A Mexican man who undertook a deep-sea voyage on the same submersible now missing on a Titanic mission recounted an incident during his journey last year where the vessel’s battery abruptly ran out, compelling an early return, Your Content has learned.
Alan Estrada, an actor and popular YouTuber, had invested $125,000 to secure a unique opportunity to explore the renowned Titanic wreckage aboard OceanGate’s Titan submersible in July of last year.
However, in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Estrada explained that the journey was truncated by approximately four hours when the submersible’s battery levels surprisingly dipped below 40 percent, necessitating an urgent return to the surface. During their underwater expedition, the vessel also suffered a communications outage lasting two hours, Estrada revealed.
In an interview with The Daily Mail, Estrada confessed his main fear was losing his life. “All the people who made this expedition… we are aware of the risks we are taking. It’s not a surprise,” he stated.
On Sunday, the Titan and its crew of five disappeared after a communication breakdown with the surface around one hour and 45 minutes into their eight-hour descent to the seafloor off Newfoundland, Canada. With the submersible yet to be located and oxygen supplies projected to deplete by Thursday morning, search and rescue teams are working frantically.
Estrada informed The Daily Mail that his trip, sponsored-funded, was originally planned for July 2021 but was delayed by a year for reasons unspecified. The trip’s cost has since escalated to $250,000.
Estrada acknowledged that everyone aboard understood the potential risks involved. “Because it is an experimental submersible, many things can happen, and we were aware that not only something could happen that could put your life at risk,” Estrada added, “But the dive probably could not be done successfully if the weather was not in your favor.”
Despite the premature end to Estrada’s expedition, he was still able to visit the Titanic wreckage and even captured a spectacular photo next to the submersible’s window, showcasing the iconic bow of the sunken ship outside.
A Race Against Time: Oxygen Supply for Missing Titanic Submersible Nearing Depletion
The U.S. Coast Guard anticipates that the missing Titanic submersible, with five individuals on board, will exhaust its supply of breathable air by 7:08 a.m. eastern standard time. The underwater vessel, under the operation of OceanGate Expeditions, mysteriously disappeared on Sunday morning near Newfoundland, and was stated on Monday to have a 96-hour supply of emergency oxygen.
Jules Jaffe, a research oceanographer at the University of California, San Diego, who was part of the 1985 team that discovered the Titanic wreckage, suggested to NBC News that the crew might be making desperate attempts to conserve the dwindling air. “They could be conserving oxygen by reducing their metabolic effort and laying very still if they anticipated running out of air.”
Meanwhile, efforts to rescue the crew continue relentlessly, undeterred by the impending depletion of oxygen. The French government has contributed its Victor 6000, a robot capable of diving 20,000 feet below sea level. This unmanned robot, equipped with a mechanical arm, could potentially haul the Titan back to the surface. It was deployed around 6 p.m. Wednesday, with only 13 hours remaining to locate the missing vessel, as reported by NBC News.
The Titan, which can accommodate five passengers, embarked on its journey around 8 a.m. and lost communication with the OceanGate team an hour and 45 minutes into the expedition. Among the crew were OceanGate’s founder and CEO, Stockton Rush, British billionaire, French Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, and Pakistani tech and energy mogul Shanzada Dawood along with his 19-year-old son, Sulaiman.
Crazy Twist: Wife of Titanic Submersible Pilot Related to Real-Life Titanic Passengers Who Inspired Dramatic Scene in the Movie
The spouse of OceanGate CEO, Stockton Rush, who was piloting the submersible headed to the Titanic when it disappeared on Sunday, is reportedly a descendant of two affluent passengers who tragically perished in the 1912 Titanic disaster.
As per documents procured by the New York Times, Wendy Rush is the great-great-granddaughter of Isador Straus, a co-founder of the renowned Macy’s department store, and Ida Straus. The Straus couple were among the most affluent passengers on the doomed transatlantic journey of the Titanic.
The Straus couple is famously commemorated for their poignant display of devotion during the catastrophic sinking of the ocean liner in the North Atlantic following its collision with an iceberg, a tragedy that resulted in over 1,500 fatalities.
Eyewitness accounts from survivors reveal Ida Straus declining a place on a lifeboat, despite the crew’s efforts to prioritize women and children for evacuation.
According to the Times, she chose to stay on the sinking ship alongside her husband, with whom she had shared more than four decades of marital life.
Eyewitnesses recall seeing the Straus couple, standing side by side on the Titanic’s deck, as the vessel was engulfed by the frigid ocean.
Their poignant love story was artistically represented in James Cameron’s 1997 blockbuster movie “Titanic.” The film includes a heart-rending scene featuring an aged couple tightly embracing each other in bed while waters surged around them, as stated by the Times.
Wendy Rush traces her lineage back to Minnie Strauss, one of the daughters of the Straus couple. Minnie married Dr. Richard Weil in 1905, and their son, Richard Weil Jr., later held the position of president of Macy’s New York, the newspaper revealed.
Dr. Richard Weil III, son of Richard Weil Jr., is the father of Wendy Rush, as confirmed by Joan Adler, the executive director of the Straus Historical Society, in an interview with the newspaper.
In the weeks following the Titanic’s sinking, Isador’s body was discovered at sea. However, his wife’s body remains missing to this day.
