A former US Navy diver believes there is still cause for optimism as the search for the missing Titanic tourist submersible goes on.
A huge operation is underway on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean for the craft that lost communication with its mothership last Sunday (June 18), with the stricken five-man vessel thought to only have a few hours of oxygen supply left. It was calculated that the supply is due to run out around midday UK time but despite this, Captain Bobbie Scholley feels there is still a bit of hope left for the huge search and rescue team to cling on to.
She told the BBC Newsnight programme: “Everybody is focused on the 96-hour window for the life support that they’re giving to the crew, but that’s not a hard and fast number and I know that the search teams are not focused on that being a hard and fast number
“This will continue to be a rescue mission even past that number, if it has to go past that number, so that gives me hope also.”
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“I do believe there is still hope. We are still out there collecting the data, refining the search area and they are using those details to expand their dearth field and picking out high priority areas.”
When asked what she thought to the suggestion some people have been making that the submersible may have developed issues due to making so many trips down to the bottom of the ocean, Captain Scholley added: “I’m used to military-grade equipment – we have very stringent standards that are designed to be used over and over again.
“That’s the way you design systems that go into the deep ocean and I wouldn’t worry as the submersible would be designed in the same way.”
On the search mission itself, with plenty of manpower and technology being directed towards finding the stranded craft, she said: “I’m very encouraged.
“These resources and experts are working in a unified manner – even though the equipment may vary it’s all very equivalent.
“They are all professionals and I know they are focused on one mission, to bring the crew home and they will be determined to do that.”