Here’s How You Can Visit the Wreck of the Titanic—for $125,000

A series of expeditions will take tourists down to the ill-fated ship in 2021

titanic tour wreck

Courtesy of NOAA/Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island (NOAA/IFE/URI)

You’re probably familiar with the RMS Titanic: in 1912, the world’s largest ocean liner of the day embarked on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York, during which she struck an iceberg, sank, and ultimately took more than 1,500 lives. The Titanic’s final resting place remained a mystery until 1985, when American marine geologist Robert Ballard and French oceanographer Jean-Louis Michel discovered the wreck in the crushing depths of the frigid North Atlantic, nearly 2.5 miles beneath the surface of the sea. 

Rather unsurprisingly, visiting the Titanic has become a bucket-list trip for maritime historians, oceanographers, and, well, anyone who has deep enough pockets to go. However, expeditions are rare: only one team has visited the site in-person in the last 15 years. But all that’s about to change.

OceanGate Expeditions , a company that provides well-heeled clients with once-in-a-lifetime underwater experiences, has announced a series of six trips to the Titanic via submersible in 2021. Each has space for nine paying tourists, whose $125,000 tickets will help offset the cost of the expeditions (and put a pretty penny in the pocket of OceanGate owner Stockton Rush).

OceanGate’s expeditions will each run for 10 days out of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. Nine tourists, who are actually dubbed “mission specialists” on this expedition, will join the expedition crew on each sailing, and they’ll be expected to participate in the research efforts—this isn’t just a sightseeing affair. OceanGate’s goal is to extensively document the Titanic wreck before it disintegrates entirely due to a deep-sea bacteria that eats iron, which researchers are concerned might happen within the next few decades. As this is a scientific project, mission specialists will have to meet certain physical criteria to ensure their compatibility with the expedition, not to mention training, which includes a test dive.

On each expedition, each mission specialist will be able to partake in a single six- to eight-hour dive to the Titanic via the private Titan submarine, which includes the 90-minute descent and 90-minute ascent. The sub seats five—a pilot, a scientist or researcher, and three mission specialists—and it does have a small, semi-private bathroom for emergencies, in case you were wondering.

Now, it should be known that this isn’t OceanGate’s first attempt to visit the iconic wreck: two previous expeditions had to be scrubbed. (In 2018, the sub was hit by lightning, and its electrical systems were fried, and in 2019, there were issues with sourcing a ship for the expedition.) But hey, perhaps the third time's the charm!

Several international treaties protect the Titanic—the wreck sits in international waters—but their primary goal is to prevent looters and illegal salvage operations from damaging and disrespecting the wreck. However, in terms of tourism, it’s actually perfectly legal to visit the wreck, so long as the expedition doesn’t intrude upon it (i.e., land on the deck or enter the hull.)

“A review of the International Agreement on Titanic, as well as the 2001 UNESCO Convention on Underwater Cultural Heritage, would reveal that non-intrusive visits do not even require a permit or authorization,” said Ole Varmer, a retired legal advisor to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who was instrumental in negotiating the legal protection of the wreck. “The scope of the prohibition against commercial exploitation of underwater cultural heritage is to prevent unauthorized salvage and looting; it does not include non-intrusive visits regardless of whether they are for-profit or not.”

In terms of OceanGate Expeditions, the company is working with NOAA, the federal agency in charge of implementing the International Agreement on Titanic for U.S.-based Titanic activities, to ensure it follows all protocols set down by that agreement.

There are two major factors to consider regarding ethically visiting the Titanic. First, it’s a memorial site to the lives lost during the disaster, so the wreck should be treated with respect. But that, of course, is true of all memorial sites around the world.

“Speaking as one who visited Titanic’s wreck twice during RMS Titanic, Inc.'s 1993 and 1996 Research and Recovery expeditions, I see nothing unethical about visiting the wreck, nor about helping to defray the significant expense of bringing a visitor to the wreck,” explained Charles Haas, president of the Titanic International Society. “People around the world learn by seeing and visiting. They pay for access to museums, cathedrals, monuments, exhibitions, and, yes, final resting places.”

But second, it’s a fragile piece of cultural heritage. It should be protected—the expedition organizer must take appropriate steps to ensure that it won’t disturb the wreck.

“In the past, submersibles visiting the site by RMS Titanic, Inc. [the only company legally allowed to salvage the wreck], and others have rested on the deck of the hull portions,” says Varmer. “That practice has likely caused some harm and exacerbated the deterioration of the site.  Hopefully, that will no longer be practiced or permitted.”

Per OceanGate’s description of its expeditions, the company’s submersible won’t disturb the wreck, so if you have $125,000 lying around, fee; free to spring for the bucket-list trip of 2021!

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titanic tour wreck

Welcome to the RMS Titanic!

Become a visitor at “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” through this remarkable virtual experience using only your phone or laptop- with many exclusive features!

Virtual Experience

View the entire 25,000 square foot exhibition

Many Bonus Features

Exclusive materials, audio & video

Wherever You Are

Works on Smartphone, Tablet or Desktop

For One Week

Visit the experience as often as you want

Start Your Journey To Titanic

  • Full Version
  • $ 15 per 1 week
  • 144 Text Info Points
  • 27 Audio Info Points
  • 94 Additional Images
  • 18 Video Info Points
  • 5 Dive expedition 2010 videos
  • Animated video of the sinking
  • Automatic virtual tour
  • Light Version
  • $ 5 per 1 week

Claire Bernot

Ivan paczko, the rms titanic.

Titanic: The Virtual Experience showcases an unrivalled collection of nearly 400 artifacts recovered directly from the wreck site of the RMS Titanic. Photographed at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, this 25,000 square foot experience allows you to view full scale room re-creations from Titanic including the famed Grand Staircase and an up close, personal view of Titanic’s artifacts including personal belongings, items from each class of service and the largest piece ever recovered, a 15-ton portion of the Ship’s hull. In addition, Titanic: The Virtual Experience showcases never before seen video of the Ship today, video of the recovery of her artifacts, unique historical facts and passenger stories as well as a full audio tour in multiple languages.

This marks the only experience where you can see Titanic artifacts directly from the wreck site and is curated utilizing the largest global and historical partnerships.

Full Version:

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FULL Version for GROUP discount

Light version:.

titanic tour wreck

LIGHT Version – Titanic: The Virtual Experience

See the Titanic in Stunning Detail With New 3D Scan

Researchers collected 16 terabytes of data to create the very first full-sized 3D scan of the wreckage

Sarah Kuta

Daily Correspondent

Titanic's bow

More than a century after the Titanic sank during her maiden voyage across the Atlantic, deep-sea researchers have created the first full-sized, 3D digital scan of the wreckage.

Over a period of six weeks last summer, the team used two remotely operated underwater vehicles to explore the shipwreck from all angles, as well as the surrounding debris field that stretches for up to three miles. Items that belonged to the vessel’s roughly 2,200 passengers and crew members—such as champagne bottles, watches and shoes—are still scattered across the seafloor.

In total, the two submersibles captured more than 16 terabytes of data—715,000 images and a high-resolution video—in the North Atlantic, reports the  New York Times ’ April Rubin. Researchers then spent seven months piecing together a “one-to-one digital copy, a ‘twin,’ of the Titanic in every detail,” says Anthony Geffen, who leads  Atlantic Productions , the film company making a documentary about the modeling process, to the  Associated Press ’ Sylvia Hui.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Atlantic Productions (

The result: a model that’s incredibly detailed, showing even tiny features like the serial number on the ship’s propeller.

“This is the Titanic as no one had ever seen it before,” says Gerhard Seiffert, a 3D imaging expert for Magellan, the deep-sea investigation company leading the project, to  CNN ’s Niamh Kennedy.

Propeller of the Titanic

On April 10, 1912, the Titanic departed from Southampton, England, and began sailing west toward New York City. The vessel struck an iceberg near Newfoundland on April 14 , proceeding to sink in just a few hours. More than 1,500 passengers and crew members died in the wreck.

First located in 1985 , the ship’s wreckage is situated about 435 miles off the coast of Canada, roughly 12,500 feet—2.4 miles—below the water’s surface.

Another view of Titanic shipwreck bow

With the model now complete, its creators hope it will help Titanic researchers more accurately piece together  what happened during the famed disaster. Anyone interested in the vessel’s history will be able to use the model to walk through the ship virtually, “as if the water has been drained away,” writes Magellan in a statement.

Already, the scan is leading to new discoveries: For instance, researchers noticed for the first time that one of the Titanic ’s lifeboats wasn’t deployed used because it was “blocked by a jammed metal piece,” reports the Times .

“There are still questions, basic questions, that need to be answered about the ship,” says Parks Stephenson, a Titanic expert who was not involved in the project, to  BBC News ’ Rebecca Morelle and Alison Francis.

The new model, he adds, is “one of the first major steps to driving the Titanic story towards evidence-based research—and not speculation.”

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Sarah Kuta

Sarah Kuta | READ MORE

Sarah Kuta is a writer and editor based in Longmont, Colorado. She covers history, science, travel, food and beverage, sustainability, economics and other topics.

titanic tour wreck


Step aboard the titanic.

Embark on an immersive, interactive tour of the Titanic with vast, jaw-dropping recreations of the ship’s interior and exterior. Visit the dock from where the Titanic first sailed, explore the galleries and boiler room, take a look inside a millionaire’s suite, stroll the exterior promenade deck under a starry night sky, and see the Grand Staircase with your own eyes.


Take on the name of a real passenger and discover their individual story as told through relics of the past. Hundreds of artifacts from the Titanic and her sister ships tell the latest details of the Titanic’s sinking and discovery: see recovered items, authentic White Star Line objects, and even props and costumes from James Cameron’s famous 1997 feature film.


Get a glimpse at how it felt to discover the sunken remains of the Titanic. Walk above a sea floor complete with sand and broken artifacts, see what discovery teams saw during their dives, and enjoy a unique VR experience providing a new perspective on the ship’s downfall.

Practical info

  • Date: From February 16, 2024
  • Duration: The visit will take around 1 hour
  • Location: Westfield Old Orchard, Skokie
  • Age requirement: All ages are welcome! Children under 4 enter free of charge
  • Price: Adult tickets starting at $29.50

How visitors felt about Titanic: The Exhibition

Gift Card - Titanic: The Exhibition

Titanic: The Exhibition Gift Card

Give the gift of an emotional journey to the past, the exhibit in the media.

 - Titanic Exhibit in Chicago: An Immersive Experience

Titanic: The Exhibition Chicago Location

Westfield old orchard, 4963 old orchard shopping center, skokie, il, 60077, united states..

Do you have any questions? Maybe you can find the answer here!

Make the most of your visit to Titanic: The Exhibition by immersing yourself in the world of Downton Abbey! Conveniently located at the same venue, this ticket grants you access to the Downton Abbey exhibition on any day and at any time during operating hours (attendance required by March 31st, 2024).

The exhibition is open weekly from Wednesday-Sunday with hours from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, with the last guest entry at 5:00 pm.

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition is self-guided, and we expect guests to spend 90-120 minutes exploring.

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3d “digital twin” showcases wreck of titanic in unprecedented detail, “this is a new phase for underwater forensic investigation and examination.”.

Jennifer Ouellette - May 17, 2023 8:43 pm UTC

The RMS Titanic sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic in 1912, but the fate of the ship and its passengers has fascinated the popular imagination for more than a century. Now we have the first full-size 3D digital scan of the complete wreckage—a "digital twin" that captures Titanic in unprecedented detail. Magellan Ltd, a deep-sea mapping company , and Atlantic Productions (which is making a documentary about the project) conducted the scans over a six-week expedition last summer.

“Great explorers have been down to the Titanic ... but actually they went with really low-resolution cameras and they could only speculate on what happened," Atlantic Productions CEO Andrew Geffen told BBC News . “We now have every rivet of the Titanic , every detail, we can put it back together, so for the first time we can actually see what happened and use real science to find out what happened." 

Further Reading

Titanic  met its doom just four days into the Atlantic crossing, roughly 375 miles (600 kilometers) south of Newfoundland. At 11:40 pm ship's time on April 14, 1912,  Titanic hit that infamous iceberg and began taking on water, flooding five of its 16 watertight compartments, thereby sealing its fate. More than 1,500 passengers and crew perished; only around 710 of those on board survived.

Titanic remained undiscovered at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean until an expedition led by Jean-Louis Michel and Robert Ballard reached the wreck on September 1, 1985. The ship split apart as it sank, with the bow and stern sections lying roughly one-third of a mile apart. The bow proved to be surprisingly intact, while the stern showed severe structural damage, likely flattened from the impact as it hit the ocean floor. There is a debris field spanning a 5-by-3-mile area, filled with furniture fragments, dinnerware, shoes and boots, and other personal items.

As reported previously , we've seen images and video footage of the wreck since it was discovered in the mid 1980s. That includes the  footage shot by director James Cameron in 1995 for sequences featured in his  blockbuster 1997 film —although much of the latter was actually miniature models and special effects filmed on a set, since Cameron couldn't get the high-quality footage he needed for a feature film.

Last year, a private company called OceanGate Expeditions released a one-minute video showcasing the first 8K video footage of the wreck of the Titanic , showing some of its features in new, vivid detail. One could make out the name of the anchor manufacturer (Noah Hingley & Sons Ltd.), for instance, and the footage also gave us a better look at the bow, hull number one, the number-one cargo hold, solid bronze capstans, and one of the single-ended boilers. The footage was shot during the company's 2022 descent, with guests forking over $250,000 apiece for a seat on the submersible. A second OceanGate expedition to the Titanic wreckage was planned for this year.

The joint mission by Magellan and Atlantic Productions deployed two submersibles nicknamed Romeo and Juliet to map every millimeter of the wreck, including the debris field spanning some three miles. The result was a whopping 16 terabytes of data, along with over 715,000 still images and 4K video footage. That raw data was then processed to create the 3D digital twin. The resolution is so good, one can make out part of the serial number on one of the propellers.

"This model is the first one based on a pure data cloud, that stitches all that imagery together with data points created by a digital scan, and with the help from a little artificial intelligence, we are seeing the first unbiased view of the wreck," historian and Titanic expert Parks Stephenson told BBC News . “I believe this is a new phase for underwater forensic investigation and examination.”

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A remarkable new view of the Titanic shipwreck is here, thanks to deep-sea mappers

Rachel Treisman

titanic tour wreck

Scientists were able to map the entirety of the shipwreck site, from the Titanic's separated bow and stern sections to its vast debris field. Atlantic/Magellan hide caption

Scientists were able to map the entirety of the shipwreck site, from the Titanic's separated bow and stern sections to its vast debris field.

