Titanic sub rescue: US plane arrives in Jersey to collect vital equipment for rescue mission

  • Richard Parkinson, who leads the team of underwater researchers assisting with the rescue, spoke to ITV News reporter Alex Spiceley.

A US Air Force plane that will take vital equipment to aid the Titanic submarine rescue mission has landed in Jersey.

The USAF C17 arrived at Jersey Airport at around 5:20am on Thursday 22 June and was loaded with specialised tools offered by Guernsey-based underwater research firm, Magellan.

Tools include a lifting device with a 7,000m synthetic rope, designed for deep water operations and a remote-operated vehicle (ROV) named Juliet.

They have the capacity to raise items to the surface and can reach depths of up to 6,000 metres (the Titanic wreckage is 3,800 metres down).

The military aircraft is due to fly the specialist rescue gear from the Channel Island to St John's in the Canadian province of Newfoundland.

The equipment was previously stuck in Jersey due to an issue importing the rescue gear into the USA.

The submersible craft, named the Titan, disappeared off the coast of Canada on Sunday with limited oxygen on board.

Five people have been confirmed to be on board the vessel, including Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Sulaiman Dawood, and British billionaire Hamish Harding.

The equipment was previously held on a lorry at New North Quay in St Helier, Jersey. Credit: Magellan

The US plane will also transport a workshop where the Magellan team will operate the tools, including cyber chairs and screens.

The entire Launch and Recovery System (LARS) weighs 28 tonnes and includes a power distribution unit.

Ten members of Magellan's team will travel from Jersey to the search and rescue site with the equipment.

Another C17 is picking up a 10-tonne winch and nine-tonne rope from Scotland to aid the mission.

Speaking exclusively to ITV News, Richard Parkinson, the CEO of Magellan said: "The US Air Force has provided us with a C17 that we are going to use to send our ROV out to St John's.

"We were approached by OceanGate earlier this week, we offered our full support in their operation to find the missing sub."

He added the Magellan team have a personal connection to someone on board: "PH [Paul-Henri Nargeolet] has been on board our ships and has worked with our sub, Juliet, which we're going to deploy to St John's shortly."

The ROV previously spent 200 hours surveying the site of the Titanic wreck, producing detailed 3D scans of the ocean liner which sank in 1912.

Marcus Sutton and his team have been on standby for days in preparation to transport the rescue gear.

He operated the crane that lifted the equipment from the flatbed lorry onto the aircraft loader.

  • Crane operator Marcus Sutton says they have been on standby for days in preparation to help transport the lifesaving equipment.

He said: "It's been quite intense at points. We've been on standby for this since 4pm on Monday [19 June]."

"Hopefully it'll do some good - I'm not quite sure if the timings will work any more, but hopefully it'll have a good outcome."

The US Air Force plane was expected to leave Jersey around Thursday lunchtime, but instead, the equipment was offloaded due to technical issues during the loading.

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