A veteran diver who traveled far to the depths of the ocean to view the wreckage of the Titanic fears the submersible that disappeared on Sunday may have imploded thousands of feet under water.
G. Michael Harris, who said he may know three of the five occupants aboard the missing submarine, told Fox News’ Jesse Watters that he was not optimistic about their rescue and that he thought there was nothing the US Navy could do.
“The worst situation is that something has happened to the hull and we are concerned that it will implode at around 3,200 meters,” Harris said.
At these depths, the weight of the water would put extreme pressure on the missing submersible – about 6,000 pounds on every square inch of its hull.
Five people were aboard Titan, the 22ft craft taking paying tourists to view the wreckage 12,500ft underwater when they lost signal on Sunday in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, 370 miles away off Newfoundland, Canada.
G. Michael Harris, an experienced diver who has seen the wreckage of the Titanic, fears the submersible that disappeared on Sunday may have imploded thousands of feet under water.
Pictured: The small underwater craft leaving the port of St. John’s in Canada with all five crew on board
British billionaire Hamish Harding has been confirmed as one of five aboard the ship, along with OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, UK-based Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his 19-year-old son, Sulaiman. Dawood.
Rescue teams from the United States and Canada are still trying to find the ship, which was said to have ‘ringed’ for the last time as it was directly above the wreckage of the Titanic, before air on board does not run out. The submarine is believed to have enough oxygen to remain underwater until 12:00 p.m. Thursday UK time (7:00 a.m. EST).
But an implosion would mean that all hope is already long gone. Had any part of the submersible’s carbon fiber and titanium hull suffered a small crack or flaw, a deadly implosion would have followed.
And on Monday night, Harris explained to Watters on his show that the Titan is diving to extraordinary depths to reach the wreckage of the Titanic – which takes about two and a half hours and over 10,000 feet.
‘No. No. I mean, I don’t see anything happening at this point,” he said in response to being asked if there was anything the US Navy could do at this point.
“When you’re talking about 6,000 pounds per square inch, that’s a dangerous environment.” More people have been to space than to this depth of the ocean. When you dive into these situations, you have to cross your T and point your I. You have to do everything absolutely perfectly and in the right way.
“Add a tour group to a new submarine, which has just been created within the last couple of years,” Harris continued. “This is not beautiful.”
Five people were on board the submarine taking paying tourists to view the wreckage 12,500ft underwater when they lost signal on Sunday, 370 miles off Newfoundland, Canada
Pictured: File photo of the interior of the missing OceanGate Expeditions submarine which is currently missing with five people on board
It is understood that Titan communicates by pinging the Polar Prince every 15 minutes – the last of which was received as the submersible floated above the wreck of the Titanic around 10:00 a.m. EST on Sunday. (3:00 p.m. UK time).
That’s when chaos ensued. A distress call was sent to the US Coast Guard at 9 p.m., whose Boston branch is conducting an operation to carry out what would be the deepest underwater rescue mission ever.
British businessman Hamish Harding, who lives in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, was one of the specialists on the mission, according to Action Aviation, a company of which Harding is chairman.
Also on board were Pakistani nationals Shahzada Dawood and her son Suleman, according to a family statement sent to the AP.
The Dawoods belong to one of the most important families in Pakistan. Their namesake company invests across the country in agriculture, industries and the healthcare sector.
Their family, including Shahzada’s wife Christine and daughter Alina, are awaiting news of the couple.
“We are very grateful for the concern shown by our colleagues and friends and would like to ask everyone to pray for their safety while ensuring the privacy of the family at this time,” the statement read. “The family are well cared for and pray to Allah for the safe return of their family members.”
Shahzada Dawood is also a board member of the California-based SETI Institute which researches extraterrestrial intelligence.
Shahzada Dawood, 48, (pictured with his wife Christine), a UK board member of the Prince’s Trust charity, and his son Sulaiman Dawood, 19, are among five people missing in the sub- sailor who went to see the wreck of the Titanic, it was revealed today
Sulaiman Dawood, 19, missing on board the submarine is pictured with his mother Christine
French explorer and Titanic expert Paul-Henry Nargeolet was also on board, according to David Gallo, senior advisor for strategic initiatives and special projects at RMS Titanic. Gallo identified Nargeolet, a friend who led several Titanic expeditions, on Tuesday during an interview with CNN.
Nargeolet’s agent has since confirmed his presence on board.
The expedition was OceanGate’s third annual voyage to chronicle the deterioration of the Titanic, which struck an iceberg and sank in 1912, killing all but around 700 of the approximately 2,200 passengers and crew.
Since the discovery of the wreck in 1985, it has slowly succumbed to metal-eating bacteria. Some have predicted that the ship could disappear in a few decades as holes gape in the hull and sections disintegrate.
The first group of tourists in 2021 paid $100,000 to $150,000 each to make the trip. The OceanGate website had described the “mission support fee” for the 2023 expedition at $250,000 per person.
Among the expedition participants is billionaire Hamish Harding (pictured), CEO of Action Aviation in Dubai. He excitedly posted on social media that he was there on Sunday
French Navy veteran PH Nargeolet (left) is believed to be taking part in the expedition, with Stockton Rush (right), CEO of the OceanGate expedition
Unlike submarines that depart and return to port on their own, submersibles require a ship to launch and retrieve them.
OceanGate contracted the Polar Prince to ferry dozens of people and the submersible to the North Atlantic wreck site. The submersible would do multiple dives in a single expedition.
The expedition was scheduled to depart from St. John’s, Newfoundland, in early May and complete in late June, according to paperwork filed by the company in April with a US district court in Virginia that oversees Titanic affairs.
OceanGate says on its website that customers don’t need any prior diving experience, but there are “some physical requirements like being able to board small boats in active seas,” said it receives the help from government agencies and deep-sea companies.
The eight-day trip includes a two-hour dive on the Titanic wreck and the same on the way up. This can take about eight to ten hours in total.