- Five passengers, including Hamish Harding, British billionaire and chairman of Action Aviation, are missing in a submersible near the Titanic wreck site
- Paul-Henri Nargeolet, known as "Mr Titanic" for his expertise, and Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate Inc, were also on board the submersible
- Shahzada Dawood, a British businessman, and his son Suleman, from a wealthy Pakistani family, are among the missing passengers
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On June 20, a submersible suddenly went missing with five adventurous passengers who had gone to visit the wreckage of the historic Titanic ship off the coast of Newfoundland in Canada.
The ABC reported that the impressive 21-foot submersible lost contact about 1 hour and 45 minutes after it started the journey.
The Coast Guard learnt that the vessel belonging to the deep sea exploring company OceanGate was overdue on Sunday afternoon and the relevant crew swung into action and started search and rescue operations.
Titanic submersible: Rescuers scramble to find missing tourists as vessel has less than 16 hours of oxygen left
So far, it has been established that all aboard the vessel that was designed to have 96 hours of oxygen available are missing.
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Below are their identities:
1. Hamish Harding
At 58, Hamish Harding is a British billionaire who also doubles up as the chairman of Action Aviation. The latter is a sales and operations company that offers various services in the business aviation industry.
"We are thankful for the continued efforts of authorities and companies that have stepped in to aid in the rescue efforts," said the company adding that it was grateful for the outpouring of encouraging messages.
Before taking off, Harding said on Twitter that he was joining OceanGate Expeditions as a mission specialist.
2. Paul-Henri Nargeolet
Paul -Henry Nargeolet, a former commander who served in the navy for 25 years in France was also among the explorers in the expedition.
Famously known as "Mr Titanic" for his expertise, Nargeolet boasts over 35 dives to the Titanic wreck site.
After leaving the Navy, he joined the French Institute for Research and Exploitation of the Sea and is also a member of the RMS Titanic Inc, a US firm which salvaged the Titanic site. He recovered many artefacts at the time.
Jessica Sanders, president of the firm, said: "We are devastated with the news, but remain steadfast in our hope for a safe rescue for all."
3. Stockton Rush
OceanGate Inc chief executive and founder Stockton Rush was also among those on board. He has also been a member of the Board of Trustees of OceanGate Foundation since 2012. The latter is a non-profit organisation which aims to catalyse emerging marine technology to further discoveries in marine science, history, and archaeology.
Rush became the youngest jet transport-rated pilot at the age of 19. In 1989 Mr Rush personally built a Glasair III experimental aircraft which he still owns and flies.
4. Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman
British businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48 and his 19-year-old son, Suleman, come from one of Pakistan's richest families with investments in agriculture, industry and the health sector.
"We are very grateful for the concern being shown by our colleagues and friends and would like to request everyone to pray for their safety," their family said in a statement.
Dawood has been the Vice Chairman at Engro Corporation - a large fertiliser firm - since 2003 and supports two charities founded by King Charles - the British Asian Trust and the Prince's Trust International.
Suleman is a university student.
Enduring allure of the Titanic
A previous post by popular Kenyan website TUKO.co.ke, revealed that the enduring allure of the Titanic, which sunk in 1912, made the wealthy passengers pay KSh 35, 000,000 for tickets to board the missing Titanic Submersible.
Since it sank on its maiden voyage more than a century ago, the Titanic has had an unshakeable grip on the public imagination.
According to the AFP, the ship was a monument to the technological progress of its time... and the hubris of men who thought they had built an unsinkable ship. One of the world's deadliest ocean disasters inspired books, blockbuster movies, stage productions and countless adventurers who want to see what happened when the luxury liner hit an iceberg.
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