A deep sea-mapping company has created the first-ever full-sized digital scan of the Titanic, revealing an entirely new view of the world's most famous shipwreck.

The 1912 sinking of the Titanic has captivated the public imagination for over a century. And while there have been numerous expeditions to the wreck since its discovery in 1985, its sheer size and remote position — some 12,500 feet underwater and 400 nautical miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada — have made it nearly impossible for anyone to see the full picture.

Until now, that is. Using technology developed by Magellan Ltd., scientists have managed to map the Titanic in its entirety, from its bow and stern sections (which broke apart after sinking) to its 3-by-5-mile debris field.

Newly released footage of a 1986 Titanic dive reveals the ship's haunting interior

Newly released footage of a 1986 Titanic dive reveals the ship's haunting interior

The result is an exact "digital twin" of the wreck, media partner Atlantic Productions said in a news release.

"What we've created is a highly accurate photorealistic 3D model of the wreck," 3D capture specialist Gerhard Seiffert says. "Previously footage has only allowed you to see one small area of the wreck at a time. This model will allow people to zoom out and to look at the entire thing for the first time ... This is the Titanic as no one had ever seen it before."

The Titanic site is hard to get to, hard to see and hard to describe, says Jeremy Weirich, the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Ocean Exploration program (he's been to the site).

'Titanic' was king of the world 25 years ago for a good reason

Pop Culture Happy Hour

'titanic' was king of the world 25 years ago for a good reason.

"Imagine you're at the bottom of the ocean, there's no light, you can't see anything, all you have is a flashlight and that beam goes out by 10 feet, that's it," he says. "It's a desert. You're moving along, you don't see anything, and suddenly there's a steel ship in front of you that's the size of a skyscraper and all you can see is the light that's illuminated by your flashlight."

This new imagery helps convey both that sense of scale and level of detail, Weirich tells NPR.

Magellan calls this the largest underwater scanning project in history: It generated an unprecedented 16 terabytes of data and more than 715,000 still images and 4k video footage.

"We believe that this data is approximately ten times larger than any underwater 3D model that's ever been attempted before," said Richard Parkinson, Magellan founder and CEO.

James Cameron aims to finally put that 'Titanic' door debate to rest, 25 years later

James Cameron aims to finally put that 'Titanic' door debate to rest, 25 years later

Experts in Titanic history and deep-sea exploration are hailing the model as an invaluable research tool. They believe it could help scientists and historians solve some of the ship's lingering mysteries — and learn more about other underwater sites, too.

Longtime Titanic explorer and analyst Parks Stephenson described the model as a "game changer" in a phone interview with NPR.

"It takes [us] further into new technology that's going to be the standard, I think, not just for Titanic exploration, but all underwater exploration in the future," he adds.

titanic tour wreck

The effort yielded 16 terabytes of data and more than 715,000 still images, in what Magellan calls the largest underwater scanning project ever. Atlantic/Magellan hide caption

The effort yielded 16 terabytes of data and more than 715,000 still images, in what Magellan calls the largest underwater scanning project ever.

A project years in the making, featuring Romeo and Juliet

Explorers and artists have spent decades trying to depict the Titanic wreck, albeit in lower-tech ways.

After Robert Ballard — along with France's Jean-Louis Michel — discovered the site in 1985, he combined all of his photos to form the first photomosaic of the wreck, which showed the ship's bow and was published in National Geographic. Those efforts have been replicated in the years since.

"But the problem with all that is it requires interpretation," Stephenson says. "It requires human interpretation, and there are gaps in the knowledge."

From cannibalism to cover-up, David Grann sees his new shipwreck mystery as a parable

Author Interviews

From cannibalism to cover-up, david grann sees his new shipwreck mystery as a parable.

Flash forward to the summer of 2022. Scientists spent six weeks capturing scans of the site, using technology that Magellan says it had been developing over the course of five years.

The expedition deployed two submersibles, named Romeo and Juliet, some 2.3 miles below the surface to map every millimeter of the wreck site.

They didn't go inside the ship, let alone touch the site, in accordance with existing regulations, and paid their respects to the more than 1,500 victims with a flower laying ceremony.

And they describe the mission as a challenge, with the team fighting bad weather and technical challenges in the middle of the Atlantic.

James Cameron: Diving Deep, Dredging Up Titanic

Titanic: Voyage To The Past

James cameron: diving deep, dredging up titanic.

"When we saw the data come in it was all worth it," Seiffert says. "The level of detail we saw and recorded was extraordinary."

The scientists spent months processing and rendering the data to create the "digital twin," which the company says it's looking forward to sharing publicly.

Stephenson saw an early version of the model, when Atlantic Productions brought him on to consult on its validity. So did Ken Marschall, the maritime artist known for his Titanic paintings.

"We've both seen it with our eyes. We've both seen thousands of digital images of the wreck in imagery, moving imagery," Stephenson said. "But we'd never seen the wreck like this. It was different, but at the same time you just knew it was right."

titanic tour wreck

Experts say the model will be a valuable tool for future Titanic research and deep-sea exploration in general. Atlantic/Magellan hide caption

Experts say the model will be a valuable tool for future Titanic research and deep-sea exploration in general.

There's still a lot left to learn about the Titanic

Can there really be that much left to discover about the Titanic, more than 110 years on?

Stephenson says "at the end of the day, none of this matters." But there's a reason people keep visiting and talking about the wreck, he adds, and it's not because of any buried treasure.

"It's fame, I guess," Stephenson says. "People can't get enough of Titanic. And as long as people can't get enough of the Titanic, people will keep going to ... these mysteries."

Robert Ballard: What Hidden Underwater Worlds Are Left To Discover?

TED Radio Hour

Robert ballard: what hidden underwater worlds are left to discover.

In Stephenson's case, it's the unanswered questions that keep drawing him back.

"I've been grinding away at this for a while, and I'm not on a crusade to dismantle the Titanic narrative that has grown since 1912," he says. "But ... I have had enough experience and seen enough evidence that makes me seriously question even some of the most basic aspects of the Titanic story."

One example: Stephenson says there's reason to doubt the long-accepted conclusion that the ship hit the iceberg along its starboard side. He points to a growing body of evidence that suggests it actually grounded briefly on part of the iceberg that was submerged underwater instead.

Just looking at the preliminary modeling has helped Stephenson bring a lot of his evidence and questions into focus — it may be early days, but he says he already has a better understanding of how the ship's stern came to be in such bad shape.

Searching The Ocean's Depths For Future Medicines

Searching The Ocean's Depths For Future Medicines

Stephenson sees this moment as a paradigm shift in underwater archaeology.

"We're essentially getting to the end of the first generation of Titanic research and exploration, and we're getting ready to transition into the next generation," he says. "And I think this tool basically signals a shift from that generation to the next."

Stephenson wants to use the model to document the extent of Titanic exploration up to this point, from Ballard to James Cameron and beyond. He says a "massive project" is underway, and will hopefully result in a scientific paper and online archive. Then, he plans to use the tool to answer whatever questions remain.

titanic tour wreck

There have been "photomosaics" and other renderings of the shipwreck over the decades, but this is the first such 3D model. Atlantic/Magellan hide caption

There have been "photomosaics" and other renderings of the shipwreck over the decades, but this is the first such 3D model.

The Titanic is a gateway into deep ocean exploration

As a maritime archaeologist, Weirich is most interested in what the ship's condition can teach us about how to better preserve deep-sea shipwrecks in general. For example, how has it impacted the environment since it sunk, and how have the visits since its discovery impacted the site?

The Titanic site has been designated as a maritime memorial, which makes preservation even more important. And Weirich says research on everything from its rate of deterioration to the microbial environment can be applied to other such sites worldwide.

Scientists discover fantastical creatures deep in the Indian Ocean

Scientists discover fantastical creatures deep in the Indian Ocean

There are estimated to be hundreds of thousands of wrecks in the world, from ancient wooden ships in the Black Sea to World War II vessels in the Gulf of Mexico, Weirich says.

And this kind of technology could play a crucial role in learning more about deep-sea environments in general, from undersea resources to geological features to unknown species.

Weirich says he hopes these images of the Titanic will give people a greater appreciation for the deep ocean, and a better understanding of just how much is left to explore.

Your Next Car May Be Built With Ocean Rocks. Scientists Can't Agree If That's Good

Your Next Car May Be Built With Ocean Rocks. Scientists Can't Agree If That's Good

"The story of Titanic and the shipwreck itself is extremely compelling, but it is a gateway for people to understand what we know and don't know about the deep ocean," he adds.

Weirich remembers being personally captivated by those first images of the shipwreck in National Geographic when he was just 10 years old. That sparked his lifelong interest in ocean exploration — and he hopes young people seeing these latest images are inspired too.

  • deep sea exploration

What is submersible tourism? The Titanic expedition, explained.

How common are deep-sea expeditions like the titan’s where else do submersibles go.

titanic tour wreck

Seeing the wreck of the Titanic firsthand is a journey.

One must board a submersible vessel about the size of a minivan built to withstand the pressure of descending nearly two and a half miles into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean . It takes about two hours to reach the sunken ship and another two to get back to the surface, plus time for exploration.

And even with a price tag of a quarter of a million dollars, there has been no shortage of people with interest for such an adventure. Philippe Brown, founder of the luxury travel company Brown and Hudso , said there’s a long wait list for the OceanGate Expeditions submersible experience at the center of the world’s attention. The vessel, called the Titan, vanished Sunday in the North Atlantic with five onboard , triggering a wide-reaching search mission that ended Thursday, when the Coast Guard said a remotely operated vehicle discovered debris from the vessel on the ocean floor. Pieces of the submersible indicated it had imploded in a “catastrophic event," Coast Guard officials said. A spokesperson for OceanGate said the pilot and passengers “have sadly been lost."

For the world’s richest and most intrepid travelers, a submersible trip is not so far-fetched, says Roman Chiporukha, co-founder of Roman & Erica, a travel company for ultrawealthy clients with annual membership dues starting at $100,000.

“These are the people who’ve scaled the seven peaks, they’ve crossed the Atlantic on their own boat,” Chiporukha said. The typical vacation of the ultrawealthy, like a beach getaway on the Italian Riviera or St. Barts, “really doesn’t do it for them,” he added.

That description fits tycoon Hamish Harding , who was among the five people on Titan. An avid adventurer who’s thoroughly explored the South Pole and the Mariana Trench, Harding was also on the fifth spaceflight of Blue Origin , the private space company founded by Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Capt. Hamish Harding (@actionaviationchairman)

Harding and the Titan journey represent the extreme end of the submersible tourism industry, which has been growing in popularity since the 1980s. Ofer Ketter , a longtime submersibles pilot and co-founder of SubMerge , a firm that provides consulting and operations of private submersibles, says such deep-sea journeys are rare in comparison to those in more tropical locations. For example, the luxury tour operator Kensington Tours offers a $700,000, 10-day yacht trip that includes a 600-plus-foot dive in a submersible in the Bahamas to explore the Exumas ocean floor.

Here’s what else to know about the industry.

Deep water, high pressure: Why the Titanic sub search is so complex

Missing Titanic submersible

The latest: After an extensive search, the Coast Guard found debris fields that have been indentified as the Titan submersible. OceanGate, the tour company, has said all 5 passengers are believed dead.

The Titan: The voyage to see the Titanic wreckage is eight days long, costs $250,000 and is open to passengers age 17 and older. The Titan is 22 feet long, weighs 23,000 pounds and “has about as much room as a minivan,” according to CBS correspondent David Pogue. Here’s what we know about the missing submersible .

The search: The daunting mission covers the ocean’s surface and the vast depths beneath. The search poses unique challenges that are further complicated by the depths involved. This map shows the scale of the search near the Titanic wreckage .

The passengers: Hamish Harding , an aviation businessman, aircraft pilot and seasoned adventurer, posted on Instagram that he was joining the expedition and said retired French navy commander Paul-Henri Nargeolet was also onboard. British Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his son, Suleman, 19, were also on the expedition, their family confirmed. The CEO of OceanGate , the submersible expedition company, was also on the vessel. Here’s what we know about the five missing passengers.

titanic tour wreck

Titanic Tours: What To Know About These Underwater Excursions

With today's advanced technology, it's easier than ever to discover new ways to explore shipwrecks, such as the Titanic, with tours like these.

It's safe to say that when an iceberg pierced the Titanic on its maiden voyage just over 100 years ago, no one was thinking about turning the shipwreck into a tourist attraction. But now, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the sinking, some travel companies are offering tours of the site. Visitors can take an expensive excursion or they can simply look on Google, where the wreck is pictured in all its rustic, 3-D glory.

It's a surreal sight ― especially if you know that when the Titanic went down in 1912 it claimed more than 1,500 lives. But is visiting the ship such a good idea? Absolutely, yes!

Package Tours On Titanic Shipwreck Underwater Excursions

There are now two companies offering underwater tours of the Titanic's wreckage. Bluefish and OceanGate, which has its headquarters in Everett Washington, both offer dives to the site that cost roughly $60,000- $105,129 per person, not including airfare or lodging. But what do you get for this price? Here's what to know about the tours:

Now that the wreckage is covered with silt again and no longer clear enough for photographs, some pictures taken on previous dives have been reproduced on tours' brochures. Up-close views of Titanic's exterior can also be seen in the James Cameron documentary Titanic.

Bluefish's brochures claim that "the wreck is eminently photographable providing an opportunity for multiple dive photography." OceanGate's website notes that there are at least a dozen friezes from the ship above water. Both tour companies are adamant about protecting the site and the body of water around it, possibly due to the controversy that arose last year when one company was using a ship to drop tourists onto the wreckage.

A Bluefish video demonstrates what it's like inside the sub by dropping a GoPro camera into an empty one as well as dead still sharks. It also shows some footage of Titanic itself before it was covered up with silt and debris.

Tourists will use OceanGate's custom-built submersibles made out of titanium, not unlike those used for space missions like Apollo 13. The sub is big enough for three passengers and has a window, touchscreen monitors for navigation, a pressure gauge, and all the equipment that tourists will need to live.

Both companies will take precautions like deploying a safety diver. They also plan to check guests' lungs for signs of pneumonia before each dive to ensure that they are healthy enough.

The Titanic sank in 1912 and many people died, but the wreck was never declared a cemetery or war gravesite, so knocking on it is prohibited. Both companies also request that tourists don't take chunks of the ship as souvenirs, which has happened before with other famous wrecks like the Lusitania.

