Brian Weed, a documentary cameraman who participated in a test dive aboard the ill-fated Titan sub, disclosed details of a “very strange” conversation he had with OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush during their time on the vessel.
Weed, working for the Discovery Channel’s ‘Expedition Unknown’ TV show in May 2021, recounted his experience aboard the Titan, which tragically imploded the following month.
Hamish Harding | Billionaire’s Final Hours Inside The Titan Submersible
He said: ‘Well, there’s four or five days of oxygen on board, and I said, ‘What if they don’t find you?’ And he said, ‘Well, you’re dead anyway.’
Weed continued: ‘It felt like a very strange thing to think, and it seemed to almost be a nihilistic attitude toward life or death out in the middle of the ocean.’
From the onset, Weed noted that Rush’s demeanor regarding “basic safety” was dismissive and casual, leaving him with a sense of unease.
Weed tiết lộ rằng chuyến lặn thử nghiệm đã gặp phải một loạt vấn đề về máy móc và liên lạc, buộc phải hủy bỏ. Hồi tưởng lại trải nghiệm này, anh ấy nhấn mạnh cảm giác không thoải mái và không an toàn khi đi xuống độ sâu của tàu Titanic trong tàu lặn.
‘That whole dive made me very uncomfortable with the idea of going down to Titanic depths in that submersible.’
Due to safety concerns, Weed withdrew from the documentary project, leading to the subsequent cancellation of the ‘Expedition Unknown’ production.
Human remains from Titan submersible wreckage to be analyzed #titanicsub
Tragically, Rush and four others lost their lives during the implosion of the submersible while descending to explore the wreckage of the Titanic. Among the passengers were Shahzada Dawood, one of Pakistan’s wealthiest individuals, alongside his son Suleman, British billionaire Hamish Harding, and French explorer Paul-Henry Nargeolet.
As the submersible lost communication with its operator, OceanGate Expeditions, less than two hours into the dive near the famous shipwreck, a large-scale rescue operation was launched, involving aircraft and a fleet of vessels. Unfortunately, it was later announced that all five individuals on board had perished in a catastrophic implosion of the submersible, leaving no chance for survival.
An anonymous staff member revealed that following the dismissal of chief pilot David Lochridge in 2018 for raising safety concerns, she lost trust in late CEO Stockton Rush.
She told the New Yorker: ‘It freaked me out that he would want me to be head pilot, since my background is in accounting, I could not work for Stockton.’
Lochridge was terminated after OceanGate disagreed with his request for more rigorous safety checks, including integrity testing for the submersible.
‘OceanGate were warned’ about Titan sub safety, says Titanic director James Cameron #titanicsub
OceanGate, which charged passengers $250,000 for the journey to the Titanic wreck, recently announced the suspension of its operations. Investigators believe the Titan imploded during its descent into the deep North Atlantic waters on June 18. The U.S. Coast Guard has initiated a Marine Board of Investigation into the incident and intends to conduct a public hearing in the future.
Regarding the implosion, human remains have reportedly been recovered from the submersible wreckage and are being examined by medical officials. Debris from the vessel was retrieved using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) from the ocean floor, located approximately 12,500 feet underwater. The Coast Guard has yet to provide a comment on the matter.
OceanGate’s statement confirmed the suspension of all exploration and commercial operations but did not provide further details. The company’s website still featured a photo of the Titanic wreck, although booking trips and accessing certain site features were not available.
OceanGate is headquartered in Everett, Washington, while OceanGate Expeditions, the affiliated company responsible for the Titanic dives, is registered in the Bahamas. The extensive search for and recovery of debris from the 22-foot (6.7-meter) vessel garnered global attention.
Legal experts anticipate potential lawsuits from the families of the victims, targeting OceanGate, the manufacturer of the Titan, and the companies that supplied its parts.
Richard Daynard, a distinguished professor at Northeastern University School of Law, pointed out that if OceanGate ceases operations entirely, it significantly limits the options for seeking damages. He stated that there would be “essentially no chance” of recovering damages from the company if it is no longer in operation.
Furthermore, it is likely that the passengers were required to sign liability waivers. One such waiver, signed by a person intending to participate in an OceanGate expedition, acknowledged the potential risks involved, including physical injury, disability, emotional trauma, and even death while aboard the Titan.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is currently conducting a safety investigation into the Polar Prince, the Canadian-flagged mother ship of the Titan. However, officials from the safety board did not respond to requests for comment.