Explorer Chris Brown reveals disturbing reason he canceled Titanic subvoyage

An explorer who signed up to be on the submersible that has been missing in the North Atlantic since Sunday said he chose not to take part in the perilous journey to and from the site of the Titanic wreck because OceanGate, the company running the pricey trip, doesn’t sound like a “professional dive operation.”

Speaking to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday, Chris Brown gave several details about why he decided not to go on the trip.

“This one, there seemed to be a lot of risks that were out of my control and I didn’t like how they were approached by the company,” Brown said, saying the OceanGate submersible was “continually missing” its depth. objectives that had to be achieved by certain dates. According to Brown, the craft hadn’t even been 300 meters below the surface in 2018. (The wreck of the Titanic is 3,800 meters.) The Daily Beast has not independently verified this claim.

Brown then addressed the ship itself, revealing that he felt the craft had been slapped.

“There were industrial casings used as ballast. They became like an Xbox controller running it. The pieces looked ready to go,” he said, adding that the setup seemed more like an attempt to hastily cross a river.

“It didn’t strike me as a professional diving operation. So I made the decision to withdraw my deposit and leave the program at this point,” Brown said of the choice he made in 2018.

Earlier that year, a report from the company’s Director of Marine Operations highlighted that the submersible needed additional safety testing and warned of “potential dangers to passengers” in “extreme depths”, according to The New Republic. Also that year, The New York Times reported, several industry leaders, explorers and oceanographers have written to general manager Stockton Rush, a missing sub crew member, that OceanGate’s “experimental” approach could lead to a “catastrophic” outcome. .

Rush, in a CBS Sunday morning feature last year, acknowledged that the sub came with “off-the-shelf components” like the wireless controller. Still, he seemed to brush off security concerns.

“You know, there’s a limit,” he told CBS reporter David Pogue. “At some point, security is just a waste. I mean, if you don’t just want to be safe, don’t get out of bed. Don’t get in your car. Do nothing. At some point, you’re going to take risks and it’s really all about risk-reward. I think I can do it just as safely by breaking the rules.

Brown, when asked what he thought of the missing submersible knowing it might have been on it, told Tapper, “I don’t get any pleasure out of it. The situation is horrible. How and why is a question for the future. At this time, our focus must be on rescuing these five humans trapped under the sea.”

Brown said he knew one of the passengers, Hamish Harding, whom he hailed as an expert problem-solver. As for authorities investigating the periodic “slamming noises” underwater, Brown said it could be the result of a plan by Harding or one of the other passengers to locate.

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