OceanGate loses contact with sub during Titanic dive

OceanGate’s Titan submersible has gone out of contact during one of its dives to the wreck of the Titanic, 12,500 feet beneath the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean.

The U.S. Coast Guard is leading the search-and-rescue operation.

The sub was built by Everett, Wash.-based OceanGate and operated by a sister company, OceanGate Expeditions. In an emailed statement, OceanGate Expeditions said it was “exploring and mobilizing all options to bring the crew back safely.”

“Our entire focus is on the crew members in the submersible and their families,” the company said. “We are deeply thankful for the extensive assistance we have received from several government agencies and deep-sea companies in our efforts to re-establish contact with the submersible.”

OceanGate Expeditions says a Titanic dive typically takes 10 hours, and the Titan sub has 96 hours’ worth of life support. In a series of tweets, the U.S. Coast Guard Northeast said contact was lost with the five-person crew about an hour and 45 minutes after the dive began on June 18.

The Coast Guard said C-130 airplanes and a Canadian P-8 Poseidon patrol aircraft with underwater detection capabilities were taking part in the search.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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