The Lost Submarine/Submersible

I posted this on Facebook last night and wondered what your opinions were.

The more I read about this lost submarine going down to the Titanic, the more I wonder why anyone thought this might be a good idea. Those people would have been safer driving a 1968 VW Bus down to the ocean floor.

No GPS…. The sub was guided by text messages from the surface.

The sub was steered with a literal video game controller.

The viewport was only built to a certified pressure of 1,300 meters and OceanGate intended to take passengers down to depths of 4,000 meters.

The submarine is an experimental submersible vessel that has not been approved or certified by any regulatory body.

Multiple trips were canceled between 2017 and 2020 due to problems with the vessel.

How was OceanGate even allowed to operate this death trap? Didn’t anyone look at this thing and say, “maybe we shouldn’t let them do this?” If a company ever deserved to be sued and/or fined into oblivion, it’s OceanGate. Sure, there will always be risks doing something like this but it seems like the company just tossed the safety manuals out the window.

I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around this whole situation. I just don’t understand why anyone would want to take a risk like this.


Sad. Good question on “how were they allowed”
The people are toast now I fear…


I’m sure they are. There were only a few hours of oxygen left as of last night and it hasn’t been found yet. At least there was oxygen if something didn’t give way under deep ocean water pressure. Horrible experience to think about either way.


Toast is the right word. Even if it is floating around somewhere they can’t open it from the inside, so no O2 either way is the way I understand it. My guess is catastrophic failure about the time the text messages stopped. Fill the next one up full of lawyers and politicians!


I’ve only read a few articles about the incident, and I don’t recall the topic being mentioned in them, but I suspect that a lawyer was paid to draw up a fairly extensive liability waiver that all passengers were required to sign before they were allowed to board.


I imagine that’s true but I still think there should have been a governing body somewhere that would have prevented the company from willingly and knowingly put people’s lives in jeopardy like this.

OceanGate has known for years this thing wasn’t safe by any standards and hushed up anyone who spoke out against them. They encountered problem after problem with this contraption and still put people’s lives at risk. CEO, Stockton Rush (who is also on the missing sub) actually made a statement to the media saying, “at some point, safety is just pure waste.”

To be clear, this tin can never had a single successful dive that didn’t involve at least one problem if not more. It should never have been allowed to transport passengers anywhere.


I’m just some guy that has built a few boats for my own use, so I’m no expert, but I think the system is that the Coast Guard can board to do random safety inspections in coastal waters, and various agencies can do random safety inspections on inland waters. I don’t know if anybody has authority to board for safety inspections in international waters.

Only inspections I have ever had to go through was a state agent pulling up alongside in his boat to ask if I had the required safety equipment (lifejackets, etc), and a clerk requiring me to show proof that I built the boat (instead of stealing it) when I registered the boat (registration required only if I put sails or a motor on it).


there are requirements for testing of domestic civilian submersibles operating in “North America”.
it does require in service testing to 5/8 of it’s designed crush depth or a displacement/hydro test to 8/5 of it’s crush depth. One is easy - just requires someone stupid enough to drive it
The other involves stripping the vessel, putting it in to a volume tank and filling the submersible full of water under pressure to it’s limits… And measuring it’s differential displacement. (this test is done normally when the vessel requires a recert.


First off there are to many government agencies telling folks what they can and can’t do. If you want to try and go to the bottom of the ocean in a home built tin can knock yourself out. It’s called natural selection.
If you are going to spend a 1/4 million $
And don’t do your research on the company again natural selection.
What ever happened to the freedom to do stupid shit?



so how much money has been spent now on the body recover, sometimes standards do need to be developed and followed.
Not saying I am a subsea SME but every deep submersible crew compartment have all been spherical not a cylinder. Regardless of the gameboy controller there were no crew comfort in this vessel . With something as simple as seats with restrains could have prevented a CG imbalance. Not saying this was a cause but a slight bow or stern down attitude would not be recoverable if everyone ended up at either end of the vessel. Think of putting 5 steel marbles in a sealed soup can, pretty soon the can is no longer on it’s side but up and down. Once that happens in the water column it is very difficult to regain your CG, if not impossible. Plus the vessel has no diving planes .making it hard to “fly” out of its predicament.
But this just an opinion after seeing some interior/exterior shots.


Yup. All the news agencies are reporting it was found and suffered a “catastrophic implosion.” No survivors.

I feel bad for their families and the grief they are feeling. I can’t feel bad for the rich fools who went down in the thing. Especially the CEO of the company because he KNEW how unsafe it was and he still went.

The company should be held liable and made to pay back every cent this rescue operation cost as well as restitutions to the families. I know it probably isn’t feasible but these people should be bankrupt to the point they can never try this shit again.


I think Im with @shooterrex stupid is what stupid does. So I am fine with their stupidity .


Normally, I would agree as well. Let Darwin’s theory sort it out. However, their stupidity is now costing others a sinking boatload of cash. When someone’s stupidity starts affecting others, that’s when I have issues with it.


As far as I’m concerned we shouldn’t be out there trying to save the dumb fcks.
They made a choice to do what they did.
We shouldn’t be expected to go bail their dumbasses out.
Those that paid to go down there didn’t do enough reasearch about who they were dealing with. Again not our fault or problem.
This attitude of trying to save everyone and thing is part of our national debt problems.


These last couple of days remind me of when the Thrasher went down. I was a youngen back then living in Va Beach, which is a major Navy town, it was like the whole town was holding their breath until it was found. After it was found it seemed like everyone knew someone who was on it or some member of their family.

Prayers to the families left behind over this stupid shit.


That thing has been a failure from the get go, it has screwed up numerous times. The CEO has ignored the dangers and the thing wasn’t designed to go that deep, anyone with half a brain could see it was going collapse from the pressure. the owners of that crap should be sued to oblivion.


If there is an upside, it would be that they never knew what hit them. No matter what let go at that depth it tore them apart. Not much is left of the hull from what I saw, flesh? It would be in much smaller pieces. Burial at sea is what it is at this point.

Incredible stupidity at work. What could possibly go wrong?

I can’t help but remember a TV show 20ish years ago where 2 kids made a submersible out of a fuel oil tank. This reminds me of that ridiculous show.


My guess is that somebody decided they had to build it out of carbon fiber, because carbon fiber is the trendy material (popular with the bicycle crowd and some others) and has a reputation (among those who haven’t studied material properties) as being really strong stuff. From there they likely moved on to how to construct the pressure vessel out of carbon fiber and discovered that some pressurized aircraft have been built with carbon fiber used for a cylindrical pressure vessel (and there is equipment available for wrapping those cylindrical shapes with carbon fiber tape, so no need to develop new manufacturing equipment),

And since high tech aircraft have been built with carbon fiber cylindrical pressure vessels (around 5 or 6 psi pressure differential with the higher pressure being on the inside, instead of a ridiculously high pressure differential with the higher pressure being on the outside), surely that would be a safe way to build a sub. Right? I mean it makes perfect sense if you’re never bothered to learn the strengths and weaknesses of composite materials, and the physics of deep sea pressure vessels.