Titanic Tourist Vessel Missing

Titanic Tourist Vessel Missing

The Titan, a submersible belonging to U.S. company OceanGate, has gone missing in the area of the Titanic wreckage in the North Atlantic. The wreck of the Titanic sits 3,800m (12,500ft) beneath the surface of the Atlantic. There are five people on board.

The tourist vessel is a submersible, not a submarine. The Titan submersible is designed to take five people to depths of 13,124 feet for site survey and inspection, research and data collection. 

While a submersible doesn’t have enough power to launch itself into the ocean and return on its own, it is not the case with a submarine,

A submersible relies on a support ship to launch it and recover it.

What are Submersibles?

• Submersibles are small, narrow watercrafts designed for a set mission, that are built with characteristics that allow them to operate in a specific environment

• These vessels are typically able to be fully submerged into water and cruise using their own power supply and air renewal system.

• While some submersibles are remotely-operated and essentially manually controlled or programmed robots, these usually operate unmanned.

• Vessels like the missing Titan are known as human-occupied vehicles.

The Titan:

• This 22-foot submersible  was designed to transport five people to depths of around 4,000m in order to reach the Titanic shipwreck, which lies approximately 600km (370 miles) south of Newfoundland coast, Canada.

• Made of titanium and carbon fiber, it weighs around 10,432 kgs and can also take on speeds of about 3 knots/5.5 km per hour.

• It doesn’t have a lot of propulsion so it can’t sail great distances but it has just enough propulsion to sail and operate in and around the wreck and then come back to the surface.

• Experts believe that the Titan likely lost power or communication with its mother ship, the Polar Prince.

• Aside from taking divers to the wreck of the Titanic, Titan is used for site survey and inspection, research and data collection, film and media production, and deep sea testing of hardware and software.