Sixty-One-Year Old Chris Brown intended to visit the Titanic’s wreckage site along with his buddy Hamish Harding but said after signing up and sending his deposit; he began to feel uneasy about going on the OceanGate expedition.
“I was one of the first people to sign up for this trip with OceanGate while the submersible was being developed,” Brown stated, saying he became concerned after construction milestones for ensuring the sub could dive deep enough were missed. Brown admitted he had uneasy feelings about touring the Titanic’s wreckage site on OceanGate’s sub. He went on to share specific items used in the sub that he felt could have been improved and made more “robust.” “It came across that they were cutting corners,” he added, noting that the company was using questionable materials and had opted to use an Xbox gaming controller.
“I found out they used old scaffolding poles for the sub’s ballast — and its controls were based on computer game-style controllers,” Brown noted. “If you’re trying to build your own submarine, you could probably use old scaffold poles. But this was a commercial craft.”
He said the final straw was realizing the company did not intend to pursue certification for going to those depths multiple times. The sub went missing Sunday morning just one hour and forty-five minutes after it began its descent. The sub was expected to run out of air early Thursday morning, and while search and rescue were hopeful after detecting noises around the Titanic’s wreckage site, the vessel remains lost.
"Control of the vehicle is made with like an X-Box controller."
— Josh Breslow (@JoshBreslowTV) June 22, 2023
Brown said he and his friend and fellow millionaire adventurer Hamish Harding had been on vacation together when they decided to sign up for the deep ocean excursion. Harding was on the sub when it went missing Sunday morning. Harding & Brown first met on an adventure trip to the South Pole in 2016, which astronaut Buzz Aldrin had also reportedly participated in.
According to Western Journal, Brown said he opted out of the expedition after worrying that the sub was too large of a safety risk,
“Eventually, I emailed them and said, ‘I’m no longer able to go on this thing.’ I asked for a refund after being less than convinced,” he admitted.
“We decided the risks were too high in this instance, even though I’m not one to shy away from risk.”