Underwater noises heard in search for submersible near Titanic as warnings to OceanGate are revealed
"Our apprehension is that the current experimental approach adopted by Oceangate could result in negative outcomes (from minor to catastrophic)," industry experts warned in a letter.
Noises were detected Tuesday during the massive operation to recover the OceanGate submersible that went missing with five people near the Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean, as news emerges that the company received warnings over several years about potential problems with the mission.
The U.S. Coast Guard wrote on Twitter that a Canadian military surveillance "detected underwater noises in the search area" and that a robot was deployed to "explore the origin of the noises," but nothing was found.
The latest development comes after the New York Times reported Tuesday that OceanGate had heard concerns for years about its Titanic mission.
"Our apprehension is that the current experimental approach adopted by Oceangate could result in negative outcomes (from minor to catastrophic) that would have serious consequences for everyone in the industry," more than three dozen experts, including industry leaders and oceanographers, wrote in a 2018 letter to OceanGate.
OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush has defended the vessel, which is unregulated and not registered with a specific country.
"There hasn’t been an injury in the commercial sub industry in over 35 years," Rush said in a 2019 interview with Smithsonian magazine. "It’s obscenely safe because they have all these regulations. But it also hasn’t innovated or grown — because they have all these regulations."
Rush is in the missing submersible vessel.