RELATED:   This Is What The Menu On The Titanic Would Have Looked Like, Compared To Cruise Menus Today

5 Things To Take Note About the Titanic Wreck Site

Once you’ve decided on which company to go through to visit this sunken piece of history, the basic accommodations are all set! While the entire site itself is a historical wonder, there are a few things to note. Below are different things to be aware of before you take a dive.

What To Bring With You When Visiting The Underwater Wreckage

According to Blue Marble Private, divers should bring nothing larger than a handbag with them on the excursion. Their kit will include a snorkel plus mask, computer, and regulator, wetsuit, and boots.

What To Expect When Diving At The Site Of The Titanic Wreck

Divers will be able to explore the three most important parts of the wreckage, including its bow section, stern and engine room. Each area has plenty of marine life, so you might feel as though you're swimming through a fishbowl.

RELATED:   What Really Happened To The Titanic's Captain, And Did He Survive Like Some People Claimed?

What To Know When Diving At The Site Of The Titanic Wreck

Dive trips are run with a maximum of 12 divers at one time, and the company cautions that diving can be strenuous if you're not fit or healthy enough for it. This is why they recommend medical checks before each excursion.

What Not To Do When Visiting The Underwater Wreckage Of The Titanic

You must report any sightings of the wreck to the government agencies responsible for its protection, i.e., the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency (MCA) in Belfast. You should also respect all regulations that surround this precious archeological site.


What To Expect From The Marine Life At The Site Of The Titanic Wreck

Titanic wreck excursions are perfect for snorkelers and scuba divers alike , and visitors will be able to reap the benefits of both in one visit. There are plenty of fish to see if you're snorkeling, and you might even spot some whale sharks, too.

What To Know About The Safety Measures In Place For The Tour

According to the Titanic wreck tour operator's website, there are a number of safety measures in place to ensure that visitors have an enjoyable experience. These include two divers per dive, a support crew on the surface, and medical staff. Visitors should always bring a whistle with them, especially since it is an international sign of distress. A knife and glow stick will also be useful in an emergency.

Titanic wreck trips are a unique and exciting way to learn about the history of one of the most famous vessels to ever sail the seas, which is why they're so popular among Titanic enthusiasts as well as people who have never seen it before. They're also great for anyone who loves the water since it's a chance to explore something man-made while enjoying the natural beauty of an underwater ecosystem. The fact that you can set foot where no other human has for nearly 100 years only adds to the appeal, making this one of the most fascinating excursions you can take.

NEXT:   What The Titanic Looks Like Now Vs The Day It Sank

Search Day 4: Titan submersible debris found, all onboard presumed dead

Coverage on this live blog has ended. Please click here for the latest updates.

All five people aboard the Titan submersible are believed to be dead, and debris discovered in the search area was consistent with a "catastrophic implosion," the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The debris was found off the bow of the sunken Titanic, officials said.

The search for the Titan, which went missing Sunday after it e mbark ed on a mission to survey the wreckage of the Titanic , had been focused on an area where Canadian aircraft detected "underwater noises" Tuesday and again yesterday.

U.S. Coast Guard officials had estimated the five passengers could run out of air just before 7:10 a.m. ET today, and the location of the missing vessel had remained a mystery even as the search intensified.

What to know about the search for the Titan

  • The debris found at the seafloor was "consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel," the Coast Guard said.
  • The Coast Guard said today that a "debris field" had been found in the search area.
  • The submersible disappeared Sunday during a mission to survey the wreckage of the Titanic, which is 900 nautical miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
  • A sound consistent with an implosion was heard Sunday, shortly after the submersible lost communications, the a senior U.S. Navy official said. The sound was not definitive, the official said.
  • Those on board have been identified as Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, the company behind the mission; British billionaire Hamish Harding, the owner of Action Aviation; French dive expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet; and prominent Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman.

White House offers condolences to families of Titan victims

The Associated Press

The White House offered its condolences to the families mourning the five people killed aboard the Titan submersible.

U.S. Coast Guard officials announced their deaths Thursday following the vessel’s catastrophic implosion in the North Atlantic.

“Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives on the Titan,” the White House said in a statement. “They have been through a harrowing ordeal over the past few days, and we are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers.”

The statement also thanked the searchers, including the Coast Guard, involved in the international effort to find the submersible.

“This has been a testament to the skill and professionalism that the men and women who serve our nation continue to demonstrate every single day,” the statement said.

David Pogue on the misinformation and misunderstandings swirling around the Titanic sub

Kat Tenbarge

Tech journalist and “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent David Pogue, who observed an OceanGate Expeditions Titanic shipwreck trip last year, the last before the Titan disappeared this week, said a “massive amount of misinformation” has circulated online this week.

In an interview, Pogue, whose  coverage  of the submersible last year has attracted renewed interest in light of the disaster, also responded to attacks on his reporting over the past two days.

Critics on Twitter have suggested that Pogue and other journalists undersold how dangerous the submersible was or even that he conspired to shield the company from accountability. 

Pogue countered that the safety issues were the “centerpiece” of his OceanGate coverage. “There is a fundamental lack of understanding of the deep-sea diving industry process,” he said. 

Read the full story here.

Paul-Henri Nargeolet 'knew the risks that were possible with this expedition,' stepson says

Tim Stelloh

Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a French diver and Navy veteran who died aboard the Titan, was “fearless” and understood the potential danger of traveling to the Titanic's wreckage, his stepson said in an interview.

"Anyone who gets into those submersibles knows the risks that could happen," stepson John Paschall said, adding: "Going into this, he knew the risks that were possible with this expedition."

Paschall described Nargeolet, who had led several expeditions to the sunken passenger ship and supervised the recovery of at least 5,000 artifacts, as “the world expert on the Titanic.”

The ocean, Paschall said, was Nargeolet’s “home away from home. He was just so comfortable out there and in any ocean and any lake or whatever it was. The water was just so connected to him.”

“And that especially goes for the Titanic,” Paschall said. “He put so much of his life into that ship.”

Paschall also recalled Nargeolet as a “really incredible stepfather” — someone who was respectful, loving and funny. 

While Nargeolet knew the risks of traveling in a submersible, Paschall said, he wanted to know more about how the company that operated the boat, OceanGate, had maintained the vessel and whether it had kept passengers properly informed.

“Were all the safety procedures followed as closely as possible?” Paschall said. “Was everyone aware of everything that was going on? Was there anything that was missed during any kind of inspection?”

19-year-old Titan passenger was ‘terrified’ before trip, his aunt says

titanic tour wreck

Daniel Arkin

In the days before the Titan vessel  went into the ocean  off Newfoundland, Canada, the 19-year-old university student accompanying his father on the expedition expressed hesitation about going, his aunt said in an interview Thursday.

Azmeh Dawood — the older sister of Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood — said her nephew, Suleman, informed a relative that he “wasn’t very up for it” and felt “terrified” about the trip to explore the wreckage of the Titanic.

But he ended up going aboard  OceanGate’s 22-foot submersible  because the trip fell over Father’s Day weekend and he was eager to please his dad, who was passionate about the lore of the Titanic, Azmeh Dawood said.

'We will miss him today and every day,' Paul-Henri Nargeolet's family say

titanic tour wreck

Phil Helsel

The family of French dive expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet say they will remember him for the rest of their lives after he and four other people died in the Titan submersible accident.

Paul-Henri Nargeolet with his family.

Nargeolet was an “extraordinary father and husband,” the family said.

"He is a man who will be remembered as one of the greatest deep-sea explorers in modern history. When you think of the Titanic and all we know about the ship today, you will think of Paul-Henri Nargeolet and his legendary work," they said in a statement.

The statement added: "But what we will remember him most for is his big heart, his incredible sense of humor and how much he loved his family. We will miss him today and every day for the rest of our lives."

Nargeolet led several expeditions to the Titanic wreckage site, completing at least 35 dives in submersibles and supervising the recovery of at least 5,000 artifacts, including the recovery of the "big piece" — a 20-ton section of the Titanic’s hull — according to Experiential Media Group, where he was the director of underwater research.

The family thanked everyone involved in the dayslong rescue effort and extended condolences to the families of the others who died.

Hamish Harding remembered as an inspiration

The family of British billionaire Hamish Harding and his company are “united in grief” with the families of four other people all dead in the Titan submersible incident, Action Aviation said in a statement.

“Hamish Harding was a loving husband to his wife and a dedicated father to his two sons, whom he loved deeply. To his team in Action Aviation, he was a guide, an inspiration, a support, and a Living Legend,” the company said.

Harding, a former pilot and explorer, was inducted as a Living Legend of Aviation last year, Action Aviation said.

Family of father and son killed in submersible ask for prayers

Antonio Planas

The family of the father and son who died in the Titan submersible are asking for prayers and said they found strength in rescue efforts.

Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman, were among the five people killed on the submersible that imploded.

“It is with profound grief that we announce the passing of Shahzada and Suleman Dawood," the family said in a statement released by the Dawood Foundation. "Our beloved sons were aboard OceanGate’s Titan submersible that perished underwater. Please continue to keep the departed souls and our family in your prayers during this difficult period of mourning.”

The family said they were grateful to the people involved in the rescue efforts, saying that "their untiring efforts were a source of strength for us during this time."

"We are also indebted to our friends, family, colleagues, and well-wishers from all over the world who have stood by us during our hour of need," the statement said. "The immense love and support we receive continues to help us to endure this unimaginable loss.”

The Dawood family also offered condolences to the families of the other people aboard the Titan.

Acoustic 'anomaly' consistent with implosion had been detected, Navy official confirms

titanic tour wreck

Mosheh Gains

Courtney Kube

A U.S. Navy analysis of acoustic data “detected an anomaly consistent with an implosion or explosion” near the Titan around the time it lost communications, a senior Navy official said.

The sound consistent with an implosion was heard Sunday, shortly after the submersible lost communications, the official said.

The sound was not definitive, the official said, and it was immediately shared with commanders, who decided to continue searching.

“This information was considered with the compilation of additional acoustic data provided by other partners and the decision was made to continue our mission as a search and rescue and make every effort to save the lives on board,” the Navy official said.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that the sound had been detected.

'Titanic' director James Cameron sees similarities between sunken ship and submersible

“Titanic” director James Cameron said he was astonished by the similarities between the ship that sank in 1912 and the Titan submersible that imploded with five people aboard.

“I’m struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself, where the captain was repeatedly warned about ice ahead of his ship, and yet, he steamed at full speed into an ice field on a moonless night. And many people died as a result,” Cameron said in an interview with ABC News.

“For a very similar tragedy, where warning signs went unheeded, to take place at the same exact site, with all the diving that’s going on all around the world … it’s just astonishing,” he added. “It’s really quite surreal.”

Cameron said submersible diving is a “mature art” and noted many people in the deep submergence engineering community wrote letters to OceanGate Expeditions, the company behind the mission, pleading that what the company was doing was “too experimental to carry passengers.”

The movie director said one of the passengers aboard the Titan, French dive expert Paul Henry Nargeolet, whom he called “PH,” was a friend he had known for 25 years. He said Nargeolet’s death “is almost impossible for me to process.”

Cameron said he's made 33 dives to the Titanic wreckage site and calculated he's “spent more time on the ship than the captain did back in the day.”

Cameron’s 1997 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet is among the highest-grossing movies of all time, raking in more than $2 billion.

Ocean depth will make recovering bodies from Titanic submersible difficult

'i hope this discovery provides some solace': coast guard's mauger.

Marlene Lenthang

The desperate search for the missing Titan has ended in tragedy after debris from the submersible was found and its five occupants were presumed dead. 

“On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire unified command, I offer my deepest condolences to the families," Rear Adm. John Mauger of the Coast Guard said this afternoon. "I can only imagine what this has been like for them and I hope that this discovery provides some solace, during this difficult time."

He said the unified command has been in contact with Britain and France, as the nations had citizens aboard the vessel. 

5 major pieces of debris led to identification of Titan, officials say

Undersea expert Paul Hanken said five major different pieces of debris told authorities that it was the remains of the Titan. 

“The initial thing we found was the nose cone, which was outside the pressure hull. We then found a large debris field, within that large debris field we found the front end bell of the pressure hull. That was the first indication that there was a catastrophic event,” he said. 

A second, smaller debris field was also found, which included the other end of the pressure hull, “which basically comprised the totality of that pressure vessel,” Hanken said.

Teams on site will continue to map the debris field on the ocean floor. 

Sonar buoys in search did not detect any implosion sounds

It's not clear exactly when the Titan imploded, but Coast Guard officials said that sonar buoys dispatched "did not hear any signs of catastrophic failure."

"This was a catastrophic implosion of the vessel which would have generated a significant broadband sound down there that the sonar buoys would have picked up," Rear Adm. John Mauger of the Coast Guard said at a news conference today.

Sonar buoys had detected noises in the water Tuesday and yesterday that were being assessed for patterns, but he said today "there doesn't appear to be any connection between the noises and the location [of the debris] on the sea floor."

Debris is consistent with a 'catastrophic implosion' of sub

The debris found at the sea floor was "consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel," Rear Adm. John Mauger of the Coast Guard said.

When asked if it's possible the vessel collided with the Titanic, he said it was found off the bow of the Titanic.

Carl Hartsfield with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution said the debris data is consistent with an implosion in the water column.

" It's in an area where there's not any debris of the Titanic, it is a smooth bottom. To my knowledge ... there's no Titanic wreckage in that area and again 200 plus meters from the bow, and consistent with the location of last communication for an implosion in the water column," he said.

Dawood's older sister feels like she's been 'caught in a really bad film'

The older sister of Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood feels "absolutely heartbroken" that her brother and her 19-year-old nephew were aboard the Titan vessel.

"I feel very bad that the whole world has had to go through so much trauma, so much suspense," Azmeh Dawood said in a phone interview this afternoon, speaking from the home in Amsterdam she shares with her husband.

"I feel like I’ve been caught in a really bad film, with a countdown, but you didn’t know what you’re counting down to," she said, fighting back tears. "I personally have found it kind of difficult to breathe thinking of them."

Azmeh claimed that her nephew did not want to go on the submarine but agreed to take part in the expedition because it was important to his father, a lifelong Titanic obsessive. Suleman "wasn't very up for it" and "terrified," she claimed, explaining that the 19-year-old expressed his concerns to another family member.

"If you gave me a million dollars, I would not have gotten into the Titan," she said.

