A small tourist submarine with five people onboard disappeared while on an excursion to view the remains of the Titanic. As of Monday morning, a rescue team is searching for the group off the coast of Newfoundland, according to the U.S. Coast Guard via BBC.
The truck-size submersible vessel, owned by OceanGate, charges $250,000-a-seat to see the 1912 wreckage, which is about 2.4 miles below the surface of the ocean. The sub can hold up to six visitors, referred to as "citizen scientists," at a time. And according a social media post made prior to the trip by one tourist, explorer Hamish Harding, who is believed to have been onboard, "This mission is likely to be the first and only manned mission" in 2023 due to weather complications. It is not known exactly when the sub lost contact.
From The Guardian:
According to the company's website, Oceangate had a planned eight-day, seven-night expedition to the wreck planned for 12-20 June. A maximum of six visitors were scheduled to depart and return to St John's, Newfoundland, Canada.
A British businessman, Hamish Harding, a well-known aviator as well as an explorer and one of the tiny group of tourists who have already been to space, who is normally based in the United Arab Emirates, was booked on the current trip and is believed to be among those on board.
Harding, 58, wrote on his various social media accounts about the trip, including on Instagram that: "I am proud to finally announce that I joined @oceangateexped for their RMS TITANIC Mission as a mission specialist on the sub going down to the Titanic."
He further posted on Saturday that: "Due to the worst winter in Newfoundland in 40 years, this mission is likely to be the first and only manned mission to the Titanic in 2023. A weather window has just opened up and we are going to attempt a dive tomorrow. We started steaming from St Johns, Newfoundland, Canada, yesterday and are planning to start dive operations around 4am tomorrow morning. Until then we have a lot of preparations and briefings to do."
He added: "The team on the sub has a couple of legendary explorers, some of which have done over 30 dives to the RMS Titanic since the 1980s."