Titanic sub rescue ships to double in next 24 hours

According to some experts, the rescue team has until 11am BST on Thursday morning to find the submersible which went missing on Sunday.

In their latest update, the US Coast Guard said they are continuing to hear noises from the ocean as more ships and aircraft enter the search area.

They added that the search area is now approximately double the size of the US state of Connecticut as teams from around the world scramble to find the Titan.

The French have recently joined their search with ROVs and an expert from the Royal Navy has joined the team searching for the missing sub.

During Wednesday’s press conference, the US Coast Guard said they could not yet confirm whether the banging noises they had heard through a surveillance plane were the crew of the missing sub.

They added that the sounds, which were first detected on Tuesday, have continued into today.

Captain Jamie Frederick told reporters: “With respect to the noises specifically, we don’t know what they are, to be frank.

“The good news is we’re searching in the area where the noises were detected and will continue to do so.”

He added: “We hope that when we’re able to get additional ROVs, which should be there in the morning, the intent will be to continue to search in those areas where the noise was detected.”

The fear is that after the theoretical oxygen supply of the vessel runs out, the operation will become a recovery rather than a search and rescue mission.

While the sub has a theoretical 96-hour oxygen supply, there are things the crew on board the vessel can do to extend this.

Experts have said they should nap to conserve their air whilst others have suggested more extreme options.

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A friend of one of the missing crew members suggested they could take drugs to preserve their air supply.

Colonel Terry Virts, who is friends with Hamish Harding, 58, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “(Staying calm), it’s the hardest thing to do. What someone had mentioned to me is that one of the protocols would be for the crew to take basically sleeping medicine, Benadryl, and just knock yourself out.

“That slows your heart rate, it reduces oxygen consumption, and then the captain would stay awake and he’d be the guy banging on the walls.

“I’m not sure if that’s what they’re doing but whatever you can do to stay calm would be very important because it not only helps you stay calm and make smart decisions, which is not easy in a situation like this, but it also allows you to breathe less oxygen which is a key thing, that is the limiting factor as I understand it.”

Colonel Virts added: “That’s what’s determining how many hours of life they have left, is their oxygen consumption.

“What I’ve been saying is the really good news is that we have not had bad news. They lost comms, that’s bad news, but we haven’t heard a crushing noise of the hull being crushed on exploding.

“If they really are hearing banging sounds, that means the crew’s alive and conscious and trying to be rescued which is just spectacular news.

“Just because they’re alive and they still need to find them that’s not easy and when they find them they need to figure out why they’re stuck and can’t go up, and when they figure out that they need to get them out and unstuck. There’s a lot of questions that still need to be answered.”

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