Tycoon gave up Titanic tourist sub seat after OceanGate boss bragged voyage 'safer than crossing road'

Stockton Rush
Stockton Rush
Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 23/06/2023

- 16:56

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush was onboard the Titan when it suffered a ‘catastrophic implosion’

A tycoon who gave up his seat on the Titanic tourist submersible has shared text messages which show OceanGate CEO bragging about the expedition’s expedition.

Billionaire Jay Bloom shared numerous messages exchanged with chief executive Stockton Rush.

Rush, who co-founded the company which owned Titan, was among the five people onboard who died after the vessel suffered a “catastrophic implosion” near the wreck of the Titanic.

Bloom posted a series of images which appeared to show messages between Rush and the Democrat donor.

An image of a Titan submarine used for such expeditionsAn image of a Titan submarine used for such expeditionsOcean Gate

In one text, Rush claimed “there’s obviously a risk” but the Titanic tourist submersible expedition was “way safer than flying in a helicopter or even scuba diving”.

Bloom said on Facebook: "He was absolutely convinced that it was safer than crossing the street.

“I am sure he really believed what he was saying. But he was very wrong.”

The tickets which Bloom and his son Sean passed up on were handed over to Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood, the Las Vegas-based businessman has revealed.

Jay Bloom (right) and son Sean (left)

Jay Bloom (right) and son Sean (left)

Facebook/Jay Bloom

The messages also showed how Rush offered Bloom a discounted price of £120,000 a head rather than the usual £195,000 fee.

British billionaire Hamish Harding and French submersible pilot Paul-Henri Nargeolet were also among those killed onboard the vessel.

The US Coast Guard announced the quintet had died during a press conference after debris was found near the site of the Titanic’s wreckage.

Rear Admiral John Mauger said: "In consultation with experts from within the unified command, the debris is consistent with the catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber.

An example of text messages sent by Stockton Rush

An example of text messages sent by Stockton Rush

Facebook/Jay Bloom

"Upon this determination, we immediately notified the families.

"On behalf of the United States Coast Guard and the entire unified command I offer my deepest condolences to the families."

OceanGate added: "Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time.

"We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew."

OceanGate co-founder says now is time to 'mourn loss of crewmembers' OceanGate co-founder says now is time to 'mourn loss of crewmembers' GB News

OceanGate co-founder Guillermo Sohnlein joined Dan Wootton on GB News tonight just hours after five passengers onboard the vanished submarine were pronounced dead.

Speaking from Barcelona, Sohnlein said: “I think it’s premature for anybody to speculate on what happened.

“It’s going to take days, weeks, months to collect data and analyse the data and try to figure out what happened.

“Right now is more a time to mourn the loss of the crewmembers and preserve their legacies.”

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