Tail cone of Titan found 1,600 feet from bow of the Titanic floor, Coast Guard says

“This morning, an ROV from the vessel Horizon Arctic discovered the tail cone of the Titan submersible approximately 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic on the sea floor," Rear Adm. John Mauger, said this afternoon.

Afterward, the ROV found additional debris and it was found to be consistent with the "the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber," he said.

The families of the five crew members on board were notified afterward.

OceanGate says those aboard sub have 'sadly been lost'

OceanGate issued a statement moments ago on the status of the sub:

"We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost.

"These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans. Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.

"This is an extremely sad time for our dedicated employees who are exhausted and grieving deeply over this loss. The entire OceanGate family is deeply grateful for the countless men and women from multiple organizations of the international community who expedited wide-ranging resources and have worked so very hard on this mission.

"We appreciate their commitment to finding these five explorers, and their days and nights of tireless work in support of our crew and their families. This is a very sad time for the entire explorer community, and for each of the family members of those lost at sea. We respectfully ask that the privacy of these families be respected during this most painful time."

Rush 'got unlucky,' friends say

titanic tour wreck

Elizabeth Chuck

Rush, the OceanGate executive who is on board the missing Titan submersible with four other people, is an intelligent explorer who is adept at managing risk, according to longtime friends.

Rush is "one of the most risk-averse people I know,” said Guillermo Söhnlein, who co-founded OceanGate.

Söhnlein said he last spoke with Rush about two weeks before the Titan’s expedition, its third to the Titanic site. Rush did not express any worries about the upcoming voyage.

“If anything, it’s the other way around,” Söhnlein said. “Any explorer will always tell you that on every expedition, on every mission, on every dive, something always goes wrong. You have to anticipate that something is going to go wrong. And the more guides you conduct, the more missions you conduct, the more expeditions you do, the more you start limiting those things.”

Another friend, oceanographer Gregory Stone, said Rush was upfront about the dangers of his missions.

“He wasn’t selling tickets like it was Disneyland. He was telling people exactly what it was — it was a dangerous thing,” Stone said. “He had taken every precaution possible, and he got unlucky. Something happened.”

Pakistani businessman is not a 'risk-taker,' friend says

Dawood, the Pakistani businessman aboard the Titan, is a "quiet and unassuming" person and not a "daredevil" by nature, according to one of his friends.

"I think he would want his legacy and his memory to be one where ... he wouldn't want to be seen as some daredevil, risk-taking explorer," said Bill Diamond, the chief executive of the SETI Institute, a California-based organization that searches for signs of extraterrestrial life. (Dawood is on the group's board of trustees.)

"I think he would want to be remembered as a humble businessman, curious about the world and fascinated by the opportunity to take this excursion and be on this expedition," said Diamond, who spoke to NBC News via Zoom.

Diamond said he believed Dawood would never do anything that would jeopardize the life of his 19-year-old son, Suleman, who is also aboard the Titan.

"I'm sure he would not have brought his son along if he thought this was something seriously dangerous," Diamond said. "I think he knew the risks, at the same time I think he felt that the technology was tried and tested and safe enough."

Coast Guard says 'debris field' found in Titan search area

The Coast Guard said in a tweet at 11:48 a.m. ET that a remotely operated vehicle discovered a "debris field" in the Titan vessel search area.

"Experts within the unified command are evaluating the information," the agency said.

Officials are planning to hold a news briefing at 3 p.m. ET.

Search is a 'needle in a haystack,' expert says

While remaining realistic about the chances of finding the Titan on the vast ocean floor, scientists are still offering a glimmer of hope.

Rob Larter, a marine geophysicist with the British Antarctic Survey, said in London today that it’s incredibly difficult to find an object the size of the Titan in a totally dark environment. He says it’s not going to be found with active sonar from a surface ship, but rather with a towed or autonomous vehicle that’s near the seafloor. Even those vehicles can see just a matter of meters.

“I’ve been involved in searches for hydrothermal vent sites,” he said. “We’ve had the vehicles just a few tens of meters away and missed them and then come back and find them. So it really is, you know, literally it’s just a needle in a haystack situation unless you’ve got a pretty precise location”

Jamie Pringle, an expert in forensic geosciences at Keele University in the United Kingdom, says the first 24 hours are critical in these kinds of rescue operations and that time period has long passed.

“So there’s always a chance. It’s never zero. But I think obviously the longer the time elapses, the lower the chance of success,” he said.

Larter called it a “desperate situation” buy says you try to stay optimistic as long as possible.

A person points at a monitor on a wall of screens while people work in the PRS Odyssey control room.

“It’s kind of unimaginable if people are alive, trapped in a submersible with oxygen supplies running down,” he said.

Chance of finding survivors 'close to zero,' retired Navy captain says

titanic tour wreck

Corky Siemaszko

With the trapped Titan passengers likely out of oxygen, David Marquet, a retired Navy captain, said today "the probability is perilously close to zero that we will be able to recover them alive."

The Titan had 96 hours worth of oxygen, he told NBC News' Tom Costello.

"Things generally work up to the design spec, but they don’t somehow magically last beyond the design spec," Marquet said, referring to the oxygen estimates.

Dawood's friend says his death would be 'a tremendous loss for the world'

Ammad Adam met Shahzada Dawood at a United Nations conference in February 2020. Dawood gave a speech about empowering women and girls in Pakistan, and Adam was impressed by his remarks. The two kept in touch over the last three years, striking up a friendship via Facebook.

Adam, 34, is now "praying for a miracle" and hoping that Dawood and the four other passengers aboard the Titan will be found alive.

"I can tell you that Shahzada was a real great gentleman, a fine gentleman," he said. "I know everyone says, 'Oh, such and such is a good person,' but he's actually a genuinely kind-hearted person and you could see that in his actions."

Adam said Dawood dedicated much of his adult life to charitable activity, including donating to Covid relief funds in the early days of the pandemic.

"I hope for a miracle from God," Adam said, "because his death would be a tremendous loss for the world. He tries to help people who need help, and we need more people like that."

Teen trapped in missing sub is U.K. business school student

Henry Austin

The youngest of the five people aboard the missing submersible had just completed his first year at the Strathclyde Business School in the Scottish city of Glasgow.

The University of Strathclyde said in a statement that it was “deeply concerned” about Suleman Dawood, 19, “his father and the others involved in this incident.”

“Our thoughts are with their families and loved ones and we continue to hope for a positive outcome,” the statement added.

Weather at site is 'pretty good' for search, marine forecaster says

Julianne McShane

Weather at the scene of the search consists of winds blowing at 14 mph with gusts up to 19 mph, according to a tweet from the Coast Guard , which added that there are 4 to 5 foot swells in the water and the air temperature is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chris Parker, president and chief forecaster at Marine Weather Center , described those conditions as "pretty good," adding that they are mild to moderate for the area, which he said normally experiences higher waves and stronger winds of 30 to 40 knots on the Beaufort Wind Scale .

"An average 30-foot sailboat would be happy in those conditions unless they're going into the wind," he told NBC News of the conditions today.

"Those conditions should not be at all problematic" for the search, he added.

'A lot of the systems worked, but a lot of them really didn’t,' says Discovery Channel host who tested out the Titan

Josh Gates, the host of Discovery Channel’s "Expedition Unknown," told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Wednesday that he tested out the Titan for a possible segment for his show in 2021 and that "a lot of the systems worked, but a lot of them really didn’t" at the time.

"In the course of going out on Titan and diving down inside of it, it just became clear to us at that time that there was a lot that still needed to be worked out with the sub," he said on "Anderson Cooper 360."

"Ultimately, I just felt by the end of that trip that I just couldn’t get comfortable with Titan at that time. I felt that it needed time to go out and do missions and kind of get into a groove before we were going to go and film with it," Gates added.

Gates said the Titan offers a more comfortable fit inside compared to other submersibles due to the carbon fiber i t is partially made out of , allowing it to be larger than other subs that can only fit two to three people.

"On the one hand you have this incredibly innovative, novel design; on the other hand there are a lot of unknowns," he said of the Titan, adding that it has been “very surreal” and “haunting” to watch the search for the missing submersible.

OceanGate CEO has personal connection to famous Titanic victims

titanic tour wreck

Rush, who developed and piloted the missing sub, had a ''pressing need'' to document the Titanic’s watery graveyard — but he had a personal connection to the wreck, as well.

His wife, Wendy Rush, is a great-great-granddaughter of two of the Titanic’s best-known victims, Isidor and Ida Straus. 

Isidor Straus was the co-owner of the Macy’s department store. His wife, Ida, refused to be separated from him when the Titanic started sinking, giving up her own seat on a lifeboat to stay with him on board. Survivors recount seeing them arm in arm on the ship’s deck as it went down. 

Their fate aboard the Titanic was portrayed in James Cameron’s movie, in which an elderly couple choose to spend their last moments in bed together as water comes rushing onboard. Theirs has been remembered as a '' love story for the ages .''

According to the Straus Historical Society, Wendy Rush is the daughter of Dr. Richard Weil III, who is the son of Richard Weil Jr., a former president of Macy’s New York. Weil Jr. is the son of Minnie Straus, Isidor and Ida’s daughter. 

Wendy Rush, née Weil, married Rush in 1986, according to a New York Times wedding announcement . 

A tale of two disasters: Missing sub captivates the world days after deadly migrant shipwreck

titanic tour wreck

Chantal Da Silva

As  rescuers raced to find  the five people who  vanished after launching a mission  to survey the Titanic, another disaster at sea that’s feared to have  left hundreds of people dead  has been swept from the spotlight.

Last week’s sinking of a fishing boat crowded with migrants trying to get from Libya to Italy sparked arrests, violent protests and questions about authorities’ failure to act or find a long-term solution to the issue. But many human rights advocates are frustrated that the world seems to have already moved on and that the resources and media attention being dedicated to the Titan rescue efforts far outweigh those for the sunken migrant ship.

“It’s a horrifying and disgusting contrast,” Judith Sunderland, associate director for Human Rights Watch’s Europe and Central Asia division, said in a telephone interview, reflecting on the apparent disparities in resources and media attention on the two crises.

“The willingness to allow certain people to die while every effort is made to save others ... it’s a, you know, really dark reflection on humanity,” she said.

Senior British submariner helps with search

titanic tour wreck

Alexander Smith

The British government said today it has dispatched one of its senior submariners, Lt. Cmdr. Richard Kantharia, to assist with the rescue mission.

Kantharia was already embedded in the U.S. Atlantic submarine fleet and joined the rescue effort Tuesday, a spokesperson for No. 10 Downing St. said by email.

Britain is also providing a Boeing C-17 Globemaster aircraft to transport equipment involved with the search.

Dawood family says 'sole focus' is on rescue of father and son

Sabrina Dawood, the sister of Shahzada Dawood, 48, one of the five people on board the Titan along with his 19-year-old son, Suleman, told Sky News in a Facebook message yesterday that "the Dawood family’s sole focus is the rescue of our beloved Shahzada and Suleman Dawood."

"We trust that the family will be granted privacy as we deal with this crisis," she said.

She added the family is also "deeply grateful" for news organizations' "constant coverage" of the missing submersible, but that they "are unable to address any questions or comments at the moment."

Searchers will need to 'get very, very lucky' to find sub, expert says

Simon Boxall, who teaches oceanography at England's University of Southampton, laid out in stark terms the daunting task facing those trying to find the cylindrical vessel. "The only way they are going to succeed is to get very, very lucky," he told NBC News by telephone early today.

On land, he explained, officials would have an array of tools at their disposal, from GPS and infrared tech to old-fashioned binoculars. "Underwater, that all goes out of the window," said Boxall, who believes given the extensive search by air that it's unlikely the craft is still bobbing around on the surface.

One way to scour the seabed is to send a robotic submersible down there with a light and a camera. That would be like going to an area twice the size of Connecticut "with a flashlight and just having a look around for something this small — it’s a big, big task,” he said.

Officials are also relying on sonar: bouncing sound off the seabed to create an image of what's down there, a painstaking task that Boxall likened to painting the Golden Gate Bridge "with a child's paintbrush."

If it lost power, the submersible likely drifted down to the seabed, traveling up to 15 miles on strong, deep-ocean currents that take water all the way to Antarctica, he said. Compounding that, this area is "very bumpy" and there is "this great big thing called the Titanic, which sank in the area, scattering all kinds of things far and wide."

Magellan ROV to assist in today's search efforts

The Magellan “working class” remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, will assist in the day’s search , Rear Adm. John W. Mauger of the Coast Guard said on NBC’s “TODAY” show.

A working class ROV has a manipulator arm that can attach to a hull point and potentially lift it off the surface, Explorers Club President Richard Garriott previously told NBC New York in an interview.

The Explorers Club, a society dedicated to scientific exploration and field study that two Titan passengers — Harding and Nargeolet — are part of, previously criticized the Coast Guard for not permitting the use of the Magellan ROV earlier.

Responding to the criticism, Mauger said: “We really had to start from scratch and bring all the capability that was available to bear on this problem,” adding that officials “made decisions to prioritize” what was closest to the site.

Coast Guard will 'continue with the search and rescue efforts'

Rear Adm. John W. Mauger said on the "TODAY" show that the Coast Guard is "going to continue with the search and rescue efforts" throughout the day despite fears of the oxygen supply on the vessel running out.

"We use all available data and information to prosecute those searches but we continue to find particularly in complex cases that peoples' will to live really needs to be accounted for as well," he said.

Mauger added that "teams were working really hard through the night" and that medical personnel were also moving into the site today.

Two more ROVs deployed

The Horizon Arctic, a Canadian-flagged ship, which is helping with the search and rescue mission, has deployed its remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, which is now on the seabed, the Coast Guard said on Twitter .

Meanwhile, the French government-backed vessel L'Atalante is about to deploy its own ROV, Victor 6000, into the ocean, the Coast Guard said .

Coast Guard's estimated time for oxygen running out reached

It's now 7:08 a.m. ET, the time that the Coast Guard estimated the oxygen on the missing submersible could run out.

The exact situation onboard the vessel, which had 96 hours of oxygen when it set off, according to its specs and Coast Guard officials, is not known.

Experts have pointed out that there are a number of variables that could impact the consumption of oxygen onboard.

"There are so many variables," Simon Boxall, who teaches oceanography at England’s University of Southampton, told NBC News. “We have no idea how long they will actually last in terms of oxygen — all that we know is that it’s imminent.”

