A British firm with a high-tech vehicle capable of saving the submersible that went missing on a trip to the Titanic wreck is reportedly being blocked by the US government from aiding the rescue mission.
According to The Telegraph, Guernsey-based Magellan Limited has had deepwater specialists waiting to jet-off since 7pm on Monday (June 19).
They also apparently have clearance from the Ministry of Defence to join rescuers hunting for the OceanGate Explorations sub 'Titan' that lost communication with its mothership on Sunday (June 18).
READ MORE: Titanic tourist sub rescue 'race against time' – why it's so difficult to find them
But, US officials are allegedly yet to authorise their request to do so.
Billionaire explorer Hamish Harding is the only Brit among the five missing passengers. Shahzada Dawood and his son Sulaiman Dawood, from Pakistan, are British residents and are also believed to be onboard.
The other two passengers are said to be OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush and French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
Magellan produced the first ever full-sized digital scan of the Titanic last summer.
Bretton Hunchak, former president of RMS Titanic Inc – which collaborated with Magellan on the project last summer – says the Brit firm has essential equipment and expertise.
He told The Telegraph: "We have British, French and US citizens on board and every minute here counts. This is not a rational decision, this is the only asset we have with a winch and the guys are experts in this area.
"The more help we can get the better and denying us means you are giving up on every option you have to save lives.
"These are irreplaceable human beings."
David Concannon, an adviser to OceanGate, agrees. He told NewsNation: "They are the same group, the experts, that did the advanced survey of the Titanic last year.
"They are mobilised. They’re sitting on the tarmac, ready to go. We have a ship off Newfoundland that is ready to take them to the site.
"We have people whose lives are at stake. You have to move. We have assets that are ready to go and they’re sitting and waiting."
Magellan is reportedly able to plunge depths of up to 5,000m. Hunchak said US officials would prefer to use a New York-based vessel capable of getting down to 3,000m. The Titanic wreck is around 3,800m deep.
It is thought Titan only has enough oxygen to sustain the passengers until Thursday (June 22).
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