Return to Transcripts main page
Isa Soares Tonight
Banging Sounds Heard In Search For Missing Sub; Experts Give Up In Sub Search And Rescue; U.S. Coast Guard Gives An Update On The Search Efforts To Locate The Missing Submersible Off The Coast Of Canada; Tensions Soar Between The Israelis And Palestinians In The West Bank; Zelenskyy Says Kyiv Wants To Make Bigger Steps In The Counteroffensive As The Battle Grinds On. Aired 2-3p ET
Aired June 21, 2023 - 14:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: A very warm welcome to the show, everyone, I'm Christina Macfarlane in for Isa Soares. Tonight, in
just the last hour, officials gave an update on the search efforts to locate the missing submersible off the coast of Canada. What we've learned
from that press conference, just ahead.
Then tensions soar between the Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. We will have more on the violence there. Plus, Ukraine's President
Zelenskyy says Kyiv wants to make bigger steps in the counteroffensive as the battle grinds on, on the ground. Now, a big development in the search
for a missing sub that was en route to the Titanic shipwreck.
The U.S. Coast Guard confirms that banging sounds have been detected in the search area multiple times on Tuesday and Wednesday, but it's not clear
where those noises came from or exactly where they are. We've got new details a short time ago in a Coast Guard briefing. Officials say this is
100 percent, still a search and rescue mission.
And there is hope that the five passengers on board the Titan sub are alive. The Coast Guard also says there may be less than a day's worth of
oxygen left on the vessel. And that more support is on the way. Here is what the response coordinator said a short time ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMIE FREDERICK, RESPONSE COORDINATOR, FIRST U.S. COAST GUARD DISTRICT: One, I think when you're in the middle of a search and rescue case, you
always have hope. That's why we are doing what we do. With respect to the noises, specifically, we don't know what they are, to be frank with you.
The P-3 detected noises. That's why they're up there. That's why they're doing what they're doing.
That's why they put sonar buoys in the water. The good news is, what I can tell you is, we're searching in the areas where the noises were detected
and will continue to do so. And we hope that when we're able to get additional ROVs, which will be there in the morning, the intent will be to
continue to search in those areas where the noise were detected.
And if they're continuing to be detected, and then put additional ROVs down in the last known position where the search was originally taking place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Well, let's hear now from someone who knows firsthand just how dangerous a journey to the Titanic can be. Dr. Michael Guillen; the first
TV correspondent to ever report from the Titanic, almost didn't make it back after his submersible collided with the wreck, and he joins me here
Now, Dr. Michael, thank you for your time. Before we get to that experience of yours back in 2000, I first just wanted to get your thoughts on what we
heard in the press conference this last hour about the rescue operation, which in all honesty, it's yielding, it sounds like very few results at
MICHAEL GUILLEN, AUTHOR, SCIENTIST & JOURNALIST: My first reaction is this. I have said all along that when they lost communication back in September -
- I mean, back on Sunday, an hour and 45 minutes into the dive, that told me immediately that they hadn't reached the surface of the bottom of the
ocean yet, because it took -- takes about 2 to 3 hours.
It took me about two and a half hours to corkscrew down to the bottom of the Atlantic. So, they were about two-thirds of the way there. Then I
thought to myself, well, if they did lose communication, and that was the only problem, then why didn't the pilot bring it right up to the surface? I
know a pilot -- a veteran pilot would bring it right up to the surface if there was a problem like that.
Then I've been saying all along, even if they're hydrophone system, because you communicate through sound, right? It's acoustic. It's not
electromagnetic. Radio waves don't travel well through the ocean. So, it's akin to, you know, 210 cans connected by a string. So, I knew that if in
fact, their hydrophones failed, their communications failed, people could start banging against the sub. It's that simple.
You just want to create as much noise as you can when you're in a situation like that, because sound travels extremely well in the ocean. That's why
whale songs can be heard halfway around the world. And so, when I heard this news last night that they had detected -- the rescuers had detected
noises, I said, hallelujah. This is exactly what I was hoping.
This is exactly what I was expecting would happen if there was a communications failure. But the truth of it is, Christina, as the gentleman
indicated, they can't -- they can't definitively say that these are human- made sounds.
There could be a transponder on board the Titan that's pinging every now and again or it could just be a metal banging against something down there
in the Titanic, or it could indeed -- or it could even be a piece of metal on the ship itself that could be dead in the water.
MACFARLANE: Yes --
GUILLEN: I am not trying to be gruesome, I'm just trying to be realistic, or, and this is what we all hope for, that it is indeed people in there
still alive that are banging away for their lives. That's what --
MACFARLANE: I mean --
GUILLEN: I would do if I were down there. So right now --
MACFARLANE: We hope very much --
GUILLEN: Yes, I welcome that news, but there's a long way to go.