Social media users tracking marine traffic in search area via satellite

As the search for the submersible stretched into today, some social media users said they were following the effort and tracking marine traffic in the area via satellite.

Atlantic Marine Traffic

"Never in my life would I have thought I’d be awake at 2:50am watching ships, on satellite, looking for billionaires stranded in a sub, AT the Titanic in 2023 but here I am refreshing Twitter again," one user tweeted , writing that the person was using the app MarineTraffic .

"I’ve been checking periodically all night," one user responded just after 4:30 a.m. ET.

"Haven’t been able to tear myself away from the computer for days now," another wrote .

The MarineTraffic app announced yesterday it was “making all positional data, including satellite positions, available for free for the Polar Prince in the ongoing search & rescue mission.”

Impossible to know exactly how much oxygen left in sub, expert says

The Coast Guard predicts the oxygen supply on the submersible will run out at around 7:08 a.m. ET today. But it doesn't quite work like that, according to Simon Boxall, who teaches oceanography at England's University of Southampton.

"There are so many variables," Boxall told NBC News. "We have no idea how long they will actually last in terms of oxygen — all that we know is that it's imminent." One of the main factors governing the rate of oxygen consumption is the physical state of those on board. If their bodies start to shut down due to hypothermia, Boxall said, it would mean "they're using a lot less oxygen" — albeit presenting a new danger for the crew.

Although the Coast Guard has presented this timeline, officials know about these variables, according to Boxall. "It's not like" at 7.08 a.m. the rescuers will "pack up their bags and say, 'Right, we'll do a recovery operation, but we're taking the urgency off," he said. "They will still see this as being very urgent for next couple of days."

2 new vessels arrive on scene, conducting search patterns

Two new vessels have arrived on the scene and are conducting search patterns in the bid to find the Titan, a Coast Guard spokesperson said this morning.

The Canadian CGS Ann Harvey and the Motor Vessel Horizon Arctic, a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, arrived to aid in the bid to find the missing submersible, Petty Officer Ryan Noel said.

The Coast Guard had previously said the two vessels were en route to the search site.

Noel said rescuers were also in the process of trying to get “one of the newer ROVs onsite down there." He could not confirm which ROV that was, but said the Coast Guard would be providing updates as more information became available.

Search patterns show more sea scanned in bid to find the Titan

The Coast Guard released a new image yesterday showing search patterns so far as efforts expanded in the race to find the missing sub.

It also released search patterns Tuesday, with the difference depicted below.

titanic tour wreck

Searchers had covered an area twice the size of Connecticut on the surface, and the search underwater is about 2 ½ miles deep, officials said yesterday.

Ex-senior naval officer has 'no optimism' about underwater noises

The search and rescue mission was given fresh hope after a Canadian aircraft detected "underwater noises" on Tuesday and yesterday. But Chris Parry, a former rear admiral in the British Royal Navy, says he isn't greatly encouraged.

"I've got no optimism about that at all," Parry told NBC News. "Put your head in the water, you’re going to hear a lot of mechanical noises, particularly in the vicinity of a disintegrating wreck like the Titanic."

He called the optimism "clutching at straws."

The Titanic brought them together, and a tiny vessel could doom them

The five-person crew rescuers are racing to find went missing after departing on a mission Sunday morning from the Polar Prince, a Canadian research vessel, to survey the Titanic firsthand.

The passengers are now at the center of a much higher-stakes race against the clock — a frantic international search and rescue effort that must succeed before the 22-foot vessel runs out of oxygen this morning.

The passengers are Rush, who lives in Seattle and served as the vessel’s pilot; Harding, a British tycoon who lives in the United Arab Emirates; Dawood and his son, Suleman, scions of a Pakistani business dynasty; and the French mariner and Titanic expert Nargeolet, who has been nicknamed “Mr. Titanic.” 

The men are likely bound together forever, no matter what happens next.

French deep sea robot arrives to join search

Due to join the hunt today was Victor 6000, an undersea robot dispatched by the French government that has the rare ability to dive deeper than the Titanic wreck.

The French research vessel L'Atalante, which is carrying the robot, has now arrived in the same area as other ships involved in the search as of 4 a.m. ET., according to the tracking website Marine Traffic.

Victor 6000 is so named because it can dive to 6,000 meters — some 20,000 feet. That puts the Titanic, 12,500 feet down, easily within its range.

It's familiar territory for Ifremer, the state-run French ocean research institute that operates the robot and was part of the team that first located the Titanic wreck in 1985. The institute dispatched the remotely operated vehicle, or ROV, this week at the request of the U.S. Navy.

It isn't able to lift the missing submersible own its own, but it could hook up the 10-ton carbon-fiber and titanium tube to another ship capable of bringing it to the surface, Olivier Lefort, the head of naval operations at Ifremer, told Reuters. “This is the logic of seafarers. Our attitude was: We are close, we have to go,” he said.

Desperate search for sub as oxygen supply dwindles

The search for the missing submersible grew more frantic this morning, with officials fearing the oxygen supply on the vessel could soon run out.

Coast Guard officials estimated that the Titan, which had a 96-hour oxygen supply, could run out of air just before 7:10 a.m. ET, but the exact situation onboard the vessel, including potential efforts to conserve oxygen, is not clear.

The search for the sub, which went missing Sunday after embarking on a mission to explore the Titanic, has been focused on an area where Canadian aircraft detected “underwater noises” Tuesday, and again yesterday.

  • International

June 19, 2023 - Search mission underway for missing Titanic tour submersible

By Elise Hammond , Maureen Chowdhury and Mike Hayes, CNN

Our live coverage of the search for the missing Titanic tour submersible has moved here.

OceanGate says it's taking "every step possible" to bring missing submersible crew back to safety

From CNN’s Jackie Wattles

OceanGate Expeditions says it is taking “every step possible” to return the five crew members onboard the missing submersible to safety and focusing its entire search effort on their wellbeing, according to a statement released by the company Monday night.

OceanGate Expeditions is the group that was conducting the expedition to view the wreckage of the Titanic.

“We are deeply grateful for the urgent and extensive assistance we are receiving from multiple government agencies and deep-sea companies as we seek to reestablish contact with the submersible,” the statement read.

Here's the full statement:

“For some time, we have been unable to establish communications with one of our submersible exploration vehicles which is currently visiting the wreck site of the Titanic. Our entire focus is on the wellbeing of the crew and every step possible is being taken to bring the five crew members back safely. We are deeply grateful for the urgent and extensive assistance we are receiving from multiple government agencies and deep-sea companies as we seek to reestablish contact with the submersible. We pray for the safe return of the crew and passengers, and we will provide updates as they are available.” 

US Coast Guard to continue surface search for missing submersible throughout the evening

From CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian

The US Coast Guard  tweeted that it will continue to conduct surface searches for the missing submersible throughout the evening.

The Coast Guard tweeted that The Polar Prince, the vessel used to transport the submersible to the site of the Titanic wreckage before the expedition, as well as aerial support from the Air Force’s 106th Rescue Wing will be involved in the surface searches. 

Canadian Coast Guard surface and subsurface search, as conducted by Canadian P8 Poseidon aircraft, will continue in the morning, according to the US Coast Guard.

Titanic's fate has long been a source of fascination. Here are some key facts about the luxury liner

From CNN Staff

The port bow railing of the Titanic lies in 12,600 feet of water about 400 miles east of Nova Scotia as photographed  as part of a joint scientific and recovery expedition sponsored by the Discovery Channel and RMS Titantic.

The submersible that has gone missing in the North Atlantic was part of an expedition to view the wreckage of the RMS Titanic, perhaps the most famous shipwreck in the world.

More than 100 years after its disastrous maiden voyage, the fate of the luxury liner has long served as a source of fascination , and been the backdrop for countless books, fiction and non-fiction and, of course, the blockbuster movie.

The ship set sail from Southampton, England, to New York on April 10, 1912.

Then, between April 14-15, it hit an iceberg around midnight and sank in less than three hours.

A total of 1,517 people died and 706 survived out of 2,223 passengers and crew, according to the  US Senate report  on the disaster.

Here's more interesting facts on the Titanic:

The ship: The estimated cost of construction was $7.5 million. At the time, the RMS Titanic was the largest passenger ship afloat. The ship’s length was 882 feet, 9 inches, and it weighed 46,328 tons. Its top speed was 23 knots. The wreckage is located about 350 miles off the southeast coast of Newfoundland.

The cause of the crash: The iceberg punctured five of 16 supposedly watertight compartments designed to hold water in case of a breach to the hull. Investigations at the time blamed Capt. Edward Smith for going too fast in dangerous waters, initial ship inspections that had been done too quickly, insufficient room in the lifeboats for all passengers, and a nearby ship’s failure to help. Many maritime safety reforms were implemented as a result of the findings of the investigations.

Smith went down with the ship, and his body was never recovered.

Key dates post-shipwreck:

  • September 1, 1985 -  Scientists from Woods Hole Deep Submergence LAB in Massachusetts, led by Dr. Robert Ballard, and IFREMER, the French Institute Francais de Recherche pour l’Exploitation des Mers, led by Jean Jarry, locate the wreckage of Titanic.
  • July 13, 1986 -  Ballard and his crew use the manned deep-ocean research submersible Alvin to explore the wreckage. The Alvin is accompanied by a remotely operated vehicle named Jason Jr. to conduct photographic surveys and further inspections.
  • May 31, 2009 -  The last known survivor, Millvina Dean, dies at age 97.
  • April 8-20, 2012 -  The 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s voyage. The MS Balmoral traces the ship’s route from Southampton to New York and holds a memorial service, above the wreck, on April 15.

Read more here .

Aircraft and sonar deployed in search for missing submersible. Here's what we know

From CNN staff

JRCC Halifax has launched a Royal Canadian Air Force Aurora aircraft from Nova Scotia to assist in the aerial search for the submersible.

A search and rescue operation is underway for a missing submersible operated by a company that handles expeditions to the Titanic wreckage off the coast of St John’s, Newfoundland, in Canada.

The vessel has between 70 and 96 hours of life support, officials said Monday afternoon.

Here's what we know so far:

  • The timeline: The expedition began with a 400-nautical-mile journey to the wreck site, which is about 900 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The submersible began its descent Sunday morning but lost contact with a crew of Polar Prince , the support ship that transported the vessel to the site, 1 hour and 45 minutes into its descent, officials said. The US Coast Guard was alerted that the submersible was overdue and it launched searches on the surface of the water and launched an aircraft to start conducting aerial and radar searches, Rear Adm. John Mauger said during a news conference Monday.

Here's a map of area:

  • What we know about the vessel: The submersible, named “Titan,” is 23,000 pounds and made of carbon fiber and titanium, according to the tour operator, OceanGate Expeditions. The 21-foot vessel has life support for up to 96 hours, according to the OceanGate website . Mauger said officials "anticipate that they're somewhere between 70 to the full 96 hours " of oxygen available on the vessel at this point. The  Titanic wreckage, discovered in 1985 , sits in two parts at the bottom of the ocean nearly 13,000 feet below the surface.
  • Who is on board: Five people are in the missing submersible, according to authorities. Businessman  Hamish Harding is one of the passengers, according to a social media post by his company, Action Aviation. Typically a pilot, a “content expert” and three paying passengers are on the expeditions, according to the OceanGate website. The cost of joining the eight-day expedition is "from $250,000," according to the operator. Mauger said the Coast Guard is notifying the families of the people on the submersible.
  • Search efforts: The effort is incorporating aircraft, sonar buoys and "sonar on the ship that is out there to listen for any sounds that we can detect in the water column," Mauger said. The Polar Prince is also assisting with the search, a co-owner said. The Canadian Armed Forces and the US Coast Guard have deployed aircraft to the remote area of the North Atlantic.
  • What's next: The Coast Guard said its priority is locating the vessel. If crews do find the vessel in the water, then rescue plans will be formed, Mauger said. At that point, the Coast Guard will reach out to the US Navy, the Canadian Armed Forces and private industry partners to assess what "underwater rescue capability might be available," Mauger said.

Businessman Hamish Harding is one of the passengers on the submersible, his company says

From CNN's Paul P. Murphy 

Hamish Harding is seen in an image released by the Explorers Club. 

Businessman and adventurer Hamish Harding is one of the passengers on the submersible that went missing during a dive to the wreckage of the Titanic, according to a social media post by his company, Action Aviation. 

OceanGate, the company conducting the expedition, released a statement Monday confirming it lost contact with the submersible but did not specify who was onboard.

Harding, a British national, was one of the first people to travel  the Challenger Deep  in the Pacific Ocean — the deepest known point on Earth.

The United Arab Emirates-based businessman also made headlines in 2019 for being part of a flight crew that broke the world record for the  fastest circumnavigation  of the globe via both poles. More recently, he was a passenger on Blue Origin’s June 2022 space flight .  

Harding  posted  on Facebook on Saturday about his participation in the expedition.

Harding posted an image of the submersible to his social media accounts on Saturday, June 17.

“I am proud to finally announce that I joined OceanGate Expeditions for their RMS TITANIC Mission as a mission specialist on the sub going down to the Titanic,” the post read.

CNN has reached out to Action Aviation for comment but did not immediately receive a response. 

The Explorers Club, a New York-based group of elite explorers and scientists that’s been involved in many of the world’s most prestigious discoveries, confirmed Harding was on the submersible.

President Richard Garriott de Cayeux said he saw Hamish last week and “his excitement about this expedition was palpable,” Cayeux wrote in a statement, “I know he was looking forward to conducting research at the site.”

Harding is one of the founding members of the club.

A spokesperson for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office told CNN it was aware of reports of a British citizen on the submersible.

“We are in contact with the family of a British man following reports of a missing submarine off the coast of North America,” the spokesperson said.

CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian contributed reporting to this post.

Canadian Armed Forces mobilize aircraft to assist in search for missing submersible

From CNN’s Paula Newton

The Canadian Armed Forces is deploying an aircraft to assist in the search for the missing submersible near the Titanic wreckage, a spokesperson told CNN.

“A Royal Canadian Air Force CC-130 Hercules is preparing to join the search as well,” Len Hickey, a senior public affairs officer for the Canadian Armed Forces, wrote in a statement to CNN.

The US Coast Guard said earlier that it had also deployed aircraft that is searching the surface of the ocean and underwater.

Submersible has 70 to 96 hours of oxygen available, Coast Guard says

US Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger said that the submersible has 96 hours of emergency oxygen on board, based on information received from the vessel operator.

The Coast Guard "anticipate that they're somewhere between 70 to the full 96 hours" of oxygen available on the vessel at this point, he said during a news conference Monday.

