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Missing Titanic sub only has 41 hours of breathable air left as US Coast Guard gives update

Missing Titanic sub only has 41 hours of breathable air left as US Coast Guard gives update

The submersible lost contact with officials on the surface on 18 June

The US Coast Guard has revealed that the submersible which has gone missing in the Atlantic Ocean only has 41 hours of breathable air left on board.

An urgent search and rescue mission is underway after the submersible, known as Titan, lost contact with officials on the surface on Sunday (18 June).

There are five people onboard the vessel, which is used to descend approximately 12,500ft below the surface of the ocean to explore the wreck of the Titanic as part of of an eight-day trip run by tour firm OceanGate.

Titan is understood to have a 96-hour oxygen supply in case of emergencies, meaning that there is only a limited about of time left to rescue those on board before they run out of air.

Speaking at a press conference about the operation, Capt. Jamie Frederick, with the First Coast Guard District, explained: "From the data we were using, the starting point was 96 hours, we're now at approximately 40 to 41 hours left."

CBS News correspondent David Pogue is among the few people who have seen Titan firsthand and while he has expressed belief there are functions to help bring it to the surface, there is no solution if the submersible starts leaking, or gets trapped underwater.

The submarine has five people on board.

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

Pogue also claimed the vessel 'got lost on the sea floor for a few hours' while he was on an expedition involving Titan.

He said the vessel could send 'short texts' to a control room in a ship on the surface, but there has been no word from Titan since it went missing about an hour and 45 minutes after it descended on Sunday.

The search for the vessel involves both planes and ships from the US and Canada, with officials searching both the surface of the water and under the waves using sonar buoys.

According to Frederick, the operation has been taking place over a stretch of ocean roughly the size of the state of Connecticut and has so far yielded 'no results'.

Other countries are now getting involved in the operation, with the French Ministry of the Oceans announcing today (20 June) that it is sending a ship called the Atalante to assist in the mission.

Those on board Titan include British businessman Hamish Harding, British father and son Shahzada Dawood and Suleman Dawood, French maritime expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@Reuters/@OceanGate

Topics: US News, World News, Titanic