Survivor of failed Titan trip recalls moment passengers had to 'rock from side to side' to get sub back to surface

27 July 2023, 12:52 | Updated: 28 July 2023, 09:51

Bill Price said he had survivor's guilt after his OceanGate Titan trip
Bill Price said he had survivor's guilt after his OceanGate Titan trip. Picture: YouTube/Handout

By Kit Heren

A survivor of a botched trip to the Titanic in OceanGate's Titan submersible has told of the moment passengers had to rock from side to side to get the vessel back to the surface.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Bill Price was a passenger on the Titan's maiden voyage to the wreckage of the Titanic in 2021.

But the propulsion system on the vessel, which suffered a catastrophic implosion in June this year, killing all passengers, failed on the first trip down.

The Titan had several safety measures to get back to the surface if systems failed, including a mechanism to release weights from the vessel, which would make it float up to the surface.

But the weights failed to dislodge.

Read more: Close friend of Titan sub pilot tried to talk him out of fatal trip, fearing hull would collapse 'catastrophically and unexpectedly'

Read more: Simulation shows how Titan sub collapsed 'millisecond by millisecond' as crew heard ominous 'loud pops and creaks'

The Oceangate submersible Titan
The Oceangate submersible Titan. Picture: Alamy

Recalling his trip after this June's fatal disaster, Mr Price said: "There was some apprehension of how are we going to get back up".

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush and pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet, who were both on the first trip and died on the June 2023 voyage, told the passengers to rock from side to side to get the weights to dislodge themselves.

The passengers eventually heard the sound of the weights falling off - which Mr Price told the LA Times was "such a relief".

Despite his unnerving experience on the first trip, Mr Price readily went on the next available descent, and said he was delighted to see the Titanic wreckage.

The wreck of the Titanic
The wreck of the Titanic. Picture: Getty

"In terms of regret, I certainly don’t have any regrets," he said. "I do feel that maybe at the time I jumped into it without knowing everything."

But on learning of the June 2023 disaster, Mr Price said he was grieving the loss of Mr Rush and Mr Nargeolet.

"I do have survivor’s guilt," he said.

Expeditions on the Titan sub cost $250,000, and typically lasted 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.

Stockton Rush
Stockton Rush. Picture: Alamy

Since the fatal Titan expedition, 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 was an attempt to fit more people inside to join the trip.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

This super speedy acceleration makes "not an especially nice noise", with the journalist saying it is "bowel loosening".

Jeremy Clarkson brands supercars 'too difficult' after driving new £308k vehicle

Aerial view of mansions still standing along a cliff after a portion of the cliffside (L) tumbled to the Pacific Ocean following days of heavy rains earlier this month on February 27, 2024 in Dana Point, California

Multi-million dollar mansions left teetering on cliff edge after landslides, but authorities say there's 'no threat'

Christian Horner has been cleared of inappropriate behaviour

Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner cleared of inappropriate behaviour as 'grievance dismissed' after investigation

Joe Biden

Joe Biden set for his annual physical examination

Black audience-only performances, also known as Black Outs, aim to get Black people into the theatre - an otherwise white-dominated space.

West End play criticised over 'Black Out' performances, which protects theatre goers from 'the white gaze'

Nigeria Shell Sale

Activists urge Nigeria to delay Shell’s £1.89bn sale of assets in Niger Delta

Christian Horner

Geri Halliwell's husband Christian Horner set to be cleared of misconduct after 'inappropriate behaviour' allegations

Five people died when the Titan submersible suffered a 'catastrophic implosion'

Mystery banging noises that sparked hope in desperate search for missing Titan submersible released for first time

Emma Caldwell was killed in 2005 and her body was found in woods 40 miles from Glasgow

Predator to spend life behind bars after strangling woman to death and dumping her naked body in woods

Former Miner Steve Fergus (left) and Easington Colliery's Front Street, 40 years on from the miners' strike (right)

Miners' strike 40 years on: East Durham pit workers accuse successive governments of 'levelling down, not up'

Ja Rule has been blocked from entering the UK

Rapper Ja Rule 'told he can't enter UK' ahead of British concerts because of his criminal record

The Pope leaves hospital

Pope taken to hospital in Rome following weekly audience

Mr Khan has been threatened by both far-right and Islamist extremists, the source also claims.

Sadiq Khan 'facing death threats from Islamists and needs round-the-clock police protection'

The Pantex complex

Wildfires prompt shutdown of nuclear weapons facility in Texas

Exclusive
Scottish Labour Hold Spring Conference

Keir Starmer's shadow teams could have just a month to talk to civil servants if PM calls May election

Pope Francis has been taken to hospital

Pope Francis, 87, taken to hospital for 'diagnostic tests' after suffering from flu in latest health concern