Freund Says OceanGate CEO Knows Titan Sub Is a Deadly “Billionaire Mousetrap”

Karl Stanley, a friend of the late OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, is not surprised that the Titan submersible fatally imploded last month. Stanley, a previous passenger on the doomed ship, told 60 Minutes Australia that Rush “definitely knew it was going to end like this.”

“He went out with the biggest bang in human history, literally and figuratively.” Stanley told the outlet in an interview published on Sunday. “And who was the last person to murder two billionaires at once and make them pay for the privilege?”

“I think Stockton designed a mousetrap for billionaires,” added Stanley.

Rush took four clients on the deadly 2.5-mile dive to view the wreck of the RMS Titanic, only to lose communications hours after the descent. The wreckage of the imploded submarine was recovered days later.

Stanley was one of several people who warned Rush about the dangers of his shabby construction. Titan was the only deep-sea submarine with a carbon-fiber hull, which, while lightweight, cannot reliably withstand the atmospheric pressures of the deep sea.

Stanley, himself a diving expert and deep-sea explorer, witnessed this firsthand during a Titan test dive in the Bahamas in 2019. He said there were “loud, gunshot-like noises” every three to four minutes on Sunday that he believes came from the Titanium submersible came carbon fiber tube breaks apart.

Karl Stanley (not pictured) warned OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush (left) about the dangers of his submarine.
Karl Stanley (not pictured) warned OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush (left) about the dangers of his submarine.

Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

“It’s an incredible sound when you’re that deep under the sea and you’re in a vehicle that’s only been that deep before,” Stanley told the show.

Perhaps most disturbing was a series of messages he sent to Rush and shared with 60 Minutes that revealed Stanley warned him about “an area of ​​the fuselage that’s going to break” in April 2019, later adding menacingly, “It will only get worse.” .”

“I literally drew a picture of his wrecked sub below, and even that wasn’t enough,” Stanley told the newscast.

While the implosion is still being investigated by the US Coast GuardThe Transportation and Security Agency of Canada and the British Maritime Casualty Investigation DepartmentStanley said it was inevitable.

“The only question on my mind — the only question is — ‘When?'” Stanley told 60 Minutes. “He risked his life and that of his clients to make history. He’s more famous now than anything he ever would have done.”

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