Search Continues for Trapped Titanic Tourist Sub

Search Continues for Trapped Titanic Tourist Sub

Lost sub has captured world headlines and raised new concerns over upscale tourism transport

A missing submersible used to transport tourists down into the depths of the ocean and visit the wrecks of the Titanic has gone missing, with the world's media engaged on the hope for survival of the crewmates.

The small vessel carrying five people went missing on Sunday 18th of June and authorities are now extremely worried as oxygen is expected to run out on the 22nd of June.

The crew of the OceanGate Titan submersible lost contact with its surface vessel - the Polar Prince - an hour and 45 minutes after it began a dive to see the wreck of the world-famous Titanic.

Given the expense of the trip - a ride aboard the vessel costs around $250,000 for one person - and the extravagent nature of such tourism, some commentators have raised concerns as to whether such forms of transport are truly safe.

Both CNN and The Guardian have run op-eds regarding the risks of such travel and the viability of the transport involved (pictured below).

The OceanGate Titan is the model of submersible lost
The OceanGate Titan is the model of submersible lostOceanGate

Aboard the lost vessel are Hamish Harding, 58, and Shahzada Dawood, 48, who are both successful British businessmen, with Dawood's son, Suleman Dawood, 19, also aboard.

The other men aboard are Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a 77-year-old French explorer nicknamed "Mr Titanic", and Stockton Rush, 61, Chief Executive of OceanGate, the firm behind the dive.

The Hope for Survival

Crews from around the world have been searching for the lost vessel near the wreck of the Titanic, which is about 700km from the East Coast of Canada.

With no progress for days, it has recently been reported that underwater noises have been recorded, although it remains unconfirmed exactly what these are.

At present, a plethora of planes, boats and submarines are involved in the search.

With regard to what happened to the sub, experts aren't sure, with various reports stating it could be anything from electrical failure, to a leak, to human error that has caused the disappearance.

One of the biggest problems in searching for the vessel is that very few vessels can reach the depths Titan can, in fact, Titan is one of only five manned submersibles in the world capable of reaching the depth required, according to OceanGate.

What does this mean for transport tourism?

With increasing demands and desires for evermore exotic and ambitious holidays and life experiences, a major question has arisen around the safety of such journeys.

While it may be too soon to talk of regulation changes - with the hopeful return of the lost crewmembers paramount for now - this is sure to be a global conversation in due course.

Read more: The Big Future for Middle Eastern Airports

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