'You're dead anyway': OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush's 'very strange' response to safety concerns over Titan sub

7 July 2023, 11:02

Stockton Rush told cameraman what would happen if they got lost while bolted inside Titan
Stockton Rush told cameraman what would happen if they got lost while bolted inside Titan. Picture: Alamy/Social media

By Emma Soteriou

Oceangate CEO Stockton Rush said tourists on the Titan sub would be 'dead anyway' if they got lost while bolted inside, a documentary cameraman has said.

Brian Weed, a camera operator for the series Expedition Unknown, boarded the Titan sub in May 2021 for a test dive and recalled a "very strange" conversation he had with Rush during the trip.

He said that the CEO's attitude towards "basic safety" was "cavalier" causing him to feel "uneasy" from the start.

There were several mechanical and communications issues during the test dive and it had to be aborted, Mr Weed previously said, adding that Rush got "flustered" when systems failed.

The Titan sub lost communication with the mother ship less than two hours into its dive to the famous shipwreck last month.

The Ocenagate boss was in the sub when it catastrophically imploded. He was joined by UK billionaire Hamish Harding, French explorer Paul Henry Nargeolet, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman.

OceanGate has since suspended all of its operations following the incident.

Read more: OceanGate suspends all exploration and commercial operations following death of five explorers

Read more: OceanGate's former finance director quit after CEO Stockton Rush told her to captain ill-fated Titan sub

Stockton Rush
Stockton Rush. Picture: Handout

Mr Weed said Rush had explained that there was "four or five days of oxygen on board".

"I said, 'What if they don't find you?' And he said, 'Well, you're dead anyway," Mr Weed told Insider.

"It felt like a very strange thing to think, and it seemed to almost be a nihilistic attitude toward life or death out in the middle of the ocean."

He added: "That whole dive made me very uncomfortable with the idea of going down to Titanic depths in that submersible."

Mr Weed said Rush's whole point was: "If you're out there, and they don't find you in that many days, you're just going to die anyway — it's over for you, so what does it matter if you can't get out of the sub on your own."

Mr Weed pulled out of the full dive over the safety concerns, with others including Ross Kemp and YouTuber Mr Beast also having dropped out of doing similar trips.

The explorer who narrowly avoided trip on missing OceanGate sub

It comes after a former finance director of OceanGate previously claimed she quit the company after Rush handed her the controls of the Titan submersible.

The unnamed employee said after chief pilot David Lochridge was fired for raising safety concerns in 2018, she couldn't trust Rush.

"It freaked me out that he would want me to be head pilot, since my background is in accounting, I could not work for Stockton," she told the New Yorker.