The OceanGate Expeditions submersible lost contact with its research vessel on Sunday. Searches have already covered 10,000 square miles of ocean after the submersible was reported overdue about 435 miles south of St. John’s, Newfoundland.
As the search for the crew and passengers onboard carries on, a photo of what was claimed to be the missing vehicle was posted on social media.
A Reddit post by user u/Tmccreight, posted on 19 June, 2023, to the subreddit r/titanic, said: “This is the missing Sub” while text beneath it said: “The OceanGate Titan, capable of diving to depths of 4000m (13,123 feet). It carries 96 hours of life support.”
In a series of tweets on Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard Northeast confirmed that it was searching for the missing submersible.
“The @USCG is searching for a 21-foot submersible from the Canadian research vessel Polar Prince. The 5 person crew submerged Sunday morning, and the crew of the Polar Prince lost contact with them approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes into the vessel’s dive,” one tweet said.
“#Update A Canadian Aircraft P3 Aurora has arrived on scene to conduct sonar searches. The R/V Polar Prince and R/V Deep Energy are continuing their surface searches. Total search area completed as of this morning is 10,000 SQ miles,” another tweet on Tuesday morning said.
The image shared on Reddit appears on the website and is the missing submersible, owned by OceanGate. The vessel, named Titan, can carry a maximum of five people—a pilot, a content expert and three paying passengers. Tickets for an expedition to the Titanic wreckage cost about $250,000.
The website provides a number of other photos of Titan from different exploration missions. The submersible is capable of reaching depths of up to 4,000 meters (more than 13,000 feet) and has 96 hours of life support.
Although there does not appear to be any suggestion that it might be the case, the photo is not taken from this expedition. It has been published online since at least 2019.
“For some time, we have been unable to establish communications with one of our submersible exploration vehicles which is currently visiting the wreck site of the Titanic,” OceanGate Expeditions spokespeople Jim Wilkinson and Andrew Von Kerens previously told Newsweek in a statement. Our entire focus is on the wellbeing of the crew and every step possible is being taken to bring the five crew members back safely.
“We are deeply grateful for the urgent and extensive assistance we are receiving from multiple government agencies and deep-sea companies as we seek to reestablish contact with the submersible. We pray for the safe return of the crew and passengers, and we will provide updates as they are available.”
The photo posted on Reddit is of the OceanGate vessel, Titan,which has been missing with five people aboard since Sunday.
The submersible is capable of reaching depths up to 4,000 meters (more than 13,000 feet) and has 96-hour life support. The image shared on social media is not from the expedition group that has gone missing.
FACT CHECK BY Newsweek’s Fact Check team
Published: 2023-06-20 19:28:02