A former correspondent who was the first TV reporter to visit the Titanic broke down as he recalled his terrifying experience in a Russian submersible over 20 years ago.
It comes as a frantic search is currently underway for a missing OceanGate submarine which vanished near the wrecks of the Titanic after the expedition set off on Sunday morning. Rescuers have until 10am on Thursday to find the five people onboard the submersible before their oxygen runs out.
Speaking about his own haunting experience, Dr Michael Guillen was the science editor for ABC News when he was invited to dive to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to report on the Titanic shipwreck in 2000.
Though he has always been terrified of the water, he accepted the invitation knowing it would make him the first reporter to see the ruins.
Follow live updates on the missing Titanic submersible here.
When the submersible reached the overturned stern of the Titanic, Dr Guillen said he noticed the submersible was accelerating too fast towards the ship’s propeller.
Their sub had been caught in a high speed under-water current which led to the sub smashing into the 21-ton propeller.
The former reporter realised they were perilously lodged beneath the huge propellor.
“Not only did we feel the impact of the collision, but huge pieces of the Titanic started falling down on us and we knew we were in trouble,” he told Sky News.
“We had been told a story about a man who was caught in a similar situation and in his panic went to the escape hatch thinking he would go up that way, but of course expedited as doom.
“The pressures down there in the water, even if a little crack comes through, will cut you like a razor blade.”
He said a voice in his head told him: “This is how it’s going to end for you.”
After waiting for 30 minutes, the pilot was able to dislodge the sub and the team made it safely to the surface.
Despite being a correspondent who had been sent to dangerous situations and always coming out on top, this experience was the one that felt hopeless.
Breaking down, Dr Guillen tearfully said: “My heart goes out to these people who are lost. I’m just so sick to my stomach to think of those poor people down there. I know what it’s like.”
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