A former passenger on the missing Titanic tourist submarine said he was preparing to never disembark the ship after signing a waiver that stated “three ways to die on page one.”
Mike Reiss, who made his living as a producer and writer on The Simpsons, revealed he is “not optimistic” about the rescue of the five passengers on the submarine, which has been missing since 9:45am on Sunday morning.
There are five people aboard Titan; tourists Hamish Harding, 58, Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his son Sulaiman Dawood, 19, French Navy pilot Paul-Henry (PH) Nargeolet and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush.
Mr. Reiss was one of the few people to ever go on the exclusive expedition to the bottom of the ocean, joining a crew on OceanGate Inc’s submarine last year to explore the doomed ship.
He said of the five passengers currently on Titan: ‘I just feel for these people, my hope is with them. I’m not optimistic, I know how small the ship is and how big the ocean is.”
Mike Reiss, producer and writer of The Simpsons, revealed he is ‘not optimistic’ about the rescue of the five passengers on the Titan submarine
“I got in the submarine and in the back of my mind was ‘well I may never get off this thing’, that’s always with you,” he added.
Speaking to the BBC today, Mr. Reiss that he made three separate dives, including the one to Titanic, and that each had “lost communication.”
He also described the experience aboard the luxury submarine, for which tourists pay $250,000 to travel further to the wreck.
‘The experience of going down was very relaxing, it’s a beautifully designed submarine that feels almost spa-like inside. So even though five people are sitting on the floor of something about the size of a minivan, it’s very comfortable.
“I fell asleep on the way down, it’s 2.5 hours of just falling into the very silence and there’s a porthole, but all you see is darkness.”
He said that even though they came within 500 yards of the Titanic, the sub had to spend “well over 90 minutes just taking a random walk on the bottom of the ocean, just swinging around and trying to find the largest boat in the world.” ‘.
The passengers on his expedition had only a short time to see what he described as the “highlights” of the world-famous wreck.
‘Twenty minutes before we were due to surface again we finally saw the Titanic and I must say that in our case it was just enough for a highlights tour, we looked at the anchor, looked at the porthole, looked at the bow of the ship and when we had to go upstairs again.
“It shows you the unpredictability of everything. The next day they sent another 5 passengers down to see it and they circled it and got to see every inch of it.
Mr Reiss described the experience aboard the submarine, which tourists pay $250,000 to travel onward to the wreck
The submarine Titan sank about 400 miles southeast of St. John’s, Newfoundland, at about 8 a.m. Sunday morning, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. It lost contact at 9:45 a.m. but was not reported to the Coast Guard until 5:40 p.m.
French Navy veteran PH Nargeolet (left) is believed to be taking part in the expedition, along with Stockton Rush (right), CEO of the OceanGate Expedition
One of the participants in the expedition is billionaire Hamish Harding (pictured), CEO of Action Aviation in Dubai. He excitedly posted on social media that he was there on Sunday
Shahzada Dawood, 48, (pictured with his wife Christine), a UK-based board member of the Prince’s Trust charity, and his son Sulaiman Dawood, 19, are among the five missing in the submarine that left to recover the wreckage of the Titanic, was unveiled today
The company has been bringing tourists to the site since 2021 and Mr Reiss was one of the groups who made the perilous journey last year.
“One way or another, there’s just the acceptance of it [the risk].
“That’s why I feel sorry for the people aboard the submarine, that they didn’t panic, that they knew what they were getting into.”
He said, “They’ve built this beautiful submarine that can go where no other ship can go, so if they’re at the bottom of the ocean in the worst case, I can’t see how anyone could get to them, much less to get them to save.
Speaking at a press conference at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Boston – which coordinates search and rescue efforts – First District Response Captain Jamie Frederick said it was not certain the submarine could be rescued – even if it is found today.
The submarine Titan has been missing since 9:45 a.m. Sunday after launching into the Atlantic Ocean at 8:00 a.m.
There are five people on board, including three wealthy tourists. The submarine’s oxygen supply for the five people on board is now only 40 hours.
At 12,500 feet underwater, few ships can dive deep enough to find it.
The only ones that can search the ocean floor are remote controlled vehicles that are now searching the ocean.
TIMELINE OF MISSING SUBMERSIBLE PUMP TITAN
8 a.m. Sunday: Titan submerges about 900 miles east of Cape Cod
9:45 am: Expedition ship Polar Prince loses contact with submarine
5:40 pm: Coast Guard first issued warning of missing submarine
9:13 pm: Canadian Coast Guard alerted
Thursday at 8 a.m.: 96 hours of oxygen running out
If they find the sub, getting it to the surface is quite another feat, requiring specialist equipment not yet on site.
Other experts likened it to requiring a 2.5-mile cable to lasso to the far side of the moon.
There are multiple civilian vessels assisting in the search, along with U.S. Navy, Canadian Navy, and aircraft.
Among the equipment now en route to the site is a decompression chamber for the five passengers should they be brought to the surface.
“Getting salvage equipment on site is the top priority,” Frederick said.
The logistical challenge is enormous; the wreck of the Titanic is about 400 miles southeast of St Johns, Newfoundland – about 900 miles east of Cape Cod.
Speaking at a news conference at the U.S. Coast Guard Station in Boston — which coordinates search and rescue efforts — First District Response Coordinator Capt. Jamie Frederick that it was not certain whether the submarine could be saved – even if it is found today.
“Even with so much time left, if you found the sub right now, would that give you enough time to save those five people on board?” he was asked.
“I don’t know the answer to that question… all I know is that we will do everything in our power to effect a rescue,” Frederick replied.
The Coast Guard has already searched 7,600 square miles of ocean — a search area the size of Connecticut.
The 21ft submarine has an oxygen supply of up to 96 hours
The search site is located about 900 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, 400 miles southeast of Newfoundland. It’s hard enough to get there without finding the missing submarine below the ocean’s surface
A Canadian Coast Guard cutter is expected to arrive in the search area tonight.
It takes several days for Coast Guard ships to reach the site from the US. In addition to the Coast Guard’s remotely operated underwater vehicles and vessels, several aircraft are surveying the water for signs of the submarine on the surface.
“We don’t want to exhaust one possibility instead of the other.
“We don’t want to rule out that it’s on the surface.
“If it’s on the surface, we’re pretty sure we can find it,” a Coast Guard official said, adding that it’s “impossible” to say if it’s more likely to be on the surface. or below.
DailyMail.com previously revealed that it took OceanGate eight hours to report the submarine missing.
The company has not yet explained why it took so long to raise the alarm.