Oceangate Expeditions CEO Stockton Rush, who is aboard the missing submersible, once explained that he preferred not to hire 50-year-old White guys with military experience to pilot his company's vessels.
Rush said he valued captains who were inspirational over experience, noting that anybody can drive the sub, which is controlled with a $30 video game controller.
When you started the business, one of things youll find, there are other sub-operators out there, but they typically have gentlemen who are ex-military submariners, and you'll see a whole bunch of 50-year-old White guys, Rush said in an interview last month with Teledyne Marine.
I wanted our team to be younger, to be inspirational, and I'm not going to inspire a 16-year-old to go pursue marine technology, but a 25-year-old, you know, who's a subpilot or a platform operator or one of our techs can be inspirational, he said. We're doing things that are completely new, so we have really tried to get very intelligent, motivated, younger people involved, he said. We're taking approaches that are used largely in the aerospace industry, it's related to safety and some of the preponderance of checklists things we do for risk assessments and things like that, that are more aviation related than ocean related, and we can train people to do that, he said. We can train someone to pilot the sub, we use a game controller, so anybody can drive the sub. Rush is one of five crew members on OceanGate's Titan submersible craft, which disappeared on Sunday, June 18, during a dive to the wreckage of the Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean.
The crew has been sealed in the craft by U.S. and Canadian authorities, with a limited oxygen supply. The other passengers include a British businessman Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a British businessman and explorer Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Sulaiman Dawood.
The Titan submersible will run out of breathable air by 5 to 6 a.m. Thursday, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard sent three new vessels to the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday morning to join the search and rescue efforts with additional tools to scan the ocean floor as they race against the clock.
OceanGate Expeditions charges $250,000 for a 22-foot submersible capable of diving 13120 feet underwater.
Rush revealed that the craft is controlled with a Moditech F 710 wireless gamepad, which retails on Amazon for $30.
The OceanGate, founded in 2009 by Rush, has several custom-made submersibles, including Titan, that were designed to reach depths of 13123 feet needed to visit the wreck of the Titanic, which lies at a depth of about 12,500 feet. When at sea, the Titan utilizes SpaceX's Starlink satellite communication system.
The company's website states that the Titan's life support capacity is sufficient to sustain its five-person crew for 96 hours. The Coast Guard said the submersible departed the Canadian research vessel Polar Prince on Sunday for its trip to the Titanic, and the ship lost contact with the sub after about 1 hour and 45 minutes.