Wendy and Stockton Rush tied the knot in 1986, as per a wedding announcement published in the New York Times during that time.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Wendy Rush serves as the communications director for OceanGate. It also reveals that she has made three journeys to the Titanic wreckage over the previous three years.
Furthermore, her LinkedIn details indicate a longstanding position as a board member of the company’s associated charitable foundation.
Launching the Multi-National Search for Titanic Submersible
The OceanGate submersible, known as Titan, was part of a planned eight-day expedition to the site of the Titanic wreck. The vessel embarked from its support ship, the Polar Prince, on Sunday morning with the objective of conducting a two-hour descent to the famous wreckage.
The alarm was raised when the Titan, launched from the Canadian Research Vessel Polar Prince, didn’t return from its Titanic dive, some 900 nautical miles east of Cape Cod.
“The submersible was launched at 8 a.m. EDT and expected to resurface at 3 p.m., but one hour and 45 minutes into their dive, they lost contact with the Polar Prince,” the Coast Guard’s press release reads.
The Polar Prince had departed from St. John’s, Newfoundland on Friday, June 16, and arrived at the dive site the following day. The descent started at 9 a.m. Atlantic Daylight Time on Sunday, June 18.
The last communication between the vessel and the surface staff of OceanGate was recorded at 11:47 a.m. that same day.
The passengers on the Titan submersible included Stockton Rush, CEO and founder of OceanGate, British businessman Hamish Harding, Pakistani billionaire Shahzada Dawood, his son Sulaiman Dawood, and French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
The Titanic wreck site, situated approximately 12,500 feet below sea level, is almost 10 times the height of the Empire State Building, presenting significant challenges to search and rescue operations.
Search Crews Milestone Moment: Banging Sounds
Tension skyrockets in the desperate race against time to locate the missing submersible, “Titan,” as the 96-hour life support window fast approaches. Vanished since Sunday, Thursday morning looms as a critical milestone in the quest to locate the vessel and its crew.
In an urgent twist, the US Coast Guard redirected assets to investigate mysterious banging sounds picked up during aerial searches on Tuesday and Wednesday. The sounds emerged from the remote expanses of the North Atlantic, but their investigation so far has proven fruitless. Officials announced on Wednesday that the sonar data collected by Canadian P-3 aircraft is currently under examination by the US Navy.
3 Things to Know About the Missing Titanic Submersible
Unraveling the Mystery: OceanGate Expeditions was operating the Titan on its two-hour descent to the sunken Titanic when communications were abruptly severed. The craft vanished from the radar of its support vessel, the Polar Prince, a concerning 1 hour and 45 minutes into its journey downwards. The reasons behind the sudden loss of contact and the Titan’s proximity to the Titanic at that time remain enigmatic. Search operations were promptly initiated on the same day.
The Role of the Polar Prince: The operator confirmed on Wednesday that the support vessel which transported the Titan to the dive site will remain at sea until the search concludes. Horizon Maritime Services underscored the “time-sensitive” nature of this mission and pledged their support to the Coast Guard. The Polar Prince houses a crew of 17, headed by Sean Leet, co-founder and chairman of the company.
A Glimmer of Hope: If the Titan is located in the vast ocean depths, an intricate recovery mission lies ahead. The US Navy has dispatched a specialized salvage system, the Flyaway Deep Ocean Salvage System (FADOSS), to St. John’s, Newfoundland. This system can retrieve objects from staggering depths of up to 20,000 feet. However, the salvage system must first be welded to a ship, an operation which could consume an entire day, Navy officials disclosed.
Time is of the Essence: Polar Prince Owner Stresses Urgency in Submersible Search
In the search for the missing submersible, representatives from Horizon Maritime Services, owners of the Polar Prince, have emphasized the critical time sensitivity of the ongoing operation.
The Polar Prince is the support vessel that was responsible for transporting OceanGate’s Titan submersible to the location of the Titanic wreckage. Now, it plays a vital role in the search and rescue mission for the missing submersible.
Sean Leet, the co-founder and chairman of Horizon Maritime Services, has confirmed that additional resources have been deployed to assist with the search on Thursday morning. “We are very aware of the time sensitivity around this mission,” Leet stated, highlighting the importance of finding the submersible as quickly as possible.
Leet also took a moment to acknowledge the emotional toll this situation must be taking on those on board the submersible and their families who await news.
“The marine industry in this region is no stranger to responding to difficult incidents,” Leet said. “We work together to ensure every possible effort is put to bringing people home. The people on board the Titan and their families are our focus. We care deeply about their well-being. All of us here in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, the United States and around the world are unified in this work.”
Missing Submersible Search Area Swells to Twice the Size of Connecticut, Coast Guard Reveals
The magnitude of the search for the missing submersible has been compared to a geographic area “two times the size of Connecticut,” according to the Coast Guard. Capt. Jamie Frederick, the response coordinator for the First Coast Guard District, revealed on Wednesday that the surface search area spans a tremendous breadth and extends up to two-and-a-half miles deep.
Capt. Frederick shared that the search area has “exponentially” increased and continues to expand “every hour.” He also highlighted the challenges faced by the searchers as they grapple with “ever-changing weather conditions” in their relentless pursuit.