OceanGate refused additional safety tests for missing Titanic submarine
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Featured Image Credit: OceanGate. Instagram/OceanGate
OceanGate bosses fired David Lochridge, who was the Director of Marine Operations for the Titan project, after the company disagreed the sub needed more rigorous tests.
The company also rejected having the submarine reviewed by independent inspectors to ensure vessels meet accepted technical standards.
Additionally, OceanGate didn’t require passengers to have any diving experience, despite offering an eight-day expedition.
Despite this, CEO of OceanGate Stockton Rush repeatedly said the submersible was ‘obscenely safe’.
“Everything else can fail, your thrusters can go, your lights can go. You’re still going to be safe,” he told American technology and science writer David Pogue last November.
According to CBS News, Coast Guard Captain Jamie Frederick told reporters during a news conference today (June 21) that ‘about 40 hours of breathable air left’ was an estimate based on the vessel's original 70 to 96 hours of available oxygen.
He added the rescuers are working around the clock to locate the sub after it vanished in the ocean 899 miles (1,448km) from Cape Cod, Massachusetts on Monday (June 20).
BBC News reports there are five people on board, including the company founder and some of the world’s wealthiest families.
Experts have warned that the vessel could have fallen to foul ‘catastrophic failure’ or even become entangled in the debris of the famous ship.
"There’s an optimistic option, and that’s that it’s either lost an umbilical communication with the surface or indeed there’s been a malfunction and the submarine continues to operate but obviously out of contact with its mother ship," former Royal Navy Rear Admiral Chris Parry told The Mirror.
"Obviously, on the other end of the scale, there could have been an accident. It could have become entangled in the wreckage of the Titanic. It could indeed have had a catastrophic failure," he added.
In a statement, OceanGate said its entire focus was on the crew members and their families.
"We are deeply thankful for the extensive assistance we have received from several government agencies and deep sea companies in our efforts to re-establish contact with the submersible," it added.
The news outlet claims the oxygen will run out in the vessel at 1am EST on Thursday (June 22).