A heartbreaking interview of Ocean Gate’s CEO has resurfaced online on his fondness for diving, the ocean, and how Titanic was a “must-do” dive for him.
Stockton Rush, 61, was among the five men killed on board the Titan sub in what US officials said was a “catastrophic implosion”. The victims were Hamish Harding, 58, Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his son Suleman Dawood, 19, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77, and Stockton Rush, 61
Speaking about his love for diving in an earlier interview, Mr Rush had said: “Every time I dive I see something I have never seen before, that no human has probably seen before.
“You know things with like, two eyeballs and a gelatinous back end and stuff coming off it. But it will go racing by. And you are like ‘what was that’. And so I love sitting up in the dome for that descent.”
He explained how he started building his business with a “party finished” home-built sub.
He said: “I started off with a partly finished home-built sub that I built myself. Then I formed a business and acquired a sub that we modified heavily and sort of figured out what we wanted.
“Then we made the first prototype of this, which was Cyclops One.
“That was very similar but was a steel hull that already existed. But it had some of the similar electronics and then this was the ultimate version that we always wanted.”
The Titan submersible vanished 105 minutes after launching from the Polar Prince icebreaker research ship about 900 miles off the coast of Cape Cod on Sunday morning (June 18).
The Titan’s twin communication systems — texts and electronic pings — suddenly stopped communicating with the support vessel, and no further sign of life was detected until Thursday’s grim discovery.
Mr Rush has always been a Titanic “enthusiast” as he once said: “People are so enthralled with Titanic, that it became a must-do dive. I read an article that said there are three words in the English language that are known throughout the planet. And that’s Coca Cola, God and Titanic.”
He wanted OceanGate to be a business that “[got] people excited about the ocean, explore the ocean, discover what was out there”.
He said: “The critical thing we got to understand is climate change and how the planet responds to climate change. It’s all in the ocean and we almost know nothing. The ocean is a scary spot.
“And because of that, I think one of the big things and what I wanted to do with the business was just move the needle, get people excited about the ocean, explore the ocean and discover what was out there.”
Motivating people to think “out of the box”, he once spoke about how crucial it was to stay innovative.
He said: “When you are outside the box, it’s really hard to tell how far outside the box you really are. And we were pretty far out there.
“If you are not breaking things, you are not innovating. If you are operating within a known environment, as most submersible manufacturers do, they don’t break things.
“To me, the more stuff you have broken, the more innovative you have been.”