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Good Morning Britain guest breaks down in tears recalling harrowing near-fatal Titanic wreck visit

Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley were discussing the missing Titanic submersible

Richard Madeley and Susanna Ried on GMB
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
21 June 2023
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Good Morning Britain's Susanna Reid and Richard Madeley welcomed Dr. Michael Guillen onto the show on Wednesday morning to discuss the missing submersible that has prompted a global wide search after it stopped communicating on its journey down to the Titanic wreckage at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean.

Scientist and journalist Michael visited the wreck 23 years ago in a submersible and found himself in grave danger when the vessel got stuck by one of the Titanic's propellors after being pulled forward by a strong current. Luckily, they made it back to the surface safely, but Michael was overcome with emotion while recalling the time on air.

WATCH: Dr. Michael Guillen recalls harrowing Titanic visit

As he spoke to the hosts, Michael's voice cracked, and was in tears as he said: "It's very emotional for me, I feel a kindred spirit with these poor souls, I feel so close to them, almost to the point where I feel like I'm down there again. It is very emotional for me."

Viewers took to social media to react to Michael's emotional interview. One person wrote: "Brilliant journalism. Really brought home the horror of what's unfolding." A second added: "This was fascinating and sad to listen to. Let's hope a miracle can be pulled off."

MORE: King Charles being kept updated on Titanic Sub as charity supporter is onboard missing vessel 

MORE: Who are the five people missing on the Titanic submersible? 

The tourist submersible vessel has gone missing while on a dive to observe the Titanic wreckage © Action Press/Shutterstock
The tourist submersible vessel has gone missing while on a dive to observe the Titanic wreckage

A third tweeted: "Absolutely enthralling emotional articulate and frightening recollection of his near-death experience. Well done, sir," a fourth, meanwhile, commented: "What a lovely man, I really felt for him. It’s terrifying what they're going through. I hope they're found alive today!"

Michael, who was the first TV correspondent to visit the Titanic wreck in 2000 when he was a reporter for ABC News, shared more about his near-death experience with the GMB presenters: "I think the drama began when we had finished our tour of the bow.

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"We had just had a moment of silence in honour of those who lost their lives, because let's not forget this is not just a wreck, it's a sacred gravesite, this is where people lost their lives." At this point, Michael broke down in tears again.

He continued: "We were heading towards the stern and I noticed how shiny the propellor was. I was captivated and then I sensed that we were speeding up and I thought 'That's odd we should be slowing down.'" Fortunately, the vessel returned to the ocean surface safely.

Search and rescue operation is underway by US Coast Guard in Boston after a tourist submarine bound for the Titanic's wreckage site went missing off the southeastern coast of Canada© Anadolu Agency
Search and rescue operation is underway by US Coast Guards in Boston

Michael's interview comes shortly after reports emerged that sonar devices deployed by Canadian air forces have picked up remote, underwater banging noises. As a result of the noises, more underwater vehicles were redeployed to investigate further but have yielded negative results so far.

As of Tuesday evening, the submersible had approximately 40 hours of oxygen supply left.

The vessel went missing on Sunday during the descent to the Titanic, which typically takes two and a half hours. However, communication was lost after one hour and 45 minutes into the voyage.

Hamish Harding is a British businessman and explorer© Victoria Sirakova
Hamish Harding is a British businessman and explorer on board the submersible

OceanGate Expeditions confirmed that they had lost communication with the vessel with Hamish Harding, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Shahzada Dawood, Sulaiman Dawood and Stockton Rush on board, and that they were "exploring and mobilising all options to bring the crew back safely".

On Monday afternoon, the US Coast Guard’s Rear Admiral John Mauger stated that it was believed between 70 to 96 hours of air was left for the trapped guests on the $250,000 expedition to the wreck, including a British billionaire, a Pakistani businessman and his 19-year-old son, and a French diver on board. 

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