Titanic: Discovery Channel explorer refused to dive into Titan because he discovered safety problems
Last Sunday a group of wealthy men sought to see the remains of the Titanic, but they did not expect that this dream would cost them their lives, since the submersible imploded, killing the crew in milliseconds due to the high pressure of the seabed.
Josh Gates, an explorer and host of the Discovery Channel show Expedition Unknown, has revealed that he refused to film on the Titan submersible because he discovered several safety issues at OceanGate, which have not been made public.
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The remains of the Titanic are almost 4,000 meters under the sea, and it is a site of great interest due to the popularity of that ship, which was presumed by its creators to be invincible and ended up sinking, taking the lives of many people.
That story has been adapted on the big and small screen, but the most famous is the 1998 film, Titanic (88%), by James Cameron, winner of 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Gates wrote via Twitter the following:
I had the unique opportunity to dive into OceanGate’s submarine, Titan, with [el CEO de la compañía] Stockton [Rush] At the helm in preparation for his maiden mission to the Titanic, I pray for a positive outcome for the rescue efforts of those on board.
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For Those Who Ask, Titan did not work well on my dive. Ultimately, I walked away from a great opportunity to film the Titanic due to my safety concerns with the OceanGate platform. There’s more to Titan’s story and design that hasn’t been made public, much of it worrying.
David Lochridge, fired by the company after expressing fears about him, was accused of divulging confidential information when he filed a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
In response to OceanGate’s lawsuit, Lochridge alleged in 2018 that his termination was unfair and that his actions were intended to ensure the safety of passengers aboard Titan.
According to Lochridge, he had recommended OceanGate conduct further safety tests on the hull of Titan, but the company decided to carry out immersions without carrying out the necessary tests to prove its integrity. Lochridge himself, a submarine pilot and underwater inspector, argued that Titan, built with a carbon fiber hull, planned to carry passengers to a depth of 4,000 meters, a mark never before reached by such a submarine. It also expressed concern that the sub relied on an acoustic monitoring system to detect hull failure, which would only alert of impending problems milliseconds before an implosion.
In addition, the Society for Marine Technology’s Committee on Manned Underwater Vehicles in 2018 sent a letter to OceanGate expressing reservations about the safety of the submarine. The letter warned that the company’s experimental approach could have potentially catastrophic results for the industry. The company’s reaction to Lochridge’s concerns was to fire him immediately.
The Titan submersible was used to transport five people to the depth of 4,000 meters, allowing them to explore the wreckage of the Titanic. The trip for each passenger cost around US$250,000. The structure’s oxygen life support system could sustain five people for 96 hours, equivalent to four days. Each round trip to the wreckage of the Titanic could last up to 10 hours. On board the missing sub were British businessman Hamish Harding, British Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood with his 19-year-old son Suleman, former French Navy diver Paul-Henry Nargeolet, and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush.
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