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Why Owner of Lost Sub Didn’t Hire Ex-Military ’50-Year-Old White Guys’ for Titanic Tours

The OceanGate CEO who is trapped on a 22-foot submersible on an ill-fated voyage to see the Titanic wreck once explained how he didn’t hire “50-year-old white guys” with military experience to captain his vessels because they weren’t “inspirational.”

Stockton Rush, 61, added that such expertise was unnecessary because “anybody can drive the sub” 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, uh, gentlemen who are ex-military submariners, and they — you’ll see a whole bunch of 50-year-old white guys,” Rush told Teledyne Marine in a newly resurfaced undated Zoom interview.

“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, uh, you know, who’s a sub pilot or a platform operator or one of our techs can be inspirational,” he continued.

“So we’ve really tried to get, um, very intelligent, motivated, younger individuals involved because we’re doing things that are completely new.”

Rush’s Everett, Wash.-based company has made two previous trips to the 1912 wreckage of the “unsinkable” ship, which is 12,500 feet underwater at the bottom of the Atlantic some 370 miles off the coast of Canada.

The founder and CEO — who navigates the missing Titan submersible with a cheap Amazon video game joystick — has been trapped on the tiny vessel since Sunday with four wealthy adventurers who paid $250,000 apiece for the tour.

A frantic Coast Guard rescue operation was underway to locate the tiny vessel and save the marooned team — who had less than one day’s worth of oxygen as of Wednesday morning, officials said.

One of OceanGate’s previous Titanic expeditions had also gotten lost for several hours, because there is no GPS underwater, according to CBS News correspondent David Pogue, who was along for the harrowing ride.

Company officials were criticized for waiting eight hours after they lost communication with the Titan to alert authorities about the missing vessel on Sunday. The entire journey to the shipwreck was only supposed to take 10 hours.

“We’re taking approaches that are used largely in the aerospace industry, is related to safety and some of the preponderance of checklists, uh, things we do for risk assessments and things like that, that are more aviation-related than, uh, ocean-related and we can train people to do that,” Rush had reportedly said.

“We can train someone to pilot the sub, we use a game controller, um, so anybody can drive the sub.”

  • Peggy says:

    I’d rather have a very highly experienced and credentialed 50 yo white airline pilot to fly the jet I’m a passenger in than a young inexperienced “inspirational” kid!!!
    You can’t buy experience and wisdom!!!
    And…I’d rather be “bored” to death than suffocated to death at the bottom of a deep ocean!

  • maga24 says:

    These dumbass people are dead, RIP.

  • Don says:

    If Dollar General sold a submersible………………….

  • karmageddon says:

    Tragic but they knew the risks and took it anyway. NOW I hope they seize the assets of the owner of that doomed submarine and the passengers to pay for all that search and rescue time. Taxpayers SHOULD NOT be on the hook for the millionaires stupidity!!

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