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Emails Reveal Earlier Warnings to OceanGate CEO Over Titan Expedition

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By Abi Gibson - - 5 Mins Read
OceanGate Titan submersible under water
The Titan submersible |

Last week, a tragic incident occurred, which has been widely covered in the news. However, there are few details available regarding the specific events leading up to the incident. Ever since the Titanic sank on its inaugural voyage over a century ago, numerous expeditions have been conducted to the location where the iconic vessel now rests.


However, when a new group proceeded to visit the ruins of the Titanic using a human-crewed submersible, the end was fatal.


This group comprised 5 people; all were reported dead after the submersible most likely imploded underwater. Oceangate expeditions to the Titanic required their customers to pay fees reaching up to $250,000 for one single trip. 


Apparently, 4 years before the expedition started, the founder and CEO of Oceangate was warned by a close friend and associate about the dangers of visiting the Titanic without proper research and tests.


The now-dead founder was warned of using a titan submersible to see Titanic wreckage when several tests remain to be carried out. In April 2019, Karl Stanley, who runs his own deep-sea exploration company in Honduras, used OceanGate's Titan Submersible to dive into the ocean.


The dive was about 12,000 feet, and he made several observations which he made known to his friend and owner of Oceangate. So during this dive, Karl Stanley noticed they were breaking sounds in the submersible hull. 


When Stanley came back from the dive, he shared his thoughts with OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush in emails. He told him the company still needed to conduct tons of research and test divings before commercializing the product. In one of his emails, Stanley told Rush that there was "an area of the hull that is breaking down."


Five passengers of the Titan submersible are dead, US Coast Guard says |  WJAR

Images of the 5 passengers in the Titan submersible (Turnto10.com)


According to emails retrieved by the Insider, Rush had reassured Stanley claiming that all his concerns were being looked into and would soon be resolved.


"Our analysis of the past dives shows a definite reduction in acoustic events, but only having data from two full operating depth dives does not make for much of a validating trend," Rush said in one of the emails. 

OceanGate Conducted Very Few Research Before the Expedition 

Recent analyses and discoveries have revealed significant flaws in the foundation of the Oceangate expeditions. One of the primary issues was the company's failure to conduct adequate testing and research before offering customers the opportunity to view the Titanic.


OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush had told his friend Stanley that they would conduct only about 2 to 5 tests to resolve any issues with their submarine. However, Stanley replied in one of the emails that "2-7 dives to operating depth are too few to launch an expedition selling 6-figure tickets in the middle of the ocean."


Stanley offered advice and told OceanGate CEO that 50 tests should be the perfect number of research needed to verify the Titan submersible as safe for the expedition. He provided an analogy saying that 50 is the same number required to receive what's known in the sport as a "B license." 


"I think that hull has a defect near that flange that will only get worse. The only question in my mind is will it fail catastrophically or not," he added in one of the emails. In subsequent events, Oceangate CEO disregarded these warnings and continued the expedition. It ended in a terrible disaster, as all the 5 people aboard were certified dead.