It was the year 2021 when this occurred, and passenger Jaden Pawn who was aboard the Titan on that expedition recalls when OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush told everyone on the trip to just "go to sleep" after the vessel's battery went "kaput."
Just two hours into that expedition, the Titan's battery simply died. And Rush told Pan and the others that they needed to go back to the surface upon reaching two football fields' distance from the Titanic wreckage.
"At first I thought he was joking because we were over two hours into our expedition and so close to the bottom," Pan told BBC about Stockton's words to the passengers.
Ultimately, Rush was able to get the Titan back to the surface another way by using hydraulics to drop the weight off the vessel, allowing it to float to the top. But what transpired before that was a shellshock to Pan and the others.
"He explained that one of the batteries went kaput and we were having trouble using the electronic drops for the weights, so it would be hard for us to get back up to the surface," Pan further explained.
(Related: The carbon fiber material used to build the OceanGate Titan submersible was well "past shelf life," a report revealed.)
Even if the hydraulic trick would not have worked, the vessel's weights would have dissolved within 24 hours anyway, allowing the Titan to rise back to the ocean's surface naturally. But it was scary for some to think that they might have to sleep at the bottom of the ocean overnight.
Half the crew, Rush included, said they would be okay sleeping at the ocean's floor if need be. The others, however, said they did not want to sleep aboard the Titan overnight.
In a BBC report at the time, Rush was seen telling the crew that they would probably have to spend another "16 to 24 hours" aboard the Titan due to the battery failure.
"We will drift down," Rush said. "We'll hit the bottom. We'll have communications. We can talk to them."
Before perishing in his most recent expedition, Rush was apparently quite flippant in dealing with potential issues related to the Titan. He fired David Lochridge, the former director of marine operations at OceanGate between 2015 and 2018, for raising concerns about the safety of the Titan, including its shoddy building process.
In fact, Rush seemed to take pleasure in pushing the boundaries with things like safety, being a self-professed "innovator" full of pride. Rush even once stated, much like the arrogant builders of the Titanic who said that "God Himself could not sink this ship," that taking trips in the Titan was "safer than crossing the street."
Rush said this after having been warned by dozens of experts in 2018 that his company's "experimental" approach to ocean voyages would eventually be "catastrophic."
Even though he spent most of his time trying to market trips aboard the Titan sub for $250,000 a pop, Rush fancied himself more of a scientist than the salesman he actually was.
During a 2019 dive in the Bahamas, cracking sounds were heard on the Titan by an expert, who begged Rush to cancel the trip. Instead, Rush continued to take passengers on trips aboard the Titan, eventually succumbing to death by his own devices.
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