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

4 July 2023, 15:26 | Updated: 4 July 2023, 23:14

The ex-Eastenders actor revealed he wanted to join the expedition.
The ex-Eastenders actor revealed he wanted to join the expedition. Picture: Alamy/OceanGate

By Jenny Medlicott

Ross Kemp has revealed he was keen to join the OceanGate expedition to the Titanic wreckage – until his team deemed the sub unsafe.

The former Eastenders star said he was invited onto the doomed sub after he announced plans to make a documentary marking the 110th anniversary about the sinking of the Titanic.

It was set to be part of his new series Ross Kemp: Deep Sea Treasure Hunter, which went ahead in 2022 without the anniversary episode.

As a documentary maker and keen deep sea diver, the actor said he was ready - and even eager - to accept the offer, speaking to ITV’S This Morning.

He said: “I just think you know in any one time there are different documentaries that one could be making and that is true - I was invited to have dialogue with the company in order for me to go down this summer.

Read More: Titan sub was badly damaged after being struck by lightning, OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush reveals in resurfaced interview

"But it was decided by the people, not me, that it was not the right thing to do."

Asked if he wanted to join the expedition, the actor replied: “Of course I wanted to.

“I love diving, I am a HSE qualified diver and I am fascinated by the sea and fascinated by wrecks.

"However, right now all we care about are the families.”

Despite being quizzed on the specific concerns about the vessel, Mr Kemp said: "Honestly, it was not my decision.

"I am not expert enough to know whether that was the right sub or not.”

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

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

Ross Kemp opened up about how he was eager to go on one of the company's expeditions.
Ross Kemp opened up about how he was eager to go on one of the company's expeditions. Picture: Alamy

Read more: OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush hired 'university interns' to design electrical system of Titan sub

Read more: Final image of UK businessman and his son before they boarded Titanic tourist sub on Father's Day

Professor Jonathan Shalit, of Kemp's agency InterTalent, said: "Their team checked out this OceanGate submersible and pulled out of using it, as it was simply not considered safe or fit for purpose.

"I am just relieved not to have had my post note in history as the agent who killed Ross Kemp."

The documentary-star has done deep-sea dives before exploring shipwrecks, but never to the extreme depths offered by OceanGate.

A TV insider told The Sun: "Ross had to get a deep sea diving certificate so he could dive at up to 40 metres, which requires a lot of teaching and learning.

"But when provisional enquiries were made with OceanGate, the question was asked: 'How much training does he need to go down in the submersible to the Titanic?'

"And the answer was: 'None at all'.

"The company was looked at initially because they were a well-known organisation, but after Atlantic [Productions] started asking questions, any plans quickly unravelled."

OceanGate Expedition’s Titan sub suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’ on June 18 while on a dive to the Titanic wreckage, killing all five on board.

Mr Kemp's comments come amid ongoing reports from experts who had expressed their concerns over the safety of the sub before its fateful dive.

Many noted concerns about the sub’s carbon fibre core which was responsible for keeping passengers alive at extreme depths.

In a 2021 interview, OceanGate Expeditions CEO Stockton Rush appeared to boast about ‘bending the rules’ in the construction of the Titan.