MACFARLANE: Yes, we hope very much that it is that, of course. But as we heard from the coast guard there, it is still --
GUILLEN: Yes --
MACFARLANE: Inconclusive. So talk to us about that trip you made in 2000 in a submersible down to the Titanic. I think we actually have a clip of that
moment that we can show our viewers. Tell us what happened because it wasn't straightforward.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GUILLEN: Look at the size of that thing. Look at the bridge, it's still clean like it's brand-new. But when we tried to back out --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I felt a little bit of a bump, didn't you?
GUILLEN: Yes, so -- oh my gosh, look at these inclement, now, look at the size of these things.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my gosh, so are we stuck or what?
GUILLEN: As this graphic shows, we appear to be somehow wedged beneath the wreck of the stern.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: So, apologies, Dr. Michael, we were just seeing a clip there of you apparently colliding --
GUILLEN: Yes --
MACFARLANE: I think with the Titanic. So talk to me about what happened.
GUILLEN: Well, that video that you just showed captured the moment when we collided with the propeller of the ship. The Titanic broke in two, this bow
went straight down, the stern did a somersault, landed on his back, exposing the propeller. So, when we were done touring the bow, everything
was hunky-dory, no problem.
But then as we approached the propeller, our sub mysteriously enough started speeding up, and I learned later, the reason for that, it was just
our bad luck that we got caught in a high speed underwater current. They do exist down there believe it or not. And that rammed us in behind the
propeller's blades. And I knew right there and there from the collision and those gigantic pieces that you just saw in that video clip, coming, raining
down on us, that this was a life and death crisis. This is no small thing.
MACFARLANE: So how did you get free from that moment?
GUILLEN: Well, not right away. It took quite a while. At first, I started thinking to myself, well, how could we get out of this? How much oxygen do
we have? Could there -- is there any possibility rescue? All the things that the current people in this missing submersible, I guarantee you, are
doing or have already done over and over again.
When you're stuck in a situation like that, literally buried alive under two and a half miles of ocean, you realize that your options are very
limited. I came to the conclusions very quickly that there was no way out. And I'm an intellectual, I'm a scientist, I'm a professional problem
solver. So, I resigned myself at some point past the half hour where our pilot was trying to jog us in and out, in and out.
Trying to dislodge us from the blades, I realize we were in a hopeless situation. Nothing could help us. Our pilot was our only hope. So after the
better part of an hour, after I resigned myself to really losing my life, I thought, gee, I'm going to join all the people who lost their lives down
here in the Titanic. I'm going to become one of them.
And so, I was surprised that, you know, maybe about 40 minutes or so, suddenly there was a silence, and I didn't know how to interpret the
silence, but it was very dramatic inflection in our experience. And I thought, well, maybe the engine just finally gave out from all the
exertion. In which case, we'd truly be dead in the water.
But then, I dared to ask the pilot, up until then, we didn't want to disturb him, he was totally focused on trying to get us out. He's a former
MiG pilot who was used to dealing with life and death situations. But I dared to ask him a one word question, I said, "OK"? And then he turned to
me and he said in a very thick Russian accent, "no problem". Which --
MACFARLANE: Wow --
GUILLEN: Of course, was the understatement of the century. And for us, for me and my driving buddy, it was the best news possible to know that you
were on the threshold of death, already, you know, resign to buying a farm, to being given a second chance at life was just extraordinary. But then it
wasn't over, it took us two and a half hours to corkscrew up, and the scuba divers had to come in, hook up the crane, bring us on board.
And it wasn't until that submersible landed on the deck of that ship, the Akademik Keldysh, a big old Russian vessel, that I felt OK. That I dodged a
bullet. I will never forget that experience.
MACFARLANE: Unbelievable. And it must be an emotional experience that you are having right now, having been through that yourself, knowing that these
passengers, these crew are caught. I just wanted to ask you one thing in particular, what do you think is the probability that this submersible is
also caught, you know, by something, possibly even by the Titanic wreck itself, somehow on the bottom of the ocean?
GUILLEN: The only reason I would say that's unlikely, because I won't say it's not -- it's not possible, OK? But the only reason that I'm worried
about that is, usually, as I say, it takes 2 to 3 hours to reach the bottom. And you have to be careful about descending. You can't just drop
like a rock. But if something indeed went wrong right from the get-go, even before they lost communication, right?
If they dropped like a rock, then got to the bottom sooner than expected, and sooner than normal, sooner than safe, then yes, it is possible they got
entangled in the wreck. It is a mess down there. I mean, there are a million different ways to get trapped. I mean, there are gaping holes in
the hall, fortunately, we had an expert pilot, as I say, and I owe my life to him.
But I don't know how experienced this particular pilot was at the Titan. But even if he was experienced, I mean, accidents do happen. And yes, it's
possible, Christina. I think unlikely, but at this point in part, it's not -- I won't say it's impossible.
MACFARLANE: Yes --
GUILLEN: After tomorrow, I think, we are going to have a chance to see what really happened.
