A Briton aboard a submarine that went missing on its way to view the wreckage of the Titanic wrote about weather conditions in an ominous social media post before embarking on the voyage.
Hamish Harding, chairman of private plane firm Action Aviation, is understood to be aboard the five-person OceanGate Expeditions vessel, which was reported overdue on Sunday evening about 435 miles south of St John’s, Newfoundland. A major search and rescue operation, being led by the US Coast Guard and involving military aircraft, is under way.
On social media at the weekend, Mr Harding said he was “proud to finally announce” he would be aboard the mission to the wreck of the Titanic, the luxury ocean liner which hit an iceberg and sank in 1912, killing more than 1,500 people. But Mr Harding added that due to the “worst winter in Newfoundland in 40 years, this mission is likely to be the first and only manned mission to the Titanic in 2023”.
READ MORE: Titanic sub expert says ‘pitch black’ conditions will hamper search
The adventurer uploaded a series of pictures to Instagram on Saturday as he announced he’d be joining the voyage as a “mission specialist” on the submersible headting to the Titanic.
The billionaire is pictured smiling as he sits in a chair behind a flag commemorating the voyage. Another image shows him adding his signature to others on the banner which reads “Titanic Expedition Mission V”.
The caption alongside the pictures continues: “A weather window has just opened up and we are going to attempt a dive tomorrow.
“We started steaming from St Johns, Newfoundland, Canada yesterday and are planning to start dive operations around 4am tomorrow morning. Until then we have a lot of preparations and briefings to do.”
Mr Harding has been confirmed as one of those on board the sumbersible, named Titan, with French Navy veteran PH Nargeolet and Stockton Rush, CEO of the the firm behind the OceanGate vehicle, also understood to be on the craft.
The explorer finishes his social media post, by saying: “The team on the sub has a couple of legendary explorers, some of which have done over 30 dives to the RMS Titanic since the 1980s including PH Nargeolet.
“More expedition updates to follow IF the weather holds!”