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Tourists Go Missing During Titanic Visit in Submersible

Titanic wreck
submersible used to take tourists to view the wreckage of the Titanic has gone missing in the Atlantic. Credit: NOAA/IFE/URI / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

A group of tourists visiting the wreck of the Titanic in a submersible has reportedly gone missing in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Boston Coastguard is currently trying to locate the missing submersible. It is not certain how many passengers – if any – were onboard the vessel when it went missing.

Submersible vehicles will occasionally take tourists underwater to visit the wreckage of the famous Titanic. The supposedly “unsinkable” Titanic infamously sank in 1912 leading to the deaths of more than 1,500 people. The 1997 film starring Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet brought the maritime disaster to the forefront of popular culture and imagination.

Tourists go missing visiting the Titanic

On Monday, the Boston Coastguard informed the BBC that a submersible used to take tourists to the submerged wreckage of the Titanic had gone missing and that an operation is currently in progress to locate the missing vessel.

Using the MarineTraffic website, Sky News was able to locate Polar Prince about 700 meters away from the wreckage of the Titanic. The Polar Prince is a tugboat used to transport submersibles.

Unlike submarines, a submersible requires that a mothership be nearby in the water to launch and recover it. Submarines can operate independently without the assistance of a vessel on the surface.

Tourists can pay for an experience whereby they will be taken in a submersible to view the wreckage of the Titanic which is approximately 12,500 feet underwater in the Atlantic Ocean.

OceanGate Expeditions is one of the companies that provide deep-sea expedition experiences in the Atlantic, including trips to see the Titanic. It has not commented on the reported disappearance, although it did post on social media this morning that an expedition was “underway” according to the BBC.

The wreck of the Titanic is located about 400 miles away from Newfoundland in Canada and was discovered 37 years ago.

History’s most famous shipwreck

On April 15, 1912, the Titanic, the largest British passenger liner ever constructed, sank in the North Atlantic Ocean after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City.

Of the estimated 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 died, making it one of modern history’s deadliest commercial marine disasters during peacetime.

One hundred and twenty-one victims of the RMS Titanic sinking are interred at Fairview in Halifax, Nova Scotia— representing more Titanic victims than any other cemetery in the entire world.

Most of them are memorialized there with small gray granite markers with the name and date of death.

However, the occupants of one-third of the graves have sadly never been identified, and their granite markers contain just the date of death and marker number.

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