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CEO Didn’t Hire ’50-Year-Old White Guys’ With Experience to Guide Titanic Sub Because They Aren’t ‘Inspirational’, Skimped on Safety Inspections

CEO Didn’t Hire ’50-Year-Old White Guys’ With Experience to Guide Titanic Sub Because They Aren’t ‘Inspirational’, Skimped on Safety Inspections

Oxygen might give out today for the 5 people in the sub.

There are five missing on the OceanGate Titan sub:

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, British businessman Hamish Harding, father-and-son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood, who are members of one of Pakistan’s wealthiest families, and Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a former French navy officer and leading Titanic expert.

An interview with Stockton Rush from 2018 shows that a woke mindset can be deadly:

Stockton Rush, 61, added that such expertise was unnecessary because “anybody can drive the sub” with a $30 video game controller.

“When I started the business, one of the things you’ll find, there are other sub-operators out there, but they typically have, uh, gentlemen who are ex-military submariners, and they — you’ll see a whole bunch of 50-year-old white guys,” Rush told Teledyne Marine in a newly resurfaced undated Zoom interview.

“I wanted our team to be younger, to be inspirational and I’m not going to inspire a 16-year-old to go pursue marine technology, but a 25-year-old, uh, you know, who’s a sub pilot or a platform operator or one of our techs can be inspirational,” he continued.

Rush also skimped out and found loopholes to avoid inspections because he was so convinced nothing could happen to his sub:

But revealed on Tuesday that OceanGate refused to have the craft independently inspected and even fired a director who raised concerns about its safety.

The company has said said seeking classification for the Titan would not ‘ensure that operators adhere to proper operating procedures and decision-making processes – two areas that are much more important for mitigating risks at sea’.

Classification involves recruiting an independent organization to ensure vessels like ships and submersibles meet industry-wide technical standards. It is a crucial way of ensuring a vessel is fit to operate.

In a blog post titled ‘Why Isn’t Titan Classed?’ OceanGate suggested classification would take too long.

The post said: ‘While classing agencies are willing to pursue the certification of new and innovative designs and ideas, they often have a multi-year approval cycle due to a lack of pre-existing standards…

‘Bringing an outside entity up to speed on every innovation before it is put into real-world testing is anathema to rapid innovation.’

The company said its ‘innovations’ included a real-time (RTM) hull health monitoring system which is ‘not currently covered by any classing agency’.

It also suggested its own in-house safety protocols were sufficient. The blog concluded that ‘by itself, classing is not sufficient to ensure safety’.

Three more vessels joined the search and rescue operation for the missing OceanGate Titan sub near the Titanic:

A Canadian aircraft deployed to assist with rescue efforts for the missing Titanic tourist submersible picked up “underwater noises” in the vessel’s search area, according to the Coast Guard (USCG).

“Canadian P-3 aircraft detected underwater noises in the search area,” the USCG in the Northeast region announced on Twitter early Wednesday morning.

The Coast Guard said the detection of the underwater sounds in the designated search area prompted investigators to deploy remotely operated vehicle to relocate and investigate the origin of the unusual noises.

Though the search efforts “yielded negative results,” the USCG said the operation continues.

The oxygen will likely give out today for those onboard the small vessel.


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ThePrimordialOrderedPair | June 21, 2023 at 1:07 pm

I don’t have any problems with any of this. The people who paid to be guinea pigs should have known all of this information before they paid to plumb the depths in a woke can. One would think the passengers had enough money to be able to hire competent independent professionals to advise them on the journey before they went.

Stuff happens. They’re gone and they took on the responsibility of their circumstance. They screwed up. No big deal.

The company didn’t hide their idiocy and lack of seriousness. They were proud of it.

SeiteiSouther | June 21, 2023 at 1:12 pm

Stupid rich people betting against physics. Never a good bet.

    MajorWood in reply to SeiteiSouther. | June 21, 2023 at 3:52 pm

    My dad taught us that there are only 3 laws, and they all have to do with physics. Everything else is just a suggestion. The crosswalk “law” means dick to the inertia contained in a car going 35 mph. I never place myself in a position which requires the car to do something different.

      AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to MajorWood. | June 21, 2023 at 7:16 pm


      Let’s take a look.

      Unqualified or inept truck driver crash into a bridge abutment. Truck catches on fire, destroys a major North-South artery for the east coast.

      Inept engineers and construction crews build a bridge that collapses in Michigan.

      Money given to lazy people instead of being used for infrastructure, causing bridges to fail, power grids to crash, and a host of other avoidable disasters.

      Mentally unstable and medically ill people filling major national political positions that create havoc throughout the world.

      BierceAmbrose in reply to MajorWood. | June 22, 2023 at 3:07 pm

      “My dad taught us that there are only 3 laws, and they all have to do with physics.”

