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The US Coast Guard: We lack the experience and equipment to locate the submarine with tourists near Titanic

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Photo: the missing submarine "Titanic" belongs to the company OceanGate. Source: OceanGate
Photo: the missing submarine "Titanic" belongs to the company OceanGate. Source: OceanGate

The Commander of the first district of the US Coast Guard, Rear Admiral John Mauger, commented on the attempts to locate the disappeared submarine after hydroacoustic buoys in the region caught 'strong' sounds on Wednesday morning, according to Le Monde.

"We don't know the source of this noise, but we have shared this information with navy experts to decipher it," he said during an American CBS broadcast on Wednesday. "There is a lot of metal and various objects in the water around this place."

"That's why it's so important that we've hired navy experts who understand the science of noise and who can give us a better understanding of the source of this noise," he added.

Rescuers trying to locate the missing tourist submarine during an expedition to the Titanic wreck are facing an exceptional technical problem due to the North Atlantic's great depths.

Furthermore, the search zone extending over more than 20,000 square kilometres and potentially plunging to 4,000 metres in depth, complicates the task.

Rescuers need to find the passengers by Thursday noon when their oxygen supply will be exhausted.

"Down there it's pitch black. Very cold. The sea floor is muddy and undulating. You can't see your hand in front of your face," Titanic expert Tim Maltin said. "It's a bit like an astronaut's space flight."

The complexity of this mission goes beyond the usual skills of the rescuers, Captain Jamie Frederick told reporters on Tuesday. "We lack sufficient experience and equipment to conduct such investigations," he admitted.

Today, the French ship Ifremer Atalante, also equipped with the underwater robot Victor 6000, is due to arrive at the search site.

Who are the five passengers of the missing submarine?

1 - 58-year-old wealthy British businessman Hamish Harding, who announced on Instagram his participation in this unusual, history-rich scientific excursion.

2 - Former French diver and naval officer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77 years old, an expert in Titanic wreckage, is also on board, according to his family.

3 and 4 - Pakistani magnate Shahzada Dawood, 48 years old, vice-chairman of the conglomerate Engro, and his son Suleman, 19 years old, their family announced.

5 - Stockton Rush, the head of the American company OceanGate, who is responsible for piloting the submarine.

Recall, the missing submarine "Titanic" belongs to the company OceanGate, which organizes underwater trips to the Titanic wreckage for 250,000 dollars per seat.

The submarine disappeared without a trace at a depth of about 4 km, in a very remote area 1450 kilometres off the coast of Cape Cod, in the US state of Massachusetts.

It set off on Sunday morning (local time) to visit the Titanic wreckage. Communication with the submarine was lost after 1 hour and 45 minutes. Usually, the expedition lasts from 8 to 10 hours: about two hours for descent, almost four hours on site and on average two hours for ascent. There are five passengers on board. The crew still has an oxygen supply for about 24 hours.

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