MACFARLANE: Yes, well, and of course, at this stage, we can't rule anything out. But we really appreciate --
GUILLEN: Yes --
MACFARLANE: You coming on and giving us your perspective and that extraordinary story. We hope it's the same outcome, of course, for these
GUILLEN: Yes --
MACFARLANE: Thanks very much, yes, thank you. And we'll get back to more on this story later in the show, and discuss the potentially catastrophic
safety concerns raised before the Titan went missing. Now, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is giving a reality check about how his
country's counteroffensive is progressing. He told the "BBC" it's slow- going, and not to expect any Hollywood movie moments. But he's still confident.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, PRESIDENT, UKRAINE (through translator): Not everything is easy. There are certain difficulties, because first of all,
our land is mined. We will definitely like to make bigger steps. They are a bit smaller than we want, but nevertheless, those who fight shall win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Well, here in London today, Ukraine's allies turned their attention to what comes after Russia's war. At the Ukrainian Recovery
Conference, Britain and the U.S. both pledged substantial new rounds of financial assistance and renewed promises to stand behind Ukraine for the
long haul. Well, CNN's Nick Robertson is with me here in London, and Fred Pleitgen is joining us live in Kyiv.
Nic, I just want to turn to you, first, this event that has happening in London today. I mean, aside from the aid pledged by both leaders, we were
also hearing Ukraine appealing to businesses as well for significant investment into Ukraine, even at a time when bombs are falling on Ukraine.
What sort of delicate balance is this for President Zelenskyy at this kind of crucial juncture of the counteroffensive to be asking for such
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes, I think it's very much attuned to their political realities of all the leaders of the
countries that support him. And he knows that they can't alone go on funding Ukraine ad nauseam through this war. And the sort of money, $411
billion of World Bank estimates at the moment to rebuild Ukraine.
Those sorts of monies need to come from private investors as well. So he knows. He's asking them here for something very serious, to potentially
invest in a very risky enterprise where you don't know if Russia is going to continue with the war or how will the war will actually progress. So,
this is where Rishi Sunak, the British Prime Minister came in with a mechanism for insurers or a framework for insurers to underwrite these
business -- any business investment.
So that was sort of one part of the mechanism. But I think the other part that he reads, where Zelenskyy reads the room well and he addressed it, is,
look, Ukraine's track record -- has a track record of corruption. It was part of old Soviet sphere. And there were reforms underway and Zelenskyy
was at pains to talk about those reforms, and this was echoed by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
Reforms, for example in digitizing customs transactions, and Zelenskyy said, look, by doing this digitizing route, you stop that risk of money
ending up, sort of -- some of it sticking to government officials who were involved. It's in a digital domain. So, it's a balance. He knows it and
appeal was there. It's slightly less risky, some insurance backup, and we're going to get rid of the corruption. That was the other --
MACFARLANE: Yes --
MACFARLANE: Yes, and I'll get to that in just a moment, but I want to turn to Fred. Because Fred, obviously, we heard from President Zelenskyy at
least, today, in that "BBC" interview saying that progress has been slow in this counteroffensive, admitting that --
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes --
MACFARLANE: How much of a significant admission was that? And does it indicate that Russia is putting up a harder fight than President Zelenskyy
expected this early in the counteroffensive?
PLEITGEN: Yes, Christina, well, the Ukrainians certainly are acknowledging that the Russians are putting up an extremely hard fight. You know, we were
at the frontlines just a couple of days ago, one of things the Ukrainians kept saying, look, these Russian ground(ph), as they put it on the ground
in these positions, they are very difficult to combat and very difficult to dislodge.
And they are putting up those very tough fights. So that's certainly what the Ukrainians have been saying. I think it was quite interesting to hear
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine say today that, of course, they would have wanted progress to be faster. But of course, one of the things
that the folks tell you on the ground is that the Russians have a vote in that as well, and they certainly have some pretty strong defenses.
And one of the things that the Ukrainians are saying is a real problem for them is the Russian air power, that is in the air, obviously, in those
areas, making it difficult for Ukraine's own frontline. Bombers to for instance, help their ground forces. But also the Russians using helicopters
there to hit Ukrainian hardware as it tries to move forward.
Russian drones tend -- or have been spotting Ukrainian convoys that have been going around and then hitting those as well. So, certainly, the going
seems to be very tough. However, one of the things that we heard earlier today, was the main commander of the region where large parts of that
offensive are taking place, in the sort of southeast of the country.
He was saying that, for instance, today, the Ukrainians hit the Russians really hard, that there were a lot of killed and wounded, that they took
out a lot of tanks from the Russians, a lot of armored vehicles from the Russians as well. There are some pretty spectacular video that they put out
showing some of those artillery strikes.
So, the Ukrainians are still saying, look, they have the initiative. They are the ones that are moving forward, they have the Russians as they say on
the defensive there right now. It's of course, also a point that Volodymyr Zelenskyy was saying. I think on the whole, the Ukrainians are saying it is
extremely tough. It's extremely tough to make gains, but what we're hearing from soldiers on the ground is that, they are still in good spirits, and
they believe that they can make this a success, Christina.
