Simpsons writer says Titanic submarine ‘almost always lost communication’ on previous dives he took with company

21 June 2023, 15:31

Former writer for The Simpsons Mike Reiss has shared his experience on the vessel.
Former writer for The Simpsons Mike Reiss has shared his experience on the vessel. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

A writer for The Simpsons has revealed he's "not optimistic" about those missing on the Titanic expedition as he shared his experience of making the same perilous journey last year.

Former show-runner, writer and producer for US show The Simpsons, Mike Reiss, has revealed the various mishaps he encountered when he made the same journey to the Titanic wreckage in 2022.

Mr Reiss, who has taken three different dives with OceanGate before, one of which was to the wreckage, said that communication failures occurred every time he was on board.

He said: “I have taken three different dives with this company, one at the Titanic and two others and you almost always lost communication — and you are at the mercy of weather.”

“I just feel for these people, my hopes are with them. I am not optimistic, I know how tiny the vessel is and how huge the ocean is.”

He also said he prepared to never make it off the sub after her signed a waiver that listed “three ways to die on page one”, speaking to the BBC.

It was “remarkable how basic and simple the whole operation is,” he added.

OceanGate expeditions have been running to the site of the wreckage since 2021, a costly trip that will set passengers back $250,000.

Others who have previously made the journey to the Titanic wreckage have also told of their frightening encounters while on board.

They likened the submarine controls to an “Xbox controller”as they described how it used a hand-held pad to control the direction of the sub.

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Mike Reiss spoke about his experience on the expedition last year.
Mike Reiss spoke about his experience on the expedition last year. Picture: Getty

Read more: Search for missing Titanic sub will continue 'as long as there’s an opportunity for survival' says US Coast Guard chief

Read more: 24 hours to save Titanic tourists: Rescuers hear banging sounds as they scramble to find missing submarine

Read more: Has the Titanic sub been found? Timeline of events and latest updates

Renata Rojas, a banker who also went on an expedition to the wreckage last July, said sonar failed when she was on her trip.

She said: “You have to find a way to communicate and navigate in the bottom of the ocean.

“Sometimes you don’t have communications, you have maybe just one system instead of all three."

David Pogue, a TV correspondent, who has also travelled on the sub said: “I couldn’t help noticing how many pieces of this sub seemed improvised, with off-the-shelf components.”

The cramped Titan sub went missing with five people onboard while travelling to the wreckage of the Titanic on Sunday, which is about 12,000ft underwater.

Rescuers revealed today that “maximum life support” for those on board is believed to be at about Thursday 22 June at 11:30am UK time.

It comes after rescuers said they have been encouraged after hearing the sound of banging underwater. But despite dropping sonobuoys in the water and bringing in planes and ships to search the area - about 400 miles from Newfoundland in the Atlantic - they have not tracked it down.

The banging, which came at 30-minute intervals, was picked up on sonar by a Canadian aircraft, leaked US government messages show.

Five passengers are onboard - UK billionaire Hamish Harding, two Pakistanis - Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman - Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, as well as 73-year-old French explorer Paul-Henry Nargeolet.

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