After four days of silence, OceanGate Expeditions has finally acknowledged the fate of the passengers aboard the Titan submarine, which went missing during an expedition to the wreck of the Titanic. This statement from the company comes after an ROV discovered debris from the external part of the submersible which was found about a third of a mile away from the 1912 ship wreckage, confirming the death of the crew inside. OceanGate has not apologized, or taken any responsibility in their statement. Let’s just say the $250,000 per seat was not worth it.
What did OceanGate say about the Titan sub tragedy?
On the 22nd of June, OceanGate Expeditions announced with profound sadness that they believe all five individuals aboard the Titan submersible perished during their expedition to the wreck of the RMS Titanic. The passengers included company CEO Stockton Rush, Hamish Harding, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Shahzada Dawood, and his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood. In their statement, they acknowledged the grief of their employees and of the family’s of the crew that was “sadly lost” during the trip. The company has further thanked all the search and rescue teams efforts to find the submersible and the passengers. The company ended its statement by calling on the media and public to show compassion and respect for the families of those who were impacted by this tragedy.
“These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world’s oceans. Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.”A statement by OceanGate
Was the OceanGate’s Titan qualified for this expedition?
No, it was not qualified for this trip, and knowing the multiple issues with the submersible, OceanGate still went ahead with this expedition. According to a report by the New York Times, the Titan was the only one of 10 submersibles of its kind that was not qualified to go to the Titanic’s wreckage. It had also not been subjected to the same level of testing as other submersibles, and that there were many concerns about its safety. The report also added that the Titan’s sinking was likely caused by a combination of factors, including a failure of the viewport and the presence of strong currents in the area.
Many people including former Royal Navy submariner, Andrew Woodward raised concerns about the Titan’s buoyancy system, which he believed was not reliable enough to keep the submersible afloat in the event of a failure. David Lochridge, the director of marine operations at OceanGate, was fired by the CEO of OceanGate after raising concerns about the safety of the company’s first-of-a-kind carbon fiber hull. Aside from that, Chris Jewels, a marine engineer who worked on the design of the Titan, was concerned about the safety of the Titan’s viewport, which was apparently not strong enough to withstand the pressures at the Titanic’s depth. If all of that wasn’t enough, a group of scientists had also previously written a letter to OceanGate expressing their concerns about the safety of the Titan, and its overall design. It was signed by 15 scientists who had extensive experience in underwater exploration.
Despite these warnings, Stockholm Rush who was the CEO of OceanGate, decided to go ahead with the expedition. As a result, the Titan imploded on June 18, 2023, killing all five people on board. It is believed by a general consensus that OceanGate is responsible for this. A number of lawsuits have been filed against the company, and it is likely that it will will face significant legal and financial challenges in the coming year. Rush has also called safety “a pure waste” in the past.