Priority on Monday is to locate missing Titanic submersible, Coast Guard commander says

Rear Adm. John Mauger speaks during a press conference in Boston on June 19.

Right now the Coast Guard said its priority is locating the missing submersible that didn’t emerge on Sunday after an expedition to the Titanic wreckage.

Rear Adm. John Mauger, the commander of the First Coast Guard District that is in charge of operations, said that if crews do find the vessel in the water, then rescue plans will be formed. 

Mauger said the Coast Guard is "reaching out to different partners within the US Navy, within the Canadian Armed Forces and within private industry to understand what underwater rescue capability might be available."

titanic tour wreck

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There are still secrets to be found on Titanic. These graphics explore them

It sank 112 years ago Monday, but our obsession with the RMS Titanic continues.

History's most famous ship slipped beneath the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912 , but we continue to explore its maiden voyage, iceberg, sinking and undersea decay through a seemingly endless stream of photographs, books , documentaries and movies , and museum exhibits.

Fascination has led to tragedy. A submersible carrying five passengers to view the Titanic imploded near the wreck , killing all aboard, in June 2023.

It also has brought technological advances. In May 2023, a new type of digital scanning, using multiple images, gave us a three-dimensional view of the ship as it would look if it were lifted out of the water .

Why are people drawn to Titanic?

"There isn’t a simple answer," says Karen Kamuda, president of the Titanic Historical Society , which operates the Titanic Museum in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts.

Those who join the society are of "all ages and occupations, and their interests are multivariable," Kamuda says. Aside from their fascination with Titanic and its passengers and crew, their curiosity might include the sister ships Olympic and Britannic, the White Star Line, artifacts, and TV and movies.

"James Cameron’s 1997 film, ' Titanic ,' opened up a brand-new interest," Kamuda says. "The internet has helped spread the story worldwide."

Here are a few things you may not know about Titanic:

Titanic traveled less than 3,000 miles

Titanic was built at the Harland & Wolff shipbuilding company in Belfast, Ireland. After outfitting and sea trials, the ship left port for her maiden voyage.

From Belfast to the fatal iceberg strike, Titanic traveled about 2,555 nautical miles, or 2,940 land miles:

April 2, 1912 | 8 p.m.: Titanic leaves Belfast, sails to Southhampton, England (577 nm).

April 10, 1912 | noon: Titanic leaves Southhampton, sails to Cherbourg, France (88 nm).

April 10, 1912 | 8:10 p.m.: Titanic leaves Cherbourg, sails to Queenstown ( now known as Cobh ), Ireland (341 nm).

April 11, 1912 | 1:30 p.m.: Titanic leaves Queenstown for New York.

April 14, 1912 | 11:40 p.m.: Titanic strikes iceberg 1,549 nm from Queenstown.

April 15, 1912 | 2:20 a.m.: Titanic sinks about 400 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada.

Titanic's lifeboats were not filled to capacity

15-ton piece of wreckage recovered.

The largest piece of wreckage recovered from Titanic, above, is a 15-ton section of the hull measuring 26 feet by 12 feet. It's on display at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas

The hull section was part of the starboard side of the ship , between the third and fourth funnels. It was lifted to the surface in 1998.

Museums keep Titanic's memory alive

A  number of museums offer visitors a look at hundreds of objects recovered from the wreck site. Here are a few:

And if you can't get to a Titanic museum, a traveling exhibit, Titanic. The Exhibition , with 200 items, may be coming to you after it leaves New York.

Thousands of artifacts have been salvaged

Titanic was much smaller than today's cruise ships, want to learn more about titanic.

Historical associations are a good source of information.

  • Titanic Historical Society:
  • Titanic International Society:
  • Belfast Titanic Society:
  • British Titanic Society:

SOURCE USA TODAY Network reporting and research; Titanic Historical Society;;; National Geographic;

A light shines on the bow of the ship a thick layer of growth and rust.


Inside the Titanic wreck's lucrative tourism industry

For decades, tourists have been paying for a chance to catch an undersea glimpse at the wreck of the Titanic . But ethical concerns persist over the impacts these submersibles have had on the deteriorating site.

It takes eight hours and $250,000 to get to what remains of the R.M.S. Titanic some 380 miles off the coast of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

On Sunday, five people got into the submersible Titan to make that journey. The vessel lost contact only an hour and 45 minutes into the eight-day expedition. After debris was found matching that of the submersible, the five inside are now presumed dead.

Despite the danger of traveling some 12,500 feet below the surface, this was an irresistible opportunity—very few people get to see the Titanic with their own eyes.  

More than a century after the ship’s sinking, interest in the Titanic remains insatiable. Although most satisfy their curiosity by visiting the museums, exhibitions, and permanent collections around the world dedicated to the wreck, anyone able to pay for a ticket can see it for themselves.

Despite ethical concerns and the danger of further damaging the wreck, dives to the Titanic have been around for more than 20 years. Here’s what you need to know.  

The rush to claim the Titanic wreckage

It wasn’t until 1985 that an expedition led by National Geographic Explorer-at-Large Robert Ballard and French oceanographer Jean-Louis Michel discovered the Titanic ’s final resting place.

Shortly after, Ballard testified before the U.S. Congress, urging it to designate the wreck a maritime memorial. In July 1986, Ballard placed a plaque on the ship, asking that the site be left undisturbed in memory of the more than 1,500 people who died there.  

( Bob Ballard and James Cameron on what we can learn from Titan .)

But that didn’t happen. Instead, competition over who would be allowed to salvage artifacts from the ship heated up. In part, it was an effort to document and conserve the artifacts—but it was also a rush for profits from artifact sales and public displays.

The first official salvage effort was undertaken by the Titanic Ventures Limited Partnership (TVLP) and L'Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer in 1987, when around 1,800 items were collected and conserved. In 1992, a federal court ruled TVLP was the first and exclusive salvor of the Titanic —though in following decades, the company pushed for more.  

Now known as RMS Titanic Inc., the company has conducted eight expeditions to the Titanic , and has auctioned off more than 5,000 objects taken from the site, including jewelry and a piece of the ship’s grand staircase.

While battles for visitation and salvage rights raged in court, expeditions to the Titanic continued—giving rise to a small but pricey tourism market.

Decades of Titanic tourism

Researchers, salvagers, and even filmmakers like James Cameron, who directed the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic , have made countless trips to the wreck. And for a pretty penny, tourists have been able to go too.

In 1998, British company Deep Ocean Expeditions were among the first to sell tickets to the public at $32,500 each to see the remains of the Titanic . In 2012, expedition leader Rob McCallum said the company was organizing one final round of tours after having gone down to the wreck 197 times . Those last expeditions in 2012 each lasted 12 days and took 20 passengers for $59,000 apiece.

( How do we find shipwrecks—and who owns them ?)

Starting in 2002, Los Angeles-based travel firm Bluefish also ran Titanic dives, taking only eight people over the next four years. In 2012, the company began accepting bookings again with tickets running for $59,680.

London-based Blue Marble sold tickets for $ 105,129 per person in 2019, supposedly the adjusted value of a first-class ticket at the time of the sinking. Blue Marble partnered with OceanGate Expeditions—the same company whose vessel went missing Sunday—to run the tours.  

OceanGate conducted successful expeditions in 2021 and 2022 and has 18 dives planned through 2023.  

Protecting the Titanic

But what impact do these tours have on the 111-year-old ship?

The Titanic was damaged significantly upon impact with the seabed, and slowly, iron-eating bacteria is consuming what remains. Less than a decade after the wreck was found, rapid deterioration was being noticed . In 2019, a dive confirmed huge portions of the ship were collapsing .

Today the surrounding site is littered with trash , including beer and soda bottles, weights, chains, and cargo nets from salvage efforts . Visitors have also littered the area with plaques and memorials. In 2001, a couple was even married in a submersible resting on the Titanic ’s bow.

( How debris from the Titanic informs us about its final hours .)

Even if submersibles don’t mean to touch the wreck, they can still further damage the ship. One expedition reportedly crashed into the Titanic and omitted information about the damage it caused.

Attempts to protect the wreck are ongoing. Because it is in international waters, it is eligible for basic protections under the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage, which were granted in 2012 . In 2020, the United Kingdom and United States agreed to work together to grant or deny licenses to people entering and taking artifacts from the site.


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Missing Submersible Vessel Disappears During Dive to the Titanic Wreck Site

Five people were in the submersible, which lost contact with a surface vessel on Sunday morning, the Coast Guard said. A search and rescue mission is underway in the North Atlantic.

  • Share full article

A small submersible underwater.

Follow our live coverage of the missing submersible.

titanic tour wreck

Jenny Gross ,  Emma Bubola and Jesus Jiménez

The search area is 900 miles off the U.S. coast.

A submersible craft carrying five people in the area of the Titanic wreck in the North Atlantic has been missing since Sunday, setting off a search and rescue operation by the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard confirmed Monday that it was searching for the vessel after the Canadian research ship MV Polar Prince lost contact with a submersible during a dive about 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass., on Sunday morning.

“It is a remote area and it is a challenge to conduct a search in that remote area, but we are deploying all available assets to make sure that we can locate the craft and rescue the people on board,” said Rear Admiral John Mauger of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The submersible disappeared in a portion of the ocean with a depth of roughly 13,000 feet. Admiral Mauger said the occupants would theoretically have between 70 to 96 hours of air as of late Monday afternoon.

The submersible is operated by OceanGate Expeditions, a company that offers tours of shipwrecks and underwater canyons. “Our entire focus is on the crew members in the submersible and their families,” a statement on its website said. “We are deeply thankful for the extensive assistance we have received from several government agencies and deep sea companies in our efforts to reestablish contact with the submersible.”

Hamish Harding, the chairman of the aviation company Action Aviation, is among those aboard the missing submersible, according to Mark Butler, the company’s managing director.

In an Instagram post, Mr. Harding indicated that another member of the submersible team was Paul Henry Nargeolet, a French expert on the Titanic. On his Facebook page on Saturday, Mr. Harding wrote that a dive had been planned for Sunday: “A weather window has just opened up,” he wrote.

Here’s what to know about the search operation:

Stockton Rush, the chief executive of OceanGate, has compared its project to the booming space tourism industry. Its customers pay $250,000 to travel to the Titanic’s wreckage on the seabed, more than two miles below the ocean’s surface.

Admiral Mauger said aircraft from the United States and Canada were searching for the submersible, and sonar buoys had been deployed to help search under the surface. The Coast Guard was also coordinating with commercial vessels in the area to aid the search operation.

OceanGate chartered a vessel, the MV Polar Prince, to serve as the ship on the surface near the dive site. The company’s website outlines an eight-day itinerary for the trip out of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

The Titanic sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912, on its maiden voyage from England to New York after hitting an iceberg, killing more than 1,500 people. The wreckage was found in 1985, broken into two main sections, about 400 miles off Newfoundland, in eastern Canada. Read The Times’s coverage of the sinking.

John Ismay

John Ismay, a Pentagon reporter, served as a deep-sea diving and salvage officer in the U.S. Navy.

Why are undersea rescues so difficult?

Numerous complications could hinder the effort to rescue the five people aboard the deep-diving submersible Titan, which failed to return from a dive on Sunday to the wreck of the Titanic on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.

For any search and rescue operation at sea, weather conditions, the lack of light at night, the state of the sea and water temperature can all play roles in whether stricken mariners can be found and rescued. For a rescue beneath the waves, the factors involved in a successful rescue are even more numerous and difficult.

The first and most important problem to solve is simply finding the Titan.

Many underwater vehicles are fitted with an acoustic device, often called a pinger, which emits sounds that can be detected underwater by rescuers. Whether Titan has one is unclear.

The submersible reportedly lost contact with its support ship an hour and 45 minutes into what is normally a two-and-a-half-hour dive to the bottom, where the Titanic lies.

There could be a problem with Titan’s communication equipment, or with the ballast system that controls its descent and ascent by flooding tanks with water to dive and pumping water out with air to come back toward the surface.

An additional possible hazard for the vessel would be becoming fouled — hung up on a piece of wreckage that could keep it from being able to return to the surface.

If the submersible is found on the bottom, the extreme depths involved limit the possible means for rescue.

Human divers wearing specialized equipment and breathing helium-rich air mixtures can safely reach depths of just a few hundred feet below the surface before having to spend long amounts of time decompressing on the way back up. A couple hundred feet deeper, light from the sun can no longer penetrate the water, and dark reigns.

The Titanic lies in about 14,000 feet of water in the North Atlantic, a depth that humans can reach only while inside specialized submersibles that keep their occupants warm, dry and supplied with breathable air.

The only likely rescue would come from an uncrewed vehicle — essentially an underwater drone. The U.S. Navy has one submarine rescue vehicle , although it can reportedly reach depths of just 2,000 feet. For recovering objects off the sea floor in deeper water, the Navy relies on what it calls remote-operated vehicles, such as the one it used to salvage a crashed F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in about 12,400 feet in the South China Sea in early 2022. That vehicle, called CURV-21 , can reach depths of 20,000 feet.

Getting the right kind of equipment — such as a remote vehicle like the CURV-21 — to the site takes time, starting with getting it to a ship capable of delivering it to the site.

The Titanic’s wreck lies approximately 370 miles south of Newfoundland, and the kinds of ships that can carry a vehicle like the Navy’s deepest-diving robot normally move no faster than about 20 miles per hour.

According to OceanGate’s website, the Titan can keep its five occupants alive for approximately 96 hours. In many submersibles, the air inside is recycled — carbon dioxide is removed and oxygen is added — but on a long enough timeline, the vessel will lose the ability to scrub enough carbon dioxide, and the air inside will no longer sustain life.

If the Titan’s batteries run down and are no longer able to run heaters that keep the occupants warm in the freezing deep, the people inside can become hypothermic and the situation eventually becomes unsurvivable. Should the submersible’s pressure hull fail, the end for those inside would be certain and quick.


Anna Betts

OceanGate Expeditions was created to explore deep waters.

OceanGate Expeditions, the owner of the missing submersible, is a privately owned company headquartered in Everett, Wash., that, since its founding in 2009, has focused on increasing access to deep-ocean exploration.

The company has made headlines in recent years for organizing expeditions for paying tourists to travel in submersibles to shipwrecks, including the Titanic, and to underwater canyons. According to the company’s website , OceanGate also provides crewed submersibles for commercial projects and scientific research.

