A Vegas investor invited to go on OceanGate’s submersible said he made up an excuse to get out of the trip because he didn’t trust Stockton Rush’s safety claims

    Jay Bloom (left) and the OceanGate’s Titan submersible (right)

    Anadolu Agency/getty images; Shannon Stapleton/reuters

    Jay Bloom, a Las Vegas investor, says he and his son Sean were invited to go on OceanGate’s Titan submersible.OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush tried to assure Bloom of the submersible’s safety in March 2023.But Bloom and his son made up an excuse and bowed out of the trip after getting concerned about safety.

    Jay Bloom, a Las Vegas investor, says he was offered seats on OceanGate’s Titan submersible, but he got nervous about safety and lied about a scheduling conflict to get out of it.

    Bloom spoke to Newsweek a year after the fateful incident, talking about how he and his son Sean were invited to take a dive inside the Titan to see the Titanic shipwreck.

    Bloom told Newsweek that OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush gave them $100,000 off the ticket price for each seat. According to Bloom, Rush also met him in Vegas in March 2023 and tried to convince him that the titanium and carbon-fiber submersible was safe and could withstand the immense water pressure during the dive.

    “All kinds of flags were going off after that meeting when he said that there’s too much money wasted on safety in the industry,” Bloom said of Rush. “And he’s telling me that it’s safer than flying helicopters, it’s safer than scuba diving, and safer than crossing the street.”

    Bloom told Newsweek that he and his son then made up a scheduling conflict and bowed out of the June 2023 dive. The Titan submersible set off to explore the Titanic wreck on June 18, then went off the radar less than two hours after the dive began.

    The US Coast Guard and OceanGate announced on June 22 that debris found on the sea bed confirmed that the submersible had imploded, killing all five men on board. This included Rush, British billionaire Hamish Harding, the British-Pakistani multimillionaire Shahzada Dawood, his 19-year-old son Suleman, and the former French navy diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet.

    “The news broke, and I was in shock because I kept thinking — I’m looking at these pictures of this father and son; the father is pretty much my age, the son is pretty much my son’s age,” Bloom told Newsweek.

    “I just kept seeing our faces on their pictures. Very haunting,” Bloom added.

    Still, Bloom told Newsweek that he might be willing to venture to the wreck of the Titanic if it was a Navy expedition or one guided by James Cameron.

    “I’ll put it like this. If Elon Musk called me and said, ‘Hey, let’s go to space,’ I’d probably consider going and probably would go because he’s got the resources,” Bloom said.

    “But if you said, ‘Hey, I built a rocket in my backyard. Let’s go to space,’ I’d probably decline. Same thing here,” he said.

    Read the original article on Business Insider


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