Friend of Oceangate CEO accuses him of murder after Titan sub disaster

A friend of the OceanGate CEO killed alongside four others while descending to the wreckage of the Titanic has accused the company’s owner of murder. 

Submarine operator Karl Stanley, a close friend of OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush and one of the first to travel on the ill-fated submersible that imploded last month, suggested his peer “definitely knew it was going to end like this”. 

Speaking to 60 Minutes Australia, Mr Stanley said Mr Rush had designed a “mouse trap for billionaires”. 

He shared how he heard “loud gunshot-like noise” during his descent on the Titan with Mr Rush in 2019 in the Bahamas and that the OceanGate CEO had dismissed the issue. 

He added that he had “no doubt” that the fatal June implosion was caused by the “carbon fibre tube”, which was the area he warned Mr Rush about.

READ MORE: New Titan theory as experts claim sub was ‘dragged’ by cheap mothership

Mr Stanley suggested his friend Mr Rush had wilfully ignored the concerns raised about the submersible, risking the lives of his clients in order to “go down in history”. 

He said: “He quite literally and figuratively went out with the biggest bang in human history that you could go out with. 

“Who was the last person to murder two billionaires at once, and have them pay for the privilege?”

Speaking about his own experience of descending on the submersible, where he heard “loud gunshot-like noises”, he said: “That’s a heck of a sound to hear when you’re that far under the ocean in a craft that has only been down that deep once before.” 

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The submersible expert recalled telling Mr Rush he believed there was an area of the hull that was breaking down.

Mr Stanley shared the frantic emails he sent the OceanGate CEO warning him about the hull, and said that he even “painted a picture of his wrecked sub at the bottom”.

But even that wasn’t enough to convince his friend that the vessel was not safe, Mr Stanley said. 

He said he is shifting between grief and anger, because the tragedy, he explained, was both preventable and inevitable. 

Hamish Harding, 58, Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his son Suleman Dawood, 19, French Navy pilot Paul-Henry (PH) Nargeolet and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush all died on the submersible after it imploded on June 18. 

The five passengers started to descend as Mr Rush piloted the vessel. At 9.45am it lost contact with its mothership, the Polar Prince.

OceanGate Expeditions took eight hours to report the missing sub to the US Coast Guard after it lost contact. 

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