U.S.-listed shares of Logitech International SA, a Swiss maker of computer peripherals and software, fell about 3.6% on Wednesday, amid reports that one of the company’s gamepads was being used to steer the submersible that went missing while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic.
Logitech’s $30 F710 gamepad was the controller of the OceanGate submarine vessel that is the subject of a massive sea-and-air search, according to a segment on the “CBS News Sunday Morning Show” by reporter David Pogue that aired last November.
In the segment, OceanGate Chief Executive Stockton Rush, one of the five people currently onboard the submersible, showed Pogue the game controller that he said “runs the whole thing,” causing the reporter to burst out laughing.
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Pogue later describes the “MacGyver jerry-riggedness” of the whole thing, which included off-the-shelf components such as lights from Camper World and construction pipes as ballast. Rush explained that other parts of the vessel were made in cooperation with Boeing, NASA and the University of Washington.
As The Verge pointed out, game controllers are used in other instances to control submarine periscopes, including by the U.S. Navy and Elon Musk’s The Boring Company.
On Monday, Pogue tweeted that during his report which was filmed last summer, the submersible got lost for a period — while he was on the surface.
In that instance, the vessel still had contact with the surface. This time, there are no communications, although a Canadian military surveillance aircraft detected underwater noises early Wednesday, as the Associated Press reported.
A statement from the U.S. Coast Guard did not elaborate on what rescuers believed the noises could be, though it offered a glimmer of hope for those lost aboard the Titan. Estimates suggested as little as a day’s worth of oxygen could be left if the vessel is still functioning.
Also on the vessel with Rush are a British adventurer, two members of a Pakistani business family and a Titanic expert.
Authorities reported the carbon-fiber vessel overdue Sunday night, setting off the search in waters about 435 miles (700 kilometers) off the coast of of St. John’s.
The submersible had a four-day oxygen supply when it was put to sea around 6 a.m. Sunday, according to David Concannon, an adviser to OceanGate Expeditions, which oversaw the mission.
Questions remain about how teams could reach the lost submersible, which could be as deep as about 12,500 feet (3,800 meters) below the surface near the watery tomb of the historic ocean liner. Newly uncovered allegations also suggested there had been significant warnings made about the vessel’s safety prior to its disappearance.
is down about 18% in the month to date.
Separately, the company said late Wednesday that its board of directors has approved a new share buyback program of up to $1 billion.