Experts in underwater vehicles wrote a letter to Oceangate’s CEO warning that their vision could end in ‘disaster’ years before their ship disappeared.
The company’s ship, the Titan, is currently missing with five people on board after losing contact while diving into the Titanic wreck.
A frantic search and rescue operation is underway to locate and recover the submarine before its 96-hour oxygen supply runs out.
Underwater industry leaders have sent a letter to Oceangate CEO Stockton Rush – who is currently missing with the ship – urging him to take precautions.
The letter, obtained by The New York Times, warned that the company’s current ‘experimental’ approach could result in problems ranging from ‘minor to catastrophic’.
Underwater industry leaders have sent a letter to Oceangate CEO Stockton Rush (pictured) – who is currently missing with the ship – urging him to take precautions.
It was sent by the Marine Technology Society’s Manned Underwater Vehicles Committee, a 60-year-old trade group whose mission is to promote marine technology and educate the public about it.
But it’s unclear whether an employee or Rush himself responded to the letter, and there were no further details about why the method was deemed dangerous.
Officials searching for the missing Saab have warned that they may not be able to recover the missing tourist Saab even if they find it.
Among those taking part in the campaign are billionaire Hamish Harding, CEO of Dubai’s Action Aviation, and Shahzada Dawood, 48, a board member of the UK-based Prince’s Trust charity, and his son Sulaiman Dawood, 19.
Rush is understood to have been on board the ship that went missing on Sunday along with French Navy veteran PH Nargiolet.
The sub’s oxygen supply is now down to just 40 hours, giving rescue workers until Thursday morning to find it before it runs out.
Salvage crews from the US and Canada are still trying to locate the ship, which is understood to have last ‘pinged’ while directly above the Titanic wreckage.
First District Response Coordinator Capt. Jamie Frederick said the Coast Guard has already searched 7,600 square miles of ocean — a search area the size of Connecticut.
The Boston Coast Guard is currently searching for the missing vessel. The wreck of the Titanic sits 12,500 feet underwater, about 370 miles off Newfoundland, Canada.
Among those taking part in the campaign is billionaire Hamish Harding (pictured), CEO of Action Aviation in Dubai. She excitedly posted on social media about being there on Sunday
Shahzada Dawood, 48, (pictured with his wife Christine) is a board member of the UK-based Prince’s Trust charity, and his son Sulaiman Dawood, 19, is among the five who went missing after visiting the wreckage of the submarine. Titanic, it was released today
At 12,500 feet underwater, there are few ships capable of diving deep enough to find it.
It comes after Newstimesuk.com revealed that OceanGate had refused to put their submersibles through an independent inspection process and asked for stricter safety checks after firing a director in 2018.
Bosses sacked David Lochridge, who was director of marine operations for Project Titan, after disagreeing with demands for more stringent safety checks on the submarine, including ‘tests to prove its integrity’.
The company has also opted against ‘grading’ the craft, an industry-wide practice where independent inspectors ensure vessels meet accepted technical standards.
OceanGate, which charges up to $250,000 for a seat on submersibles, suggested it could take years to get the classification and would be ‘starved of rapid innovation’.
In 2019, the firm added that seeking classification for the Titan ‘would not ensure that operators adhere to the correct operating procedures and decision-making processes – two areas that are critical to reducing risks at sea’.
The Titanic is currently missing with five people on board after communication was lost while diving into the wreckage of the Titanic, about 12,500 feet below the Atlantic.
Oceangate bosses sacked Project Titan marine operations director David Lochridge in 2018 after it disagreed with demands for more stringent safety checks on the submarine, which is missing after a mission to the wreck of the Titanic.
Classification involves appointing an independent organization to ensure that vessels such as ships and submersibles meet industry-wide technical standards. This is an important way to ensure that a vessel is fit to sail.
The Marine Technology Society’s Manned Underwater Vehicles Committee said in a statement about the tragedy that the ‘modern commercial submarine industry’ is ‘regulated according to international safety standards through classification.’
They added: ‘These organizations have regulations and safety standards for the design and construction of systems from submersible vehicles to supertankers and oil platforms.
‘The main classification societies for submersibles include the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Det Nortke Veritas (DNV) and Lloyd’s Registry (LR).
‘The submarine industry has a 50-year incident-free safety record. This is due to the engineering discipline and professional approach practiced by members of the industry and the collective monitoring (and adherence) to a variety of safety standards.’
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