OceanGate, a company that takes tourists to explore the wreck of the Titanic, confirmed that there are five crew members on the submarine that disappeared in the Atlantic.
The company, which can charge tourists up to $250,000 for a seven-day excursion to the Titanic wreck site, said in a statement that it was “exploring and mobilizing all options” to bring the crew back safely.
The statement said: “Our full focus is on the underwater crew members and their families.”
They added that “numerous government agencies and deep-sea companies” are providing “extensive assistance” in finding the submarine.
“We are working for the safe return of crew members,” the company said.
OceanGate’s website advertises the trips as “a chance to step outside the ordinary and discover something truly special.”
The submarine has five seats, including a pilot and a “content specialist” and three paying customers.
It is said to take about eight hours to dive down to the wreck and back. The Boston Coast Guard confirmed to the BBC earlier today that the submarine was the target of a search and rescue mission.
Massachusetts lifeguards are leading a search and rescue operation for the missing submarine, although the voyage left Canada.
The wreck itself is located on a relatively small area of the seabed, about 600 kilometers – about 370 miles – off the coast of Newfoundland.
The ship sits on the seabed at a depth of approximately 12,500 feet (3,800 meters), meaning it is difficult to access even with incredibly sophisticated submarines.
The Titanic sank to the bottom of the ocean after colliding with an iceberg in April 1912, killing approximately 1,500 of the approximately 2,200 passengers in the cold waters of the North Atlantic.
Interest in the wreck has rarely waned since then, and researchers discovered the wreck in 1985.
In the 1990s, interest in the RMS Titanic was revived when filmmaker and deep-sea explorer James Cameron turned the ship into a hit movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
OceanGate recently thanked Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite company for connecting its research vessel to the submarine.
The company tweeted: “Despite being in the middle of the North Atlantic, we have the internet connection we need to make our Titanic dive operations a success – thanks to Starlink.”
There is currently no detailed information about the missing submarine.