MACFARLANE: Thank you, Fred. And obviously, while this counteroffensive has been going on, we know that Russia has been continuing to hit major
infrastructure. Still destruction, massive destruction within Ukraine's major cities. And we heard Blinken and Sunak, I think today, saying it was
clear that Russia must pay for the destruction that they've caused.
And that they're working on lawful routes to use Russian assets to do that. What assets do they mean by that?
ROBERTSON: These are things that have been seized, that they can be, you know, big ticket items like luxury yachts that we know. A number of those
have been seized there, belonging to Russian oligarchs for example, who are loyal to President Putin. So, it could be things like that. There are also
businesses, importing large amount of cars that were impounded on the way to Russia.
But also bank transactions. Transactions that pertain to large Russian companies. Those have -- many of those have been frozen by different
European Union, different banks within the European Union. So it's finding legal mechanisms to get access to that. And that was a point that as you
just said Secretary Blinken was making.
It's like we're sitting here, trying to fix and help Ukraine, Russia is damaging it. But be sure, ultimately, they're going to pay for the damage
that they're inflicting.
MACFARLANE: Yes, well, obviously, it needs to be an international -- well, a European -- a unified response, right? Not just in isolation with the
U.S. and the U.K. Nic Robertson, thank you, Fred, also live in Kyiv. Thanks very much, to you. Now, police in France say a large fire that broke out
following an explosion in the central Paris earlier, has now been contained.
Authorities are blaming a gas explosion for the blaze which happened in the city's fifth arrondissement. Dozens of people were injured, including four
critically. CNN's Melissa Bell is joining us now live from Paris with more. And Melissa, from the pictures I've seen, this was a massive explosion. Can
you tell us more about what happened?
MELISSA BELL, CNN PARIS CORRESPONDENT: It was. What eyewitnesses are saying, Christina, is that when it took place just before 5:00 p.m., the
explosion was such that anyone who was living in the near vicinity really felt the walls of their apartment shake. A huge explosion. And one woman
speaking of the sound of an earthquake. That's what it felt like to a massive gas explosion, that's what French officials are saying already.
Even though an inquiry has been open to try and figure out exactly how it could have come to pass. The facade of the building in which it took place,
which is just behind me down that street completely collapsed. And it was in the aftermath of that, Christina, that fires broke out in the vicinity
in several other buildings, 270 firefighters were trying to put it out.
And for a while earlier, some really impressive images of the smoke billowing out over the left bank of Paris as a result of those fires. What
we're hearing is that 29 people, in all, have been injured, several of those critically, but there are also a couple of people now said to be
missing, and that they're trying to locate. The mayor of Paris came here a short while ago, Christina, to offer thoughts and prayers to the victims.
But that fire now contained, it does seem that, that gas explosion has caused the damage that it was going to cause, even as officials try and
figure out exactly how it could have happened. Christina?
MACFARLANE: All right, Melissa Bell with the update for us there live from Paris. Thank you, Melissa. And we'll be right back after this short break.
Stay with us.
MACFARLANE: Welcome back. The European Union is condemning what it calls unacceptable indiscriminate violence against Palestinian civilians today,
saying Israel has an obligation as an occupying power to protect Palestinian lives. Hundreds of settlers went on a rampage in Palestinian
towns burning homes, cars and olive growths.
Palestinian officials say one Palestinian was shot and killed, dozens of others were wounded. Witnesses and Palestinian officials say some Israeli
soldiers stood by as the attacks unfolded. The IDF says it intervened to protect, to prevent clashes. The rampage comes after Palestinian gunmen
killed four Israelis near a West Bank settlement, including two teenagers.
Hamas claimed responsibility, saying it was in response to an Israeli military operation in Jenin the previous day. That raid to arrest wanted
militants left seven Palestinians dead, including this 15-year-old girl. Her father says she was shot in the head while filming a military vehicle
on her street. Well, right-wing ministers and Benjamin Netanyahu's government are pressuring him to launch a full-scale operation in the West
But the Israeli prime minister will only say that all options are on the table. CNN's Hadas Gold has more.
HADAS GOLD, CNN JERUSALEM CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The attack started here at this Hamas restaurant that's part of gas station complex just
outside the borders of the Eli settlement in the occupied West Bank. The attackers came to this restaurant shooting through to the restaurant,
killing the first of the three victims, including two teenagers.
The fourth victim was killed at the gas station that's just in front of us. Israeli officials saying that another four people were injured, and saying
it was the work of two Hamas operatives who came here in a car, the first of the gunman was shot and killed by an armed civilian who happen to be on
site. And the second gunman managed to get away, steal a car, that triggered an hours-long manhunt by Israeli forces before he was cornered
and shot and killed as well just north of here.
But here at the scene, we are still seeing evidence of the bloody scene from the night before. We're seeing bullet casings on the ground, medical
gloves, medical equipment as well as bloodstains. And here on the restaurant itself, you can still see it is riddled with bullet holes,
including this one bullet hole that managed to make its way through and smash this window.
