Discovery Channel explorer refused seat on missing Titanic sub due to 'safety concerns'
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Featured Image Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy / OceanGate
Discovery Channel explorer, Joshua Gates, refused a reported $250,000 seat on the missing Titan submersible due to 'safety concerns'.
"We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost," a statement said.
"These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world's oceans.
"Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.
"This is an extremely sad time for our dedicated employees who are exhausted and grieving deeply over this loss.
"The entire OceanGate family is deeply grateful for the countless men and women from multiple organizations of the international community who expedited wide-ranging resources and have worked so very hard on this mission.
"We appreciate their commitment to finding these five explorers, and their days and nights of tireless work in support of our crew and their families.
"This is a very sad time for the entire explorer community, and for each of the family members of those lost at sea.
"We respectfully ask that the privacy of these families be respected during this most painful time."
On Friday (16 June), the group of five embarked on an expedition which set off from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.
Two days later (18 June), the submersible that was scheduled to return to the surface, did not.
Taking to Twitter yesterday (21 June), Discovery Channel explorer Joshua Gates revealed that he 'had the unique opportunity to dive in the @Oceangate #Titan sub'.
"I pray for a positive outcome to the rescue efforts of those aboard, including fellow @ExplorersClub member Hamish Harding," he added.
In a follow-up tweet, the explorer said: "To those asking, Titan did not perform well on my dive.
"Ultimately, I walked away from a huge opportunity to film [the] Titanic due to my safety concerns with the OceanGate platform.
"There’s more to the history and design of Titan that has not been made public — much of it concerning."
"To those questioning why people would dive to [the] Titanic: the ship has fascinated the world since the night she sank,” Gates also wrote on Twitter.
“It’s a time capsule to another era of our history. It takes courage to make a trip like this. Admiration and prayers for the passengers aboard OceanGate Titan.”