Susan Casey’s anger is palpable in this piece for Vanity Fair. She explores Stockton Rush’s reckless approach to building the Titan submersible, the implosion of which cost five lives, including his own. When the media and the public followed the search for the Titan back in June, they didn’t know what was common knowledge in the submersible community: the fear was always that the hull of the Titan would fail.
OceanGate’s recalcitrance was like smog hovering over the conference room. During a coffee break, I heard the Titan mentioned in the same breath as the UC3 Nautilus, a creepy Danish sub whose owner had killed and dismembered journalist Kim Wall on a dive. In a corner, two marine engineers were worked up, and I caught a snatch of their conversation: “When it’s compressing it can actually buckle,” one engineer said in an exasperated tone, referring to Rush’s carbon fiber hull. “Like if you stand on an empty soda can.” The other engineer snorted and said: “I wouldn’t get into that thing for any amount of money.”