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Las Vegas Financier and Son Turned Down Seats on Titan's Doomed Trip, Exposes Texts From Late CEO Who Was Convinced It Was 'Safer Than Crossing the Street'

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Jun. 23 2023, Published 10:50 a.m. ET

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A Las Vegas investor and his son denied two seats on the Titanic-bound submersible just weeks before the doomed trip, RadarOnline.com has learned, narrowly avoiding the same fate as its passengers after expressing concerns over the 22-foot vessel's safety.

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood, billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding, and French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet known as "Mr. Titanic" were aboard the craft known as the Titan, having lost their lives suddenly in what the U.S. Coast Guard said was a "catastrophic implosion" about 1,600 feet from the bow of the famed 1912 shipwreck on Sunday.

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financier jay bloom son turned down seats doomed titan sub texts
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"Stockton invited me to go with them on this dive. I opted out due to scheduling," Bloom revealed in a Facebook post this week amid a desperate search for the five passengers.

Sharing never-before-seen text messages exchanged with Rush in February, the financier revealed he was considering taking a dive with his son, Sean, in May and was offered a "last-minute" price cut of $150,000 per person, down from the standard $250k.

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financier jay bloom son turned down seats doomed titan sub texts
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He said his son was very worried about the risks, including run-ins with marine life, after speaking with a friend who had "researched what could go wrong and put a little scare in him."

"Both May dives were postponed due to the weather and the dive got delayed until June 18th, the date of this trip," Bloom continued, noting that he expressed his fears to which Rush replied, "While there's obviously risk, it's way safer than flying in a helicopter or even scuba diving. There hasn't been even an injury in 35 years in a non-military subs."

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financier jay bloom son turned down seats doomed titan sub texts
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In another exchange, Rush aimed to put their minds at ease. "I'm happy to have a video call with him. Curious what the uninformed would say the danger is and whether it's real or imagined," the OceanGate CEO wrote.

"I told him that due to scheduling we couldn't go until next year," Bloom shared. "Our seats went to Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, Suleman Dawood, two of the other three who lost their lives on this excursion."

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On Thursday, five major fragments of the Titan were located in a debris field 12,500 ft. below the surface, including the vessel's tail cone and two sections of the pressure hull.

"I'm sure he really believed what he was saying. But he was very wrong. He passionately believed in what he was doing," Bloom wrote in his caption.

"RIP Stockton and crew. As for Sean and I... we are going to take a minute to stop and smell the roses. Tomorrow is never promised. Make the most of today."

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