An oil and gas pipelay vessel owned by TechnipFMC has arrived on location offshore Canada to help the search for a submarine that was descending to the Titanic shipwreck but which has not been heard from in days.
Contact was lost with OceanGate’s submersible Titan on Sunday on its descent to 13,000 feet to give its five fee-paying passengers a first-hand view of the infamous wreck site, some 700 kilometres from St John’s in Newfoundland & Labrador.
The US Coast Guard estimates the submersible had only four days of oxygen left as of Monday evening.
According to marine intelligence provider VesselsValue, TechnipFMC’s Deep Energy pipelay vessel is on location now.
TechnipFMC’s website said the 10-year old Deep Energy is one of the largest pipelay vessels ever built with the ability to install pipe in 3000 metres of water.
It is also equipped with remotely operated vehicles and has sundry cranes and winches.
A spokesperson for the US contractor confirmed the vessel “arrived on location this morning to aid in the underwater search and rescue efforts for OceanGate’s submersible Titan”.
Deep Energy was in the mid-Atlantic on route from Norway to the US Gulf of Mexico when on 19 June, according to VesselsValue data, it changed direction to head east some 240 kilometres to the Titanic wreck site.
Its transit speed of about 19 knots helped it cover this distance in about half-a-day.
The Titan search and rescue effort is being led by the US Coast Guard with support from the Canadian Coast Guard.
On Monday, OceanGate said: “We are exploring and mobilising all options to bring the crew back safely. We are deeply thankful for the extensive assistance we have received from several government agencies and deep sea companies in our efforts to re-establish contact with the submersible.”
* Article updated with extra information on Deep Energy.