Discovery Channel host refused trip on Titanic submarine due to ‘safety concerns’ after test dive

A veteran explorer and host of Expedition Unknown on Discovery Plus said he decided to pass on a chance to film on OceanGate’s now-missing Titan submersible over safety concerns.

Josh Gates tweeted on Wednesday that he had decided to walk away from an opportunity to film Titanic because the submersible “did not perform well” during a test dive.

In a series of tweets, Gates explained that he had the opportunity to join OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush on a test dive while the company was preparing for its initial visit to the Titanic, which occurred in July 2021.

He wrote: “To those asking, #Titan did not perform well on my dive. Ultimately, I walked away from a huge opportunity to film Titanic due to my safety concerns w/ the @OceanGate platform. There’s more to the history and design of Titan that has not been made public – much of it concerning.”

Follow the latest updates on the missing Titanic submarine here.

The submersible used for showing tourists the site of the Titanic shipwreck disappeared earlier this week, sparking a race against time to find the missing individuals onboard.

The vehicle went missing off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada on Monday, according to the US Coast Guard.

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush is among five missing along with the Titan sub. Other missing are British billionaire Hamish Harding, renowned French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet as well as Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman.

“I pray for a positive outcome to the rescue efforts of those aboard, including fellow @ExplorersClub member Hamish Harding,” Mr Gates wrote.

He continued: “To those questioning why people would dive to Titanic: the ship has fascinated the world since the night she sank. It’s a time capsule to another era of our history. It takes courage to make a trip like this. Admiration and prayers for the passengers aboard OceanGate Titan.”

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A spokesperson for the mothership which launched the missing submersible defended OceanGate, saying it runs an “extremely safe operation” after questions were raised about safety. The submersible Titan is run by OceanGate.

Sean Leet, co-founder and chairman of Horizon Maritime Services, which owns the Polar Prince mothership from which Titan was launched, said: “OceanGate runs an extremely safe operation.”

As of Thursday morning, there are just hours of oxygen left in the missing Titan submersible.

A Canadian aircraft searching for the sub in the Atlantic Ocean had earlier detected intermittent “banging” noises from the vicinity of its last known location.

However, the US Coast Guard clarified that they “don’t know the source of the noise”.

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