Head of Titanic submarine search gives verdict on ‘banging’ noises detected with sonar Rear Admiral John Mauger, from the US Coast Guard, who is leading the search for the Titan submersible, has revealed they “don’t know the source of that noise” but have reported the data with the US Navy
The head of the Titanic submarine search has revealed authorities are focusing on the “banging” noises detected with sonar – which could indicate there’s an opportunity for “survival.”
Rear Admiral John Mauger, from the US Coast Guard, who is leading the search for the Titan submersible, has revealed they “don’t know the source of that noise” but have reported the data with the US Navy.
According to the US Coast Guard, the Canadian P-3 aircraft picked up the sound as underwater operations were underway to try and locate the origin of the noises.
The Coast Guard statement came after Rolling Stone, citing what it described as internal US Department of Homeland Security emails on the search, said that teams heard “banging sounds in the area every 30 minutes.”
The underwater noises were detected in the area of the search of the missing submarine, which was carrying five passengers who were visiting the Titanic wreckage on Sunday.
In underwater disasters, a crew unable to communicate with the surface relies on banging on their submersible’s hull to be detected by sonar.
However, no official has publicly suggested that’s the case and noises underwater can come from a variety of sources.
Mr Mauger said in a press conference there a lot of metal objects at the site, which is why it’s essential to find navy experts who understand the science behind the noise.
He added: “The data from the P-3 aircraft has been shared with our U.S. Navy experts for further analysis which will be considered in future search plans.
“There is a lot of metal and different objects in the water around this site. That’s why it’s so important that we’ve engaged experts from the Navy that understand the science behind noise and can classify or give us better information about what the source of that noise may be.”
Three C-17 transport planes from the US military have been used to move commercial submersible and support equipment from Buffalo, New York, to St. John’s, Newfoundland, to aid in the search, a spokesperson for US Air Mobility Command said.
The Canadian military said it provided a patrol aircraft and two surface ships, including one that specializes in dive medicine. It also dropped sonar buoys to listen for any sounds from the Titan.
In addition to an international array of ships and planes, an underwater robot had started searching in the vicinity of the Titanic and there was a push to get salvage equipment to the scene in case the sub is found.
Mr Mauger confessed the search is “incredibly complex” as partners multiple different agencies come together to try and find the submarine before the oxygen runs out on Thursday morning.
Coast Guard Captain Jamie Frederick told reporters on Tuesday the passengers had “about 40 hours of breathable air left” – which was an estimate based off the vessel’s original 96 hours of available oxygen.
He admitted: “We will do everything in our power to effect a rescue. There is a full-court press effort to get equipment on scene as quickly as we can.”
In addition, he said authorities will continue to find the source of the noise “as long as there’s an opportunity for survival” and said the noise is “a target, it’s a focus for us to look at”, with vessels being deployed nearby.
The underwater operations have not revealed any results but a desperate search is continuing, according to Richard Garriott de Cayeux, the president of the Explorers Club.
One of the passengers on board, British businessman Hamish Harding, helped found the club’s board of trustees.
In a letter to club members, Richard said: “There is cause for hope, based on data from the field – we understand that likely signs of life have been detected at the site.”
Pakistani British-based businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, Sulaiman Dawood, are on the submersible along with French submersible pilot Paul-Henry Nargeolet, and chief executive and founder of OceanGate Expeditions, Stockton Rush.
According to the Coast Guard, the last recorded communication from the submarine was an hour and 45 minutes into Sunday’s dive.
The US Navy and Air National Guard have searched a combined area of around 7,600 square miles, which is larger than the state of Connecticut.
Aaron Newman, who has been a passenger on the Titan, told NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday that if the submersible is below a couple hundred meters and without power, the passengers are in complete darkness and it’s cold.
“It was cold when we were at the bottom,” he said. “You had layered up. You had wool hats on and were doing everything to stay warm at the bottom.”
Mike Reiss, a former producer and writer on The Simpsons, went on OceanGate’s tour of the Titanic wreckage in 2022, along with his wife, on the same vessel that is missing after vanishing 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada on Sunday.
He admitted although it was a “beautiful experience” he was aware death “hung over him” at all times.
The writer told The Sun: : “The possibility of catastrophe and death just hangs over you – it’s just a part of what you’re doing.
“You sign a lengthy waiver before you get on the ship that mentions death three times on the first page.”
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