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  4. A Vegas investor says he was invited to go on OceanGate's submersible but made up an excuse to get out of the trip because he didn't trust Stockton Rush's safety claims

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

Cheryl Teh   

A Vegas investor says he was invited to go on OceanGate's submersible but made up an excuse to get out of the trip because he didn't trust Stockton Rush's safety claims
  • A Las Vegas investor says he and his son were invited on OceanGate's Titan submersible.
  • The investor, Jay Bloom, said OceanGate's CEO had met with him in person to promote the dive.

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

Bloom talked to Newsweek in a story published Tuesday, a year after the sub's fateful dive, saying that he and his son, Sean, were invited to board the Titan and visit the Titanic shipwreck.

Bloom, who recounted parts of his story on Facebook soon after the incident, told Newsweek that OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush had offered them $100,000 off the ticket price for each seat. He said Rush also met him in Las 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. "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 but lost contact with its support ship within two hours.

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. In addition to Rush, they included the British billionaire Hamish Harding, the British Pakistani businessman 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 were 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," he added. "Same thing here."

Correction: June 19, 2024 — An earlier version of this story included a photo caption that misidentified the person in the photo. It is Stockton Rush, not Jay Bloom.


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