(WFLA) – OceanGate Expeditions CEO Stockton Rush said he’d “broken some rules” when designing the submersible to visit the wreckage of the Titanic, as seen in a resurfaced interview from 2021.
Rush and four others were killed in a “catastrophic implosion” that destroyed their submersible during a dive to see the site of the Titanic earlier this week.
The search for the Titan submersible sparked online discussion over the safety of the vessel — with even “Titanic” director James Cameron, who has designed submersibles that went deeper than the ship, calling Titan’s construction into question.
In a 2021 interview, when the Titan was still undergoing trial experiments, Rush spoke to vlogger Alan Estrada about his desire to be an innovator while designing the Titan.
“I think it was General MacArthur who said, ‘You’re remembered for the rules you break,'” Rush said. “And I’ve broken some rules to make this. I think I’ve broken them with logic and good engineering behind me.”
Rush then specifically cited his use of “carbon fiber and titanium” in the construction of the sub.
“There’s a rule that you don’t do that. Well, I did,” he said.
In a 2018 video (above), Rush said Titan’s hull was created with a “5-inch thick carbon fiber pressure vessel.”
Following the Titan’s implosion, Cameron specifically referenced the carbon fiber hull in an interview with ABC News, calling it “fundamentally flawed.”
“I’m struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself, where the captain was repeatedly warned about ice ahead of his ship, and yet, he steamed up full speed into an ice field on a moonless night,” the director said. “And many people died as a result and for us very similar tragedy where warnings went unheeded to take place at the same exact site.”
Cameron wasn’t the first one who questioned the submersible’s design. According to CBS News, former OceanGate employee David Lochridge sued the company in 2018, saying he was wrongfully fired for questioning the potential danger Titan posed to passengers.