A tourist submersible vessel used to observe the wreckage of Titanic has gone missing, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed.
The company that organizes the dives, Oceangate Expeditions, told the New York Times it is working to locate the people inside the submersible. It remains unclear how many people were inside the vehicle and if they were only crew members, but the company’s website said the vessel can fit five people.
“Our entire focus is on the crew members in the submersible and their families,” Oceangate’s statement read. “We are deeply thankful for the extensive assistance we have received from several government agencies and deep sea companies in our efforts to reestablish contact with the submersible.”
Tourists can pay $250,000 to travel to the seabed and get a glimpse of the Titanic wreckage located two miles beneath the surface, according to Oceangate’s website archive.
After the ship sank on April 15, 1912, the wreckage wasn’t found until 1985. Visits to the site have been controversial over concerns that expeditions could accelerate deterioration of the wreckage.
Tourists who book a trip are offered an eight-day itinerary which includes a voyage from Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, to the site about 380 miles southeast of the departure point, according to Oceangate’s website.
Passengers are given a safety briefing and an orientation of the vessel before the dive, but tourists are not required to have diving certification, the company’s website states.