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USCG is Analyzing “Debris Field” ROV Found Near Titanic Wreck

submersible search Titanic
ROV operating from the Horizon Arctic located a debris field with the USCG reports is being evaluated (Pelagic Research Services)

Published Jun 22, 2023 12:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

The US Coast Guard representing the unified command for the search for the missing submersible reported that a debris field has been located and is currently being evaluated. They have scheduled an update for later in the day to discuss the finding as experts also highlight that the 96-hour window originally set has now passed.

Few details have been provided on the latest discovery, with the USCG scheduled a briefing for 3:00 pm Eastern time. What is known is that several additional ROVs were deployed yesterday and overnight as the teams rushed to find the submersible Titan which was last heard from Sunday morning one hour and 45 minutes into its first dive of 2023 to the site of the Titanic wreck.

The reports indicate that the debris that is being analyzed was discovered by the Horizon Arctic’s ROV on the sea floor near the Titanic. The vessel, which its owners Horizon Maritime describe as specially designed and equipped for advanced offshore support operations including in the North Atlantic, departed St. John’s on Wednesday, June 21 a little after a week after it arrived in the port from its other commercial assignments.

It was being referred to as a key asset in the search for the Titan because of the vessel’s capabilities. The vessel is equipped with a dual propulsion system that gives it excellent maneuverability and the ability to hold a position along with its ROV and heavy-duty cables that experts said could assist in freeing and bringing the submersible to the surface if it was caught underwater. Reports indicated that they had also loaded the U.S. Navy’s Flyaway Deep Ocean Salvage System, a motion-compensated lift system designed for deep ocean lifting. 

The French vessel L'Atalante also reached the location early on Thursday. It deployed their ROV which is also a very sophisticated craft that increased the capabilities of the search effort.

The USCG is reporting that weather conditions overall improved at the site with winds at 14 mph with gusts up to 19mph. The sea state is four-to-five-foot swells with an air temp of 50°f.

The discovery comes as the estimates for breathable air were expected to run out around 7:00 am this morning local time. It was pointed out that the five passengers could be making efforts to conserve the oxygen in the craft to extend the time. However, most experts said they believed the time was running down to find the missing submersible.

This is an unfolding story and will be updated after the US Coast Guard briefing. (See link for the details confirming the locating of the debris from the Titan.)