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

5 July 2023, 22:26

Stockton Rush died in the sub in a "catastrophic implosion" last month
Stockton Rush died alongside four others in the sub in a "catastrophic implosion" last month. Picture: Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

OceanGate's CEO Stockton Rush once compared the glue holding the doomed Titan sub together to peanut butter.

Mr Rush, who was one of five people to die in a "catastrophic implosion" on the sub, called Titan submersible's carbon-fiber hull design "pretty simple".

Speaking in a video on the company's YouTube channel in 2018, Mr Rush said the glue was "very thick...not like Elmer's glue, it's like peanut butter".

At this point, Mr Rush had already acknowledged the simplicity of the sub's design, but said there was "not a lot of room for recovery" if things went south.

It comes amid concerns over Mr Rush's approach to safety when designing the sub, which imploded in June during a trip to see the Titanic shipwreck.

The tragedy also killed British billionaire Hamish Harding, French explorer Paul Henry Nargeolet, businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman.

Read More: All the 'red flag' claims made about OceanGate's Titan sub: The carbon fibre hull, game controllers and worrying noises

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush
OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush. Picture: Alamy

Earlier today, LBC analysed a series of 'red flag' claims that were made about the sub in the lead up to its implosion.

Since the implosion, it has come to light that Mr Rush used material from disused aeroplanes to build the carbon fibre hull.

Arnie Weissmann, editor-in-chief of Travel Weekly, said she spoke to Mr Rush about the carbon fibre used in the Titan's hull, which has been questioned.

He said Rush told her he bought carbon fibre for the sub "at a big discount" because "it was past its shelf life use in airplanes".

Speaking to the Washington Post, Mr Weissmann recalled: "I responded right away, saying, 'Don’t you have any concerns about that?’

Read more: OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush boasted of ‘expired’ materials used to build sub, passenger who almost joined says

"He was very dismissive and said: 'No, it's perfectly fine. Having all these certifications for airplanes is one thing, but the carbon fibre was perfectly sound.'"

Some experts have argued carbon fibre should not have been used, and suggested water could have seeped into space between the carbon fibre and titanium.

But this will not be known until the official investigation is concluded.

The Oceangate submersible 'Titan'
The Oceangate submersible 'Titan'. Picture: Alamy

The Titan was damaged after a lightning strike in the Bahamas, Rush also revealed in 2020.

He said the sub was hit during a test dive in 2018 in an episode that has again raised questions about the carbon fibre hull.

Rush admitted if the lightning had hit it directly it could have could have had deadly consequences.

"Fortunately, it was not a direct strike," he told Matt Burdyny, the vice president of Teledyne Marine.

"A direct strike to the carbon fibre probably would have taken us totally out."

Read more about 'red flag' claims made by Mr Rush.