OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush told previous passengers to 'sleep' when sub battery went 'kaput' for 24 hours

4 July 2023, 20:53 | Updated: 5 July 2023, 22:29

A former passenger previously revealed his experience on the sub.
A former passenger previously revealed his experience on the sub. Picture: Alamy/Getty/OceanGate

By Jenny Medlicott

A previous passenger on an OceanGate Titanic mission said CEO Stockton Rush suggested they take a 'sleep' after the battery went 'kaput'.

Videographer Jaden Pan joined one of the sub expeditions in 2021 but the mission took a frightening turn when just two hours into the vessel’s dive the battery failed.

Mr Pan revealed how when they made the journey to the floor of the Atlantic they were within 'two football fields’ of the wreckage when CEO Stockton Rush announced they needed to return to the surface.

“At first, I thought he was joking because we were over two hours into our expedition and so close to the bottom,” he said.

Read More: OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush compared glue holding Titan sub together to peanut butter

But according to the former passenger, Rush confessed that the battery on the vessel had gone “kaput” and there was issues “using the drops for the weights” which enabled the sub to make the return journey to the surface.

Rush then reportedly offered to let the passengers "sleep" while the vessel weights dissolved, as they needed 24 hours to do so, at which point the sub would be able to rise back to the surface.

Half the crew, including Rush, had no issues with sleeping at the bottom of the ocean – but the other half refused.

So instead Rush managed to use hydraulics to drop the weight of the vessel, enabling it to rise back to the surface.

Pan recalled the moment the battery went “kaput” when speaking to the BBC last year.

Read more: ‘My team decided it wasn’t right’: Ross Kemp reveals how he really was eager to dive on doomed Titanic sub

Read more: Subway branch criticised for 'distasteful' billboard making light of Titanic sub tragedy

Read more: Youngest ever visitor to the Titanic passed out from lack of oxygen on trip to ocean depths

Read more: OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush flew to London to reassure UK businessman and his son over Titanic sub trip

The sub, pictured here on its launch craft before a descent, is facing multiple claims of safety failings.
The sub, pictured here on its launch craft before a descent, is facing multiple claims of safety failings. Picture: Alamy
CEO Stockton Rush's behaviour ahead of the launch has also been called into question.
CEO Stockton Rush's behaviour ahead of the launch has also been called into question. Picture: Alamy

According to the DailyMail, the CEO had also said the crew were going to be on the ocean floor for another “16 to 24” hours at the time.

Pan’s experience on the vessel is just one of many stories to emerge about the concerning safety levels of the company's sub following the death of five passengers on the OceanGate Expeditions vessel last month.

All five on board died after a ‘catastrophic implosion’ on June 18.

It comes after a report emerged today about a former OceanGate employee who was fired from the company after he raised safety concerns about the sub.

David Lochridge, formerly OceanGate’s director of marine operations, was fired after repeatedly raising concerns about the safety of the Titan sub.

The new claims emerged in The New Yorker who said Lochridge wrote: “I don’t want to be seen as a Tattle tale but I’m so worried he kills himself and others in the quest to boost his ego.

“I would consider myself pretty ballsy when it comes to doing things that are dangerous but that sub is an accident waiting to happen.

“There’s no way on earth you could have paid me to dive the thing.”

Stockton Rush dismissed concerns about a “really loud bang” during a previous dive, it also emerged today.

In a 2021 interview, he appeared to boast about ‘bending the rules’ in the construction of the Titan.

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