“Our team of qualified pilots, expedition leaders, mission professionals and client-service staff ensure accountability throughout the entire mission and expedition process with a focus on safety, proactive communication and client satisfaction,” the website reads .

OceanGate was founded by Stockton Rush, an aerospace engineer and pilot, who currently serves as its chief executive officer.

At just 19 years old, in 1981, Mr. Rush became the youngest jet transport rated pilot in the world, and obtained a degree in aerospace engineering from Princeton University three years later, according to the OceanGate website. He later earned an M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1989.

OceanGate currently owns and operates three five-person submersibles.

The first submersible acquired by OceanGate, Antipodes, could travel to a depth of 1,000 feet.

In 2012, the company acquired another submersible, and rebuilt it into Cyclops 1, a vessel that could travel to a depth of up to 1,640 feet. It served as a prototype for the newest submersible, the Titan. That vessel, made of carbon fiber and titanium, is engineered to reach depths of more than 13,000 feet, or more than two miles. The Titan, which has been used to explore the Titanic’s wreckage, is now missing .

OceanGate has provided tours of the Titanic since 2021, in which guests have paid up to $250,000 to travel to the wreckage, which lies about 12,500 feet below the ocean’s surface.

Last year, Mr. Rush described the business to CBS News as “very unusual,” providing “a new type of travel.”

The company first planned a voyage to the Titanic in 2018, according to the technology news site GeekWire , but the Titan sustained damage to its electronics from lightning. Then, in 2019, the voyage was postponed again because of a problem with complying with Canadian maritime law limitations on foreign flag vessels, according to GeekWire .

Before the first successful trip to the Titanic in 2021, the Titan was “rebuilt,” according to GeekWire , after tests showed signs of “cyclic fatigue” that reduced the hull’s depth rating to 3,000 meters.

In 2020, OceanGate announced that it was working with NASA ’s Marshall Space Flight Center to assure that the submersible was strong enough to survive in the ocean’s depths.

According to the company’s website, OceanGate has successfully completed more than 14 expeditions and more than 200 dives in the Pacific, Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.

OceanGate’s board members include Mr. Rush, along with a physician and astronaut, a software consultant, a retired U.S. Coast Guard, and a C.E.O. of an investment advisory firm.

In addition to OceanGate, Mr. Rush is also a co-founder and member of the board of trustees of OceanGate Foundation , a nonprofit organization founded in 2012 which aims to “fuel underwater discoveries in nautical archaeology, marine sciences and subsea technology” through public outreach and financial support.

The nonprofit’s website features OceanGate’s Titanic expedition, along with other global exploration expeditions.

Mike Baker

OceanGate is based on the backside of a marina facility in Everett, Wash., tucked between several boat maintenance companies, where some workers were washing, inspecting and relocating yachts on Monday. No sign or logo marks its location, and the windows at the OceanGate doors were covered on Monday, one with a Titanic expedition logo. The entrance door was locked, and nobody responded to knocking. A nearby marina worker said OceanGate employees packed up and left for the Titanic expedition several weeks ago.

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Andrea Kannapell

An Instagram post from Hamish Harding, who was aboard the submersible that went missing on Sunday, indicated that another member of the submersible team was Paul Henry Nargeolet, a French expert on the Titanic.

Emma Bubola ,  Salman Masood and Victoria Kim

Here is who was on the missing submersible.

Five people were on board the Titan submersible when it lost contact with its support ship during a dive to the Titanic wreckage site in the North Atlantic on Sunday. On Thursday, the U.S. Coast Guard and the company that operated the submersible, OceanGate Expeditions, said that all five people on board were believed to be dead.

Here are the passengers who were aboard the craft.

Stockton Rush

Stockton Rush was the founder and chief executive of OceanGate Expeditions, the company that operated the submersible. He was piloting the vessel.

In an interview that aired on CBS in November, Mr. Rush said he grew up wanting to be an astronaut and, after earning an aerospace engineering degree from Princeton in 1984, a fighter pilot.

“I had this epiphany that I didn’t want — it wasn’t about going to space,” Mr. Rush said. “It was about exploring. It was about finding new life-forms. I wanted to be sort of the Captain Kirk. I didn’t want to be the passenger in the back. And I realized that the ocean is the universe.” He founded OceanGate, a private company that is based in Everett, Wash., near Seattle, in 2009.

Read his obituary here .

Hamish Harding

Hamish Harding , a British businessman and explorer, holds several Guinness World Records, including one for the longest time spent traversing the deepest part of the ocean on a single dive. He wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday that he was proud to announce that he had joined OceanGate’s mission “on the sub going down to the Titanic.”

Mr. Harding, 58, was the chairman of Action Aviation, a sales and air operations company based in Dubai. He had previously flown to space on a mission by Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin rocket company.

Mr. Harding also took part in an effort to reintroduce cheetahs to India, and holds a world record for the fastest circumnavigation of Earth via both the geographic poles by plane.

Paul-Henri Nargeolet

Paul-Henri Nargeolet , a French maritime expert, had been on more than 35 dives to the Titanic wreck site.

Mr. Nargeolet was the director of underwater research for RMS Titanic, Inc. , an American company that owns the salvage rights to the famous wreck and displays many of the artifacts in Titanic exhibitions. The company conducted eight research and recovery expeditions between 1987 and 2010, according to its website.

Shahzada Dawood and Suleman Dawood

The British-Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood , 48, and his son, Suleman, 19, were members of one of Pakistan’s wealthiest families.

Mr. Dawood had a background in textiles and fertilizer manufacturing. His son was a business student at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, a spokesman for the school confirmed in a statement on Thursday.

Mr. Dawood and his son had “embarked on a journey to visit the remnants of the Titanic” when contact with the vessel was lost, the statement said, asking for privacy for the family.

Mr. Dawood was also on the board of trustees for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute. The organization said on its website that he was a resident of Britain, and a father of two children.

April Rubin

April Rubin

‘Digital twin’ of the Titanic shows the shipwreck in extraordinary detail.

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An ambitious digital imaging project has produced what researchers describe as a “digital twin” of the R.M.S. Titanic, showing the wreckage of the doomed ocean liner with a level of detail that has never been captured before.

The project, undertaken by Magellan Ltd., a deepwater seabed mapping company, yielded more than 16 terabytes of data, 715,000 still images and a high-resolution video. The visuals were captured over the course of a six-week expedition in the summer of 2022, nearly 2.4 miles below the surface of the North Atlantic, Atlantic Productions, which is working on a documentary about the project, said in a news release.

The researchers used two submersibles, named Romeo and Juliet, to map “every millimeter” of the wreckage as well as the entire three-mile debris field. Creating the model, which shows the ship lying on the ocean floor and the area around it, took about eight months, said Anthony Geffen, the chief executive and creative director of Atlantic Productions.

Jesus Jiménez

Jesus Jiménez

A Coast Guard admiral says rescue crews are ‘making the best use of every moment.’

By air and sea, rescue crews on Monday were racing to find five people in a submersible that went missing on Sunday just hours into a dive about 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass., officials said.

At a news conference in Boston on Monday afternoon, Rear Adm. John Mauger of the U.S. Coast Guard said that rescue crews were searching in a “remote area” in water roughly 13,000 feet deep, and that they were up against the clock to find those on board the vessel.

Admiral Mauger said that Coast Guard officials understood from OceanGate Expeditions, the operator of the submersible, which offers tours of shipwrecks and underwater canyons, that the vessel was designed to have 96 hours of “emergency capability.” He did not provide specifics about what that capability meant for those on board, though it was believed to indicate that they would have breathable air for four days.

“We’re using that time, making the best use of every moment of that time,” he said.

The five people on board the submersible were not identified at the news conference “out of respect for the families,” Admiral Mauger said, noting that one person on board was a pilot, or operator, and that the other four were “mission specialists.” He did not share what role the specialists served on the vessel, referring that question to the operator of the submersible.

The United States deployed two C-130 aircraft, with another aircraft expected to join the search later on Monday from the New York National Guard, and Canada has sent a C-130 and a P-8 submarine search aircraft, Admiral Mauger said.

“On the surface we have the commercial operator that’s been on site, and we’re bringing additional surface assets into play,” he said, adding that they will provide some “subsurface” search ability.

Admiral Mauger said that rescue teams had also deployed sonar buoys on the surface of the waters to try to locate the submersible, which had sent out its last reported communication about an hour and 45 minutes into its dive. Exactly when that was on Sunday morning was unclear.

In an interview with Fox News earlier on Monday, Admiral Mauger said that the Coast Guard did not have the right equipment in the search area to do a “comprehensive sonar survey of the bottom.”

“Right now, we’re really just focused on trying to locate the vessel again by saturating the air with aerial assets,” he said.

Christine Chung

Christine Chung

To the bottom of the sea and the ends of the earth, high-risk travel is booming.

Plunging to the depths of the ocean in a submersible to explore the remains of the Titanic is just one of many extreme excursions on offer for travelers willing to pay a hefty price tag — and accept a substantial dose of peril.

There’s also swimming with great white sharks in Mexico, sailing by an active volcano in New Zealand and rocketing to space . These types of singular and dangerous adventures are becoming increasingly popular with deep-pocketed leisure travelers in search of novel experiences, several travel experts said.

“There are a lot of incredibly well-traveled folks out there who constantly push the boundaries of their travels to chase thrills and claim bragging rights,” said Peter Anderson, managing director of Knightsbridge Circle , a luxury concierge service with offices in London, New York and Dubai. “They’re so accustomed to what they consider to be typical vacations that they begin to seek out more unique experiences, many of which involve a degree of risk.”

Mr. Anderson said he had recently planned a trip for a client to visit the pyramids in South Sudan, the site of one of the world’s biggest refugee crises, which has a “Do Not Travel” advisory from the U.S. State Department. The planning process, he said, involved consultations with security experts on how to best mitigate potential dangers.

Another client wanted to voyage to the geographic South Pole — the southernmost point on Earth — which required chartering an icebreaker, a large vessel that can pass through ice-covered waters, and two helicopters for sightseeing. The trip, which cost about $100,000 per person, required a week of various health screenings and weather preparedness training.

Physically demanding expeditions to some of the world’s most remote destinations are a growing business for the luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent , said Geoffrey Kent, its founder. He said the company uses expert guides to eliminate as much risk as possible.

“These are thrilling adventures for top-tier clients who have done pretty much everything,” Mr. Kent said in a statement, adding that the challenges left guests “with a sense of accomplishment.”

Perhaps the priciest ticket, and biggest possible risk, is space travel, which has been dominated by a trio of billionaire-led rocket companies: Blue Origin , owned by Jeff Bezos, whose passengers have included the “Star Trek” television star William Shatner; Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic , where tickets for a suborbital spaceflight start at $450,000; and Elon Musk’s SpaceX , which in 2022 launched an all-civilian spaceflight, with no trained astronauts on board.

Alan Yuhas

A spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard, speaking to reporters, said that the last reported communication from the submersible was about an hour and 45 minutes into its dive.

The spokesman said that the sea conditions in the search area right now are “fairly normal,” with three to six foot waves, with low visibility and fog.

Mauger said that the United States has deployed two C130 aircraft, with an additional on the way from the New York National Guard, and that the Canadians have sent a C130 and a P8 submarine search aircraft. “On the surface we have the commercial operator that’s been on site, and we’re bringing additional surface assets into play,” he said, adding that they will provide some “subsurface” search ability.

Mauger said that one submersible pilot was on board. “And there were four mission specialists, is the term that the operator uses,” he said. “You’ll have to ask the operator what that means.”

Jesus Jimenez

Jesus Jimenez

Mauger said it is believed the vessel was designed to sustain an emergency for 96 hours and estimated that the people inside would theoretically have between 70 to 96 hours of air. “We’re using that time making the best use of every moment of that time,” Mauger said.

Mauger said the location of the search is approximately 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass., in a water depth of roughly 13,000 feet. “It is a remote area and is a challenge to conduct a search in that remote area, but we are deploying all available assets to make sure that we can locate the craft and rescue the people on board.”

Mauger said that the search is being conducted both under the water, with sonar buoys and sonar on the expedition ship, and over the water, in case the submersible surfaced and lost communications, with the help of aircraft and surface vessels. He said the Coast Guard was coordinating both with the Canadian authorities and commercial vessels in the area for help.

Mauger said the Coast Guard was notified on Sunday afternoon by the operator of the submersible that it was “overdue” and that it had five people on board.

Rear Admiral John Mauger of the U.S. Coast Guard said at a news conference that “we are doing everything we can do” to find the submersible and rescue the five people inside. United States and Canadian aircraft are being used in the search, he said. Mauger said that the Coast Guard has put sonar buoys in the water to try to locate the submersible.

We’re standing by for Rear Admiral John Mauger of the U.S. Coast Guard to provide updates on the missing submersible at a news conference in Boston.

Ben Shpigel

Ben Shpigel

The Titan is equipped with only a few days’ worth of life support.

The Titan , the vessel that went missing in the area of the Titanic wreck in the North Atlantic on Monday, is classified as a submersible, not a submarine, because it does not function as an autonomous craft, instead relying on a support platform to deploy and return.

According to the website for the tourism company operating the Titan, OceanGate Expeditions of Everett, Wash., the missing vessel is a submersible capable of taking five people — one pilot and four crew members — to depths of 4,000 meters, or more than 13,100 feet — for “site survey and inspection, research and data collection, film and media production, and deep sea testing of hardware and software.”

Made of titanium and carbon fiber, it weighs about 21,000 pounds and is listed as measuring 22 feet by 9.2 feet by 8.3 feet, with 96 hours of “life support” for five people.

The Titan, one of three types of crewed submersibles operated by OceanGate, is equipped with a platform similar to the dry dock of a ship that launches and recovers the vessel, the website said.

“The platform is used to launch and recover manned submersibles by flooding its flotation tanks with water for a controlled descent to a depths of 9.1 meters (30 feet) to avoid any surface turbulence,” according to the website.

“Once submerged, the platform uses a patented motion-dampening flotation system to remain coupled to the surface yet still provide a stable underwater platform from which our manned submersibles lift off of and return to after each dive,” the site continues. “At the conclusion of each dive, the sub lands on the submerged platform and the entire system is brought to the surface in approximately two minutes by filling the ballast tanks with air.”

OceanGate calls the Titan the only crewed submersible in the world that can take five people as deep as 4,000 meters — or more than 13,100 feet — enabling it to reach almost 50 percent of the world’s oceans. Unlike other submersibles, the Titan, the website said, employs a system that can analyze how pressure changes affect the vessel as it dives deeper, providing “early warning detection for the pilot with enough time to arrest the descent and safely return to surface.”

