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Sonar Picks up Underwater Noise in Search for Missing Titanic Sub

Aircraft using sonar to scour the ocean for any signs of the missing vessel picked up "banging" sounds in the search area

Liz Hughes

June 21, 2023

2 Min Read
Getty Images

At a Glance

  • Two remote-operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) are currently searching below the ocean’s surface
  • Several Canadian P-3 aircraft detected underwater noises

As the search for the missing OceanGate Expeditions’ submersible continues three days after it lost contact, agencies from across the globe continue to search above and below the ocean’s surface for the missing Titan and its five passengers.

During a U.S. Coast Guard press conference Wednesday, we learned two remote-operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) are currently searching below the ocean’s surface, with several more expected in the next 24 hours. Coast Guard Captain Jamie Frederick said a Canadian P-3 aircraft detected underwater noises, described as “banging” in the search area Tuesday night, which led to the relocation of the ROVs to try and explore the origin of the noises. On Wednesday, a P-3 also heard noises. Those aircraft are using sonar to scour the ocean for any signs of the missing vessel. Frederick told reporters all noises are being analyzed and the search is focused on the area where those noises were heard. 

The French Ifremer Institute’s underwater robot-equipped ship the Atlante was expected to arrive at the search site sometime Wednesday. The Victor 6000 underwater robot can reach depths of 20,000 feet and could be instrumental in helping to find the missing sub. 

The Coast Guard Air Station, Elizabeth City, the Air National Guard and the Canadian Armed Forces are aiding in the air search. 

Related:Drones, Robotic Rescue Ship Race to Locate Missing Vessel Near Titanic

Frederick told reporters Wednesday the search area for the missing sub has expanded and is now twice the size of Connecticut. He called the search and rescue operation “incredibly complex, requiring both surface and subsurface elements.” The search site is located 800 miles east of Cape Cod and 400 miles southeast of St John’s, a location he said makes it “exceptionally difficult to mobilize large amounts of equipment quickly.” 

“In spite of those challenges,” Frederick said, “we've been able to provide continuous air and surface search assets, as well as additional ROV (remote operated vehicle) capability search below surface.”

OceanGate Expeditions’ submersible, the Titan, went missing on Sunday an hour and 45 minutes into what officials say would have been a two-hour and 30-minute dive to the Titanic’s wreckage. At the time of its disappearance officials said those inside the deep diving vessel had 96 hours of oxygen remaining. 

Frederick says they will continue searching in the area where the noises were detected and put additional ROVs down in the last known position.

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Titanic

About the Author(s)

Liz Hughes

Editor, IoT World Today, IoT World Today

Liz Hughes is an award-winning digital media editor with more than two decades of experience in newspaper, magazine and online media industries. 

A proven digital media strategist and editor, Liz has produced content and offered editorial support and leadership for a variety of web publications, including Fast Company, NBC Boston, Street Fight, QuinStreet, WTWH Media, AOL/Patch Media and Design News.

A skilled social media strategist experienced in developing and maintaining an audience across multiple platforms and brands, Liz also enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise to help businesses small and large.

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