A Canadian aircraft deployed to assist with rescue efforts for the missing Titanic tourist submersible picked up “underwater noises” in the vessel’s search area, according to the Coast Guard (USCG).
“Canadian P-3 aircraft detected underwater noises in the search area,” the USCG in the Northeast region announced on Twitter early Wednesday morning.
The Coast Guard said the detection of the underwater sounds in the designated search area prompted investigators to deploy remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to relocate and investigate the origin of the unusual noises.
Though the search efforts “yielded negative results,” the USCG said the operation continues.
The branch stated that data has been shared with experts in the U.S. Navy for “further analysis” that will be considered in future search plans.
As of Tuesday morning, over 10,000 square miles had been searched in efforts to find the 21-foot submersible, the Coast Guard reported, but the vessel has not been detected since it disappeared on Sunday.
The sub, which is carrying five people, was in the process of diving approximately 12,500 feet underwater to view the Titanic’s wreckage site.
First Coast Guard District Response Coordinator Capt. Jamie Frederick said multiple agencies with expertise and special equipment are participating in the “complex” search effort.
“While the Coast Guard has assumed the role of Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator, we do not have all of the necessary expertise and equipment required in a search of this nature,” Frederick said. “The Unified Command brings that expertise and additional capability together to maximize effort in solving this complex problem.”
Earlier on Tuesday after a press briefing, Chief Petty Officer Robert Simpson declined reports of an alleged tapping or banging noise coming from the vessel, adding that crews have not heard “any sounds from the sub.”
The submersible, which was only equipped with a 96-hour oxygen supply, began its dive at 8 a.m. on Sunday and was expected to resurface at 3 p.m. The Coast Guard said it received a report at 5:40 p.m. from Canadian research vessel Polar Prince alerting that the sub was overdue for its return.
The Polar Prince also reported that it lost contact with the sub approximately one hour and 45 minutes into its dive.