BY Johnathan Jones, The Western JournalJune 23, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 23, 2023
1 year ago

Flashback: OceanGate CEO Admits Unsettling Fact About the Titanic Sub

Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Inc. and the man who was piloting the Titan submersible Sunday when it imploded near the Titanic, admitted in a 2021 interview that he cut corners on the vessel.

Rush died on June 18 along with his four passengers as he steered his company’s Titan submersible with a video game controller, the U.S. Coast Guard said Thursday.

The 61-year-old adventurer was just hundreds of yards from the bow of the Titanic’s wreckage when the Titan imploded and presumably killed all aboard instantly.

In the days since a hectic search by both U.S. and Canadian authorities began, a lot has come out about Rush and his company.

In an interview last year with YouTuber Alan Estrada, he said he wanted to be remembered as an “innovator.”

In designing the small craft differently from a traditional submersible, Rush told Estrada, “I’ve broken some rules to make this, I think I’ve broken them with logic and good engineering behind me.”

He also touched on some of the materials that went into building the Titan.

“The carbon fiber and titanium, there’s a rule you don’t do that -- well I did,” Rush said.

According to a 2017 government report from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation, mixing carbon fiber and titanium can be a recipe for failure if the two are not used properly in conjunction with other materials.

The presence of salt water and an electrical connection between the two can lead to rapid corrosion of the titanium.

But the cause of the Titan’s implosion is still not known.

The Coast Guard still has ships at the scene of the Titanic’s wreckage evaluating the Titan’s debris field for clues about what went wrong.

KIRO-TV also reported that Rush claimed the craft was designed in collaboration with NASA, Boeing and the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory.

Each institution has since denied it was behind the design and/or construction of the doomed submersible.

Rush also complained about regulations on the commercial submarine industry during an interview with Smithsonian Magazine in June 2019.

“There hasn’t been an injury in the commercial sub industry in over 35 years,” he said. “It’s obscenely safe, because they have all these regulations. But it also hasn’t innovated or grown -- because they have all these regulations.”

Titan ultimately abandoned traditional submarine-building methods in favor of Rush's design.


The CEO also said previously he did not want his company staffed with "50-year-old white guys."

In spite of a desire to further innovation at perhaps the expense of safety, Rush was being remembered by some as a man who simply wanted to explore.

Bryan Dennis, who owns a company called Puget Sound Composites, said the OceanGate founder leaves behind a positive legacy.

“I think Stockton is one of those guys that took us to the next level. And I’m proud of them, and I’m proud of what they did,” Dennis told KIRO. “Success isn’t final. Failure isn’t eternal. It’s courage that matters -- these guys had courage and they demonstrated that. It motivates me and I’ll keep going,” he said.

Others were less forgiving in their assessments of the disaster:

It remains unknown if retrieving the remains of those who died aboard the vessel is possible, given the depth of the Titan’s debris field.

What remains of the craft is sitting roughly 12,500 feet below sea level on the floor of the North Atlantic.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Johnathan Jones, The Western Journal



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