The co-founder of OceanGate has stated it is too early to “speculate” about what happened on the Titan submersible, and people should instead “mourn the loss of the crewmembers”. Guillermo Sohnlein was interviewed by Dan Wootton on GB News this evening only hours after the five passengers onboard the missing vessel were pronounced dead.
OceanGate was co-founded in 2009 by Sohnlein and Stockton Rush, who was one of the passengers pronounced dead onboard the Titan.
Sohnlein told Wooton: “I think it’s premature for anybody to speculate on what happened.
“It’s going to take days, weeks, months to collect data and analyse the data and try to figure out what happened.
“Right now is more a time to mourn the loss of the crewmembers and preserve their legacies.”
The former OceanGate CEO described Rush as “one of the most intelligent people” he has ever met.
Sohnlein continued: “He was very risk averse and keenly aware of the dangers of operating in the deep ocean.
“He was very committed to safety and believed everyone of the innovations and anything he designed was designed to expand the capabilities of humanity and learning about the oceans but also the capability of doing it as safely as possible.”
He also indicated that the critics of the tourist company’s trip to the Titanic wreckage deep in the Atlantic Ocean should wait for more information.
He told Wootton: “I think a lot of the folks that are commenting on this do have the expertise to form opinions like this but like me they don’t have all of the data and I think it’s really a matter of waiting until we have the data and have a chance to analyse it to figure out what happened, take some lessons learned and move forward them there.”
UK billionaire Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, his son Suleman Dawood, French submersible pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush were onboard the submersible, and have been pronounced dead.
OceanGate’s statement said: “We now believe that our CEO Stockton Rush, Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, Hamish Harding, and Paul-Henri Nargeolet, have sadly been lost.”
The statement continued: “Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time.
“We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew.”