British Billionaire, One Of Pakistan's Richest Men and a Titanic Enthusiast Among Those On The Missing Submersible
A Titanic enthusiast, who has gone down 12,000 ft to the ocean floor a dozen times, the CEO of an expedition company, a world record-holding adventurer and aviator, and a father-son duo belonging to one of Pakistan's wealthiest families are all on the submersible that went missing in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday.
The small vessel named "Titan" lost contact just 1 hour 45 minutes into starting its journey to the bottom of the ocean. The expedition was made possible by OceanGate, which was making its third trip to the wreckage of the Titanic that sank in 1912. It's been more than 48 hours (at the time of writing) since the sub lost contact with the outside world. While efforts are on to locate the sub, let's take a look at its famous and super-rich passengers.
The founder of OceanGate Inc, and the pilot of Titan. The company confirmed that its CEO is indeed one of the five people aboard. As per the company website, he graduated from Princeton University and majored in aerospace, aeronautical, and astronautical engineering in 1984. He has a second degree in business administration from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.
Hamish Harding, 58, is a British billionaire, who runs Dubai-based private jet dealership Action Aviation. Hamish is an adventurer at heart and has visited the South Pole multiple times, as per BBC.
Hamish also holds three Guinness World Records, one of which includes the longest time spent at full ocean depth which he got during a dive to the deepest part of the Mariana Trench.
When asked about his urge for exploration, he said, "My view is that these are all calculated risks and are well understood before we start."
He has a net worth of at least $1 billion. But the exact value isn’t known.
Shahzada Dawood and His Son Suleman
The Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son are among the three guests aboard. According to PEOPLE, Shahzada is one of the trustees at the SETI Institute, a non-profit research organization on life and intelligence in the universe.
According to the SETI website, he has an "M.Sc in Global Textile Marketing from Philadelphia University, USA, and also an LLB from Buckingham University UK."
The man is also part of the Prince's Trust International and The British Asian Trust, which is an initiative by King Charles.
As per NBC, Nargeolet, a French diver and Titanic enthusiast, is fondly addressed as "Mr. Titanic". The man has an elaborate history with the infamous vessel and has made dozens of trips since his first visit in 1987.
As per his bio on E/M Group, Nargeolet has made 37 dives and played a key role in retrieving artefact from the wreckage site.
His view on death in the depths offers an insight into the uncertainties of life.
"If you are 11m or 11km down, if something bad happens, the result is the same,” he told the outlet at the time. “When you’re in very deep water, you’re dead before you realize that something is happening, so it’s just not a problem"
The private company provides crewed submersibles for research and exploration. It is based out of Everett, Washington. The company began taking tourists to the vintage shipwreck in its brand-new submersible Titan in 2021.
The Incomplete Trip Of 2022
The submersible is a tiny 670 cm long ship that has no GPS on board. It is guided by a mother vessel on the surface which uses USBL (ultra-short baseline) acoustic system to send text messages for communication. This communication system had failed in the summer of 2022 and the same submersible Titan was lost for over 2 and a half hours. Fortunately, the sub returned safely to the surface.
The expedition was joined by a reporter for CBS, David Pogue, who took to Twitter to say, "You may remember that the @OceansGateExped sub to the Titanic got lost for a few hours last summer too when I was aboard,"
You may remember that the @OceanGateExped sub to the #Titanic got lost for a few hours LAST summer, too, when I was aboard…Here’s the relevant part of that story. https://t.co/7FhcMs0oeH pic.twitter.com/ClaNg5nzj8— David Pogue (@Pogue) June 19, 2023
Pogue never got to the wreckage as they lost communication and had to return to the surface. Pogue seemed concerned while speaking to NewsNation and said, "The submersible doesn't know where it is, relative to the Titanic, it might be right over there or might be right over there, (pointing in different directions), they can't see anything."
He then talks about how something "went wrong with the directional system" last summer.
The Waiver That Mentioned "Death" Thrice
Mike Reiss, Emmy-winning writer-producer for "The Simpsons", has successfully witnessed the wreckage and returned safely to talk about the expedition.
“He knew this was very dangerous,” Reiss’ wife, Denise, told New York Post. "Even in the most dire situations, he has a joke."
Reiss 63, told NY Post, "Death is always lurking, it’s always in the back of your mind. Before you even get on the boat, there’s a long, long waiver that mentions death three times on page one."
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