A Discovery Channel presenter has said he passed on the opportunity to film on OceanGate’s now-missing Titan submersible over safety concerns.
Josh Gates, who hosts Expedition Unknown on Discovery Plus, tweeted on Wednesday (June 21) that he turned down the opportunity to film Titanic because the submersible “did not perform well” during a test dive.
Gates said that he was given the chance to join OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush on a test dive, which took place in July 2021.
“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.”
The submersible, which was used for showing tourists the site of the Titanic shipwreck, disappeared earlier this week. The vehicle went missing off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada on Monday, according to the US Coast Guard.
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.
— Josh Gates (@joshuagates) June 21, 2023
OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush is among five individuals onboard the missing submersible. The other missing passengers are British billionaire Hamish Harding, renowned French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 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,” Gates wrote.
He added: “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.”
On Thursday (June 22), the US Coast Guard announced that all five passengers aboard the submersible are expected to be dead, with the vehicle’s oxygen supply having run out earlier this morning.