(ConservativeSense.com) – A former finance director at OceanGate, the company that owned and operated the ill-fated submarine Titan that imploded on its way to visit the Titanic shipwreck, said she quit the organization when Stockton Rush, OceanGate’s CEO, approached her to take over as pilot despite her background in accounting and lack of submarine experience. The unnamed woman was asked to replace pilot David Lochridge, who says the company fired him for raising safety concerns.
OceanGate hired Lochridge in 2015 as director of marine operations. The relationship ended three years later when the two parties became locked in a legal battle. OceanGate filed a lawsuit accusing Lochridge of breaching confidentiality, but Lochridge countersued, saying he was fired for pointing out serious safety flaws in the submersible that imploded in June.
Lochridge claimed that the vessel was not sufficiently tested for safety and would “only show when a component is about to fail—ooften milliseconds before an implosion.” The case was settled out of court on undisclosed terms, and it is unclear whether Lochridge’s safety concerns were addressed.
CEO Stockton Rush, who died in the implosion, reportedly had a lax attitude toward safety and is on record stating that welfare concerns stifled innovation. “At some point, safety is just pure waste. I mean, if you just want to be safe, don’t get out of bed, don’t get in your car, don’t do anything,” Rush said in 2022.
Three years after Lochridge’s departure, OceanGate began operating tours to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean to visit the wreck of the Titanic, which sank with more than 2,000 people on board in 1912.
The Titan submarine departed for the shipwreck on June 18 and lost contact with the surface less than two hours later. Parts of the vessel were found four days later on the ocean floor, around 1,600 feet from the bow of the Titanic. Parts of the submarine were brought ashore in Canada, where investigations continue.
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