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Titanic sub rescuers hear more noises raising hopes explorers can still be saved

Rescuers searching for the missing Titanic submersible have heard banging noises again today, raising hopes those trapped onboard could still be saved. But in an update on the search for the missing deep-sea craft, Captain Jamie Frederick of the US Coast Guard told a press conference in Boston search teams “don’t know what they are”.

 

Captain Frederick said: “It was my understanding that the P3 had heard some noises today as well.”

Carl Hartsfield, from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, told reporters: “The ocean is a very complex place, obviously human sounds, nature sounds, and it’s very difficult to discern what the sources of those noises are at times, but I can tell you that this team has multiple sensors that are in the area.

“They’re sending data back expeditiously to the best people in the world to analyse that data and they’re feeding the results of the analysis back to the unified team and they’re making decisions.

“There have been multiple reports of noises and every one of those noises is being analysed, tracked, looked for patterns and reported upon.”

Mr Hartsfield added the noises have been described as “banging noises”.

The exact location and source of the sounds has not yet been determined, but they have allowed searchers to focus on a more narrowly defined area.

The full scope of the search is now twice the size of the US state of Connecticut and 2.5 miles deep, according to Captain Frederick of the First Coast Guard District.

Connecticut is around 5,000 square miles.

On the noises heard from the area where the Titan vessel has gone missing, Captain Frederick said a Canadian P3 detected underwater noises in the search area on Tuesday.

He added: “As a result ROV (remotely operated vehicle) operations were relocated in an attempt to explore the origin of the noises. Although the ROV searches have wielded negative results, they continue.

READ MORE: Titanic search team in the dark over mystery ‘banging’

“Additionally, the data from the P3 aircraft has been shared with our US Navy experts for further analysis which will be considered in future search plans.

“The surface search is now approximately two times the size of Connecticut, and the sub-surface search is up to 2.5 miles deep, exponentially expanding the size of the search area.”

He expressed some hope during the press conference, telling reporters: “This is a search and rescue mission, 100 percent. When you’re in the middle of a search and rescue case, you always have hope.”

Captain Frederick added: “With the respect to the noises specifically, we don’t know what they are, to be frank with you, they’re P3 detected noises, that’s why they’re up there, that’s why they’re doing what they’re doing, that’s why they put sonar buoys in the water.

“What I can tell you is, we’re searching in the area where the noises were detected, and we’ll continue to do so and we hope that when we’re able to get additional ROVs which will be there in the morning, the intent will be to continue to search in those areas where the noises were detected, and if they’re continuing to be detected, and then put additional ROVs down on the last known position where the search was originally taking place.”

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The Titan lost communication with tour operators on Sunday while about 435 miles south of St John’s, Newfoundland, during a voyage to the Titanic shipwreck off the coast of Canada.

There are five people on board, including British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding. Also in the undersea craft are UK-based businessman Shahzada Dawood, his son Suleman Dawood, and OceanGate’s chief executive and founder Stockton Rush, reportedly with French submersible pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

The 6.7m (22ft) long OceanGate Expeditions vessel may have less than 20 hours of oxygen left.

On oxygen levels on board, Captain Frederick said: “Oxygen is just one piece of data. There are lots of pieces of data that we need to study. But (oxygen) is not the only thing that’s important.”

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