Soehnlein clarified that he was not involved in the design of the Titan submersible and refuted any suggestions of recklessness on Rush’s part.
On Friday, the ex-business partner of Stockton Rush, the pilot of the Titanic submersible, emphasized their commitment to prioritizing safety when they jointly established their deep-sea exploration firm.
Guillermo Soehnlein, who co-founded OceanGate with Rush but departed the company in 2013, responded to accusations made by “Titanic” movie director James Cameron, who claimed that OceanGate Expeditions disregarded safety warnings. Soehnlein clarified that he was not involved in the design of the Titan submersible and refuted any suggestions of recklessness on Rush’s part.
“He was extremely committed to safety,” he told Britain’s Times Radio.
“He was also extremely diligent about managing risks, and was very keenly aware of the dangers of operating in a deep ocean environment.
“So that’s one of the main reasons I agreed to go into business with him in 2009.”
Soehnlein pointed out that Cameron himself had personally undertaken numerous submersible descents, including over 30 visits to the Titanic site in the North Atlantic and journeys to the Earth’s deepest point in the Pacific Mariana Trench.
“I think he was asked about a similar risk and he said, ‘look, if something happens at that depth, it will be catastrophic in a matter of microseconds.’”
“To the point where the implosion happens at almost supersonic speeds and you’d basically be dead before your brain could even process that anything was wrong.”
However, Soehnlein emphasized that it was premature to draw conclusions about the circumstances surrounding the Titan’s incident, noting that determining global regulations for submersibles specifically designed for ultra-deep exploration posed significant challenges. Despite the tragedy, he expressed the belief that deep-sea exploration should persist.
“Just like with space exploration, the best way to preserve the memories and the legacies of these five explorers is to conduct an investigation, find out what went wrong, take lessons learned and then move forward.”