A Canadian aviation team searching for the missing Titan submersible reported intermittent “banging” noises from the vicinity of the last known location of the divers, increasing the hope of finding the missing sub on a tourist expedition to the Titanic shipwreck.
This discovery was shared via internal e-mails sent to the heads of the Department of Homeland Security, reported Rolling Stone.
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The crew searching for the missing sub heard banging sounds every 30 minutes on Tuesday and four hours later, after additional sonar devices were deployed, according to an internal government memo.
“RCC Halifax launched a P8, Poseidon, which has underwater detection capabilities from the air,” the DHS e-mails read. “The P8 deployed sonobuoys, which reported a contact in a position close to the distress position.
“The P8 heard banging sounds in the area every 30 minutes. Four hours later additional sonar was deployed and banging was still heard.”
The source of the banging or what caused it remains unclear.
A massive search and rescue operation is still under way to find the Titanic tourist submersible which has been missing for nearly three days in the Atlantic Ocean with five people on board.
CEO and founder of OceanGate Expeditions Stockton Rush, British billionaire explorer Hamish Harding, renowned French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood are on the OceanGate Expeditions’s submersible Titan.
The watercraft submerged on Sunday (18 June) morning with its support vessel, the Canadian research vessel Polar Prince. About an hour and 45 minutes later, the Titan lost contact with Polar Prince, authorities said.
The Titan is equipped with a four-day emergency oxygen supply.
As Canadian and US authorities stepped up the search, previous questions about the safety design and development of the submersible by its owner, US-based OceanGate Expeditions, came to light.
The wreck of the Titanic, a British ocean liner that struck an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage in April 1912, lies about 900 miles (1,450 km) east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and 400 miles (644 km) south of St John’s, Newfoundland.
US and Canadian aircraft have searched more than 7,600 square miles of open sea, an area larger than the state of Connecticut, US coast guard captain Jamie Frederick told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.
The Canadian military has dropped sonar buoys to listen for any sounds that might come from the Titan, and a commercial vessel with a remote-controlled deepwater submersible was also searching near the site, Mr Frederick said.
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