Capt. Jamie Frederick

Press Remarks on Search and Rescue Operation Activity re OceanGate's Titan Submersible

delivered 20 June 2023, Boston, Massachusetts

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Good afternoon. I'm Captain Jamie Frederick with the First Coast Guard District Response Department, which oversees search and rescue operations under Rear Admiral John Mager, the first Coast Guard District commander.

I'll provide a brief recap of our coordinated search efforts for the 21-foot submersible with five people on board, along with providing an update on current search efforts and plans for the next 24 hours.

On behalf of all the men and women of the United States Coast Guard, and our search partners, we offer our most heartfelt thoughts and prayers for the five crew members, their families, and their loved ones.

Our crews are working around the clock to ensure that we are doing everything possible to locate the Titan and the five crew members.

Yesterday, we stood up a Unified Command consisting of expertise from the United States Coast Guard, the United States Navy, Canadian Armed Forces and Coast Guard, and the Titan's parent company, OceanGate Expedition[s].

This is a complex search effort which requires multiple agencies with subject matter expertise and specialized equipment. While the U.S. Coast Guard has assumed the role of search and rescue mission coordinator, we do not have all of the necessary expertise and equipment retired -- required in a search of this nature. The Unified Command brings that expertise and additional capability together to maximize effort in solving this very complex problem.

And we're out of order here. [Shuffles through note cards (with full recovery)]

As a recap, on Sunday the -- the coordination command center in Boston received a report from the Canadian expedition vessel, Polar Prince, of an overdue 21-foot submarine [submersible] Titan with five people on board. The Titan was attempting to dive on the wreck of the Titanic approximately 900 miles east of Cape Cod and 400 miles south of St. John's Newfoundland.

Approximately one hour and 45 minutes into the scheduled dive, the Polar Prince lost all communication with the Titan. The Polar Prince conducted an initial search and then requested Coast Guard assistance. The U.S. Coast Guard in Boston assumed the responsibility of search-and-rescue mission coordinator and immediately launched search assets.

Since Sunday, the Coast Guard has coordinated search efforts with the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard, Air National Guard aircraft, and the Polar Prince, which has searched a combined 7600 square miles, an area larger than the state of Connecticut. These search efforts have focused on both surface, with C-130 aircraft searching by sight and with radar, and subsurface -- with P-3 aircraft, we're able to drop and monitor sonar buoys.1

To date, those search efforts have not yielded any results.

Search efforts have continued through last night and today. Today, the vessel Deep Energy, 194-meter pipe-laying vessel arrived on scene with underwater ROV [Remotely Operated Vehicle] capability. They have rendezvoused with the vessel Polar Prince, and...commenced an ROV dive at the last known of the position of the Titan and the approximate position of the Titanic wreck.

That operation is currently ongoing.

Additionally, a Canadian P-3 [Aurora] aircraft is currently conducting a six-hour search of the area. And several C-130 aircraft and another P-3 are scheduled to fly this afternoon and this evening.

The Canadian Coast Guard cutter -- or vessel -- John Cabot is scheduled to arrive later this evening, and several other Canadian Coast Guard vessels and the Coast Guard cutter Sycamore are in route.

Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard has the U.S. Navy's SUPSALV, Supervisor of Salvage and Diving Command, is working with U.S. Transportation Command to bring additional assets to the search area. These more capable assets will be staged out of St. John's for further transport to the search area.

There are also several private vessels, research vessels [with] ROV capabilities that are making preparations to join the efforts.

So, I want to reiterate this is a very complex search. And the Unified team is working around the clock to bring all available assets and expertise to bear as quickly as possible in an effort to solve this very complex problem. We'll -- We'll continue to provide updates as they become available. And again, our thoughts and prayers are with the crew and the families and their loved ones.

We will provide unwavering effort as we continue the search.


1 "Sonobuoys are cylindrical canisters dropped by parachute from an aircraft. They contain a hydrophone (special microphone) tuned to the water and a radio transceiver to send the information back to the aircraft. When it hits the water, the sonobuoy immediately deploys the hydrophone to a preset depth and erects a small floating antenna for a simple on-board radio to transmit the signal back to the aircraft...Sonobuoys come in two basic varieties: active and passive. The passive sonobuoy is a fairly simple, inexpensive [whose] sole job is to gather all the acoustic energy in the water and convert it to a radio signal, which is transmitted back to a computer processor on the aircraft." [Source: https://navalpost.com/how-do-aircraft-detect-submarines/]

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