Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, was one of five people aboard the submarine that exploded during the trip to the wreck of the Titanic. An exchange of emails revealed by the BBC shows how repeated warnings were ignored
Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, the company that owns the Titan that died in the submarine explosion this week, has ignored repeated warnings about the Titan’s safety. This is what an email exchange with an expert in coastal studies, now under review, shows BBC.
In that email exchange, Rob McCallum warned OceanGate’s strongman that he was putting his clients’ lives at risk and that it was best to stop using the submarine until it was classified by an independent body.
“I think you are putting yourself and your customers in a very dangerous position”wrote the expert in an email dated March 2018.
“Until the submarine is classified, tested and proven safe, it should not be used for commercial deep diving operations,” he added.
“I ask you to be very careful and very conservative in your experiments. (…) As much as I appreciate entrepreneurship and innovation, you are putting the whole industry at risk”He also argued.
A few days later, Rush responded to McCallum. He said OceanGate’s “innovative, engineering-oriented approach … is the antithesis of submersible orthodoxy.” “But that’s the nature of innovation,” he argued.
He also wrote that current “sector actors” are trying to prevent new players from entering the business.
“I am well qualified to understand the risks and issues associated with subsea exploration in a new vehicle”, he promised.
Stockton Rush reinforced the innovation and scientific research card and responded that “I’m tired of industry players trying to use the protectionist argument as a barrier to innovation.”
Too often we hear the baseless cry, “It’s still going to kill someone.” I take this as a deeply personal affront,” Stockton Rush wrote.
Rob McCallum stressed: “There will be sea trials to determine if the vehicle is fit to handle what you want it to do; be careful and be safe.”
“There’s more at stake than the Titan and the Titanic”Reinforced.
According to the BBC, the exchange of emails only stopped when OceanGate lawyers threatened to sue McCullum.
Stockton Rush, 61, was CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, the company responsible for expeditions to the Titanic, which he founded in 2009. As described by CNN International, he gained fame as a naturalist, adventurer and visionary. And he is not afraid of danger. “At some point, security is pure waste” Stockton said in an interview Awarded last year.
“If you want to be safe, don’t get out of bed. Don’t get in your car. Don’t do anything,” he snapped.
Despite harboring a dream of traveling to space for years, Richard Branson gave up the rush when he announced his first commercial mission. From then on he began to focus on the bottom of the oceans: “The future of humanity is under water, not on Mars,” he said in another interview.
Wendy RushA businessman’s wife, a descendant of two victims of the 1912 sinking of the Titanic, writes The New York Times.
“Hardcore explorer. Extreme communicator. Professional writer. General music practitioner. Prone to fits of apathy.”