Titanic: Why it's so difficult to find the missing submersible Titan in the ocean with 5 people on board.

 Finding a small submersible in the vast and icy ocean surrounding the remote Canadian coast of Newfoundland is a herculean task. Additionally, the oxygen supply of the crew is close to running out, so rescue teams are working against the clock.

The operation to locate the missing commercial submarine with 5 people who were visiting the remains of the Titanic is especially challenging, although in the last few hours "sounds of banging" in the search area have returned hope of finding them alive.

It is estimated that the five people on board have about 40 hours of air left to breathe. The submersible has tanks capable of supplying oxygen for up to 96 hours to its five occupants, but three days have already passed since it was lost.

The crew of the Titan ship, belonging to the OceanGate company, lost contact with the base 1 hour and 45 minutes after submerging in the sea, according to the US Coast Guard.

Alistair Greig, a marine engineering professor at University College London, explains why the search is so complicated.

"Communication through water is always very difficult. Once communication is lost, it is very difficult to locate where it is. One of the big problems of the operation is that they don't know whether to look on the surface of the Atlantic or on the sea floor. It could be in either place."

For the expert, it is unlikely that the OceanGate experimental submarine is in the middle. He believes that it is either floating or sunk completely.

Unpredictable movement

Jamie Pringle, a researcher at Keele University, points out that another difficulty is that the ship may be moving unpredictably at the moment.

The submersible disappeared in the ocean approximately 1,500 kilometers from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where the depth is approximately 4,000 meters.

"If it is on the surface of the ocean, it will be very difficult to detect because, as a submersible, it is designed to have neutral buoyancy. That is, most of the ship floats underwater with only a small amount of surface visible," says Greig.

The submersible, made of carbon fiber and titanium, is "the size of a large van and is painted white."

"Trying to find something like this from the air, particularly if they have run out of power and can't send signals, will be a real challenge," he adds.

Trapped inside

Another additional complication is that the crew cannot get out on their own.

The ship cannot be opened from the inside; only the specialized team from the outside can open it.

That is why, in the hypothetical case that the ship has been able to surface, the passengers could not get out without external help.

"If it is at the bottom of the sea, it will not be so much about finding them, but listening to them because what is used to locate them is a sonar and, hopefully, the crew will make some noise in the hull, which can be detected," says the marine engineering professor.

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