OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, who is lost at sea on a submersible that he and four others took to visit the Titanic wreckage, once explained that he didn’t hire “50-year-old white guys” with military experience to captain his vessels because they are not “inspirational.”
“When I started the business, old-timers in the industry told me I was nuts, and they continue to tell me that — partly because I said I was going to take inexperienced pilots in a submarine, in current, in zero visibility — and they thought I was insane,” Rush told Teledyne Marine in a resurfaced Zoom interview.
The CEO of OceanGate, responsible for the missing Titanic tourist submarine, clarifies that the company sought individuals who could provide “inspiration” and chose not to employ experienced 50+ year old white men.
And look how that turned out. pic.twitter.com/EvRMWJAqsk
— iamyesyouareno (@iamyesyouareno) June 21, 2023
The 61-year-old went on to say that “one of the things you’ll find, there are other sub operators out there, but they typically have gentlemen who are ex-military submariners, and you’ll see a whole bunch of 50-year-old white guys.”
“I wanted our team to be younger, to be inspirational, and I’m not going to inspire a 16-year-old to go pursue marine technology, but a 25-year-old who’s a sub pilot or a platform operator or one of our techs can be inspirational,” Rush said.
“So we’ve really tried to get very intelligent, motivated, younger individuals involved because we’re doing things that are completely new,” he added.
The OceanGate CEO also said that expertise was unnecessary, because “anybody can drive the sub” with a video game controller.
“We can train someone to pilot the sub, we use a game controller. So anybody can drive the sub,” Rush said, before talking about how he prioritized diversity.
“And we also wanted out team to have a variety of different backgrounds,” he said. “Really get people that have diverse background and then train them, and train and train and train, so that it does come off as a polished and safe operation.”
On Sunday, Rush’s submersible, named Titan, lost contact with Canadian Research Vessel Polar Prince about an hour and 45 minutes into its dive to view the wreckage of the RMS Titanic, according to the United States Coast Guard News.
The famous shipwreck sits approximately 12,500 feet below sea level in the Atlantic Ocean, about 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
As Breitbart News reported, OceanGate fired its director of marine operations after he demanded safety tests of the vehicle before it took passengers to the bottom of the Ocean. The company is also facing questions about other safety decisions, like the submersible lacking a safety beacon.
At the time of publishing, the five men on the lost submersible have less than 20 hours of breathable air left inside the vessel while a multi-national rescue mission is underway.
You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.
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