OceanGate Expeditions, the company that launched the doomed Titan submersible trip to the wreckage of the Titanic earlier this summer, has ceased operations.
Five people, including the company’s CEO, Stockton Rush, died when the carbon-fibre submersible imploded due to the extreme pressures of the deep ocean.
Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a French deep sea explorer and Titanic historian; British billionaire businessman Hamish Harding; Pakistani-British billionaire businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman were all killed alongside Mr Rush in the submarine.
A small message in the top-left corner of OceanGate’s website in red explains that the company has ceased its operations.
“OceanGate has suspended all exploration and commercial operations,” the message says.
The Independent has reached out to OceanGate for comment.
Prior to its closure, OceanGate was offering a pair of expeditions to interested clients with deep pockets; the first was the doomed Titanic expedition, with spaces starting from $250,000.
The second was an excursion to the Azores to explore thermal vents. The price was the same and the trip lasted for half as long as its Titanic-focused counterpart.
The company has come under intense public scrutiny in the wake of the disastrous research trip, with much of the attention focused on Mr Rush’s attitude towards safety and innovation.
A former OceanGate employee, David Lochridge, was reportedly fired shortly after he insisted the Titan submersible required more, unmanned testing before it could be considered safe for commercial expeditions.
After his firing, Mr Lochridge reportedly emailed his associate at the company Rob McCallum — who also left over safety concerns — to share his worry that Mr Rush would get himself and others killed in a quest to satiate his “ego.”
“I don’t want to be seen as a Tattle tale but I’m so worried he kills himself and others in the quest to boost his ego,” Mr Lochridge said in the email, according to The New Yorker.
He went on to say that the sub is an “accident waiting to happen” and conceded that no amount of money would have convinced him “to dive the thing.”
Search and rescue teams worked to recover the wreckage of the Titan submarine and the remains of its passengers in the weeks since the implosion.
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