The world is still reeling over the constantly evolving story of the Titan sub, and how the small deep sea vessel was an accident waiting to happen.
Last month it was reported that the OceanGate-operated submersible – bound for an expedition to view the wreckage of the Titanic – met a catastrophic end when it imploded after losing contact with its mother ship, the Polar Prince.
As well as OceanGate’s CEO Stockton Rush, four other men perished on the trip – including British entrepreneur Hamish Harding, French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Pakistani-British billionaire Shahzada Dawood, and his teenage son, Suleman.
Just four days after the vessel was initially reported missing, the US Coast Guard said the Titan submersible was destroyed by a “catastrophic implosion” due to severe pressure.
Numerous experts have come forward to offer their opinions on what was likely to have happened on the Titan’s doomed voyage, with engineer and submarine expert José Luis Martín recently putting forward his theory on what the five men could have experienced in their final few moments alive.
Speaking to Spanish news outlet Marca, Martín – whose theories are based on calculations that take into consideration the sub’s weight, speed, mass, and thrust – explained that he suspects the passengers on the sub would have been aware of what was happening between 48 and 71 seconds prior to the fatal implosion.
More distressingly, the expert said that the sub likely fell “vertically” in an out of control manner for over 2,900 feet, and that during this final descent the men could have lost their balance and fallen on top of one another.
Martín stated: “The starting point is that the submarine is descending without any incidence and in a horizontal plane until it reaches an altitude of about 1,700 meters (5,500 feet). At that point there is an electrical failure. It is left without an engine and without propulsion. That’s when it loses communication with the Polar Prince.”
He goes on to say that, at this point, he believes the Titan would have fallen vertically because of the weight of all five men. “They all rush and crowd on top of each other,” he explained. “Imagine the horror, the fear and the agony. It must have been like a horror movie.”
Earlier this week the New Yorker published a damning report on the doomed vessel, speaking with experts and former employees about its lack of appropriate safety measures.
A series of emails obtained by the outlet detailed how a former OceanGate worker reportedly confided in one of his colleagues that he had serious concerns over the company’s CEO Stockton Rush.
In one of those emails the former employee, David Lochridge, wrote: “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.”
He then reportedly continued: “I would consider myself pretty ballsy when it comes to doing things that are dangerous, but that sub is an accident waiting to happen. There’s no way on earth you could have paid me to dive the thing.”
Lochridge – formerly the director of marine operations at OceanGate until 2018 – admitted there was a multitude of errors and issues with the Titan sub that sparked concerns, which he had discovered after a thorough inspection.
One particular issue was part of a since-settled lawsuit filed in the Seattle District Court by Lochridge, where he stated that he had found glue that was peeling away at the seams of the sub’s ballast bags, and that haphazardly placed mounting bolts could potentially cause a rupture.
Lochridge was allegedly so vocal about his concerns for the sub that Rush became infuriated and fired him in 2018.