Search for Titanic submersible OceanGate Expeditions vessel continue as more rescue ships arrive even as oxygen supply dwindles.
More rescue ships have arrived at the area of the Titanic wreck as the search for the missing submersible continues.
The exact whereabouts of the Titanic submersible and the condition of the five crew onboard are unknown.
The five people on board are: Company’s CEO Stockton Rush, French Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, British billionaire Hamish Harding and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, Suleman.
It is thought that, if the vessel is still intact, it may have just a few hours of oxygen remaining, creating a race against time to find the sub before it is too late.
A shipping tracker website showed the French vessel Atalante arriving on the scene over night.
It comes after US Coast Guard officials on Wednesday said they remained “hopeful” after sonar detected unidentified “underwater noises”.
“Sometimes you’re in a position where you have to make a tough decision. We’re not there yet,” Captain Jamie Frederick of the US Coast Guard said.
According to Capt Ramsey, if the sub is on the seabed, the water temperature will be about 0C. If it has also lost electricity, it will not be generating any power and therefore cannot generate heat.
But hypothermia “could be their friend”, said Dr LeDez.
“There is a possibility if they cool down enough and lose consciousness they could live through it – rescuers know this,” he said, adding that the body will automatically try to adapt to survive.
However on the flip side, hypothermia, the lack of oxygen and the build-up of carbon dioxide within the sub mean the crew’s ability to make contact with the search and rescue mission, such as by banging on the hull at regular intervals to try and attract attention, will dwindle.
“If they’re unconscious, they’re not going to be able to do much to help themselves,” says Dr LeDez.
A Canadian plane with sonar capabilities had picked up sounds on Wednesday, and remotely operated vehicles were moved to the area where the noises originated.
The sounds raised hopes that the passengers on the small tourist craft are still alive though experts have not been able to confirm their source.
A French robot is the best hope of finding and rescuing the five people trapped inside a lost submersible which disappeared while attempting to visit the Titanic shipwreck, experts believe.
The unmanned French robot the Victor 6000 is now believed to be on sight and in the water searching for Titan.
It is remote operated, has powerful lights and two manipulator arms attached.
Scientists think the Victor 6000 may be the last, and best, hope for the deep-sea tourists currently missing.
“I would place my main hope on the Victor 6000 on the Atalante,” said Prof Alistair Greig, Professor of Marine Engineering at University College London.
“[Victor 6000] is a proper deepwater remotely operated vehicle used for research. It supposedly was arriving in the area last night and I would imagine they would already have that in the water, but I have not seen any reports about what’s happening with it.”
The submersible can take its passengers to a depth of 4,000 metres, according to OceanGate, which means it can just reach the Titanic wreck at 3,800 metres.