The mayor of the settlement, Ari Elmaliach, he said they want the Israeli government and army to take greater action now.
MAYOR ARI ELMALIACH, ELI, WEST BANK: South of the Israel, in the last 15-20 years, nothing is happening, nothing. This gas station, Arabs, Jewish,
everyone come to buy here, to buy from the Soghu(ph), to buy from the Humus(ph), everybody is here.
GOLD: Just up the road, villager Naija Awais says she also hasn't seen violence like this in decades. Her house was damaged during the ensuing
Israeli settler attacks.
NAIJA AWAIS, RESIDENT OF WEST BANK (through translator): We felt last night danger which we couldn't describe. Terrified like during the days of the
second intifada, which was the last time our house was attacked.
GOLD: Hours after those attacks on the gas station restaurant that killed those four Israelis, Israeli settlers rampaged through Palestinian villages
like this one, of Lubban ash-Sharqiya burning as you can see dozens of cars. Parts of these cars just completely melting off. In fact, right here
in the morning after, and there is still smoke smoldering from the fires.
We've been speaking to villagers here that say their homes were damaged. Palestinian officials say that at least 37 Palestinians were injured mostly
as a result of stone-throwing. Villagers we're talking to here, saying they haven't seen violence like this against their property, against their
homes, since the days of the second intifada.
And that, they now live in fear of what can come. There's now a big push, especially on the right wing of the Israeli political spectrum, and the
right-wing of this current government for a much bigger and broader military operation in the occupied West Bank than what we've seen in the
past. That could lead people here, fear to even more violence. Hadas Gold, CNN, Lubban ash-Sharqiya in the occupied West Bank.
MACFARLANE: All right, still to come, tonight, breathable air is running short on the missing submersible, as the frantic search goes on. The latest
on the situation and the safety warnings that came long before the Titan lost contact. That's next.
MACFARLANE: Returning to our top story this hour, the race to find a missing sub in the depths of the North Atlantic. We are waiting for a press
conference from one of the companies that are involved in the search and rescue efforts. We will bring that to you live as soon as it happens.
The sub vanished during a tourist dive to the Titanic and lost contact with its support ship on Sunday, less than two hours into its descent. The Titan
is carrying five people, a British adventurer, a French diver, the founder of the company that operates the tour as well as a Pakistani business man
and his son.
The U.S. Coast Guard says there could be less than a day's worth of breathable air left but that banging sounds were heard in the search area
multiple times. And there is still hope.
We've also learned that two former OceanGate employees brought up safety concerns about the thickness of the Titan's hull when they were employed by
the company years ago.
"The New York Times" also reporting that more than 3 dozen experts, oceanographers and deep sea explorers had signed a letter warning about
potentially catastrophic problems with the Titan and sent it to the OceanGate CEO. Let's take a closer look at this with CNN's Tom Foreman
joining me now live.
And Tom, it's been emerging that former employees of OceanGate had voiced concerns about the safety of this vessel for years, I think dating back to
2018. And there were also concerns that the vessel may not have met industry safety standards.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The basic concern here is this notion that's reflected in this letter, that was composed by industry experts,
saying that this would be t0o experimental in nature and not enough hewing to the basic principles of good engineering for this type of vessel.
I'll give you some idea of what that could be addressing. We don't know. But when you build a pressure vessel like this, that has to go to this
immense level of pressure, there are basic standards of engineering that you don't just build it to go down to the depth of the Titanic and the
pressure down there.
You want to engineer it for maybe three, four, five, six times as much pressure. You want it to easily be able to handle the pressure it's
actually going to be in. So you put it into much more extreme pressure and see if you can come out with an intact vessel.
Then you refurbish it heavily or you completely rebuild it based on those specs, so you have a safe vessel. That is an industry standard. That's the
kind of thing that the industry group would say, this is what you need to be doing to be safe.
Whether they were doing that or not, we don't really know. What we know is that something in their process was disturbing to other people in the
industry. And obviously there are questions that will be raised now through a lot of investigation, whether or not they are found.
MACFARLANE: Yes. And just to remind our viewers, we are waiting on a press conference in the next few minutes and we'll bring that to you as soon as
we get it.
But Tom, just on the safety aspects, were there any kind of -- what particular safety aspects were highlighted?
I heard something about the thickness of the vessel itself.
Was any of that outlined in the concerns that were put forward?
FOREMAN: The concerns that were raised in "The New York Times" article about this was that there was a question whether the carbon fiber and
titanium hull of this had any danger of delaminating, basically coming apart under pressure.
I think there were questions raised about that window that you see at the front, whether it was fully rated for the level it needed to go to.
Simply put, anything that had contact with the water on the outside there and that had to deal with this pressure, the seals around, there all this
would be important. I want to point out something that a submariner told me just yesterday.