      There it is.

      These people have been trained for a lifetime that “truth” is what their current gaggle likes, do get confused when reality asserts itself without asking for their approval.

    Virginia42 in reply to SeiteiSouther. | June 21, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    Diversity kills. Wait until United Airlines traines their new crop of aircrews.

Here’s an excellent video on the whole Oceangate situation by a Navy veteran with 20 years in subs.

    alaskabob in reply to JohnC. | June 21, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    Exactly. Great video review and many commenters are former US submarine crew. The design has major areas of weakness.

    1) Rather expensive and unique coffin which … if not imploded… will endure long after Titanic dissolves down to what is left of non-corrosive material

    2) IF they are still alive, the CEO should sacrifice his life to extend oxygen for others.

      Ninth Dimension in reply to alaskabob. | June 21, 2023 at 1:30 pm

      It probably crushed. No need for oxygen anymore.

      JohnC in reply to alaskabob. | June 21, 2023 at 2:10 pm

      No kidding.
      “There’s no voice communications with topside because Stockton Rush, in his interview with Teledyne, said that he was tired of being interrupted from topside with update requests which is why chose to go with the Data Acoustic Modem that would transmit the position and depth of the submarine continuously so that he could enjoy his submarine ride.”

      He hired young people without decades of real world experience because he didn’t want to be told, “No, that would be really dangerous and stupid.” He wanted to be told, “Yes Sir, Mr. Wealthy Genius, Sir!”

        Paul in reply to JohnC. | June 21, 2023 at 2:45 pm

        That is such a lame ass excuse, it’s the kind of thing you’d punch somebody in the throat if they said it to your face.

        Seriously, if the voice comm link is bothering you while you’re below just turn it off.

        JohnSmith100 in reply to JohnC. | June 21, 2023 at 5:39 pm

        I was repeatedly hired to solve technical problems in machine automation. The place was loaded with PhDs, most of whom lacked actual mechanical aptitude. As I recall, wasn’t the Peter Principle based on GM? I may be wrong about that, be Peter Principle force was strong there.

      NavyMustang in reply to alaskabob. | June 21, 2023 at 2:41 pm

      The YouTuber mentions that the CEO didn’t WANT 50 yo bubbleheads. I say that he couldn’t find any veteran (or even a non-qual) submariner who would buy into his craziness.

      If the description of the CEO is accurate, he would have been torture to work for. Pretty arrogant. Hell, he FIRED a guy cause he brought up safety issues. That is insane when we’re talking about vessels descending to 12,000 feet depth! I definitely agree with your #2 point, alaskabob!

    NavyMustang in reply to JohnC. | June 21, 2023 at 2:49 pm

    The sub community definitely recognizes the value of experience, unlike the Oceangate CEO. I’m not a submariner, but I worked with that community pretty extensively. When I was working on a project at the Pentagon, I had occasion to go to Subase New London, CT. While at the COMSUBGRU there, I met a guy they referred to as the “Graybeard”. Retired sub CO IIRC, but no matter what a submariner with decades of experience under his belt. Always consulted when new projects were coming down the pike. I would be surprised if there wasn’t one at every SUBGRU and if there isn’t, they need to start doing that.

      Conservative Beaner in reply to NavyMustang. | June 21, 2023 at 3:47 pm

      As a retired Bubblehead I know things can go to shit quickly even at 400 feet. If this was a first dive or an experimental boat it should have communicated to the passengers. If they were informed and they still went that’s on them, if not then I don’t think the company will be in business much longer.

        Worked with a submariner…. two things on his shelf… a Styrofoam cup reduced to miniature size and a manganese nodule. He also had been on an up river cruise by his sub in the Far East. If anyone knows the deep… you do….

        NavyMustang in reply to Conservative Beaner. | June 21, 2023 at 7:33 pm

        Is it common to run into “Graybeards” in the sub community? Hope so. It’s just the absolute right thing to do.

        There’s video of some “reporter” who has to sign away his life on the standard contract to take the dive.
        IIRC death is mentioned something like 3 times on the first page. So there shouldn’t be any questions about what they were facing.

    CincyJan in reply to JohnC. | June 21, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    Excellent video. Thank you for posting.

henrybowman | June 21, 2023 at 1:18 pm

GE’s motto used to be “Progress is our most important product.”
OceanGate’s can be, “Diversity is our most important structural strength.”

Dadgum, y’all don’t see it?
Baby Jessica is about to rise from that well while Hunter sails into a red sunset.

