Finding a submersible the size of a small bus in this vast and remote ocean space would be no small feat, he said. Williams writes that the safety risks of manned submersibles are the subject of heated scientific debate, as every deployment carries a safety risk, and the safety of crew and passengers is paramount.
Currently, most underwater research and marine industrial work is carried out using unmanned and robotic vehicles. The loss of one of these vehicles could jeopardize the work in progress, but at least there are no lives at stake. In light of these developments, the risk associated with using these systems to support tourism on the high seas is likely to be actively discussed.
Fox News sources in the offshore vehicle industry said the combination of massive depth, a lack of communications and a rapidly shrinking window of opportunity makes the rescue of the five people ‘unlikely’ aboard OceanGate. The submersible carried its passengers to view the wreckage of the Titanic. The search for the ship, which stopped communicating 115 minutes after the dive, is being conducted by the US Coast Guard in Boston. She said more than 16,000 square kilometers have been searched for the missing submarine.
The submersible before diving into the ocean had an oxygen supply for 96 hours. The US Coast Guard said Tuesday afternoon ET that the oxygen supply had dropped to 40 hours. The breathing air supply will be shut off approximately 30:00 Thursday morning EST.
In the best-case scenario, if the submarine hasn’t crashed on the seabed and suffered a catastrophic accident, it will float in the ocean. However, according to Ian Semple, science editor of the Guardian, even if the bathyscaphe floats to the surface and is found by search teams, the danger is not yet over. The bathyscaphe’s hatch is locked from the outside, which means that the crew inside will always have to rely on emergency oxygen to breathe.
US President Joe Biden is “closely following developments” around the missing submersible, White House spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday evening. During the briefing, Kirby highlighted ongoing search efforts by the US Coast Guard, Canadian officials and other agencies. The U.S. Navy is also on standby, he said, “if needed, because they have deep-sea capability that the Coast Guard doesn’t necessarily have.”
The ship’s operator, US-based OceanGate, said earlier that its CEO, Stockton Rush, was among five people missing on board. One of Pakistan’s richest men, Shahzada Dawood, his son Suleiman Dawood, British businessman Hamish Harding and French military veteran and one of the world’s most famous deep-diving experts, Paul- Henri Nargolet, are confirmed as other passengers.
Meanwhile, two former employees of OceanGate Expeditions separately expressed concerns about the thickness of the bathyscaphe’s hull when they worked for the company years ago, according to CNN. According to court documents, David Lochridge worked as an independent contractor for OceanGate in 2015 and then as an employee between 2016 and 2018. He served as the company’s Director of Marine Operations.
The company fired him and sued Loughridge and his wife in 2018, alleging he shared confidential information, misappropriated trade secrets and used the company for immigration assistance, then fabricated grounds for dismissal . The lawsuit noted that Lochridge was not an engineer, calling him a dive pilot and diver.
In a counterclaim, Lochridge said he was wrongfully fired for raising concerns about the Titan’s safety and testing. The statement said OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush had assigned him to inspect the submarine. Lochridge expressed concern that non-destructive testing was not carried out on the Titan’s hull to verify “laminations, porosity and voids of sufficient adhesion of the adhesive used due to the shell thickness”.
The lawsuit alleges that when Lochridge raised the issue, he was told there was no equipment to perform such a test. The lawsuit was settled and dismissed in November 2018. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed and Lochridge could not be reached for comment. The company’s court documents indicate that numerous additional tests were carried out after Lochridge worked for OceanGate, and it is unclear whether any of his concerns were taken into account during the design of the vessel.
Read the Latest Science and Technology News Today on The Eastern Herald.