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Missing Titanic Sub: Ex-OceanGate Employee Was Fired After Safety Complaints


Jun. 20 2023, Published 7:45 p.m. ET

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A desperate search to find five missing Titanic explorers remains underway as breathable air is anticipated to run out by Thursday morning. has learned that one former OceanGate employee had several safety complaints over the tourist submersible — specifically that it was not capable of descending to such extreme depths — before he was fired in 2018.

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OceanGate execs let go of David Lochridge as Director of Marine Operations for the Titan project after disagreeing with his demands for more rigorous safety checks following meetings with the CEO Stockton Rush, who is on board the missing sub.

Lochridge had also suggested they seek classification and wanted the company to carry out a scan of Titan's hull to "detect potential flaws" rather than "relying on acoustic monitoring," which would only detect an issue "milliseconds before an implosion."

The company had opted against having the craft "classed," with which independent inspectors ensure that vessels meet accepted technical standards by having an outside agency inspect the sub.

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Stockton Rush

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"Bringing an outside entity up to speed on every innovation before it is put into real-world testing is anathema to rapid innovation," it was noted in a blog post by OceanGate, which also stated that classing, by itself, is not sufficient to ensure safety.

After Lochridge was fired, OceanGate sued him for disclosing confidential information, and he responded by filing a compulsory counterclaim where he alleged wrongful termination. In the end, the two parties settled.

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State-of-the-art underwater drones are now being deployed to look for those stuck inside the missing Titan, which costs passengers $250,000 per ticket.

The passengers onboard include Rush, British billionaire Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his teen son, Suleman, as well as French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

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Many hope those inside of the 22-foot tourist submersible have not and will not suffer the same fate as the famed ocean liner that struck an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean 111 years ago, claiming more than 1,500 lives on its maiden trip to New York City.

If more lifeboats had been aboard the ill-fated ship, it is believed that many lives would have been saved in April 1912, although the ship honored the outdated requirements put forth by the 1894 Merchant Shipping Act.



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