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'Claustrophobic' photos show how small the submersible is that went missing during Titanic tour

Rachel Lang

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| Last updated 

'Claustrophobic' photos show how small the submersible is that went missing during Titanic tour

Featured Image Credit: OceanGate Expeditions

People around the world have been left stunned by how small the submersible currently missing at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean actually is.

US and Canadian search teams are currently locked in a race against time to find the tiny submersible craft, which has dimensions of 263 inches x 110 inches x 98 inches.

Or, to put it simply, being inside it is about the same as being in a minivan.

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The submar lost contact with its surface crew on Sunday (June 18) as it explored the underwater gravesite of the Titanic.

The missing craft is tourism firm OceanGate's Titan submersible, which is impossible to escape from the inside as passengers are bolted into the underwater craft.

According to CBS journalist David Pogue, who travelled aboard the tiny submersible to the Titanic last year, options on board are scarce if things go belly-up.

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"There's no backup, there's no escape pod," he told the BBC. "It's get to the surface or die".

He added there is no GPS or other communication possible with the vessel outside of a text message relay service with the sub's support ship.

But the support ship can only communicate with the tiny vessel if it is floating directly above the sub.

Clips from the CBS documentary are now doing the rounds on social media after surfacing.

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One person on Twitter said: "Y’all please watch this. It’s a CBS story that aired a while back about that submarine that is now missing. The creators of that missing submarine are DEEPLY unserious."

A second added: "The PlayStation controller and the one button are the strongest indicators that no national government had oversight of this thing."

There isn't much room inside the vessel to freely move about. Credit: KING 5 Seattle
There isn't much room inside the vessel to freely move about. Credit: KING 5 Seattle

Others questioned how - or why - on Earth anyone would want to have themselves bolted in to the tin can-like submarine in the first place.

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One Twitter user said: "I just can't imagine paying $200k or whatever to spend 10 hours in this thing - which is bolted shut and can only be opened from the outside - with four other people to travel to the bottom of the sea for a quick glimpse of a watery gravesite."

Another commented: "This thing is tiny. Can’t imagine how scary it must be."

While a third added: "I'm not excessively claustrophobic, but a little bit. You'd never get me into that thing."

Government agencies, navies from both Canada and the US, and commercial deep-sea firms are all helping the search and rescue operation.

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The five people on board the tiny vessel only have around 96 hours worth of air, and it has been reported that the oxygen is due to run out at 6am BST on Thursday (June 22).

OceanGate offers explorers the chance to see the Titanic wreck site for real. Credit: OceanGate
OceanGate offers explorers the chance to see the Titanic wreck site for real. Credit: OceanGate

But, if by some miracle the submersible is found and the five souls on board are alive, naval experts say the any recovery mission near the Titanic wreckage will be tough.

Retired UK navy rear admiral Chris Parry told Sky News that even locating the missing submarine will be 'a very difficult operation'.

"The actual nature of the seabed is very undulating. Titanic herself lies in a trench. There's lots of debris around," he said, as per the Daily Mail.

"So trying to differentiate with sonar in particular and trying to target the area you want to search in with another submersible is going to be very difficult indeed."

The outlet says the vessel is '11,000 feet deeper than the deepest successful undersea rescue so far'.

There are five seats on the submersible, including a pilot and a ‘content expert’ as well as three paying customers.

One of those paying customers is British billionaire Hamish Harding, according to his stepson.

Topics: News, US News, Titanic

Rachel Lang
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