Rory Golden, the first Irish diver to visit the site of RMS TITANIC, is on board the ship that launched the submersible that was reported missing on Sunday, June 18 after it embarked to visit the site of the Titanic wreckage.

“I'm OK,” Dublin native Golden said in a social media post on Monday.

“We are all focused on board here for our friends.

"Please do not ask for their names, as this is most insensitive. Please do not speculate. I have seen some comments already on social media that are highly inappropriate and insensitive. 

“I really want to thank everyone who has been trying to Message and WhatsApp me. We have a situation that is now the part of a major Search and Rescue effort, being undertaken by major agencies. That is where our focus is right now.

“The reaction and offers of help globally is truly astonishing, and only goes to show the real goodness in people at a time like this. Our online and internet options are being restricted in order to keep bandwidth available for the co-ordinated effort that is taking place, so please bear that in mind too.

“Information and updates will be released as and when relevant," Golden said, adding, "Thank you all, and think positive. We are."

Earlier this year, Golden arranged a series of meetings and tours in Belfast, where the Titanic was built, for the OceanGate Expeditions team, which he had joined in 2021 as an onboard content expert. In 2022, he marked the 110th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic by visiting the former Marconi station at Derrigimlagh, near Clifden, Connemara.

On his first Titanic dive in 2000, Golden, who spotted and recovered the main ship’s wheel, left a memorial plaque from Cobh (Queenstown,) Cork, Titanic's last port of call, on the bridge of the ship. Returning in August 2005 for a second dive, the Irish diver left two memorial plaques from Belfast alongside the Cork one.

The Titan, a submersible operated by OceanGate Expeditions that was taking tourists to the site of the Titanic wreck around 12,500 feet underwater and roughly 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, was reported missing on Sunday morning, June 18. 

The US Coast Guard said on Monday that it is "searching for a 21-foot submersible from the Canadian research vessel Polar Prince.

"The 5 person crew submerged Sunday morning, and the crew of the Polar Prince lost contact with them approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes into the vessel’s dive."

Rear Adm John Mauger of the US Coast Guard told a news conference on Monday: "We anticipate there is somewhere between 70 and the full 96 hours available at this point."

OceanGate Expeditions said in a statement on Monday: “We are exploring and mobilizing all options to bring the crew back safely.

"Our entire focus is on the crewmembers in the submersible and their families.

“We are deeply thankful for the extensive assistance we have received from several government agencies and deep sea companies in our efforts to reestablish contact with the submersible.

"We are working toward the safe return of the crewmembers.”

— OceanGate Expeditions (@OceanGateExped) June 19, 2023

On Tuesday, the US Coast Guard said a Canadian Aircraft P3 Aurora had arrived on the scene to conduct sonar searches and that the R/V Polar Prince and R/V Deep Energy were continuing their surface searches.

The total search area completed as of Tuesday morning was 10,000 square miles.

A news briefing is scheduled for 1 pm EST on Tuesday, the US Coast Guard said.

OceanGate charges tourists $250,000 for a place on its eight-day expeditions to see the wreckage of the famous Belfast-built ocean liner, which sunk during its maiden voyage after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912. 

Five people are reportedly on board the missing submersible.

British billionaire Hamish Harding posted to social media on Sunday that he was taking part in the expedition.

According to the New York Times, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a French maritime expert who has been on over 35 dives to the Titanic wreck site, and British businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman, are also on board.