Billionaire Hamish Harding’s cousin lashes out at ‘submarine themed ball’ at his Cambridge college

The family of British billionaire businessman Hamish Harding has lashed out at a Cambridge college for hosting a “submarine-themed ball” just hours before those on the Titan submersible were confirmed dead.

Pembroke College students attended the “Into the Depths” ball on Wednesday night, based on the theme of undersea exploration, amid all the rescue efforts for the now imploded Titan submarine.

One of the cousins of Harding, 69-year-old Kathleen Cosnett, told the media that it was “unbelievable” that the college had a submarine-themed ball and said the event was in “extremely bad taste”.

In its defence, the college committee that organised the ball said that the theme for the event had been decided much before the search for OceanGate Expeditions’ Titanic expedition became a global rescue operation. The authorities reportedly said it was too late to change the theme.

Follow the latest updates on the missing Titanic submarine here.

“That’s terrible – polite courtesy has missed out on quite a few generations. Ridiculous. They would have had a record of him studying there, I would have thought,” Ms Cosnett was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.

“They ought to think more than twice, and show consideration. Perhaps we are lucky they didn’t play Yellow Submarine. But perhaps they are not old enough for that.”

Harding attended the college in the 1980s and is among five people who died after the submersible is believed to have imploded.

The ball’s committee said in a statement before the news of the implosion: “We are aware of the worrying news about Pembroke alumnus Hamish Harding. Today’s May Ball theme was chosen many months ago, and if we could change it now, we would.

“All we can say is that we sincerely hope that Mr Harding and the others on board the submarine will be found safe and well. Our thoughts go out to the Harding family at this very difficult time.”

All five men on board the missing Titan submersible were declared dead after it was found that the craft imploded near the site of the shipwreck, authorities announced on Thursday.

OceanGate Expeditions founder and CEO Stockton Rush, British billionaire Harding, renowned French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman were all aboard the Titan.

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