OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush was 'flustered' after sub's comms went out on test dive, says documentary cameraman

30 June 2023, 13:53

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush was 'flustered' with the submersible's comms going out
OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush was 'flustered' with the submersible's comms going out. Picture: Alamy/Social media/Handout

By Emma Soteriou

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush got "flustered" when systems failed during a test dive in the Titan sub, a documentary cameraman has said.

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Brian Weed, a camera operator for the series Expedition Unknown, said travelling in the sub was comparable to "playing Russian roulette", suggesting the vessel got weaker and weaker with each trip to the Titanic wreckage.

He said that during a May 2021 test dive, in which he and his team travelled down 100ft, the sub's communication systems went offline and its propulsion system failed.

Rush tried to reboot the sub's system and also used the vessel's touchscreens to troubleshoot problems with the craft, Weed explained.

Read more: OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush believed 'anomalies' could be detected in sub 'before critical pressure', 2020 Q&A reveals

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

Titan sub
Titan sub. Picture: Getty

"You could tell that he was flustered and not really happy with the performance," Weed told AP.

"But he was trying to make light of it, trying to make excuses."

Weed and his team had intended to produce a documentary featuring the OceanGate submersible but decided not to take a full dive in the Titan due to safety concerns.

"I felt like every time the vessel goes down, it's going to get weaker and weaker," he said.

"And that's a little bit like playing Russian roulette."

Submarine commander shocked at mini-sub human remains

After the test dive, Weed's production company spoke to an unnamed consultant with the US Navy to review the sub, AP said.

They warned that the Titan's carbon-fibre hull would not remain fully effective with multiple deep dives.

Five passengers died from the "catastrophic implosion" last week, after rescuers spent days searching for the missing vessel.

Those who joined Rush on the sub were UK billionaire Hamish Harding, French explorer Paul Henry Nargeolet, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman.

Following the incident, it emerged that safety concerns were raised multiple times before, with several people including Ross Kemp and YouTuber Mr Beast having dropped out of doing similar trips.

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