How Much Air Is Left in Titanic Sub? Clock Ticking Down for Crew

Based on calculations using data provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, it is improbable that the underwater vehicle, which disappeared on Sunday during its expedition to the Titanic wreckage aboard the Titan, has more than a day’s supply of oxygen remaining.

On Tuesday, a sonar picked up banging noises “suggesting ongoing optimism for survivors,” although rescue personnel have not yet determined the precise whereabouts of the submerged vehicle. Communication with the vessel owned by OceanGate, which carries five individuals, was severed merely one hour and 45 minutes after its plunge began on Sunday afternoon.

The CEO of OceanGate, Rush Stockton, has Titan onboard, along with the French pilot of the submersible, Paul-Henry Nargeolet, the British billionaire explorer, Hamish Harding, and the Pakistani businessman, Dawood Shahzada. Dawood Suleman, the 19-year-old son of Dawood Shahzada, is also accompanying them. Each ticket to visit the wreck of the Titanic, which is located off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, retails for around $250,000. The wreck is situated 370 miles away from the coast and at a depth of 12,500 feet.

An undated photo shows tourist submersible Titan, which belongs to OceanGate, beginning its descent at sea. Search and rescue operations continue but Titan has less than 24 hours of oxygen onboard, according to a calculation based on Coast Guard figures. Ocean Gate/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

During the press conference on Monday afternoon, Rear Admiral John Mauger of the Coast Guard forecasted that the underwater vehicle had “approximately 70 to a complete 96 hours at its disposal.” When fully equipped, Titan can hold enough oxygen for 96 hours.

Captain Jamie Frederick of the Coast Guard, who informed the press during a conference, stated that there is approximately 40 hours of remaining oxygen. This assessment was recently updated shortly after 6:00 PM ET on Tuesday.

As of Wednesday at 10:30 a.M., Titan only had 23.5 hours of air that can be breathed. If this number is correct, Titan will exhaust its oxygen supply around 10 a.M. ET on Thursday morning.

Newsweek has reached out to OceanGate via email for a statement.

OceanGate stated on social media on Monday that they are actively investigating and organizing various possibilities to ensure the safe return of the crew, following the loss of contact with Titan.

“Our complete concentration is on the sailors in the underwater vehicle and their loved ones.

With the underwater vehicle, we have managed to restore communication in our endeavors from various governmental organizations and companies specializing in deep sea exploration. We have been provided with substantial support and express our profound gratitude.

“We are striving for the secure comeback of the crewmembers.”

In an interview with CBS News, Michael G. Harris, a veteran diver of the Titanic, cast doubt on whether a successful rescue effort could be put together in a matter of days.

He said that over the past 25 years, we have been salvaging artifacts from the Titanic, which involves recovering various pieces through a salvage operation that typically takes around 1 1/2 years of planning. If you are involved in this mission, it means that you are committed to spending a significant amount of time on it.

He stated, “This is not a task that can be hastily completed within a span of 48 hours. Additionally, you must arrange for the necessary equipment and transport it to the designated location. Moreover, I am uncertain if there exists any equipment capable of reaching the profound depths of the Titanic to effectively assist, if indeed the submersible is located there.”

A video featuring OceanGate CEO Rush has resurfaced, in which he confesses to having “broken certain regulations” to accomplish this, during a 2021 interview conducted aboard Titan, alongside a Mexican travel vlogger.