(NewsNation) — A rescue mission is underway after a tourist submarine carrying people to see the wreckage site of the Titanic went missing in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday.
This is what we know about the submarine vessel and its crew.
The Titanic expedition
In 2021, OceanGate Expeditions began what it expected to be an annual voyage to track the rate of decay of the Titanic, according to the tour group’s website.
The purpose of the Titanic expedition is to chronicle the decay of the iconic ocean liner that sunk in 1912 after hitting an iceberg, killing all but about 700 of the 2,200 passengers and crew onboard. The ship’s wreckage was discovered in 1985 and has been slowly deteriorating to metal-eating bacteria.
The OceanGate Expedition’s tour departs from St. Johns, Newfoundland, in Canada, and travels about 380 nautical miles south. The trip was scheduled to depart in early May and finish up by the end of June.
Tickets for the five-person submarine cost $250,000 a seat, with the vessel being the only one of its size capable of reaching the Titanic wreck.
The five-person vessel, called the Titan, weighs about 23,000 pounds on land, but is neutrally buoyant once it reaches the seafloor, OceanGate Expedition said.
The Titan is made of carbon fiber and titanium and can reach depths of more than 13,000 feet.
The vessel is equipped with sophisticated technology including a “proprietary real-time hull health monitoring system (RTM)” that analyzes the pressure on the vessel and the integrity of its structure.
According to the OceanGate Expedition website, the vessel is equipped with 96 hours of life support for a five-person crew.
It is currently unclear how much of that supply is remaining for the crew onboard.