Char Char Binks | June 21, 2023 at 1:38 pm

The Polish Navy has a new submarine that’s said to be unsinkable

Some commenters would write ‘karma’s a bitch’ but I won’t. Other crew members trusted this ceo.

a 25-year-old, uh, you know
Yeah, well, you know, ummmm, yeah, that’s, ummm, inspirational, alright.
So young people only find other young people to be inspirational? Then they’re morons and fools. It’s the young derring-do that you should be looking to, it’s the OLD adventurer – after all, he’s the one who survived.

NorthernNewYorker | June 21, 2023 at 2:12 pm

The unsinkable sub dives to go see the unsinkable ship. There’s a lesson about hubris in there, somewhere.

    AF_Chief_Master_Sgt in reply to NorthernNewYorker. | June 21, 2023 at 7:30 pm

    I saw this somewhere, but can’t find it again. Giving credit where credit is due, but not to me.

    So, a bunch of rich people board a ship that eventually sinks.

    Now, another bunch of rich people board a boat to look at the shop that sank, and that boat can’t be found.

    Apparently, rich people should stay out of the water.

Went woke, sub broke. You have to have a special sort of stupidity to go playing around at 2000 fathoms in a homemade sub with known safety defects. Since pretty much everybody on board is/was filthy rich, the cost of the salvage operation should be extracted from their estates.

Voice_of_Reason | June 21, 2023 at 2:15 pm

I bet Stockton Rush‘s last thoughts are, “i wish I hired the 50 year old man to pilot the sub…l

The Gentle Grizzly | June 21, 2023 at 2:23 pm

Zis whole sing is unsinkable! Vot vas hee sinking abaudt?

Suburban Farm Guy | June 21, 2023 at 2:25 pm

Oceans Gate or Heaven’s Gate

“Safety is Relative” Perhaps they will put that on his tombstone.

This episode should be the end of such kind of expeditions.
We do not have the technology to safely travel to such depths, not for civilians anyways. Besides, what’s the value in it?

But thinking again, there may be some people that I would not mind sending to the bottom of the Mariana trench.

ChrisPeters | June 21, 2023 at 3:01 pm

Whatever the business, whatever the task, it is best to hire/utilize the BEST people possible.

Selecting people on the basis of other criteria, such as “diversity” or whether they are “inspirational” (as in this case) is a dereliction of duty.

    CincyJan in reply to ChrisPeters. | June 21, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    Merit is undervalued today. These kids are looking at a future where competence is in short supply. Good luck to them!

      Free State Paul in reply to CincyJan. | June 21, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      For a nation-wide example of what happens when you value diversity over competence, look no farther than South Africa. First World infrastructure operated and maintained by Third World personnel is not a recipe for success.

texansamurai | June 21, 2023 at 3:02 pm

one of the passengers is a rather renowned aviator / pilot–in an aviation incident you MIGHT survive–if you’re wearing a chute and manage to eject / survive a crash landing, are positioned in lucky spot on the aircraft, etc–a couple of miles below the surface with 5,000psi water all around there are virtually zero chances of surviving a critical systems (hull / life-support, etc.)failure

forget about the $250k–you’re putting your life in the hands and words of a bunch of people operating a vehicle that’s not even certified for the particular depth involved

As a white guy who is in his 50’s, I find nothing “inspirational” about this story.

E Howard Hunt | June 21, 2023 at 3:10 pm

Probably the same reason they didn’t call on Mike Nelson to handle the rescue. He could have saved them all and found romance in 30 minutes.

I know nothing about the law, and am even more ignorant of maritime law.

Assuming the worst (or perhaps just the inevitable) what are the legal ramifications against the company? Sure, the passengers signed waivers but (since we can presume that were written by a 25 year-old Lawyer?) are they of any value in a case where safety shortcuts were taken? Isn’t supposed to be a reasonable standard of care and duty by the supplier of the submersible service?

Perhaps there is not even any point in suing the company or trying to press any criminal negligence charges since the CEO and founder is (well, will soon be) dead.

    SeiteiSouther in reply to Hodge. | June 21, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Doesn’t matter if they signed waivers, they’re going to get sued anyway, whether successfully or not. The company’s a dead man walking now.

These same fools will soon be mandated to fly commercial aircraft.

Bet you can’t wait.

Qualifications, training and experience is racist. Airline pilots and heart surgeons using affirmative action next?

    MajorWood in reply to geronl. | June 21, 2023 at 6:05 pm

    At least the pilots remove themselves from the equation with screw-up #1. The cardiothoracic surgeon just keeps on killin.

Listen, you can have a sub that’s experimental, that you haven’t gotten around to fully testing or having certified yet, on account of its many “innovations” – OR you can offer to take members of the public, including minors, down to the Titanic with it. But not both.

So, dumb question, do these people have water? The rule of threes suggests that might be a problem by now, if not. I doubt they have food, but you can live a good while without food. Air and water? Not so much.

    Mary Chastain in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | June 21, 2023 at 5:41 pm

    I read they brought some stuff since the expedition was supposed to take 10 hours.

