Matthew Gordon-Banks

Titanic tourist submersible: Rescuers scan ocean as clock ticks

“This is an awful situation and I pray for those on-board this sub. I wonder, though, whether someone is telling us the wreck of the Titanic wishes to be left alone” says Matthew Gordon-Banks

Five people were onboard when contact with the small sub was lost about an hour and 45 minutes into its dive.

The rescue operation is continuing overnight in the mid-Atlantic but there has been no sign so far of the vessel.

US and Canadian agencies, navies and commercial deep-sea firms are all helping the rescue operation.

As of Monday afternoon, it was thought the crew members had roughly four days of oxygen left at most. Among them is theĀ British billionaire businessman and explorer Hamish Harding.

Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman, were also on board, their family said in a statement.

French explorer Paul-Henry Nargeolet is thought to be on board, according to a Facebook post by Mr Harding before the dive started

Stockton Rush, chief executive of OceanGate – the firm behind the dive – is also being widely reported to be on the vessel.

“Right now, our focus is on getting as much capability into the area as we can,” Rear Adm John Mauger of the US Coast Guard told a press conference.

Military planes, a submarine and sonar buoys have so far been used in the search for the vessel.

Titanic’s wreck lies some 435 miles (700km) south of St John’s, Newfoundland, though the rescue mission is being run from Boston, Massachusetts.

The US Coast Guard said a research ship called the Polar Prince had conducted a surface search for the sub on Monday evening. It is used to transport submersibles to the wreckage site and was the support ship on Sunday’s tourist expedition.

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