Missing Titanic Submarine Regularly Used for Filmmaking and Photography

Missing Titan Submarine

A submarine missing in the North Atlantic is regularly used for filmmaking and photography missions that explore the wreck of the Titanic.

An international search is underway for the Titan submersible which lost contact with its main vessel the Polar Prince on Sunday morning shortly after setting off to explore the Titanic wreck.

There are five people onboard and the submarine only has a 40 hours of oxygen left onboard as of Tuesday.

It is unclear what has happened, both the U.S. and Canadian authorities are searching the ocean’s surface as well as attempting to search a depth of almost 4,000 meters. If the worst has happened and the sub has gone down to the seabed and can’t get back up with its own power there are “limited options” to what rescuers can do.

Titan submersible descending
The Titan commencing a descent to 4,000 meters.
Inside the Titan sub
Titan has capacity for five people.

What is the Titan Submarine Used For?

Last year, PetaPixel reported on filmmakers onboard Titan capturing the first and only 8K footage of the Titanic wreckage.

“Capturing this 8K footage will allow us to zoom in and still have 4K quality which is key for large screen and immersive video projects. Even more remarkable are the phenomenal colors in this footage,” Stockton Rush, President of OceanGate Expeditions said at the time. Rush is reported to be one of the five crew members currently missing on Titan.

Filmmakers and photographers point their cameras through Titan’s viewport which Oceangate says is the largest such viewing window of any deep diving sub.

Titan's viewport
Looking through Titan’s viewport out into the ocean.

Apart from capturing footage of the famous Titanic shipwreck which has fascinated humans for over 100 years, Titan also offers researchers and scientists to witness things “no-one has ever seen before.”

“I think my favorite part overall is just being in a submersible underwater. You’re able to see things at a depth that you never would be able to with our human bodies,” says mission specialist Chelsea Kellogg.

Titan's viewport
Titan has the largest viewport of any deep diving submersible 21 inches (53 centimeters) in diameter.

Titan's viewport

Titan is made from carbon fiber and titanium. It is designed to dive to a depth of approximately 13,123 feet (4,000 meters) and is operated via a Playstation 3 controller.

“If you know how to play a video game you can drive one of our subs,” adds Kenny Hauge, a Titan pilot.

Image credits: All photos courtesy of OceanGate

Update 20/6: This article has been amended after the U.S. coast guard stated that the sub only has 40 hours of breathable air left.