Has the Titanic sub been found? Timeline of events and latest updates

21 June 2023, 16:36

Oceangate's Titan has less than 24 hours of Oxygen left as Captain Jamie Frederick remains focused on the search
Oceangate's Titan has less than 24 hours of Oxygen left as Captain Jamie Frederick remains focused on the search. Picture: Alamy/Getty

By Zoe Adams

How close are they to finding the Titan sub? Five passengers are currently lost onboard a deep-sea submersible while looking for the wreckage of the Titanic. Here's the latest news and updates as the race rescue is on.

A race-against-time rescue mission is currently underway as experts and officials search for the Oceanwave Titan sub that went missing on Sunday morning after the vessel set off to find the wreckage of the Titanic.

On board are five passengers including British billionaire explorer Hamish Harding, French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet and one of Pakistan’s richest men Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Sulaiman.

Despite the on-board oxygen supply depleting, hope to find survivors has recently been increased after sonar searches discovered banging which indicates a sign of life.

Read more: Titan sub hunt: conditions inside cramped deep sea ship, who's on board and what other dangers passengers face

Read more: Titanic sub's last chance: Vital rescue equipment flown in on US cargo planes ahead of 15-hour race across Atlantic

As everyone prays the Titanic sub is found, here's a timeline of news and events of the missing submersible.

The Titan submersible in the ocean
The Titan submersible went missing on Sunday with five passengers on board searching for the Titanic shipwreck. Picture: Alamy

Wednesday 21st: Latest search engines deployed

The submersible is believed to be around 12,500ft below the surface, which makes it incredibly difficult for rescue teams to reach.

On Tuesday night, an array of vital equipment arrived in Canada as rescue teams prepared to embark on a 15-hour scramble across the Atlantic, they have now been put to action.

One vehicle capable of going 20,000ft underwater also landed at St John's airport, Newfoundland, via three US cargo planes.

If the rescue team is to find the submarine, there is no way of transferring them to an alternate vehicle as the doors are bolted shut from the outside, meaning they would need to be reeled back up to the surface.

The oceanographic institute in France is sending an elite ship alongside the underwater robot Victor 6000, which could theoretically reach the submersible.

'Banging' noises detected

Titanic sub hunters have picked up ‘banging sounds’ on sonar that could be signs of life giving everyone a glimmer of hope in the rescue.

The banging, which came at 30-minute intervals, was picked up on sonar by a Canadian aircraft, leaked US government messages show.

Frank Owen, a retired submarine commander in the Royal Australian Navy told LBC: "My confidence level has been increased by an order of magnitude since these reports have come in of banging.

"Particularly because they've been using a naval protocol that's used by submarine survivors of a disabled submarine around the world, in that on the hour and the half hour for three minutes they bang the hull and make as much noise as they can."

King Charles speaks out on Titanic submarine

King Charles has asked to be kept 'fully up to date' over OceanGate's missing Titanic submersible, which has five people trapped on board.

Trapped on board are Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman with Mr Dawood being a supporter of two charities founded by King Charles: The Prince's Trust International and The British Asian Trust.

It is understood Charles has asked for updates on the situation, leaving his thoughts and prayers with the Dawood family.

Hamish Harding sitting before heading out on the Titanic Expedition
Hamish Harding, a British billionaire, has been confirmed as one of the passengers on board on the Titan sub. Picture: Alamy

Tuesday 20th June: Passengers confirmed

As the search continues, another passenger, the member of crew directing the Titan Sub is confirmed by Oceangate, those who own the subversive.

Searches are increased and widened as another press conference reveals no hope has been found yet.

Captain Frederick said: "These search efforts have focused on both surface, with C-130 aircraft searching by sight and with radar, and subsurface, with P-3 aircraft we’re able to drop and monitor sonar buoys.

"To date, those search efforts have not yielded any results."

Monday 19th June: Search continues

When it set sail, the vessel was carrying enough oxygen for 96 hours meaning all search efforts were needed immediately.

The search included a C-130 Hercules reconnaissance aircraft to search the areas and a P8 Poseidon aircraft with underwater sonar capabilities.

Another submersible craft also joined the search.

Onboard Oceangate Titan: Stockton Rush on board the Titan with other crew members before it went missing
Onboard Oceangate Titan: Stockton Rush is CEO and founder of OceanGate, which operates the Titan, the submersible that has gone missing. Picture: Alamy

Titanic sub search noises 'encouraging'

Sunday 18th June: When did the Titanic sub go missing?

The Polar Prince sailed 900 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada before dropping it's anchor ready for the crew and vessel to begin the expedition.

At 7:30am on Sunday EST, the five people set off to find the Titanic wreckage and according to reports, the vessel lost contact with the Polar Prince just two hours later.

According to The Times, the last programmed 'ping', used to identify it's location, was received at 10am and no contact with the sub has been made since.

Authorities alarms were raised 25 minutes after that final signal.

A press conference was also held in Boston where Captain Jamie Frederick, of the US Coast Guard said: "Approximately one hour and 45 minutes into the scheduled dive, the Polar Prince lost all communication with the Titan, Polar Prince conducted an initial search and then requested Coast Guard assistance. The US Coast Guard in Boston assumed the responsibility of search-and-rescue mission co-ordinator and immediately launched search assets.

“Since Sunday, the Coast Guard has co-ordinated search efforts with the US and Canadian Coast Guard, Air National Guard aircraft and the Polar Prince (the Titan’s mother ship), which has searched a combined 7,600 square miles, an area larger than the state of Connecticut.”

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