At this depth, which is much deeper than nuclear submarines, at this depth, the pressure is so high there is no such thing as a small leak. The water
that would come in from the smallest leak would be absolutely explosive.
We don't know that there is a leak here but if there were, it is a very quick, cascading effect, where the failure here immediately causes a
failure here, here and here. And it spreads out very quickly. The whole vessel can be compromised.
MACFARLANE: Tom, we'll just bring our viewers now to what's happening. Let's listen in.
SEAN LEET, COFOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN, HORIZON MARITIME SERVICES: With me today is Chief Misel Joe, the Saqamaw and the chief of the Miawpukek (ph) First
Nations. We are partners in the joint venture that owns the Polar Prince. The Polar Prince is a support vessel for the OceanGate Expedition --
LEET: -- and is on scene in supporting the rescue mission, as directed by the U.S. Coast Guard and OceanGate. Today is National Indigenous People's
Day in Canada.
Chief Joe, we acknowledge this day for you and the Miawpukek First Nation and all First Peoples in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Canada.
On behalf of myself, Chief Joe and everyone at Miawpukek Maritime Services and Horizon Maritime Services, I want to say first that our thoughts and
focus remain with the crew of the Titan and their families.
We wish to thank everyone involved in this rescue mission, especially the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guards, the organizations that have made their
marine assets available, including the French government, TechnipFMC, Atlantic Towing, Doff (ph), the many private companies that have dropped
everything at a moment's notice and without hesitation and the various crews who are dedicated to bringing the search and rescue mission to a
In addition to the Polar Prince, we have also mobilized the Horizon Arctic to add vessel support for this mission. We acknowledge and thank our
client, ExxonMobil, who, without question, has given the vessel time and space needed to respond to this incident.
We also thank Premier Andrew Furey for his continuous offers of support from the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The marine industry in this
region is no stranger to responding to difficult incidents. We work together to ensure every possible effort is put into bringing people home.
The people on board the Titan and their families are our focus. We care deeply about their well-being. All of us here in Newfoundland and Labrador,
Canada, the United States and around the world are unified in this work.
While the United States Coast Guard, in cooperation with the Canadian Coast Guard, is leading the search and rescue effort, our critical role remains
in a support capacity. It has been a very difficult few days for the crew and families of those on board the Titan and the Polar Prince.
The Polar Prince captain and crew have been steadfast in providing support during this very difficult time. We have been supporting the Titanic
expeditions for several years. The Polar Prince remains at the Titanic site, participating in rescue efforts.
The vessel is an iconic former Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker that has been upgraded with advanced technology and provides research and expedition
support services to clients, primarily in the Arctic.
The Miawpukek Horizon purchased the Polar Prince in 2021. The Horizon Arctic is also involved in this mission. The 94 meter vessel is one of the
most powerful and versatile offshore support vessels in the world.
Often working internationally, this Canadian flag vessel has recently performed brig (ph) moves, offshore wind infrastructure installations and
seabed surveys before returning to Newfoundland and Labrador for a seasonal project this summer.
The Horizon Arctic was en route to the site on Sunday and then returned to port in St. Johns to pick up deepwater equipment. Late last night, the
Arctic crew loaded the U.S. ROV, which, thanks to the U.S. military, arrived by air to St. John's airport late yesterday.
The vessel departed the port of St. John's at 5 am this morning and will arrive at the Titanic site tomorrow morning. We are very aware of the time
sensitivity around this mission. Our crews and onshore team are experts in their fields and will continue to support this effort in every way we can.
We remain focused on contributing to the search for the Titan, the crew and continuing to hold out hope they will be located and brought home safely --
CHIEF MISEL JOE, NEWFOUNDLAND DISTRICT CHIEF, MI'KMAQ GRAND COUNCIL: Thank, you Sean.
Thank you all for being here, too.
My name is Chief Misel Joe. I am from the Miawpukek First Nation on the south coast of Newfoundland. And I can tell you that our -- we are -- our
people are very concerned for the crew of the Titan.
We are proud of the Polar Prince, its crew and work that has been done for this remarkable vessel. We have no doubt that the captain and crew have
been handling themselves as well as (INAUDIBLE) and professionalism throughout this difficult time.
Also, I want to thank Sean and the support team here at Horizon for all they are doing to support the search and rescue operations. I have been in
constant contact with the operations team of the company and have been reaching out to prayer groups across the country to bring hope to this
We are praying for our friends on board the Titan submersible. We want them to come home. We want them to come home. And we want them to come home
safely. We ask everyone across Canada and the world to pray with us that we can find and rescue the (INAUDIBLE) Titan. Thank you -- (INAUDIBLE).
QUESTION: Can either of you tell us whether the Polar Prince has picked up any sign of life?
QUESTION: I know that they are doing sonar scanning as well. We've heard about the banging noises that the Poseidon has picked up.
Has the Polar Prince heard anything?
Do you have any sense from your technology?
