A shocking image has revealed how the missing Titanic submarine could have become trapped on the ocean floor in waters more than twice the depth of the Grand Canyon.
Authorities sounded the alarm on Sunday when an OceanGate Titan ship made its way to the historic shipwreck in less than two hours.
One of Pakistan’s richest men, Shahzada Dawood, is aboard the ship alongside his son Suleman, billionaire Hamish Harding, Stockton Rush and Paul-Henry Nargeolet.
Now rescuers are in a race against time to find them as their oxygen supply will run out within the next 50 hours.
But how far into the deep blue could they be?
Famous landmarks known for their height pale in comparison to the depth of the Titanic, with the Statue of Liberty at just 90 meters, the Eiffel Tower at just 300 meters and the Empire State Building at 450 meters
TITAN SUBMERSIBLE SPECIFICATIONS
Maximum Depth: 13,123 feet (4,000 m)
Capacity: Five people (one pilot and four crew members)
Pressure vessel material: Carbon fiber and titanium
Overall dimensions: 22ft x 9.2ft x 8.3ft high (670cm x 280cm x 250cm)
Weight: 23,000 lb (10,432 kg)
Speed: 3 knots
Life Support: 96 hours for five crew members
The submarine is owned and operated by OceanGate Expeditions and had launched its £195,000 per head ($248,094) tour to the Titanic shipwreck from the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, on Sunday at 2:30 a.m. EST (7:30 a.m. GMT).
It is clear that Titan communicates with those on the surface by sending an alert to its mothership, the Polar Prince, every 15 minutes.
The five passengers on board last “pinged” the mothership on Monday at 10 a.m. EST (3 p.m. GMT), while directly above their destination of the Titanic.
This could indicate that they are now somewhere on the ocean floor, with the wreck split in two halves about 12,000 feet below the surface.
To compare this, MailOnline has produced an image showing how this depth compares to famous tall structures.
It shows how landmarks famous for their height pale in comparison – with the Statue of Liberty at just 106 meters, the Eiffel Tower at 316 meters and the Empire State Building at 411 meters.
Even the UAE’s Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building – looks small against the depths of the North Atlantic, standing at 675 meters.
And the sprawling Grand Canyon is no different at 6,000 feet (1,828 m) — less than half the depth of the Titanic’s wreckage.
Authorities sounded the alarm Sunday when an OceanGate Titan ship made its way to the historic shipwreck in less than two hours.
The Boston Coast Guard is now searching for the missing ship. The wreck of the iconic ship lies 12,500 feet underwater, about 370 miles from Newfoundland, Canada
Among those taking part in the expedition is billionaire Hamish Harding, 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, along with Stockton Rush (right), CEO of the OceanGate Expedition
One of Pakistan’s richest men, Shahzada Dawood, is on board alongside his son Suleman
Sulaiman Dawood, 19, is also aboard the missing submarine in the North Atlantic
On average, submarines can venture to a maximum of 450 meters, according to Maritime insightjust above the height of Chicago’s Willis Tower.
But OceanGate’s Titan submarine is designed to reach depths nearly 800 percent greater than this, reaching a maximum of 13,123 ft (4,000 m).
While this exceeds the depth of the North Atlantic seafloor, experts fear it is too far for a US Navy submarine to reach, with its capabilities limited to just 2,000 feet (609 m).
As a result, remotely operated vehicles may be the only alternative to rescue them – with a maximum depth of 20,000 ft (6,096 m).
David Gallo, owner of the Titanic wreck salvage rights CNN: ‘One of the biggest things is where is it? Is it on the bottom, does it float, is it in the middle of the water?
‘That’s not certain yet… We’ll have to wait and hope for the best.
“The water is very deep—two miles plus. It’s like visiting another planet, it’s not what people think it is. It’s a sunless, cold environment and high pressure.’
Atlantic disaster: How more than 1,500 people lost their lives when the Titanic sank
The RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic on April 15, 1912 after colliding with an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
More than 1,500 people died when the ship, carrying 2,224 passengers and crew, sank under the command of Captain Edward Smith.
Some of the richest people in the world were on board, including real estate magnate John Jacob Astor IV, great-grandson of John Jacob Astor, founder of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.
Millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim, heir to his family’s mining business, was also killed, along with Isidor Straus, the German-born co-owner of the Macy’s department store, along with his faithful wife Ida.
The ship was the largest floating ship at the time and was designed in such a way that it had to be ‘unsinkable’.
It had an onboard gym, libraries, swimming pool and several restaurants and luxurious first class cabins.
Due to outdated maritime safety regulations, there were not enough lifeboats on board for all passengers.
After leaving Southampton on April 10, 1912, the Titanic called at Cherbourg in France and Queenstown in Ireland before sailing for New York.
On April 14, 1912, four days after the crossing, she hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. ship’s time.
James Moody was on night watch when the collision occurred and took the call from the watchman and asked him, “What do you see?” The man replied, “Iceberg, straight ahead.”
At 2:20 am, with hundreds of people still on board, the ship crashed into the waves, taking many with it, including Moody.
Despite repeated distress calls and flares from the decks, the first rescue ship, the RMS Carpathia, arrived nearly two hours later and pulled more than 700 people from the water.
It was not until 1985 that the wreck of the ship was discovered in two pieces on the ocean floor.