The disappearance of the Titanic sub, which was carrying 13 people, has raised many questions about the safety of the vessel. In the years leading up to its disappearance, there were a number of red flags that should have been heeded.
The Titan belongs to OceanGate, a U.S. company that provides crewed submersibles for research, exploration, and tourism. Rich tourists can pay $250,000 per ticket for the opportunity to dive more than two miles under the ocean’s surface.
OceanGate touted that the Titan features “off-the-shelf technology,” which “helped to streamline the construction, and makes it simple to operate and replace parts in the field.” In a CBS News report last year, OceanGate founder and CEO Stockton Rush, who is on the missing submersible, was proud to display an off-brand video game controller that he said “runs the whole thing and a largely empty interior except for an assortment of screens and some sort of toilet set-up.”
CBS also reported that the Titan’s hatch is sealed by an external crew with 17 bolts, and that is the only way out. The report also said that the submersible lacks underwater GPS but instead is guided by text messages from the surface ship.
Digital marketing tycoon Chris Brown had signed up for the trip but backed out after seeing too many red flags. He told The Sun that he paid a deposit of $10,000 to join his friend Hamish Harding after the two decided to go on the voyage after having a “few beers.” Harding is currently on the missing submersible, but Brown changed his mind after learning how the Titan was built.
Despite these red flags, the Titanic sub was allowed to operate. In 2018, the sub sank during a dive to the Titanic wreck site. The cause of the sinking is still unknown, but the red flags that surrounded the sub in the years leading up to its disappearance raise serious questions about its safety.
This short clip will help you understand why the Titanic mini sub is missing and why this was an accident waiting to happen. pic.twitter.com/srrXmFnoTq
— Frida Ghitis (@FridaGhitis) June 20, 2023