OceanGate has said it is suspending all “exploration and commercial operations” following the Titan submersible implosion that resulted in the death of the company’s CEO and four others attempting to visit the wreck of the Titanic.
“OceanGate has suspended all exploration and commercial operations,” the company’s website announced, according to a report by the Everett Herald.
The company, based in Everett, Washington, owned and operated the Titan submersible that imploded during an attempt to visit the famous Titanic shipwreck — approximately 12,500 feet below sea level — killing five people onboard, including OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush.
The others who perished on the Titan were Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, his 19-year-old son, Suleman Dawood, British explorer Hamish Harding, and French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
On June 18, OceanGate’s submersible lost contact with a research vessel about one hour and 45 minutes into its dive to the Titanic site, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The incident resulted in a high-stakes multinational rescue mission, as many believed there was a possibility that the Titan was lost with the five men trapped inside, and 96 hours on the clock until they would run out of breathable air inside the vessel.
Days later, the Wall Street Journal reported that a top secret U.S. Navy acoustic detection system may have heard the Titan’s implosion around the time the submersible had lost communication with the surface on June 18.
The sound reportedly happened near the area where the debris of the Titan was later found, and the noise was “immediately” reported to the commander on site leading the search, U.S. defense officials told the Journal.
On June 22, the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed that debris of the Titan submersible was found, and that it was “consistent with a catastrophic implosion of the vessel.” The Coast Guard is still investigating the incident.
After the implosion, some who knew Rush took to social media to publicly express that they had been concerned about safety regarding the Titan.
Discovery Plus’ Expedition Unknown host Josh Gates revealed that he had considered featuring the Titanic wreckage on his docuseries, but ultimately decided not to after trying out OceanGate’s Titan submersible.
Meanwhile, financier Jay Bloom said Rush had offered him and his son $250,000 tickets for a “last minute” price of $150,000 each just weeks before the dive. Bloom said he ultimately decided not to go after Rush flew to Las Vegas in “a two-seater experimental plane that he built” to convince him to join the dive.
The now deceased OceanGate CEO was also called out for claiming “anybody can drive the sub” with a cheap video game controller. Rush also once said that he didn’t hire “50-year-old white guys” with military experience to captain his vessels because they are not “inspirational.”