Vanity Fair Revisits the many warning signs related to OceanGate Titan submersible before the implosion on June 18 All five passengers on board were killed.
“This tragedy was expected. It was avoidable. It was inevitable,” a professional expedition leader tells their correspondent.
And as the world now knows, Stockton Rush He described himself as a dissident, subversive, and rule-breaker. He was so far out of sight, that to him safety regulations were just suggestions. “If you don’t smash things, you don’t innovate,” he declared at the 2022 GeekWire Summit. “If you work in a known environment, as most submarine manufacturers do, they don’t break things. For me, the more things I break, the more innovative you are.” In a culture that has adopted the absurd slogan “Move quickly and break things“This kind of arrogance can take a person far. But deep in the ocean, the price of acceptance is humility—and it’s not negotiable…
In December 2015, two years before Titan When the project was built, Rush lowered a one-third scale model of his 4,000-meter-long reactor into a pressure chamber and watched it explode with a force of 4,000 psi, a pressure equivalent to just 2,740 meters. The stated goal of the test was “to verify that the pressure vessel design is capable of withstanding an external pressure of 6,000 psi—which is equivalent to … a depth of about 4,200 metres.” He could have changed course then, stepped back for a moment and reconsidered. But he didn’t. Instead, OceanGate issued a press release stating that the test was a resounding success because it “demonstrates that the benefits of carbon fiber are real.”
OceanGate’s Director of Marine Operations later issued a quality control inspection report filled with warnings:
These included missing screws, improperly securing batteries, and components zipped to the exterior of the submarine. The annular grooves were improperly shaped (which may allow water to enter), the seals were loose, and highly flammable petroleum material was lined TitanThe interior of the ship… However, even those imperfections pale in comparison to what Luchridge noted on the hull. It was evident that the carbon fiber filaments were coming apart, riddled with air gaps, laminates, and Swiss cheese holes – and there was no way to fix that other than to throw the chassis in the trash.
Rush’s response was to fire Lochridge immediately, and to sue him and his wife (although Carol Lochridge did not work at OceanGate or even in the submarine industry) for breach of contract, fraud, unfair enrichment, and misappropriation of trade secrets; threat to their immigration status; and seek to have them pay OceanGate’s legal fees.
The article also tells the story of OceanGate’s 240-foot dive to debris Andrea Doria in 2016. The article alleges that Rush ignored safety instructions, then “landed too close, got entangled in the current, managed to pin the submarine below the crumbling bow of the Andrea Doria, and went into a state of complete panic…”
The author of the article wonders that five years ago, “I did not yet know the extent of recklessness, how much recklessness, and how crazy the Titan They once considered booking a trip on the OceanGate submarine—until they got this advice from the chief pilot of two University of Hawaii deep-sea submarines. no Get into that sub. He’s going to have a big accident.”
Thanks to Slashdot Reader AleRunner To share the article.