scorecardA friend of Titan passenger Hamish Harding says the billionaire 'decided to roll the dice' because he was 'set' on seeing the Titanic
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A friend of Titan passenger Hamish Harding says the billionaire 'decided to roll the dice' because he was 'set' on seeing the Titanic

Jyoti Mann   

A friend of Titan passenger Hamish Harding says the billionaire 'decided to roll the dice' because he was 'set' on seeing the Titanic
LifeThelife2 min read
Hamish Harding was one of the five people on the Titan sub.    Instagram: @actionaviationchairman
  • A friend of Titan passenger Hamish Harding warned him not get in "that damn sub."
  • Victor Vescovo told The Sunday Times he raised concerns about OceanGate's operations before the trip.

A friend of the British billionaire who went on the Titan said he warned him not to get in the submersible.

Victor Vescovo told The Sunday Times he cautioned Hamish Harding, who was one of five people on the Titan, against going on the OceanGate sub.

The deep sea explorer said he raised his "significant concerns" about OceanGate's operations and the design and safety of its sub, but that Harding "decided to roll the dice" anyway.

"I told him he shouldn't get in that damn sub," he told the newspaper.

Vescovo, who founded expedition company Caladan Oceanic, said Harding was "set on" going to see the Titanic wreck.

He claimed Harding asked him to go in his two-man submersible called Limiting Factor, but he turned down his offer.

He said: "I talked to Hamish about it and I told him he shouldn't get in that damn sub ... it was only a matter of time before they [OceanGate] kill somebody. But Hamish really, really wanted to go to the Titanic and that was the only opportunity ... now it's 'damn, why didn't I raise more fuss, should I have been more aggressive?'"

Victor Vescovo
Victor Vescovo.      Reeve Jolliffe/Five Deep Expedition

Vescovo tweeted on Friday: "This has been a difficult week for the submersible community. Deep ocean diving is very safe when industry standard certifications and procedures are followed. I will miss my good friends PH Nargeolet, who I worked with closely, and Hamish Harding, my friend in sea and space."

Harding was a serial explorer who also went to space on Amazon's Blue Origin last year.

The billionaire, who was 58, holds three Guinness World Records titles, including one for the longest time spent navigating the Mariana Trench, "the deepest part of the ocean."

The day before the Titan set off on its fatal journey, Harding said in an Instagram post he was "proud" to be part of the expedition.

He said the trip was "likely to be the first and only manned mission to the Titanic in 2023" due to "the worst winter in Newfoundland in 40 years."




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