    CommoChief in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | June 21, 2023 at 5:56 pm

    They can drink their urine a couple of times before it becomes bad. Assuming they had receptacles, know this info and were willing to do it. Might give them an extra couple days v dehydration. Doesn’t help with O2 though.

      MajorWood in reply to CommoChief. | June 21, 2023 at 6:11 pm

      Interesting thing about avalanche victims is that they die from CO2 buildup and not from lack of O2. I sure hope they consulted a 50 yo whiteguy ™ on the need and construction of said device.

        Conservative Beaner in reply to MajorWood. | June 21, 2023 at 6:35 pm

        On the first test dive the owner went by himself and the CO2 level probably remained low. With the driver and four other individuals it may have built up to toxic levels. This is why we have CO2 scrubbers and H2 Burners to reduce toxic and explosive gases.

        If the CO2 levels were high enough they could have passed out and lost control of the vehical and hit the bottom or got entangled in the wreck.

        CommoChief in reply to MajorWood. | June 21, 2023 at 7:04 pm

        Sure, gotta exchange the CO2 for O2 from bloodstream via breathing in normal air with higher amounts of O2. If this was a failure of the scrubbers or just inadequate for # of crew that’s a remarkable failure. The tech has been around a long time and the math doesn’t change for needs per crewmember + excess margin for the system design requirements. Maybe the fired safety guy was right?

        randian in reply to MajorWood. | June 21, 2023 at 9:56 pm

        I don’t think they had CO2 or noxious gas sensors on that sub, nor is there obvious evidence of some kind of ventilation system to get rid of gases or positive-pressure breathing apparatus.

Have they tried using some of Biden’s polls to snag the vessel?

healthguyfsu | June 21, 2023 at 8:00 pm

Wow this guy is an idiot, but I don’t know enough about the others to assume they should have the same karmic reality check as the arrogant dickface.

All of these lessons would still be learned if they manage to live, which seems most unlikely at this point. If they do live, I hope at least one of them physically assaulted the asshat that got them in this predicament.

Quick get President Harris on the phone. Someone needs to take command of this disaster.

Michael Gilson | June 21, 2023 at 10:29 pm

I’m getting strong images of Oddball from Kelly’s Heros telling Moriarity to “Stop making with the negative waves!”

“…the director of marine operations had learned that the viewport for the Titan was only certified up to 1,300 meters less than a third of what would be needed to reach the Titanic.”

Well, that could be a problem right there.

Steven Brizel | June 22, 2023 at 8:42 am

This company should have been shut down a long time ago for consumer fraud as to the safety of the sub and its very apparent lack of adherence to any safety specifications

The cost of foolishness on display to the world. It’s doubtful the ones who need to learn from it will do so.

The good news: there are NO ’50-Year-Old White Guys’ With Experience’ worried about their liability

BierceAmbrose | June 22, 2023 at 3:19 pm

This is the same as the problem behind FTX: the customers want the thing, without what it takes to do the thing.

FTX was never a bank, as The Sub was never a commercial excursion vessel. The former was a bespoke crypte exchange, the latter an experimental submersible. Both were experiments.

BUT, when a bunch of folks want speculative returns, FTX looks pretty good. “Hey, it must be a bank; you can write a check against your account!” And people who want some bragging-rights adventure fool themselves the same way: “Hey, it must be commercial-level safety: look, they sell tickets!”

OceanGate Titan passengers succumb to Climate Change

The ship Titanic was built too large for the metallurgy of the early 20th century, too.

While I recognize that hubris brings disaster, we should still mourn for these lost lives and consider the surviving family.

The CEO seemed to take the techbro motto of “move fast and break things” to heart. This was supposed to be a very simple vessel that would drop down onto the ocean floor, have minimal ability to travel and then return to the surface. In theory, that’s not necessarily a bad idea as long as everyone understands the limitations.

When Rush first had Titan tested at the Deep Ocean Test Facility in Annapolis in 2018, they said the hull was showing signs of cyclic fatigue and gave it a depth rating of 3000 meters. The hull was rebuilt in 2020-2021 to a thickness of 127mm and there was no mention of retesting at Annapolis. The new hull wasn’t rated because I don’t believe there’s actually a method of non destructive testing that can be done on 5″ thick carbon fiber. Rush must have thought, thicker is better.. now I’ve solved the problem. He claimed Titan was depth tested 50 times before being put into service and his clients didn’t know enough about it to ask for specifics. They too, wanted to “believe”. That’s where my problem with this comes in. Equipment failure is common in manned submersibles. It’s one thing to lose communications, which is problematic at that depth anyway.. it another thing when the hull of your submersible is being guaranteed by the hopes of the owner and nothing else.