LEET: The U.S. Coast Guard is leading the search and rescue effort, as you know. We are taking our direction from them and all the communications are
falling back through them. They had a fairly in-depth conference about 1.5 hours ago, I think, and they've covered all last. So we have nothing
further to add.
QUESTION: -- the conditions out there?
How difficult is it to operate?
Are they going to stay indefinitely (ph)?
LEET: The North Atlantic is always a challenging place, especially in the region that we are in. The weather is not overly significant at this point
but it always presents a challenge in the region.
QUESTION: Are you working with OceanGate?
The Polar Prince lost contact with the submersible on Sunday night. To be realistic (ph), how optimistic are you that you will find the submersible
LEET: The equipment that has been mobilized for this is the finest in the world, the most capable in the world and we have to hold out hope. I think
as you are aware, there is still life support available on the submersible and we will continue to hold out hope until the very end.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) the dive began, after (INAUDIBLE) after you lost connection, can you say anything about what if any communications you had
when the dive started?
And that period of time that we don't have any information (INAUDIBLE) that the (INAUDIBLE) that the vessel had missed its arrival to the surface?
LEET: All I can tell you there is all protocols were followed for the mission.
QUESTION: Do you have technical details in the Coast Guard about what's going on?
Can you tell us about your staff on the ship?
What are they telling you?
What is it like out there, what's the mood on the ship?
Any of that that you can provide us.
LEET: These are extremely professional and experienced crews. This is an unprecedented situation but I can assure you that they are handling their
responsibility very professionally and fully focused on trying to find the submersible and bring those people back safely.
QUESTION: Sean, have any family members gone out on the vessel?
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) joining the search (ph)?
LEET: That's a question I can't answer.
LEET: The U.S. Coast Guard is leading the search and rescue effort and all that is being funneled through the U.S. Coast Guard.
QUESTION: And Sean, Horizon Maritime does a lot of different things in the world. This is one of them. But I take it, this community, this
exploration, it sounds like their colleagues, they've been here for many years. They are friends, they are family to you guys.
What is -- I mean, you do a lot of things but what is this one, this situation like?
LEET: The core values of the Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services and Horizon Maritime Services is customer focus. And we are focused on all our
customers and all the various missions we operate, making sure that they're carried out with the utmost safety.
QUESTION: What have you done with OceanGate?
QUESTION: Is there anything out there that is capable of lifting this thing up from the depths that it's presumed to be at and bring it back to the
LEET: There's a lot of variability around the question you're asking there. But the equipment that is onsite and coming to site is most capable in the
world. And some of that equipment is certainly capable of reaching those deaths.
QUESTION: How much time do you think there is left to be able to (INAUDIBLE)?
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) success, how much oxygen is left?
How much time is there left to actually get them out alive?
LEET: There is variability around that question as well, Patrick. It's difficult for me to give any more detail than the U.S. Coast Guard has
already provided in their briefings.
QUESTION: Can you say exactly what time your vessel, the Polar Prince, launched (INAUDIBLE)?
LEET: I don't have that off top of my head, I'm sorry.
QUESTION: (INAUDIBLE) urgency last night getting here, off the aircraft, down here, (INAUDIBLE).
Can you walk us through that?
LEET: Yes, I've been in the marine industry since a very young age and seen a lot of different situations. And I've never seen equipment of that nature
move that quickly.
The response from the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. military, the folks at the airport, the people here, various companies were involved in the
mobilization of that equipment to the Arctic. It was done flawlessly.
LEET: It's a deepwater ROV.
QUESTION: And how long will the Polar Prince stay helping that search area?
LEET: How long can it stay out?
QUESTION: How long will it stay out (INAUDIBLE)?
LEET: It will stay out until the search is completed.
QUESTION: Sean, can you talk about what if any communications the Polar Prince and the vessel had before it missed the timeline that it was
supposed to be for surfacing at sea level?
What if any communication did the Polar Prince have with the (INAUDIBLE)?
LEET: There was regular communications up until a point and then, I think as you are aware, their communications ceased.
QUESTION: Can you just expand on what regular means?
Was (INAUDIBLE) going well?
Was everything going as planned?
Was there any moment where they communicated that there were any sort of distress or having any sort of issues?
LEET: I'm not aware of any details around that.
QUESTION: We know you're focused on search right now but there's been a lot of concerns raised over -- of the safety of this and what OceanGate was
Did you consider that when you partnered with OceanGate?
LEET: Look, OceanGate runs an extremely safe operation. Our full focus right now is getting that submersible located and getting those people
brought back safely.
QUESTION: At what point did communication cease?
LEET: When they were diving to the Titanic, at some point during that.
QUESTION: But do you have a timeline on that?
LEET: There is a timeline. I don't have it off the top of my head.
LEET: OK. That's it, thank you.
LEET: We are in constant contact with the crew of the Polar Prince. Our emergency procedures kicked in immediately, our emergency room next door is
staffed 24/7 with a group of extremely capable people. And there's live communication with the vessel --
How many crew?