The Titan began deep-sea ventures related to the Titanic in 2021. According to the tech news site GeekWire , the vessel was “rebuilt” after OceanGate determined through testing that the vessel could not withstand the pressure of a 4,000-meter dive.

In a Fox News interview, Rear Admiral John Mauger of the U.S. Coast Guard said that the agency did not have the right equipment in the search area to do a “comprehensive sonar survey of the bottom.” He said,“Right now, we’re really just focused on trying to locate the vessel again by saturating the air with aerial assets, by tasking surface assets in the area, and then using the underwater sonar.”

Mauger said that one of the aircraft being used in the search could detect underwater noises.“But it is a large area of water, and it’s complicated by local weather conditions as well,” he said.

The U.S. Coast Guard said in statement that it was searching for five people after the Canadian research vessel MV Polar Prince lost contact with a submersible during a dive about 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Mass., on Sunday morning. The Coast Guard scheduled a news conference for 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Jenny Gross

Jenny Gross

The Marine Institute at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, which partnered with OceanGate on the trip, said in a statement that it became aware on Monday morning that OceanGate had lost contact with its Titan submersible. One Marine Institute student who was on a summer employment contract with OceanGate was safe, the statement said. “We have no further information on the status of the submersible or personnel,” the statement said.

Emma Bubola

Emma Bubola

Rory Golden, an Irish diver who has previously visited the Titanic wreckage and is part of the OceanGate expedition, said in a Facebook post on Monday that a “major search and rescue operation” was underway. The focus on board the ship is “our friends,” he wrote. Communications were being limited to preserve bandwidth to coordinate operations, he added. (Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this update misstated Rory Golden’s nationality. He is Irish, not Scottish.)

Hamish Harding, the chairman of a Dubai-based sales and air operations company, Action Aviation, is among those aboard the missing submersible, according to Mark Butler, the company’s managing director. Harding, who holds several Guinness World Records, including for the longest time spent traversing the deepest part of the ocean on a single dive, wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday that a dive had been planned for Sunday: “A weather window has just opened up,” he wrote.

Alan Yuhas

Tourists have been going to the Titanic site for decades, by robot or submersible.

For decades after the Titanic sank, searchers scanned the dark waters of the North Atlantic for the ship’s final resting place.

Since the wreck was found, in 1985, it has drawn hundreds of filmmakers, salvagers, explorers and tourists, using robots and submersibles.

First there was the team that took undersea robots to depths of more than 12,000 feet, verifying that the broken hulk it found at the bottom was in fact the Titanic. Then came many others, including James Cameron, the director who reinvigorated interest in the ship with his 1997 film, “ Titanic .”

The ship had long garnered intense interest among researchers and treasure hunters captivated by the tragic history of the wreck: the horror of the accident, the supposed hubris of the ship’s builders, the enormous wealth of many and the poverty of others on the luxury liner juxtaposed with the cold facts of the iceberg and the sea.

But Mr. Cameron’s hit imbued the wreck with a new story of romance and tragedy, renewing interest far beyond those with an interest in famous accidents at sea.

By the early 2000s, scientists were warning that visitors were a threat to the wreck, saying that gaping holes had opened up in the decks, walls had crumpled, and that rusticles — icicle-shaped structures of rust — were spreading all over the ship.

Tourists were paying up to $36,000 per dive by submersible. Salvage crews hunted for artifacts to bring back up, over the objections of preservationists who said the wreck should be honored as the graveyard for more than 1,500 people. Wreckage from a submersible accident was found on one of the Titanic’s decks. Researchers said the site was littered with beer and soda bottles and the remains of salvage efforts, including weights, chains and cargo nets.

Mr. Cameron, who has repeatedly visited the wreck, was among those calling for care around the site. In 2003, he took 3D cameras there for his 2003 documentary, “ Ghosts of the Abyss .”

OceanGate Expeditions, the private company operating the submersible that went missing on Monday, was founded in 2009. By the time it began offering tours to paying customers, researchers said that the Titanic had little scientific value compared to other sites.

But cultural interest in the Titanic remains extraordinarily high: OceanGate charges $250,000 for a submersible tour of the wreck, and the disaster continues to command a fascination online, sometimes at the expense of facts .

A spokeswoman for Canada's Coast Guard said that a military aircraft and a Coast Guard ship had been deployed to help search for the missing submersible. The ship, Kopit Hopson 1752, was off eastern Newfoundland, and headed for the search area.

Dana Rubinstein

Dana Rubinstein

John Lockwood, a longtime OceanGate board member, has been in the company’s submersibles, though not the Titan, the one that he said takes people to the Titanic. He said the submersibles have a viewing port and external cameras. “But it’s not like going down in a submarine at a very shallow depth, where there are multiple viewing ports,” he said.

Amanda Holpuch

Amanda Holpuch

The tour’s operator charges $250,000 for trips to the sunken wreckage.

OceanGate Expeditions, the operator of the submersible that disappeared during a voyage to the wreckage of the Titanic, has led previous tourist trips to the site at a cost of $250,000 per person.

Stockton Rush, the president of OceanGate, told The New York Times last summer that private exploration was needed to continue feeding public fascination with the wreck site.

“No public entity is going to fund going back to the Titanic,” Mr. Rush said. “There are other sites that are newer and probably of greater scientific value.”

OceanGate takes paying tourists in submersibles to underwater canyons and shipwrecks, including the Titanic. Last year, it shared a one-minute clip of video obtained during one of its trips to the wreck site, which was discovered in 1985, less than 400 miles off Newfoundland.

The dives last about eight hours, including the estimated 2.5 hours each way it takes to descend and ascend. Scientists and historians provide context on the trip and some conduct research at the site, which has become a reef that is home to many organisms. The team also documents the wreckage with high-definition cameras to monitor its decay and capture it in detail.

Mr. Rush said that the high quality of the footage allowed researchers to get an even closer look at the site without having to go underwater. He compared the OceanGate trips to space tourism, saying the commercial voyages were the first step to expanding the use of the submersibles for industrial activities, such as inspecting and maintaining underwater oil rigs.

“For those who think it’s expensive, it’s a fraction of the cost of going to space and it’s very expensive for us to get these ships and go out there,” Mr. Rush said. “And the folks who don’t like anybody making money sort of miss the fact that that’s the only way anything gets done in this world is if there is profit or military need.”

Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated the day that the expedition’s research vessel lost contact with the submersible. It was Sunday, not Monday.

How we handle corrections

Trevor Munroe, a Canadian Coast Guard spokesman, said his country is involved in the rescue mission, but the U.S. Coast Guard is leading it from Boston. “It’s technically in their waters,” he said.

The New York Times

The New York Times

Here’s how The New York Times covered the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

The Titanic was en route to New York on its maiden voyage when it struck an iceberg and sank on April 15, 1912. The sinking was front-page news around the world, including in The New York Times. Here is a portion of The Times’s coverage, as it was written that day. The digital version of the paper from that day can be viewed here .

The admission that the Titanic, the biggest steamship in the world, had been sunk by an iceberg and had gone to the bottom of the Atlantic, probably carrying more than 1,400 of her passengers and crew with her, was made at the White Star Line offices, 9 Broadway, at 8:20 o’clock last night.

Then P.A.S. Franklin, Vice President and General Manager of the International Mercantile Marine, conceded that probably only those passengers who were picked up by the Cunarder Carpathia had been saved. Advices received early this morning tended to increase the number of survivers by 200.

The admission followed a day in which the White Star Line officials had been optimistic in the extreme. At no time was the admission made that every one aboard the huge steamer was not safe. The ship itself, it was confidently asserted, was unsinkable, and inquirers were informed that she would reach port, under her own steam probably, but surely with the help of the Allan liner Virginian, which was reported to be towing her.

As the day passed, however, with no new authentic reports from the Titanic or any of the ships were known to have responded to her wireless call for help, it became apparent that authentic news of the disaster probably could come only from the Titanic’s sister ship, the Olympic.

The wireless range of the Olympic is 500 miles. That of the Carpathia, the Parisian, and the Virginian is much less, and as they neared the position of the Titanic they drew further and further out of shore range. From the Titanic’s position at the time of the disaster it is doubtful if any of the ships except the Olympic could establish communication with shore.


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  4. 3D Scans: Take a Brand New Look at the Titanic Wreck Footage

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  5. Anna Holt Headline: Titanic Underwater Tour

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  6. Titanic wreckage tours now open to the public

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  1. What we know about the tourist submarine that disappeared on an expedition to the Titanic wreck

  2. Tour Of The Titanic Before Her Maiden Voyage, April 10, 1912 (RARE)

  3. TITANIC की कहानी आपकी रूह कपा देगी

  4. Deep water rescue trainer remains optimistic about Titanic tour rescue

  5. Chilling Titanic Wreck Details

  6. Missing Titanic Submersible: What We Know


  1. Here's How You Can Visit the Wreck of the Titanic—for $125,000

    OceanGate Expeditions, a company that provides well-heeled clients with once-in-a-lifetime underwater experiences, has announced a series of six trips to the Titanic via submersible in 2021. Each has space for nine paying tourists, whose $125,000 tickets will help offset the cost of the expeditions (and put a pretty penny in the pocket of ...

  2. Titanic

    The RMS Titanic. Titanic: The Virtual Experience showcases an unrivalled collection of nearly 400 artifacts recovered directly from the wreck site of the RMS Titanic. Photographed at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, this 25,000 square foot experience allows you to view full scale room re-creations from Titanic including the famed Grand ...

  3. See the Titanic in Stunning Detail With New 3D Scan

    On April 10, 1912, the Titanic departed from Southampton, England, and began sailing west toward New York City. The vessel struck an iceberg near Newfoundland on April 14, proceeding to sink in ...

  4. Titanic Exhibit in Chicago: An Immersive Experience

    STEP ABOARD THE TITANIC. Embark on an immersive, interactive tour of the Titanic with vast, jaw-dropping recreations of the ship's interior and exterior. Visit the dock from where the Titanic first sailed, explore the galleries and boiler room, take a look inside a millionaire's suite, stroll the exterior promenade deck under a starry night ...

  5. 3D "digital twin" showcases wreck of Titanic in unprecedented detail

    Titanic remained undiscovered at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean until an expedition led by Jean-Louis Michel and Robert Ballard reached the wreck on September 1, 1985. The ship split apart as it ...

  6. Wreck of the Titanic

    The wreck of the Titanic lies at a depth of about 12,500 feet (3,800 metres; 2,100 fathoms), about 370 nautical miles (690 kilometres) south-southeast off the coast of Newfoundland.It lies in two main pieces about 2,000 feet (600 m) apart. The bow is still recognisable with many preserved interiors, despite deterioration and damage sustained hitting the sea floor.

  7. Tour the Titanic in Google Earth

    Explore the Titanic shipwreck in Google Earth in partnership with National Geographic, the Institute for Exploration, the Center for Ocean Exploration at the...

  8. First-ever full-size Titanic digital scan reveals entirely new view of

    Newly released footage of a 1986 Titanic dive reveals the ship's haunting interior. The result is an exact "digital twin" of the wreck, media partner Atlantic Productions said in a news release ...

  9. How the Titanic wreckage brought five adventurers together

    Nargeolet directs underwater research for E/M Group and RMC Titanic Inc., a U.S. firm that owns the salvage rights to the wreckage and brings treasures from the doomed cruise liner to museum ...

  10. What is submersible tourism? The Titanic expedition, explained

    OceanGate, the tour company, has said all 5 passengers are believed dead. The Titan: The voyage to see the Titanic wreckage is eight days long, costs $250,000 and is open to passengers age 17 and ...

  11. The Titanic Wreck Will Soon Be Open For Tours: What To Know ...

    Package Tours On Titanic Shipwreck Underwater Excursions. There are now two companies offering underwater tours of the Titanic's wreckage. Bluefish and OceanGate, which has its headquarters in Everett Washington, both offer dives to the site that cost roughly $60,000- $105,129 per person, not including airfare or lodging.

  12. Titanic

    The wreck of the Titanic—which was discovered on September 1, 1985—is located at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, some 13,000 feet (4,000 metres) underwater. It is approximately 400 nautical miles (740 km) from Newfoundland, Canada. The ship is in two main pieces, the bow and the stern.

  13. What it was like inside the lost Titanic-touring submersible

    Authorities have said the Titanic-touring submersible that went missing on Sunday suffered a "catastrophic implosion," killing all five people on board while descending to explore the wreckage ...

  14. Titanic Wreck

    On April 15 1912 RMS Titanic slipped beneath the waves to be entombed in Atlantic darkness. This video features the brand new Liner Designs illustration of h...

  15. Titanic tour company offered up-close experience for $250,000

    OceanGate seems to be the only company offering dive tours to the Titanic wreckage, underscoring the practical difficulty of reaching the site 12,500 feet down in the cold North Atlantic where the ...

  16. Titanic: First ever full-sized scans reveal wreck as never seen before

    The bow of the Titanic is still instantly recognisable even after so long underwater. The world's most famous shipwreck has been revealed as never seen before. The first full-sized digital scan of ...

  17. Missing Titanic Submersible

    OceanGate has provided tours of the Titanic wreck since 2021 — for a price of up to $250,000 per person — as part of a booming high-risk travel industry. The company has described the trip on ...

  18. Search Day 4: Titanic submersible debris found, all onboard presumed dead

    The debris was found off the bow of the sunken Titanic, officials said. The search for the Titan, which went missing Sunday after it e mbark ed on a mission to survey the wreckage of the Titanic ...

  19. June 19, 2023

    Canadian Coast Guard/FILE. A search and rescue operation is underway for a missing submersible operated by a company that handles expeditions to the Titanic wreckage off the coast of St John's ...

  20. Titanic graphics explore mysteries of the famous ship 112 years later

    These graphics explore them. It sank 112 years ago Monday, but our obsession with the RMS Titanic continues. History's most famous ship slipped beneath the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m. on April 15 ...

  21. Inside the Titanic wreck's lucrative tourism industry

    In 2012, expedition leader Rob McCallum said the company was organizing one final round of tours after having gone down to the wreck 197 times. Those last expeditions in 2012 each lasted 12 days ...

  22. Missing Submersible: Vessel Disappears During Dive to the Titanic Wreck

    OceanGate has provided tours of the Titanic since 2021, in which guests have paid up to $250,000 to travel to the wreckage, which lies about 12,500 feet below the ocean's surface.