According to a new report by the New Yorker magazine, Rush contracted students from Washington State University (WSU) to work on the crucial systems. Rush allegedly neglected safety warnings while charging rich tourists $250,000 for dives to the Titanic shipwreck.
"The whole electrical system — that was our design, we implemented it, and it works," a former intern said in an interview with the WSU's campus newspaper back in February 2018. "We are on the precipice of making history and all of our systems are going down to the Titanic. It is an awesome feeling!" (Related: OceanGate STILL advertising $250K trips to see Titanic wreckage weeks after its Titan submersible imploded.)
The former student, Mark Walsh, had served as the treasurer of WSU's Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers club. He and the club enlisted to provide solutions when OceanGate Director of Engineering Tony Nissen reported some of the company's problems with its submersible.
The WSU report also said that Nissen recommended Doug Yamamoto due to his software engineering experience.
On June 22, WSU told local newspaper the Everett Herald that it "does not have an alliance with OceanGate."
"We are aware that some of our graduates have worked at OceanGate. To our knowledge, one graduate currently works there. We are not privy to what OceanGate projects WSU Everett alumni have been involved in or what their roles may have been outside of publicly available information," the WSU said.
OceanGate also employed interns from the Ocean Research College Academy of Everett Community College in Washington, but the school stopped providing internships with the company in 2019.
Ardi Kveven, the academy's founder and executive director, who assisted students in getting the internships at OceanGate, told the Herald there was "often a disconnect between the exploration community, which embraced pushing the envelope, and the more methodical scientific community."
The New Yorker also reported that OceanGate's former director of marine operations and chief pilot David Lochridge warned the Titan was a "lemon" and not safe to dive. He was soon fired from his position after bringing up these and other concerns about the company's testing methods.
Lochridge discovered "several critical aspects to be defective or unproven" with the Titan in 2018, and wrote a comprehensive report summarizing his concerns. "Until suitable corrective actions are in place and closed out, Cyclops 2 [Titan] should not be manned during any of the upcoming trials," Lochridge reportedly wrote.
The New Yorker reported that Rush was "furious" with Lochridge's report and called a meeting in which OceanGate leadership maintained that no hull testing was required.
An acoustic monitoring system was apparently utilized instead to discover frazzle fibers to alert the pilot to the likelihood of catastrophic failure "with enough time to arrest the descent and safely return to surface."
Lochridge's lawyer wrote in a court filing that "this type of acoustic analysis would only show when a component is about to fail — often milliseconds before an implosion — and would not detect any existing flaws prior to putting pressure onto the hull."
The magazine added that OceanGate's lawyer wrote that "the parties found themselves at an impasse." Lochridge specifically stated he wasn't comfortable with OceanGate's testing protocol, while Rush was unwilling to change the company's plan.
Lochridge was eventually dismissed.
OutrageDepot.com has more news about the irregularities that led to the tragic implosion of the OceanGate submersible.
Watch the video below to learn about how and why Stockton Rush used inexperienced operators.
This video is from the HALOROCK channel on Brighteon.com.