An admiral has claimed that the missing Titanic submersible may have fewer than 20 hours of oxygen available, putting the lives of the five people aboard at jeopardy.
The US Coast Guard’s Rear Admiral John Mauger told the BBC that the five persons on board the submarine-like vessel are likely to run out of oxygen tomorrow morning.
Two British-based Pakistanis, a billionaire Brit, a Frenchman and an American pilot have been trapped in the Atlantic Ocean since Sunday after they set out to view the Titanic shipwreck.
The group paid around £200k for what was supposed to be an eight-hour trip with OceanGate Expeditions but the vessel lost contact 90 minutes after it submerged.
Rear Admiral Mauger said that based on information that the operator had initially provided, the sub had approximately 96 hours of oxygen when they first cut the connection.
However, he said it is difficult to have an exact prediction because “we do not know the rate of the consumption of oxygen per occupant on the sub.”
Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman are in the vessel along with billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding.
The submersible pilot is Frenchman Paul-Henri Nargeolet and chief executive and founder of OceanGate Expeditions, Stockton Rush is also one of the five.
Questions remain about how rescue teams could reach the lost submersible, which could be as deep as about 12,500 feet below the surface.
The US Coast Guard wrote on Twitter that a Canadian military surveillance aircraft had “detected underwater noises in the search area” and that an underwater robot sent to search that area has so far “yielded negative results.”
Newly uncovered allegations also suggest there had been significant warnings made about vessel safety during its development.
One explorer and friend of missing British billionaire Hamish told Sky News she is “terrified” that the five could be at the bottom of the ocean running out of air.
“This is what I fear the most,” Jannicke Mikkelsen said.
While a former sub-test has said the clock has “pretty much run out.”
Don Walsh told Sky News: “To be able to locate the source of that noise and do something about it, I’m really concerned. I just think the clock’s been pretty run out.”