The unique submersible craft that disappeared is owned by, a company that deploys manned submarines for deep sea exploration and has in the past advertised this particular sub’s endeavor to carry tourists down to the wreckage of the RMS Titanic for $250,000 per seat.
More than a century after the Titanic sunk in April 1912, the wreck lies on the ocean floor about 400 miles southeast of the Newfoundland coast.
OceanGate said recently on its website and on social media that its expedition to the shipwreck was “underway,” describing the seven-night trip as a “chance to step outside of everyday life and discover something truly extraordinary.” In addition to one ongoing expedition, the company had planned two others for the summer of next year, according to the site.
In a statement, OceanGate confirmed the missing submarine is theirs and that a rescue operation had been launched to find and recover it. The company said it was “exploring and mobilizing all options to bring the crew back safely.” The company did not specify how many people were inside the sub.
“For some time, we have been unable to establish communications with one of our submersible exploration vehicles which is currently visiting the wreck site of the Titanic,” said Andrew Von Kerens, a spokesperson for OceanGate. “We pray for the safe return of the crew and passengers, and we will provide updates as they are available.”
The sub has emergency oxygen and a 96-hour sustainment capability if there’s an emergency aboard, Mauger said. As of Monday afternoon, he said there was believed to be “somewhere between 70 to the full 96 hours available at this point.”