The USA blocked a British vessel equipped to assist in the search for a missing Titan submersible, and they were prevented from joining the rescue mission. US officials favored using an American-made vehicle with lower capabilities. The decision to exclude the British vessel sparked controversy, with concerns raised about the potential loss of life. Here’s why.
Rescue Mission Blockage
A British vessel with the potential to aid in the search for the missing Titan submersible faced a shocking blockade from joining the rescue mission. US officials’ preference for an inferior American-made vehicle took center stage, as revealed by The Telegraph.
Magellan, a deep-sea surveying company, found itself in a perplexing situation as it eagerly awaited approval for its specialist team and vital rescue equipment, poised to depart from the Channel Islands.
Despite their readiness, the green light remained elusive.
Magellan, renowned for its pioneering full-size 3D digital scan of the Titanic, possessed a unique understanding of the submerged wreckage, lying at depths of approximately 12,500 feet.
Controversy Over Vehicle Preference
Their arsenal included a remotely operated vessel capable of rescuing submersibles from staggering depths of up to 5,000 meters.
The former president of RMS Titanic Inc., Bretton Hunchak, underscored the collaboration with Magellan from the previous summer.
Hunchak’s revelation regarding US officials’ preference for a New York-based vessel, capable of exploring depths of 3,000 meters stirred controversy.
He questioned the decision, advocating for the simultaneous use of both vessels to maximize the chances of saving lives, emphasizing the irreplaceable nature of the individuals at risk.
Race Against Time
Captain Jamie Frederick of the US Coast Guard, while addressing reporters, shockingly professed unawareness of reports regarding the blockade of rescue efforts.
He acknowledged the availability of equipment for deployment and highlighted the unified command’s ongoing efforts to prioritize and mobilize necessary equipment and logistics.
Titan Submersible’s Oxygen Depletion As time ticked away, a race against the clock ensued to locate the five passengers aboard the Titan submersible, which had less than 40 hours of oxygen remaining as of Tuesday evening.
The submersible, powered by electric thrusters, boasted the capability to transport five individuals to an astonishing depth of 13,123 feet, as stated on the OceanGate website.
The US Coast Guard’s extensive search spanned an area covering approximately 20,000 square kilometers.
A Glimmer of Hope?
Remarkably, a Canadian P-3 plane equipped with sonar buoys detected banging sounds in proximity to the submersible’s last known location.
This development ignited hope that the trapped tourists might still have a chance of being rescued.
In a crucial development, OceanGate, the manufacturer of the Titan tourist submersible, reached out to Magellan for help with rescue efforts.
Their directive to Magellan stressed the critical importance of time, urging swift mobilization to transport the required equipment and crew to St. John’s, Newfoundland.
At the time of reporting, representatives from Magellan, the US Coast Guard, and OceanGate had yet to provide immediate responses to requests for comment.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Rokas Tenys