Days after Titanic submersible tragedy, OceanGate announces future expeditions
OceanGate, the company that operated the fateful Titan submersible which sunk deep underwater with five people aboard has revealed new expedition dates on its website.
In a surprising move, the company has scheduled two expeditions, scheduled to take place in 2024. The first trip will take place from June 12 to June 20 while the second will be conducted between June 21 to Jun 29, according to the website.
The cost of each trip is set at $250,000 per person, covering one submersible dive, private accommodations, training and expedition gear, as well as meals on board. Wi-fi facility will be provided onboard so that participants can remain connected throughout the eight-day expedition.
The website displays exotic pictures of the deep blue water and promises an adventure of a lifetime, exploring the Titanic, located 3,800 meters below the surface of the Atlantic coast of Canada. The only condition is that the participants must be at least 17 years or older.
The announcement of future excursions by the company comes days after US Navy declared that all five aboard the submersible, including OceaGate CEO Stockton Rush died in an implosion. Since then, law enforcement authorities are trying to ascertain if the case warrants a criminal investigation.
“Such an investigation will proceed only if our examination of the circumstances indicate criminal, federal or provincial laws may possibly have been broken,” said Superintendent Kent Osmond, Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Oceangate closes headquarters: Reports
Earlier this week, reports claimed that OceanGate had closed its headquarters in Everett, Washington State. The leasing agent informed the media that the company was closing indefinitely.
After the submersible's implosion, a Florida couple that had sued Stockton and OceanGate for a refund of over $210,000, announced they were dropping the lawsuit.
"As has been reported, we have been involved in a legal dispute with Stockton Rush, CEO/Founder of OceanGate. In light of these tragic events, we have informed our attorneys to withdraw all legal actions against Stockton,” said the couple, adding that "honour, respect and dignity" were far more important than money.
While thrill junkies might still sign up for the deep-sea dive, it is highly unlikely that the authorities will allow OceanGate to conduct another trip without receiving proper approvals.
In the aftermath of the incident, multiple reports claimed that the submersible was structurally not secure and that there were multiple safety issues plaguing it. There were accusations by former employees that the company ignored safety measures, which contributed to the catastrophic implosion.
Apart from Stockton, British billionaire Hamish Harding, French diver Paul Henry Nargeolet, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman were killed in the accident.