OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, one of five passengers killed on a fatal mission to the Titanic wreckage this week, once admitted on camera to “breaking some rules” to build the tourist submersible.
In comments to Mexican travel vlogger Alan Estrada in 2021, Rush evoked General MacArthur saying, “You’re remembered for the rules you break.”
“I’ve broken some rules to make this. I think I’ve broken them with logic and good engineering behind me,” Rush said.
“I’ve broken some rules to make this…”
— John Holowesko (@jholowesko) June 21, 2023
He conceded that deep-sea submersibles “as a rule” should not be made with carbon fiber and titanium, but he did anyway.
“It’s picking the rules that you break that are the ones that will add value to others and add value to society,” Rush said.
His comments were among many peculiar aspects of OceanGate and its submersible that have emerged this week as the search for the Titan was underway.
Several, including an employee who was ultimately fired, said they had tried to raise security concerns about the vessel in the past.
During a segment aired by “CBS Sunday Morning” Rush said “we run the whole thing with this game controller” while holding up what appeared to be a modified Logitech F710 wireless gamepad.
In the CBS video, Rush’s version appeared to have elongated, modified sticks to help control the Titan submarine.
Another old clip of Rush has emerged, showing him explaining that he preferred not to hire “50-year-old White guys” with military experience to pilot his company’s vessels.
Rush said he valued captains who were “inspirational” over experience, noting that “anybody can drive the sub,” which is controlled with a $30 video game controller.
“When I started the business, 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,” Rush told Teledyne Marine in a 2020 Zoom interview.