‘Predatory’ Titan sub boss Stockton Rush was ‘hunting for rich clients to endorse doomed expedition’
Oceangate CEO Stockton Rush was on a “predatory” mission to find wealthy clients who would approve his submarine’s deep-sea voyages to the Titanic, industry leaders claimed last night.
Rush and his four passengers were killed aboard the Titan last Sunday when the ship imploded as it headed for the Atlantic seabed.
Insiders say OceanGate’s boss struggled to find wealthy clients to make the operation profitable. He also used his powers of persuasion to avoid clients being turned away for security reasons by respected figures in the investigative community, the Times reports.
Patrick Lahey, president of Triton submarines, told the newspaper, “He could even convince someone who knew and understood the risks…it was really quite predatory.”
Rush, along with his four passengers, perished aboard the Titan last Sunday when the ship imploded on its way to the Atlantic seabed
Mr. Lahey has experience at all levels of deep sea vessel fabrication and was a close friend of Rush’s second mate Paul-Henri ‘PH’ Nargeolet, 73, an accomplished seaman and Titanic expert.
Mr Lahey said: ‘It is terribly sad that PH’s life ended this way, but PH knew the risks. I told him very frankly why he shouldn’t be there. He understood. I believe somehow PH thought that by being there he could help these guys avoid a tragedy, but instead he ended up in the middle of a tragedy.
“I told PH that somehow this operation was approved.
I said, “You become an ambassador for this thing; people look at you and your track record and the life you lead and the things you’ve done, which are extraordinary, and somehow you legitimize what [Oceangate] are doing.”‘
A confident innovator, Rush has never sought certification or classification for his craft. He insisted regulators couldn’t keep up with his technology.
His combination of a carbon fiber cylindrical hull with titanium end caps was considered a dangerous design flaw by industry experts and suggested as the likely cause of the Titan’s implosion.
Mr Lahey, who has worked in the field for 43 years and whose Titan submarines were featured in the BBC’s Blue Planet, added: ‘At the time this monstrosity was created I was building the most capable submarines of our time. ‘
A father and son who gave up their two tickets on the doomed Titan submarine say OceanGate’s CEO flew in an “experimental” plane to convince them to buy tickets.
Financier Jay Bloom had turned down tickets for him and his son Sean aboard the submarine, fearing they would not survive the journey.
Speak against NewsNationBloom said concerns were raised after OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, who was coordinating the trip, flew to Las Vegas to convince him to board an “experimental plane.”
Bloom told the news channel: “It was very concerning. The big red flag for my son was when Stockton came to see me in Las Vegas in March.
Bloom, pictured here, had considered going on the doomed submarine, but major red flags caused him to pull out of the adventure
Jay Bloom and his son Sean (pictured together) were about to embark on the doomed Titanic journey to the Titanic – and were even offered a last-minute discount
The Titan submarine, pictured here, imploded earlier this week with five men on board
“He said he flew in a two-seat experimental plane he built, so he came to Las Vegas on an experimental plane he built to take me on an experimental submarine he built to take me to the bottom of the bring the Atlantic Ocean. .’
Bloom continued, “It’s kind of surreal. Every time I see a picture of the people who lost their lives in this tragic event.
“I look at the picture of the father and son who replaced my son and myself and think how easily, without the grace of God, our picture could have been on the news.
“When Stockton first approached me with the idea, it sounded very sexy, very exciting, a real bucket list item.
‘My son is a huge fan of the Titanic, so I thought it would be great to do something together. The appeal of the proposal is so compelling.
“My son talked to his friend and they expressed their concerns about the ship, the marine life, some of the materials used in its construction.”
The U.S. Coast Guard is currently investigating the cause of the Titan submarine implosion and is not ruling out finding human remains — while also suggesting the probe could lead to criminal charges.
Captain Jason Neubauer, who is leading the U.S. Coast Guard’s investigation into the ship’s implosion, made the remarks as the search and rescue aspects of the response came to an end.
British adventurer Hamish Harding and father and son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood were killed aboard the submarine, along with the American CEO of the company responsible for the ship, Stockton Rush, and Frenchman Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
Salvage operations are continuing and investigators have mapped the scene of the accident, Cpt Neubauer told a news conference in Boston. He also said the convening of a Marine Board of Investigation is the highest level of investigation conducted by the US Coast Guard. It is unclear how long it will take. The US Coast Guard says it will not charge for search and rescue operations.
The Coast Guard opened what it calls a Navy Board investigation Friday, Neubauer said, and is working with the FBI to collect evidence.
This includes a salvage operation at the seabed debris site, about 488 meters from the bow of the Titanic wreck, about 4 km below the surface.
The findings will be shared with the International Maritime Organization and other groups “to help improve the safety framework for underwater operations worldwide,” Neubauer said.
Captain Jason Neubauer (pictured) said the Coast Guard opened a so-called “marineboard investigation” on Friday and is working with the FBI to gather evidence
Oceangate CEO Stockton Rush led the expedition last Sunday, which is known to have resulted in the deaths of all five men on board
Commander Paul-Henry Nargeolet, an expert on the Titanic, also lost his life in the Titan tragedy
Shahzada Dawood, 48, (right) one of Pakistan’s richest men, who died on the Titan along with his teenage son Sulaiman Dawood, 19, (left)
Hamish Harding’s cousin Kathleen Cosnett wrote, “It’s rather poignant that tomorrow would have been his birthday. His father died in June and my father also died in June’
He said the Coast Guard is in contact with the families of the five people killed and that investigators are “taking all precautions on site if we come across any human remains.”
Yesterday, the sons of British billionaire Hamish Harding paid tribute to the “best dad” who they say “constantly tried to be the best man he could be.”
Vice Admiral John Mauger, of the First Coast Guard District, confirmed that the Coast Guard has established a Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) into “the loss of the submarine and the five people on board.”
He added: “The MBI is also responsible for the accountability aspects of the incident and may make recommendations to the appropriate authorities to impose civil or criminal sanctions if necessary.”
Harding, 58, was one of five adventurers aboard the OceanGate Expeditions submarine that lost contact with the mother ship when it reached the Titanic wreck site early Sunday morning.
The US Coast Guard said on Thursday that all five people aboard the submarine had died after the ship suffered a “catastrophic implosion.”
One of Mr Harding’s sons, who was not named in Action Aviation’s statement, has praised the billionaire for being a “tenacious, hard-working businessman” and for “inspiring me more than anyone will ever know.” .
The adventurer and wife Linda have two sons, Rory and Giles. Mr. Harding is also the stepfather of her two children from a previous relationship, daughter Laurena and Brian.