Hamish Harding's friend Victor Vescovo warned him before doomed Titan voyage | World News - Hindustan Times
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'I told him he shouldn't get in that damn sub': Hamish Harding's friend Victor Vescovo warned him before Titan voyage

BySumanti Sen
Jun 26, 2023 01:49 PM IST

Fellow explorer Victor Vescovo said that it was Hamish’s dream to go on the journey, even though he knew about the risks

Hamish Harding’s longtime friend had warned him not to get on the submersible before the ill-fated voyage, it has been revealed. Fellow explorer Victor Vescovo said that it was Hamish’s dream to go on the journey, even though he knew about the risks.

Hamish Harding’s longtime friend Victor Vescovo had warned him not to get on the submersible before the ill-fated voyage (@VictorVescovo/Twitter)
Hamish Harding’s longtime friend Victor Vescovo had warned him not to get on the submersible before the ill-fated voyage (@VictorVescovo/Twitter)

"Hamish asked to go to the Titanic in my submersible, and that’s not something I do, plus it would cost millions of dollars. When Stockton was able to succeed in taking people down in his, Hamish became set on it. 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] killed 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 told the Sunday Times.

"I had told Hamish my significant concerns about OceanGate's design and the safety and their operations," he continued. "I think he probably thought about it when diving with me, but then he convinced himself they were improving and maybe that people like me were too conservative or that it was worth the risk. He decided to roll the dice. I was surprised Hamish went. He texted me from the ship saying ‘I’m going down tomorrow to Titanic’. The attitude I had was ‘OK, I've said my piece - that was the last text..."

All the passengers were killed in a catastrophic implosion – an underwater implosion that led to the vessel suddenly collapsing. The Titan submersible is owned by the company OceanGate. The five deceased passengers were OceanGate Expeditions CEO Stockton Rush, British billionaire Hamish Harding, French diver Paul Henry Nargeolet, and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman.

“Like me, he was a fellow jet pilot,” Victor said of Hamish, according to the news outlet PEOPLE. “In his soul, he was an explorer and an adventurer, but with a charming British personality. He was always smiling, always had a positive attitude. But he also had that pilot sensibility of calm and kind of unflappableness, which you kind of have to be as a jet pilot.”

Following the tragedy, Victor wrote in a tweet, “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.”

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is now launching an investigation into the implosion of the Titan, CNN has reported. The National Transportation Safety Board has also said that the US Coast Guard will lead the investigation into the incident.

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