Titanic missing sub: Tycoon pulled out of Titan voyage over ‘shoddy’ design


A digital marketing tycoon who almost went on the missing Titan submersible says he pulled out of the voyage to the Titanic’s wreckage due to concerns over the vessel’s design.
Chris Brown, 61, said that he thought parts of OceanGate’s sub seemed “a bit shoddy” when he saw some of the testing process in the Bahamas in 2018.
The friend of British billionaire Hamish Harding, among the five people trapped on board, also raised concerns over a lightning strike that he claims blew out all of the sub’s electronics during a test.
“They’re using industrial piping for ballast; an Xbox controller for the steering strip lighting is something at a DIY shop,” said Brown, from Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
“Small, cramped spaces. I wasn’t happy with some of the designs, like the thrusters on the outside with the cables there. I thought that was a snagging hazard.

Tycoon Withdraws from Voyage, Citing ‘Shoddy’ Design

“What did it for me was they flatly refused to get any form of certification, and it seemed that they had no intention of getting any certification for going down to those depths once, let alone several times.”
Similar concerns were echoed in 2018 by the Marine Technology Society, which wrote to OceanGate CEO Rush Stockton that an “experimental” approach to Titan’s development could have potentially “catastrophic” consequences.
The group accused the firm of “misleading” the public by saying Titan met the safety standards of DNV – a leading certification body in the maritime industry – despite having no intention of undergoing its safety checks. The full letter can be seen here.
On its website, DNV explains that its certification process consists of informal interviews, examinations, observations of the system in operation, a review of relevant documentation, and checking that the body’s safety standards are complied with.

Tycoon Pulls Out of Titanic Sub Voyage, Citing Design Flaws

OceanGate co-founder Guillermo Söhnlein today rejected criticism over his company’s safety and certification, saying they were not around for the 14 years of development of the Titan sub, as per a BBC report. ‘Titanic’ movie director James Cameron, who has completed 33 dives to the wreck of the oceanliner, had told BBC that the deep submergence community had warned OceanGate of safety concerns.
The missing submersible was destroyed in a ‘catastrophic implosion’ during descent, and all five aboard were killed, the U.S. Coast Guard said early today. They noted that a robotic diving vehicle discovered a debris field from the submersible Titan on the seabed and identified five major vessel fragments. No mention was made of human remains.
The passengers were OceanGate Expeditions CEO Stockton Rush, who was piloting the mission; British billionaire and explorer Hamish Harding, 58; Pakistani-born businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his 19-year-old son, Suleman, both British citizens; and French oceanographer and renowned Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, who had visited the wreck dozens of times.

All five people aboard the Titan submersible are believed to be dead, and debris discovered in the search area was consistent with a “catastrophic implosion,” the U.S. Coast Guard said.
Officials said the debris was found off the sunken Titanic’s bow.
The search for the Titan, which went missing Sunday after it embarked on a mission to survey the wreckage of the Titanic, had been focused on an area where Canadian aircraft detected “underwater noises” Tuesday and again yesterday.
U.S. Coast Guard officials had estimated the five passengers could run out of air just before 7:10 a.m. E.T. today, and the location of the missing vessel had remained a mystery even as the search intensified.
The White House offered condolences to the families mourning the five people killed aboard the Titan submersible.
U.S. Coast Guard officials announced their deaths Thursday following the vessel’s catastrophic implosion in the North Atlantic.

Tycoon’s Departure Points to Design Weaknesses in Titanic Submersible

“Our hearts go out to the household and loved ones of those who lost their lives on the Titan,” the White House said. “They have been through a harrowing ordeal over the past few days, and we are keeping them in our thoughts and prayers.”
The statement also thanked the searchers, including the Coast Guard, for the international effort to find the submersible.
“This has been a testament to the skill and professionalism that the men and women who serve our nation continue to demonstrate every single day,” the statement said.
Tech journalist and “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent David Pogue, who observed an OceanGate Expeditions Titanic shipwreck trip last year, the last before the Titan disappeared this week, said a “massive amount of misinformation” has circulated online.
In an interview, Pogue, whose coverage of the submersible last year has attracted renewed interest in light of the disaster, also responded to attacks on his reporting over the past two days.
Critics on Twitter have suggested that Pogue and other journalists undersold how dangerous the submersible was or even that he conspired to shield the company from accountability.
Pogue countered that the safety issues were the “centrepiece” of his OceanGate coverage. “There is a fundamental lack of understanding of the deep-sea diving industry process,” he said.

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Olivia Wilson

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