The Titanic Foundation, under the direction of Paul-Henri Nargeolet, is investigating claims made by Stockton Rush, OceanGate’s chief executive, regarding the ship’s safety before its June 18 explosion.
According to Jessica Sanders, president of RMS Titanic Inc., Rush was described as a daring and reckless person. Sanders is evaluating whether Nargeolet should have been allowed aboard the ship.
The Titanic Foundation is investigating the safety claims made by Stockton Rush, the CEO of OceanGate, following the tragic implosion of his submersible that resulted in the loss of five lives.
Jessica Sanders, president of RMS Titanic Inc., criticized Rush’s comments, calling him a “gentleman” for suggesting the Titan submarine was safer than activities like flying in a helicopter, diving or even crossing the road.
Rush had assured would-be passengers that the submarine was “much safer than flying in a helicopter or even diving”, likening it to simply “walking across the street”.
Sanders stated that the Titanic Foundation is carefully examining its records and court documents following the tragic incident, raising questions about the accuracy of Rush’s statements.
“We have our internal questions about representations [OceanGate] fact that were the basis for giving PH the go-ahead to continue”, she told The Post.
“We’re going back and looking at that now internally because there were representations not only made to us but to the court that we now have to go back and verify because of these stories that are coming out that challenge them.”
RMS Titanic Inc., the company with salvage rights to the wreck, gets court approval before any recovery efforts. Virginia Eastern District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith has overseen her expeditious plans for several years.
Artifacts recovered from the shipwreck must be displayed together and made available for scholarly research under specified conditions.
Judge Smith also reviews other proposals related to the site visit.
Stockton Rush, the head of OceanGate, openly admitted that it was unconventional and did not seek certification for his sub, deeming it slow. He believed that the involvement of external entities would make rapid innovation difficult.
On the other hand, Paul-Henri Nargeolet and RMS Titanic Inc. took a different approach. They ensured compliance with various regulations when Nargeolet joined the expedition as a guest of OceanGate rather than for research purposes.
Nargeolet, who had extensive experience exploring the Titanic wreckage, had a close relationship with Rush and had been to the site several times.
The Titan submarine suffered a catastrophic implosion during the mission, losing all communication with the outside world.
The incident occurred while the vessel was attempting to explore the wreck of the Titanic, located 12,500 feet below the surface of the Atlantic, approximately 350 nautical miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
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