OceanGate, the company behind the Titanic underwater vessel meant to allow people to look at the ruins of the famous ship, has been accused of risking the safety of its passengers according to a whistleblower lawsuit. The passengers paid an average of $250,000 per person to take the “once-in-a-lifetime” experience without knowing this.
The vessel has been underwater and missing for the past three days probing everyone to look into the past law-suits against OceanGate. After being underwater for 45-minutes, with five people onboard promised to explore the sea-bottom remains of the age old ship, the vessel went off radar and lost all contact.
In 2018, the compay had been sued for the firing of the former Director of Marine Operators, David Lochridge. Lochridge claims that he was removed from the company due to his persistent concerns over the safety of the underwater vessel. He wished OceanGate to conduct “non-destructive testing” that would tell them about any existing flaws in the vessel and guarantee the on-board member’s safety.
According to the January 2018 quality inspection report, Lochridge expressed his concerns with the vehicle’s ability to stand the pressure of diving to the depth of the ocean floor which is around 4,000 meters, the complaints were ignored and he was allegedly fired for bringing them up often. When he requested the information to inspect and see if his concerns are misplaced the Engineering department “met with hostility and denial of access” and the day Lochridge issued his report, he was called by the CEO (also on-board the missing vehicle now) and understood that it was not certified to go beyond the depth of just 1,300 meters.
The reason for doing so, according to the complaint was that OceanGate refused to pay the manufacturers to build a viewport that would certify the required depth. The design was experimental and not tested practically for the immense situation and pressure of the deep oceans.
There are just few hours of oxygen left in the missing vessel and the rescue efforts are going in full scope to find the five passengers. A Canadian aircraft has been searching across the Atlantic Ocean for the CEO and founder of OceanGate, British billionaire explorer Hamish Harding, renowned French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood. It submerged on Sunday morning and hasn’t been found yet, except for a few banging sounds heard by the US Coast Guard.