number is an imprecise estimate and could be extended if those on board have taken measures to conserve breathable air including lying still and even sleeping.

Guillermo Sohnlein founded OceanGate with Mr Rush in 2009 and believes that if the window for finding them could go beyond the US Coastguard's prediction. He said: 'Today will be a critical day in this search and rescue mission, as the sub's life support supplies are starting to run low.

'I'm certain that Stockton and the rest of the crew realized days ago that the best thing they can do to ensure their rescue is to extend the limits of those supplies by relaxing as much as possible. I firmly believe that the time window available for their rescue is longer than most people think. I continue to hold out hope for my friend and the rest of the crew'.

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