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

3 July 2023, 08:58 | Updated: 3 July 2023, 21:46

Sebastian Harris was the youngest visitor to the Titanic
Sebastian Harris was the youngest visitor to the Titanic. Picture: Facebook/Getty

By Kit Heren

The youngest-ever visitor to the Titanic wreck passed out from a lack of oxygen on his trip beneath the waves, he has revealed.

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Sebastian Harris went down 12,500 feet to visit the ruins of the famous liner with his father G Michael Harris when he was just 13.

The father and son descended in a Russian submarine, and Sebastian has previously said he would never have used the Titan sub, which imploded last month, killing its five passengers.

Sebastian's admission that he passed out from lack of oxygen while travelling to the Titanic has thrown further doubt on the wisdom of visiting the mass grave.

He said: "While we got down to [the] depth where it flowed over the bow, I spent some time placing a plaque.

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

Sebastian Harris
Sebastian Harris. Picture: Facebook

"And then shortly after that, you know, as far as I knew, I fell asleep essentially,"

"Turns out we were at 17% oxygen [in the submersible]," Sebastian added.

"And so what happens? You go unconscious. They realised what the issue was, cranked the oxygen back up and ultimately everything was fine."

Read more: Titan sub's final moments revealed as crew was told they would be in total darkness for descent to Titanic wreck

Read more: 'End Titanic tourism': Calls grow for missions to see the wreck to be banned after five die in 'catastrophic implosion'

His father told The Story: "I looked up and I saw that we were at 17 per cent. And I reached back and I opened the O2 bottle and Anatoly turned and he said, ‘What are you doing?’

"And I said 'He's passed out'. And Anatoly then reached back and he just cranked that bottle open and it was literally inside of ten seconds, as if somebody flipped a switch and Sebastian was back to, ‘Whoa, this is so cool’."

Read more: OceanGate Expeditions is still advertising $250,000 trips to the Titanic wreckage - despite implosion that killed five

Read more: First photos show Titanic sub debris brought ashore after craft imploded killing all five aboard

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

It comes after it emerged that Stockton Rush, the CEO of Oceangate Expeditions which led the fateful mission to the Titanic that claimed his life and the life of four others, told a friend in 2019 that he would shut his firm down before operating an unsafe vessel.

Rush emailed friend Karl Stanley, a submersibles expert, who told him of serious concerns about the safety of the Titan craft - after he heard cracking noises on a dive in the Bahamas.

"I think that hull has a defect near that flange, that will only get worse. The only question in my mind is will it fail catastrophically or not," Stanley said in an email to Rush seen by Insider.

In his email exchange, Rush said: “I made it clear after our dive that I will not take nonessential crew, clients or media in the sub until I am confident that the hull is safe.

CEO Stockton Rush
OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush. Picture: Alamy

"As I told you before, I cancelled last year's expedition and will cancel this year's, or even shut down the company, before I will operate an unsafe sub."

Rush and OceanGate have come under intense scrutiny over the sub’s safety and lack of certification, with industry experts criticising their approach.However others have said Rush did truly believe the sub was safe.

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