Titanic descendant says sub-expeditions aren’t just ‘sightseeing’ | UK News

Titanic descendant says underwater expeditions are more than just

Susie Millar, president of the Belfast Titanic Society, is trying to stay positive as time is running out to locate a missing sub during a dive to the wreck (Photo: Susie Millar/Getty)

A Titanic descendant says a community around the ship is “doing their best to stay positive” as time is running out for the submersible which went missing during a dive to the wreck.

Susie Millar, president of the Belfast Titanic Society, spoke as a huge operation took place to save the mini-submarine with five people on board after it lost contact during the trading voyage in the North Atlantic.

Susie, the great-granddaughter of Thomas Millar, the ship’s assistant deck engineer, also expressed her personal view that the expeditions are more than just tourist trips and have valuable scientific purposes.

The Titan ship, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, disappeared on Sunday with 96 hours of oxygen for emergency use on board.

Sharing her thoughts with Metro.co.uk, Susie said: “It’s virtually impossible to put into words. I can only feel deep sympathy for the families who are awaiting news from their loved ones and hoping for the best possible outcome. We in the Titanic community around the world are united in our support for those who attempt a rescue and want them to succeed.

“We are doing our best to stay positive.”

MORE: Follow the latest updates from the Titanic tourist submarine on our live blog.

Undated photo released by American Photo Archive of the OceanGate Expeditions submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the site of the Titanic wreck.  Rescue teams are continuing to search for the submersible tourist vessel that disappeared on a voyage to the wreck of the Titanic with British billionaire Hamish Harding among the five people on board.  Issue date: Tuesday June 20, 2023. PA Photo.  The five-person OceanGate Expeditions vessel reported a delay Sunday evening about 435 miles south of St John's, Newfoundland.  See PA story SEA Titanic.  Photo credit should read: American Photo Archive/Alamy/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This photo may only be used for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption.  Reuse of the image may require additional permission from the copyright holder.

The OceanGate Expeditions submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the site of the wreck of the Titanic (Photo: American Photo Archive/Alamy/PA Wire)

The massive search, led by the US Coast Guard, takes place and the Titan thinks it has about 40 hours of supplemental oxygen left.

British billionaire Hamish Harding is on board the ship with famous French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman. CEO and founder of OceanGate, Stockton Rush, would also be on board.

The Titan lost contact with its mothership – the Polar Prince – about an hour and 45 minutes after being submerged on Sunday morning.

Susie, 55, from Belfast, spoke about two of the appointees she knows from her work with the heritage community.

Descendant of Titanic crew member says subshipments aren't just

Susie Millar at the Titanic Memorial in Belfast, the city where the ship was built and launched (Photo: Susie Millar)

“Stockton Rush visited us here in Belfast earlier this year with his wife and was hosted by committee members from the Belfast Titanic Society,” she said.

“We have the greatest respect for him. Paul-Henri Nargeolet is a legend in the Titanic community and a very generous man in sharing his knowledge and experiences on the wreck.

Susie’s great-grandfather was among those who perished in the sinking of the RMS Titanic on April 15, 1912. He was 33 years old.

She told Metro.co.uk that her personal view of commercial shipwreck expeditions is that they are more than just tourist expeditions.

“My opinion has changed over the years,” Susie said.

“When I first became involved in the world of Titanic, thanks to my family connection to the wreck, I was against any expedition or salvage of artifacts.

Bow of the shipwrecked Titanic

The Titanic is considered a graveyard for those who perished and dives into the wreckage have divided opinion (Picture: Getty Images)

“As time has passed and we have seen the wreckage deteriorate, I am now of the opinion that we should try to salvage what we can so that future generations can learn from it and know the true history of the ship. Titanic.

“My wish is to have a piece of the Titanic’s hull brought back to Belfast.

“I do not consider these missions as tourist visits. They conduct valuable scientific research, imagery and mapping.

Another view of the Titan submersible shows the ship launching from a platform (Photo: Handout/OceanGate Expeditions/AFP via Getty Images)

Susie is also a board member of New York-based Friends of Titanic Lighthouse, which is working to restore a memorial to the maritime tragedy.

In a separate comment, the band said: “We hope for a speedy recovery for everyone on board the submersible.”

“Our thoughts and support are with our friends on the OceanGate Expeditions team. We join in prayer for their safe return.

The famous shipwreck is in a remote location at 3,800m depth and about 435 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada.

Currently, the international search and rescue effort, involving US and Canadian aircraft and ships, covers 7,600 miles.

Captain Jamie Frederick, of the First Coast Guard District, said the search was “complex” and “required multiple agencies”.

MORE: Race to save five – including a billionaire explorer and a Pakistani teenager – trapped in a lost Titanic tourist submarine

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