The company maintains that it runs an “extremely safe operation”, while time is thought to be running out for the missing vehicle and its oxygen supply. The vessel lost communication with tour operators on Sunday while about 435 miles south of St John’s, Newfoundland, during a voyage to the Titanic shipwreck.
But what was the submersible doing and how does the expedition work?
What is the purpose of the OceanGate expedition?
OceanGate’s Titanic expedition is billed as a way to “become an underwater explorer” on the company’s website.
While those embarking on the expedition are primarily tourists, every dive also has a scientific objective.
The expedition begins on the Atlantic coast of Canada and lasts eight days. It includes a visit to the wreck of the Titanic 380 miles offshore and 3,800 metres below the surface.
Research projects involve looking into topics like marine archaeology and the rate of the Titanic’s decay and deep ocean marine biology.
How many people can the submersible hold?
The submersible can accommodate five people, with a range of topical experts joining paying participants on the expedition. While you don’t need any prior diving experience, there is a safety briefing for everyone joining.
The website says participants can choose how involved they want to be, with tasks like assisting with navigation or opening the hatch available to those onboard.
How much does the OceanGate expedition cost?
The total cost of the Titanic expedition is $250,000 (£195,650). This includes:
- One submersible dive
- Private accommodation
- All required training
- Expedition gear
- All meals while on board
However, it does not include airfare and travel expenses, hotels, meals before departure or personal insurance.
How long does the OceanGate expedition last?
The expedition lasts eight days, with two future missions planned for 2024 between June 12 and 20 and June 21 and 29. However, it is unclear if they will go ahead.
Register for free to continue reading
Sign up for exclusive newsletters, comment on stories, enter competitions and attend events.