LEET: We have got 17 crew on board the ship.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
MACFARLANE: You have been listening to Sean Leet there, the chairman of Horizon Maritime Services. That is the owner of the support vessel, the
Polar Prince, that took the Titan out for this expedition and is now assisting with the search and rescue operation.
Sean Leet saying they are adding nothing massively substantial to what we heard last hour in the press conference by the Coast Guard but saying
nevertheless they had nothing more to add on the noises or banging that have been heard over the last 24 hours, saying that they've had
communications with the Titan before it went missing, regular communications and they were not aware of any of the passengers being in
Also said the weather conditions continue to be challenging but not significantly so at this point and they continue to hold out all hope.
Let's bring back CNN's Tom Foreman, who has been listening in on all of this.
Tom, I don't think we learned anything in any great detail. No developments, really, more so than what we heard last hour from the Coast
Guard in Canada.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Certainly not the kind of developments everybody wants to hear. Some indication that they have an idea of where
this is, some indication of whether or not these banging noises really matter. Yes, it's given them a place to home in with their search.
But we haven't really had any confirmation about the supposed regularity of these or even how many were heard or whether they have a sense if that was
a signal or an artifact of the ocean and the noise in the ocean, none of that.
So the big problem here continues to be the information everyone wants to hear, which is some real hint that they know where this is and how they are
going to get it up to the surface.
No, we didn't get any new information on that. And as you noted, the clock keeps ticking and ticking, so much so that we're getting into a zone where,
even if they find it, getting those resources attached, getting it to the vessel and getting it to the surface, getting open, that's all an enormous
MACFARLANE: Still a lot of questions here, clearly. One thing that he did point out though, Tom, they are still onsite remaining in the search and
rescue capacity and there are other vessels arriving. He mentioned a U.S. ROV, a remotely operated vehicle, something which is there to explore the
depths of the ocean. He said it departed at 5 am.
Do you know any more about this type of vessel and whether it will be there in time?
FOREMAN: Based on that timeline, it doesn't sound like it is, no. And the truth is, even when you use these -- remember the hunt for the Malaysia Air
Nobody knew where that was but many of these same types of assets were being brought in.
FOREMAN: And these are really a shot in the dark thing. You try to do it, yes. But you put a robotic vessel down, there it has to have a way of
detecting this thing. It has to have a way of then actually finding it. Once it's detected it, back in 1973, we had the deepest rescue ever, which
was the Pisces III.
It was in much shallower water, it was much closer to shore and they had regular communications with the people on board. And it still took them
time to find it. It took about 40 hours after they had an idea of what they were doing before they could reasonably mount the attempt to remove it from
the bottom there.
And they had all sorts of problems; they attached lines and lines came off. They tried to hook something on and found out that it hadn't hooked on
properly. And even when they brought it up, it was a very jarring, iffy proposition from the beginning.
So I don't want to underestimate. It does seem like they have done a remarkable job getting all sorts of resources in place that might be able
to help. But until they can figure out where this is, still a tremendous search for a needle in a haystack, those resources are just standing there,
waiting for a job to do.
MACFARLANE: Yes. And Tom, just before this press conference, you and I were talking about the safety aspects of this vessel. It was interesting there
to see the question put to the chairman of the Horizon Maritime Services about the safety of this trip.
And obviously, this is going to become a much sharper focus over the next 24 hours. There are questions that OceanGate are going to have to answer on
FOREMAN: No question about that. And he said they operate -- it's very safe.
Maybe. Maybe. Maybe we will find that what happened down here was such an unusual event, it had nothing to do with the vessel. But the mere fact that
the vessel is missing and there's no communication and nobody knows how to find it and it hasn't come to the surface as far as anyone knows would seem
to belie the notion that it's very safe.
And I would point out, this very act of going to the bottom of the ocean, everybody will tell you is inherently very dangerous. So yes, many
questions to be answered, whether or not we find these folks. And we sure hope we do.
MACFARLANE: Yes, absolutely. Tom Foreman, appreciate you being alongside me on this, thank you.
And do stay with us, we'll be back after this short break.
MACFARLANE: Some good news to end on this hour. Tennis great Martina Navratilova says treatments for throat and breast cancer have been a
success. She tweeted on Tuesday, "After a day full of tests at Sloan Kettering, I got the all clear. Thank you to all the doctors, nurses,
proton and radiation magicians etc. What a relief."
The tennis world famer has won 59 Grand Slams, singles and doubles titles over the course of her career and her positive message coincides with the
50th anniversary of the Women's Tennis Association.
And finally, it's officially summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Thank goodness. And it's kicking off with a celebration that goes back centuries.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE (voice-over): Thousands of people cheered and clapped as they rang in the summer solstice at Britain's Stonehenge today. They watched the
sun rise behind the ancient stone circle, built to mark the summer night.
Today marks the longest day of the year and the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACFARLANE: Time to get my flip-flops on.
MACFARLANE: Thanks so much for watching tonight. Stay with CNN, "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is coming up next.