A Las Vegas financier turned down cheap seats in the Titan for himself and his son on their doomed trip after raising safety concerns – but was turned away by the company boss who believed that going down to the bottom of the Atlantic ‘was safer than crossing the street’, MailOnline can reveal today.
Jay Bloom shared text messages between himself and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush showing he was offered a ‘last minute price’ of $150,000 a head, $100,000 less than the price usual $250,000.
Mr Bloom, a Democrat supporter who was pictured with Joe Biden, described his sadness at Mr Rush’s death and his grief that Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, who was just 19, had gone home and perished with the veteran of the French Navy. Paul-Henri Nargeolet and British billionaire Hamish Harding,
In a Facebook post, he said: “I raised safety concerns and Stockton said, ‘While there’s obviously a risk, it’s much safer than flying in a helicopter or even to go scuba diving”.
“He was absolutely convinced it was safer than crossing the street. I’m sure he really believed what he said. But he was wrong”.
Jay Bloom, pictured with Joe Biden, revealed he was initially offered the seats on the Titan but had security concerns
Stockton Rush shows off the controller used to steer the Titan – which has been compared to something of an XBox or PS5
Jay Bloom’s Facebook post showing his grief that Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, who was only 19, went to his house and perished
Mr Bloom’s texts with Stockton Rush show he was offered $100,000 off the usual price and Mr Rush spent time trying to minimize security concerns
In February this year, Stockton Rush asked Mr Bloom and his son Sean to dive on the Titanic in May. The two dives in May were postponed due to weather conditions and the dive was rescheduled for June 18, the date of the unfortunate trip.
Mr Bloom said: ‘I told him that due to the schedule we couldn’t go until next year.’ Our seats went to Shahzada Dawood and her 19-year-old son, Suleman Dawood, two of three others who lost their lives on this excursion, the fifth being Hamish Harding.
‘RIP Stockton and his team. As for Sean and I… we’re gonna take a minute to stop and smell the roses. Tomorrow is never promised. Make the most of today”.
The text messages between Mr. Rush had repeatedly tried to reassure Mr. Bloom of the safety of the Titan and to head for the wreckage of the Titanic.
He said his son was very worried about the risks after speaking with a friend. Mr Rush said: ‘I am happy to have a video call with him. Curious to know what the uninformed would say about the danger and whether it is real or imagined”.
They discussed how the hull would react to pressure, or even if it came into contact with a whale or squid.
Mr Rush said: “Although there is obviously a risk, it is much safer than flying in a helicopter or even scuba diving, there was not even an injury. in 35 years in non-military submarines”.
A satellite image shows vessels participating in search and rescue operations associated with the missing Titan submersible near the wreck of the Titanic
OceanGate Expeditions reportedly repeatedly warned of security issues
Five people were on board, including British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding and Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, who was just 19.
French Navy veteran PH Nargeolet (left) is in the submarine with OceanGate Expedition CEO Stockton Rush (right)
Titanic director and submersible expert James Cameron said he predicted Titan’s implosion days before the wreckage of the missing submersible was found, calling the search “a protracted nightmare charade”.
Mr Cameron, who has visited the world’s most famous wreck 30 times, said this week’s tragedy had parallels to the Titanic disaster, where the captain repeatedly ignored warnings of an incoming iceberg but continued at full speed.
The Titanic Five was killed instantly when the submersible suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’ just 1,600ft from the bow of the wrecked liner, the US Coast Guard said yesterday. A remotely operated submarine from a Canadian ship found debris on the ocean floor.
But search and rescue officials say the men likely died on Sunday – before military planes using sonar buoys picked up what they thought may have been SOS ‘slamming’ sounds in the water. The US Navy said it heard a sound consistent with an implosion when communications were lost about two hours after diving. The Navy passed that information to the Coast Guard, an insider said.
Mr Cameron told BBC News the Coast Guard search ‘felt like a protracted, nightmarish charade where people were running around talking about popping noises and talking about oxygen and all that other stuff’.
“I knew this submarine sat exactly below its last known depth and position. That’s exactly where they found it,” he said.
According to court documents, safety concerns had previously been raised about the Titan submersible by a former OceanGate employee. David Lochridge, former director of marine operations at OceanGate, claimed wrongful dismissal after reporting concerns about the company’s alleged “refusal to critically and non-destructively test the experimental design”.
Mr Cameron said last night: ‘A number of the top players in the deep submergence engineering community even wrote letters to the company saying what they were doing was too experimental to carry passengers and that needed to be certified , etc.
“I am struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself, where the captain was repeatedly warned of ice ahead of his ship and yet steamed full speed across an ice field on a moonless night, and many people have died as a result. It’s a very similar tragedy where the warnings have gone unheeded — to take place at the exact same site with all the dives taking place around the world. I think that’s fair amazing, it’s really quite surreal”.
Titanic director and submersible expert James Cameron said he predicted Titan’s implosion before the wreckage of the missing submersible was found, calling the search “a protracted nightmarish charade”.
Mr Cameron said: ‘I felt in my bones what had happened. I immediately phoned some of my contacts in the deep submarine community. In about an hour, I had the following facts. They were downhill. They were at 3500 meters, heading towards the bottom at 3800 meters.
“For the submarine’s electronics to fail and its communications system to fail, and its tracking transponder to fail simultaneously – the sub is gone
“We now have another wreckage which unfortunately relies on the same principles of disregarding warnings.”
The victims are OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French Navy veteran Paul-Henri (PH) Nargeolet, British billionaire Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, who had no only 19 years old.
“The implosion would have generated a large broadband sound that the sonobuoys would have picked up,” U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral John Mauger told a news conference.
James Cameron’s pointed message comes after it was revealed that OceanGate boss Rush had been warned years before that his ‘experimental approach’ could lead to disaster – and in another interview he spoke to “break the rules” to make the submarine.
It would have been instant death for the men, some of whom had paid $250,000 each to see the famous shipwreck.
In a blow to their families, experts say there is little chance of recovering any of their remains.
“It’s an incredibly unforgiving environment out there. The debris is consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the ship. research, says.