BY Jack Davis, The Western JournalJune 20, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 20, 2023
1 year ago

Submersibles Expert Thinks He Knows What Happened to Missing Vessel: 'Deeply Worrisome'

A submersible vehicle industry expert says indications to date do not bode well for the missing Titan submersible with five tourists on board that went to explore the wreck of the Titanic on Sunday.

One hour and 45 minutes into the dive, the craft went missing, according to The New York Times. The dives take about eight hours, with about 2.5 hours each for the ascent and descent.

"For there not to be any communications or any movement, indications are that something went critical," Steve Somlyody of Florida, who has spent 20 years in the design and operation of submersibles, told Fox News on Monday.

The Titan was built with emergency methods to rise to the surface, but a sonobuoy like the ones in use to find the craft would detect it if that was happening, Somlyody said.

"The lack of signs of communication is deeply worrisome,” he said.

Pressure is the worst enemy at the depth where the Titanic lies, Somlyody said.

"The pressure down there at 4,000 meters is pretty high. About 5,800 [pounds per square inch] at Titanic depth. If they had any kind of leak, it would lead to an implosion, and it would happen in an instant, very immediately. You wouldn’t even know it happened,” he said.

Somlyody said he knows of only two vessels in the U.S. that could reach the depth of the Titanic. Deploying them would take preparation and transportation time, he said.

The Titan could jettison equipment in an effort to rise, he said.

"If they were to float up from that depth, it would take a significant amount of time, depending upon how much weight they were able to shed and how buoyant they become,” Somlyody said, estimating an ascent in such a fashion could take 10 hours.

OceanGate, the company that runs the tourist dives, confirmed Monday that it had lost contact with the Titan.

"We are exploring and mobilizing all options to bring the crew back safely. Our entire focus is on the crewmembers in the submersible and their families. We are working toward the safe return of the crewmembers,” the company said in a statement.

The expedition cost passengers about $250,000, according to ABC News.

Rear Adm. John Mauger, a Coast Guard spokesman, said Monday the Titan would have between 70 to 96 hours of oxygen.

“We’re using that time making the best use of every moment of that time,” Mauger said.

He said the Coast Guard and Canadian officials were searching an area about 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, at a depth of about 13,000 feet.

“We are doing everything we can do,” Mauger said, adding that it was “a challenge to conduct a search in that remote area, but we are deploying all available assets to make sure that we can locate the craft and rescue the people on board.”

Stockton Rush, president of OceanGate, said last year the trips to the Titanic were important to keep alive interest in the wreck.

“No public entity is going to fund going back to the Titanic. There are other sites that are newer and probably of greater scientific value,” he said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Jack Davis, The Western Journal



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