The eyes of the world are currently on a spot in the vast North Atlantic, where rescuers are searching for a small submersible. It disappeared while carrying tourists who hoped to see the wreck of the Titanic on the ocean floor 2.5 miles down.

The rescue effort shows the limitations and reality of what rescuers can do for us, and what they sometimes can’t. And why we need to do all we can to give our rescuers a leg up in helping us survive a mishap at sea.