Crews searching for the Titan submersible, which went missing on Sunday while on a trip to view the wreckage of the Titanic, heard banging sounds every 30 minutes on Tuesday, according to an internal US government memo.
The memo, which was obtained by CNN, does not specify when or for how long the banging sounds were heard. It also does not say what caused the sounds, or whether they were coming from the Titan submersible.
The Coast Guard is leading the search for the Titan, which is carrying five people. The submersible has about 40 hours of breathable air left, according to the Coast Guard.
The banging sounds have raised hopes that the Titan submersible may still be operational, but officials have cautioned that it is too early to say for sure.
“We’re still trying to determine what those sounds are,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Haney. “We’re hopeful that they’re coming from the submersible, but we can’t say for sure.”
The Titan submersible is equipped with a variety of sensors that could be making the banging sounds. However, it is also possible that the sounds are coming from something else, such as a marine animal or a piece of debris.
The Coast Guard is continuing to search for the Titan submersible using a variety of assets, including ships, aircraft, and underwater robots.
“We’re not giving up hope,” said Haney. “We’re going to continue to search until we find the submersible and its crew.”
The banging sounds have provided a glimmer of hope in the search for the Titan submersible, but officials are still cautious about their interpretation. Until the submersible is found, it is impossible to say for sure whether the sounds are coming from the Titan or something else.