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OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush once had to cancel all Titan expeditions after sub's batteries 'accidentally flooded'
24 July 2023, 09:41
OceanGate's CEO Stockton Rush once had to abandon all planned Titan sub dives after the vessel's batteries accidentally flooded during an expedition.
Scott Cassell, who has been an underwater diver for 30 years, teamed up with OceanGate on the dive mission in 2010.
"It just turned out ugly in every way you think about it," Mr Cassell said.
He added that a "culture of safety" was not a priority for Mr Rush, who was one of five victims to die on an OceanGate Titan sub last month.
Sidney Loomis, a youth ambassador who was also on the 2010 mission, said someone "left the battery hatch open overnight and they flooded".
"It was a whole lot of assuming and no actual fact-checking," Loomis told Insider.
After that, the entire expedition got cut short.
Since the fatal Titan expedition last month, a number of people have spoken of their concerns about Mr Rush's attitude to safety, which he viewed as a barrier to innovation.
A number of cost-cutting measures and risky design choices may have also contributed to the catastrophic implosion of OceanGate's Titan submersible, experts have previously suggested.
One major concern over the sub's design centres around the hull.
The Titan's hull was designed to be shaped like a pill, rather than a more standard sphere shape.
This is was in an attempt to fit more people inside to join the $250,000 trip to see the Titanic wreckage.
The unusual shape of the hull may have caused pressure to distribute disproportionately, which may have caused it to 'collapse like a soda can'.
Expeditions on the Titan sub cost $250,000, typically lasting around eight hours.
Five people died in the catastrophic implosion in June, including Mr Rush, British billionaire Hamish Harding, French explorer Paul Henry Nargeolet, businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman.