A search for a deep-sea vessel is underway. who disappeared with five people on board after he plunged towards the deteriorating wreck site of the Titanic ocean liner.

The US Coast Guard is leading the search for the small vessel, named Titan, in the North Atlantic Ocean. The remote area is where the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in 1912, killing nearly 700 of the estimated 2,200 passengers and crew.

The Titan’s dive on Sunday is one of many OceanGate Expeditions has conducted on the wreck since 2021. The sunken ship is about 2.4 miles (3.8 kilometers) below the surface.

The underwater exploration company has been chronicling the breakdown of the ship as well as the underwater ecosystem that has sprung up around it over the last century.

What we know so far:


The vessel submerged Sunday morning and her support vessel lost contact with her about an hour and 45 minutes later, according to the Coast Guard.

The boat was reported to be overdue about 435 miles (700 kilometers) south of St. John’s, Newfoundland, according to Canada’s Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Titan was being launched from an icebreaker that was contracted to OceanGate and previously operated by the Canadian Coast Guard. The ship transported dozens of people and the submersible craft to the North Atlantic wreck site, where the Titan makes multiple dives.

David Concannon, OceanGate Consultant, told The Associated Press on Monday that the submersible had a 96-hour oxygen supply. He said officials are working to bring a remote-controlled vehicle that can reach a depth of 6,000 meters (about 20,000 feet) to the site as soon as possible.


The Coast Guard said there was a pilot and four “mission specialists” on board. “Mission specialists” are people who pay to participate in OceanGate expeditions. They take turns operating the sonar equipment and performing other tasks in the five-person submersible.

British businessman Hamish Harding was one of the mission specialists, according to Action Aviation, a company of which Harding is president.

Harding is an adventurer who holds three Guinness World Records, including the longest duration at the full depth of the ocean by a crewed ship. In March 2021, he and ocean explorer Victor Vescovo dove to the lowest depth of the Mariana Trench. In June 2022, he took to space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket.


Titan is capable of diving 4,000 meters or 13,120 feet “with a comfortable margin of safety,” according to documents filed by the company in April with a US District Court in Virginia overseeing Titanic matters.

In a May 2021 court filing, OceanGate said the Titan had an “unmatched safety feature” that tests the integrity of the hull on every dive. At the time of the filing, Titan had undergone more than 50 test dives, including to the depth equivalent to Titanic, in deep water off the Bahamas and in a pressure chamber, the company said.

During its 2022 expedition, OceanGate reported that the submersible had a battery problem on its first dive and had to be manually attached to its lifting platform, according to a November court filing.


The goal of the OceanGate expeditions has been the chronicle of the deterioration of the Titanic as well as the underwater ecosystem that shipwrecks often generate.

What remains of the Titanic is slowly succumbing to the metal-eating bacteria that consume hundreds of pounds of iron a day. Holes permeate the remains, while the crow’s nest is already gone. Some have predicted that the ship could disappear in a matter of decades as holes are torn through the hull and sections disintegrate.

The company equipped the Titan with high-definition cameras and multibeam sonar equipment. Charting the decomposition of the wreck can help scientists predict the fate of other deep-sea shipwrecks, including those that sank during the world wars. Another focus is marine life: hundreds of species have only been seen on the wreck.

“The ocean is taking this thing away, and we need to document it before it disappears or becomes unrecognizable,” Stockton Rush, president of OceanGate Expeditions, told The AP in 2021.

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