A tourist submersible operated by OceanGate Expeditions to view the wreck of the Titanic has gone missing in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The submersible, which can carry up to five people, was reported missing after it was overdue on Sunday evening, June 18, according to Chief Mi'sel Joe, head of the Mi'kmaq band that owns the Polar Prince, the ship from which it had launched.
“We are exploring and mobilizing all options to bring the crew back safely," OceanGate said in a statement on Monday.
"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.”
The Canadian Coast Guard told CBC News on Monday morning the search falls under the jurisdiction of the Boston Coast Guard.
Lt. Jordan Hart of the US Coast Guard in Boston told CBS News that personnel were "currently undergoing a search and rescue operation."
Rescue Coordination Center Halifax is assisting with a P8 Poseidon aircraft in the search. The P8 has underwater detection capabilities.— USCGNortheast (@USCGNortheast) June 19, 2023
Operated by OceanGate Expeditions, the submersible was taking tourists to the site of the Titanic wreck, located around 12,500 feet underwater and roughly 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
It's been an incredibly busy two weeks! Thank you to all of our dive teams who've joined us - here's a look at our Mission 3 and Mission 4 crew.June 15, 2023
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 after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean on April 15, 1912.
Its submersibles can accommodate five people, including the pilot, three paying guests, and a "content expert."
British billionaire Hamish Harding posted to social media on Sunday that he was taking part in the expedition.
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OceanGate's website said the company was planning an eight-day, seven-night expedition to the wreckage between June 12-20, which was scheduled to depart from and return to St. John's in Newfoundland.
A dive to the wreckage, including ascent and descent, takes up to eight hours, the company said on its website.
The Titanic wreckage has been extensively explored since it was first discovered in 1985.
More than 1,500 passengers and crew members perished in the disaster, with just over 700 people surviving.
In may, the first-ever digital scan of the Titanic wreckage was created using deep-sea mapping.