France deploys robot that can dive to 6,000 meters to help search for missing Titanic tourist submarine
Deep-diving vessels from around the world have been deployed to help search for the missing Titanic tourist submarine – as the Coast Guard says those on board have only 41 hours of oxygen left.
A team from France is expected to arrive in Canada on Wednesday to operate a remote-controlled robot and submarine deployed from the L’Atlante ship.
The boat can accommodate up to 30 technicians and scientists for up to 45 days, and both onboard devices can reach up to 6,000 meters (about 20,000 feet) below sea level.
OceanGate’s submarine, the Titan, is currently missing with five people on board after it lost communication during a dive to the wreckage of the Titanic, which lies about 12,500 feet below the Atlantic Ocean.
A frantic search and rescue operation is underway to locate and recover the ship before its 96-hour supply of oxygen runs out.
A team from France is expected to arrive in Canada on Wednesday to operate a remote-controlled robot and submarine (pictured) deployed from the L’Atlante ship.
Among those taking part in the expedition are billionaire Hamish Harding, CEO of Action Aviation in Dubai, and Shahzada Dawood, 48, a UK-based board member of the charity Prince’s Trust, and his son Sulaiman Dawood, 19.
OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush is also said to be aboard the ship, which disappeared Sunday, along with French Navy veteran PH Nargeolet.
L’Atlante, which is expected to arrive in the search area later on Wednesday, is less than 48 hours from where the submarine went missing, said Hervé Berville, France’s deputy minister in charge of maritime affairs.
It has a manned submarine called Nautile and a remote controlled vehicle Victor 6000 on board.
Nautile can dive to depths of 6,000 meters with a crew of three and is one of the few manned deep-sea submarines.
It has three wide-angle viewing windows and LED searchlights provide a direct view of the seabed. A dive aboard the submarine can last up to eight hours, with six hours on the seabed.
The remote-controlled Victor 600 is a deep-water ROV that is remote-controlled via a cable and can go to depths of up to 6,000 meters.
Victor 6000 is connected to the ship by an electromechanical cable 8,000 meters long and provides 20 kW of power
L’Atlante can accommodate up to 30 technicians and scientists for up to 45 days, and both onboard devices can reach up to 6,000 meters below sea level
It is equipped with a high performance navigation system consisting of a series of sensors connected to an inertial navigation system and has completed more than 700 dives.
The high-resolution optical imaging system ensures optimal visual perception of the environment and can also generate 3D optical reconstructions of the area to be observed.
The Victor 6000 is connected to the ship by an electromechanical cable that is 8,000 meters long and delivers a power of 20 kW.
Optical fibers in the cable send the data and image streams to the surface, allowing it to be controlled from the ship in real time – with no limit to the duration of a ride.
Along with the French ships, a Bahamas-flagged ship – owned by a British and American company – is also assisting in the search.
The Deep Energy is owned by TechnipFMC, which specializes in laying pipes and cables, and arrived at the wreck site Tuesday morning.
In a statement, they said, “The effort is being led by the U.S. Coast Guard with support from the Canadian Coast Guard.”
Titan is currently missing with five people on board after it lost communication during a dive to the Titanic’s wreckage, which lies about 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) below the Atlantic Ocean
Two remotely operated vehicles are used to assist in the search, but they can only dive to 3,000 meters
In addition to the French vessel, a ship under the flag of the Bahamas that specializes in laying pipes and cables is also assisting in the search.
The ship carries two remotely operated vehicles that can dive to 3,000 meters to assist in the search.
They are unmanned submarines, operated from a control room on the mother ship and tethered by 1,000-meter cables.
At a press conference at the US Coast Guard Station in Boston – which coordinates the search and rescue effort – First District Response Coordinator Capt. Jamie Frederick admitted on Tuesday that a rescue was far from guaranteed.
Even if they locate the missing craft in time, there is no certainty that it can be safely brought to the surface.
The Coast Guard has already searched 7,600 square miles of ocean – an area the size of Connecticut.
Shahzada Dawood, 48, a UK-based board member of the charity Prince’s Trust, and his son Sulaiman Dawood, 19, are among the five people trapped in the submarine
French Navy veteran PH Nargeolet (left) is believed to be taking part in the expedition, along with Stockton Rush (right), CEO of the OceanGate expedition
One of the participants in the expedition is billionaire Hamish Harding (pictured), CEO of Action Aviation in Dubai. He excitedly posted on social media that he was there on Sunday
At 12,500 feet underwater, few ships can dive deep enough to find it.
The only ones that can search the ocean floor are remote controlled vehicles that are now searching the ocean.
If they find the sub, getting it to the surface is quite another feat, requiring specialist equipment not yet on site.
Other experts likened it to requiring a 2.5-mile cable to lasso to the far side of the moon.
There are multiple civilian vessels assisting in the search, along with U.S. Navy, Canadian Navy, and aircraft.
Among the equipment now en route to the site is a decompression chamber for the five passengers should they be brought to the surface.