A submersible has disappeared on its way to the wreck of the sunken Titanic. Also on board was a well-known British adventurer. / Billionaire Hamish Harding Is Also On Board
Hamish Harding has already experienced a lot: Last year, for example, the British adventurer flew into space with Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin. He accompanied Buzz Aldrin on his trip to the South Pole in 2016. At the age of 86, the former US astronaut was the oldest person to have ever reached the South Pole. Harding himself is a trained pilot, diver and skydiver. He holds three Guinness World Records, including the longest crossing of the deepest point of an ocean in a single dive. In 2019 he was awarded for the fastest circumnavigation of the earth over both poles.
Now the 58-year-old adventurer is being searched for along with four other people. The group was traveling with a submarine, with which they wanted to visit the wreck of the world-famous “Titanic”. However, the submersible has been missing off the coast of Newfoundland for about 24 hours. A search and rescue operation is underway. Here you can read the details of the missing submarine.
Hamish Harding: “Worst winter in 40 years”
Harding, chairman of Dubai-based aircraft company Action Aviation, confirmed his trip on social media last Saturday. He was “proud to finally be able to announce” that he will take part in the mission to the wreck of the “Titanic”.
On Instagram, however, Harding also wrote a message that makes you sit up and take notice and that appears creepy afterwards. Because it could indicate a possibly increased risk in the expedition. It was the “worst winter in Newfoundland in 40 years,” wrote the entrepreneur. Therefore, the mission will probably remain the first and only manned one to the Titanic this year. “A weather window has just opened and we will attempt a dive tomorrow.”
Harding is married with two sons, a stepdaughter and a stepson. His company, Action Aviation, said Sunday the submarine had successfully launched and Harding was “currently diving.”
On Monday, after the first reports that a search was being made for the submersible, Harding’s stepson also spoke up in a since-deleted post on Facebook. “Hamish Harding, my stepfather, disappeared on a submarine,” it read. The CEO of Harding’s company, Mark Butler, also confirmed that the entrepreneur is on board the submarine.
For Harding, the trip to the wreck of the “Titanic” should probably be the next big adventure: The expedition usually lasts eight days and includes training to prepare the participants for the dive. The dive to the wreck takes six to eight hours. A pilot, three guests and a “Titanic” expert dive into a mini submarine. The excursions cost up to 250,000 dollars (about 229,000 euros).
Tourist dive boat disappeared near Titanic wreck
A search is being carried out off the east coast of North America for a small submarine with five people on board that had started a dive to the wreck of the “Titanic”. According to the operator, the oxygen on board is sufficient for 96 hours.
A search is underway off the Canadian coast in the North Atlantic for a missing submersible that was supposed to bring tourists to the wreck of the “Titanic”. This was confirmed by the operating company Ocean Gate Expeditions and the US Coast Guard.
The Rescue Coordination Center in Halifax, Canada, said the boat, which has room for five people, was reported missing on Sunday evening. A Canadian Coast Guard ship and a military aircraft assisted in the search, which was led by the US Coast Guard in Boston.
“We are totally focused on the sub’s crew members and their families,” Ocean Gate Expeditions said. Several governments and companies supported the search and efforts to re-establish contact with the submersible.
Oxygen on board for 96 hours
A consultant to the company, David Concannon, said they lost contact with the submersible on Sunday morning. It had oxygen on board for 96 hours. “It has now been 32 hours since the submarine left the surface,” Concannon said. He was supposed to be on the dive but had to cancel due to another matter.
Authorities were working to get a remote-controlled vehicle capable of reaching a depth of 6,000 meters to the submarine as soon as possible.
British businessman Hamish Harding on board
Action Aviation confirmed that its chairman, British businessman Hamish Harding, was one of the tourists on board. CEO Mark Butler told the AP news agency that the group broke up on Friday. “There is still enough time to enable a rescue operation and there is equipment on board to survive in this event,” Butler said. “We all hope and pray that he comes back safe and sound.”
A retired British Navy Rear Admiral, Chris Parry, told Sky News that the rescue was a very difficult operation. The seabed is very uneven and the “Titanic” is in a ditch. “So trying to differentiate, especially with sonar, and targeting the area you want to search with another submersible is going to be very difficult.”
Up to $150,000 expedition
The company began annual expeditions to the wreck of the Titanic, which sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg, in 2021 to document the disintegration of the ocean liner. Around 1,500 people died in the sinking.
The wreck was discovered in 1985 and is infested with metal-eating bacteria. Some experts expect that the ship could disappear completely in a few decades, there are already gaping holes in the hull.
The first group of tourists funded the expedition with $100,000 to $150,000 per person. This year’s Ocean Gate expedition was the third to the sunken ocean liner.