Canadian authorities said they heard “banging sounds” coming from the ocean near the location that a submarine went missing during a tourist expedition to visit the wreck of the Titanic earlier this week, according to internal emails from the Department of Homeland Security’s National Operations Center.
“RCC Halifax launched a P8, Poseidon, which has underwater detection capabilities from the air,” the emails stated, according to Rolling Stone. “The P8 deployed sonobuoys, which reported a contact in a position close to the distress position. The P8 heard banging sounds in the area every 30 minutes. Four hours later additional sonar was deployed and banging was still heard.” The announcement did not state what time the banging was heard, or what was thought to have caused it.
OceanGate Expeditions, the private company behind the missing submarine, offers a $250,000 eight-day expedition to view the Titanic, which rests 12,500 feet below the surface off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
During a CBS News report last year, OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush showed David Pogue, a CBS correspondent, how a video game controller is responsible for running “the whole thing.” CBS video footage also showed how the Titan is sealed externally with 17 bolts, with no way for passengers to get themselves out of the vessel in the case of an emergency.
The submarine also lacks a navigation system. Instead, the vessel operates based on text message guidance provided from a ship on the surface of the water.
Last year, Rush acknowledged his concerns regarding the possibility of objects preventing the submersible vessel from returning to the surface of the water.
Asked about general safety concerns at the time, Rush indicated that he did not believe the underwater voyage to the Titanic was very dangerous.
“If you look at submersible activity over the last three decades, there hasn’t even been a major injury, let alone a fatality,” he said. “What worries us is not once you’re underwater.”
This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.