Missing Titanic sub from Everett company ‘just an awful situation’

Jun 20, 2023, 2:29 PM | Updated: 4:08 pm

Missing Titanic Sub...

U.S. Coast Guard Captain Jamie Frederick speaks during a press conference about the search efforts for the submersible that went missing near the wreck of the Titanic, at Coast Guard Base in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 20, 2023. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)

(Photo by Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)

Five people are missing underwater after an expedition near the wreckage of the Titanic on an Everett company’s submersible vessel. Search efforts are underway in the North Atlantic Ocean with the U.S. Navy sending subject matter experts and a “Flyaway Deep Ocean Salvage System (FADOSS)” to assist in the search and rescue of a tour sub, according to CNN.

The Titan submersible was on its descent to the Titanic when it lost contact with the surface support vessel. Seattle resident Stockton Rush is believed to be on board. He’s the founder and CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, which is based in Everett. There’s also a French citizen who’s piloting the sub and three other members of the expedition who reportedly paid $250,000 a ticket, including a billionaire English investor and two Pakistani businessmen.

Race against clock looking for missing WA submersible near Titanic

CBS Sunday Morning correspondent David Pogue took a tour inside the sub eight months prior to the currently lost voyage, reporting it has about as much room as a minivan and is the only one with a toilet. According to Pogue, the whole submersible is run with a video game controller.

The crew has an estimated 54 to 80 hours of oxygen left as of this reporting.

“The part about where you have x amount of hours left of oxygen, first of all, anxiety would definitely kick in knowing that there is a possibility that you might not be saved,” Gee Scott, co-host of The Gee and Ursula Show, said. “Is that a time where you just got to sit there and you can only breathe so many times and actually not get up to exert more oxygen? Nobody can move about this little capsule, what happens in that situation?”

“This is a tiny space you’re locked in. It’s just an awful situation,” Angela Russell, guest host on The Gee and Ursula Show, added. “And I know that the people who signed on knew the dangers, but you do make the assumption, I think a lot of us do, that if we spend a lot of money, everything’s in place to be ok.”

In addition to the Navy’s involvement in the search, The U.S. Coast Guard and Transportation Command are directing its assets to help search efforts.

‘You know what you’re getting into:’ Man who took trip on now-missing submersible shares experience

Coast Guard officials have stated there are two possible theories as to what happened. Either the submersible had an electrical or communications problem and has floated to the surface, waiting to be found; or the pressure hull was compromised, causing a leak.

According to Vice, many are focusing specifically on the fact that the sub is being piloted with a slightly modified Logitech G F710 Wireless Gamepad (MSRP $39.99).

“We run the whole thing with this game controller,” Stockton Rush, Oceangate CEO, told Pogue in a segment earlier this year.

“I wasn’t ready for the part about the game controller,” Gee said. “I’ve always had a fascination with things down at the bottom of the sea. But when you’re at about 12,000 feet, to put it into perspective, I think about how often when I fly. We are not allowed to go about the cabin, as the captain says, or our Wi-Fi does not work until the airplane is in the air 10,000 feet over. So in this case, you’re talking about two miles down there.”

Only three to four devices in the world can reach the missing submersible, according to Russell.

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Missing Titanic sub from Everett company ‘just an awful situation’