A former navy psychologist has shared his knowledge on what he believes to be the likely scenario for those who are inside the lost Titanic sub.
It comes as the search for the missing Titanic submersible reached a critical point, with it being reported that it has run out of its ninety-six hours of breathable oxygen.
The sub, named Titan, was carrying 5 people down to the bottom of the ocean to see the Titanic’s shipwreck in real life, which is located 3,800m below sea level, and is 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. The trip is thought to have cost £195,000 per head.
It vanished on Sunday morning after losing contact with its mothership MV Polar Prince roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes into the vessel’s 2 hour descent.
On board the sub is Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, the company who own the vessel and conduct the tourist trips. Alongside him is the British billionaire Hamish Harding, British-based Pakistani millionaire Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Sulaiman. The fifth person on board is Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a French submersible pilot who is considered one of the world’s leading experts on the Titanic.
Since the underwater vessel lost contact on Sunday, the search effort has hugely ramped up after authorities estimated that they were quickly running out of oxygen.
As of Tuesday afternoon, a combination of US and Canadian forces and private vessels had searched a 7,600 square mile area, equating to the size of the US state of Connecticut.
However, an update yesterday gave authorities more hope, as the Canadian P-3 aircraft have detected “underwater noises in the search area.”
“As a result, ROV (remotely operated vehicle) operations were relocated in an attempt to explore the origin of the noises. Those ROV searches have yielded negative results but continue,” the coast guard tweeted.
It has additionally been reported that a second aircraft, a P-8, with underwater detection abilities detected “banging sounds.”
Chris Brown, a friend of Harding, said the reports of banging has “got them written all over it,” and that it was “just the sort of thing I would have expected Hamish to come up with.”
“If you made a continuous noise, that’s not going to get picked up, but doing it every 30 minutes, that suggests humans,” he said, per BBC News.
“I’m sure they’re all conserving oxygen and energy, because it’s cold and dark down there.”
Two of the people on board are members of the scientific society Explorers Club, who have shared a hopeful message in the wake of the news.
“There is cause for hope, that based on data from the field, we understand that likely signs of life have been detected at the site,” the president of the organisation shared.
Dr. Justin D’Arienzo, who served as a navy psychologist from 2003 to 2008, shared his thoughts on what had likely gone down inside the sub during the time it has been lost.
“There is sheer panic where their heart is racing and they’re having trouble breathing or feeling like they cannot catch a breath and/or they feel like they are going to lose their mind,” he told Fox News.
“And certainly in a cramped space that is dark like this situation that can be exponentially worse. I think they are moving in and out of phases of panic to gallows humour to fear to feeling really bonded with the other passengers that are with them.”
He added: “So there’s just lots of probably lots of significant mood swings but hopefully I would imagine that the submarine captain thats there that’s guiding them has a lot of experience doing this type of work and is trying to keep the crew calm and in the moment and light and really focusing on hope and trusting that the coast guard and other professionals will find them.
“I think it’s really important that they maintain hope and they stay calm in the situation.”
D’Arienzo continued: “Psychologically, what is the killer for people in terms of maintaining calmness is dealing with uncertainty whether it’s the people in the submarine or the families at home right and that’s why it’s really important to be able to surrender to that lack of uncertainty and just focus on what you have control of.
“And what those people have control of on that submarine is remaining calm and getting to know each other and trying but also trying not to talk too much so they’re not using up any oxygen and also not being excited or scared because again that is using up even more oxygen.”