OceanGate to SUSPEND all commercial and exploration operations following death of Titanic Five in ‘catastrophic implosion’ during $250,000 mission to sink ocean liner
OceanGate has announced that it will suspend all exploration and business operations after the death of the Titanic Five last month, including the company’s chief executive.
“OceanGate has suspended all commercial and exploration operations,” the top of the company’s official website read.
The notice appears in small red type on the home page of the website. It’s unclear when OceanGate added the suspension notice or what would happen to people who paid up to $250,000 for future expeditions.
The decision comes weeks after five people were killed on an OceanGate submarine during an implosion while descending on the site.
That raised questions about OceanGate’s past safety record, concerns about past practices and the future of tourism at the famous 1912 shipwreck.
All five men on board had died after the Titan submarine, shown here, imploded on their expedition.
French Navy veteran PH Nargeolet (left) was on the submarine along with Stockton Rush (right), CEO of the OceanGate expedition.
Five people were on board, including British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding (left) and Shahzada Dawood and her son Suleman, who was just 19 years old.
Last week, OceanGate’s website still featured pages advertising voyages to the Titanic, weeks after five people, including the company’s chief executive, were killed on one of the voyages.
A page titled “Titan Expedition – Explore the Titanic” was still available online offering the chance to dive into the wreck in the company’s submersible.
“Intrepid travelers will sail from Canada’s Atlantic coast on an 8-day expedition to dive the iconic shipwreck that lies 380 miles offshore and 3,800 meters below the surface,” the page says.
Titan suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’ during a voyage to the wreckage of the Titanic, 12,500 feet below the surface of the Atlantic.
Debris from the OceanGate submarine is recovered after implosion at the Titanic wreck site
Five passengers, including Rush, British billionaire Hamish Harding and French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Shahzada Dawood, 58, and her 19-year-old son Suleman, died during a dive on the Titanic last month.
Rush, a self-proclaimed “innovator” who sought to push the limits of passenger diving, was one of five killed on what turned out to be the Titan’s final voyage, after its pressure chamber imploded near 12,000 feet where the Titanic rests.
He reportedly believed that going into the depths of the Atlantic on Titan was “safer than crossing the street,” despite dozens of experts warning him in 2018 that his company’s “experimental” approaches could be “catastrophic.” .
The safety of the submersible and OceanGate’s dismissal of several warnings have drawn considerable criticism after the Titan disappeared during a dive to the seafloor on June 18.
The CEO, who considered himself more of a scientist than a salesman despite much of his efforts being focused on commercializing submarine travel, was begged in 2019 to suspend operations after a submersible expert heard cracking noises during one of the titan dives in the bahamas
On June 18, an OceanGate submarine was launched into the Atlantic Ocean 400 nautical miles off the coast of Newfoundland at the site of the 1912 Titanic wreck.
The five passengers began to descend while Rush piloted the boat.
One hour and 45 minutes after the dive, the submarine lost contact with the surface ship. It was not until the next day that the missing submarine became publicly known. That led to a massive international response to rescue the five passengers.
Ships from around the world began making the voyage to help search for the lost submarine at the site as the estimated hours and oxygen dwindled.
Days later, it was announced that all five people aboard the submarine were believed to have died in a probable implosion.
It was also revealed that a US Navy monitoring system picked up a possible sound from the implosion on the descent, but search efforts continued.
Washington-based OceanGate closed its door amid the search and after the disaster and questions were raised about the future of deep-sea tourism at the site.