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Former passenger of lost Titanic sub says it vanished for hours last summer

Former passenger of lost Titanic sub says it vanished for hours last summer

A huge search and rescue mission is currently underway for the missing Titan submarine

A passenger who had previously boarded the missing Titanic submersible says his crew got lost too.

Currently, there is a huge search and rescue mission underway to track down OceanGate's Titan vessel.

It disappeared on Sunday (18 June) while making its descent some two miles beneath the Atlantic Ocean to explore the wreck of the Titanic.

On board were five passengers, each of who paid $250,000 to be part of the expedition: British billionaire Hamish Harding; French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet; Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman; and OceanGate founder Stockton Rush.

Instead of GPS, the Titan submersible is guided from the surface using text messages through a USBL (ultra-short baseline) system.

And last year, a separate crew got lost during its expedition.

Speaking abut the trip, passenger Shrenik Baldota said during a news report: "We were lost. We were lost for two-and-a-half hours."

Shrenik Baldota was a passenger on Titan last year.

Another of those on board was CBS reporter David Pogue.

Taking to Twitter in light of the current emergency, he said: “You may remember that the @OceanGateExped sub to the #Titanic got lost for a few hours LAST summer, too, when I was aboard."

When asked yesterday (19 June) about the current crew's chances of survival, Pogue said it was possible.

"Communication with the sub is lost... AND they don’t know where it is," he said.

"Yes, they could still be OK. They have four days of oxygen, and seven ways to rise to the surface. The question is, why HAVEN’T they?"

In an interview with the BBC, Pogue warned that if the vessel isn't found or able to make its way back to the surface, the crew will die.

Describing the layout of the pod, the journalist said: “There’s no backup, there’s no escape pod - it’s get to the surface or die."

"The main centre section looks like a shiny white tube about minivan length. It's made of five inch thick carbon fibre which no one has ever used in a submersible before," he told Unsung Science.

The Titan submersible.
American Photo Archive/Alamy

"At each end of the white tube is a tiny silver dome. The front end cap has a 22-inch round window made of seven-inch thick plexiglass so you can see out. When you get to the bottom of the ocean - that's your view of the Titanic.

"If you have to go to the bathroom, you can crawl into the window end of the sub and hang up a black cloth for privacy. There's a one foot square box on the floor that contains Ziploc bags.

"There are a couple of touchscreen PC monitors on the floor of the sub but there are no controls. The multi-million sub is controlled with a games controller."

The US Coast Guard said in an update on the rescue mission that 'to date, search efforts have not yielded any results'.

Captain Jamie Frederick, of the First Coast Guard District, said Titan now had just 40 hours of oxygen left for the five passengers.

Featured Image Credit: CBS/OceanGate

Topics: US News, UK News