A dramatic search and rescue operation stretched into its third day on Tuesday after the passengers and crew aboard a small submarine went missing in the Atlantic Ocean over the weekend.
According to reports, a total of five individuals were on board the OceanGate vessel deployed on a mission to explore the wreckage of the Titanic.
The Coast Guard confirmed that it was participating in a mission to locate and rescue the submersible, which was believed to have been equipped with enough oxygen to last four days.
No. They have four days of oxygen. Very little food or water—just what they’d need for the day.
— David Pogue (@Pogue) June 19, 2023
Details about the passengers, who reportedly paid $250,000 each for a ride on the submarine, continued to trickle out early this week. Two of the individuals aboard have been identified as 48-year-old Pakistani billionaire Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Sulaiman.
Their family released a statement expressing gratitude “for the concern being shown by our colleagues and friends” while requesting prayers and privacy.
“The family is well looked after and are praying to Allah for the safe return of their family members,” the statement added.
Another passenger aboard the vessel is believed to be British billionaire Hamish Harding, whose stepson addressed the issue in a Facebook post.
“Thoughts and prayers for my stepfather Hamish Harding as his Submarine has gone missing exploring the Titanic,” Brian Szasz wrote. “Search and rescue mission is underway.”
OceanGate launched its Titan submarine on Sunday and lost contact with it a short time later. Prior to sending the vessel out, the company wrote that “the worst winter in Newfoundland in 40 years” meant that this would likely be the only such mission this year.
“A weather window has just opened and we are going to attempt a dive tomorrow,” the company wrote in an Instagram post. “We started steaming from St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada yesterday and are planning to start dive operations around 4am tomorrow morning. Until then we have a lot of preparations and briefings to do.”
The U.S. Coast Guard Northeast confirmed on Tuesday that it was searching a massive 10,000-square-mile section of the ocean in an attempt to locate the missing submersible.