A pilot and four mission specialists, or paying customers, were on board the OceanGate submersible when it lost contact in the Atlantic.
EVERETT, Wash. – Five people were aboard the OceanGate submersible that went missing in the Atlantic Ocean near the Titanic on Sunday, including the Everett-based company’s CEO and paying customers.
The Coast Guard said there was a pilot and four “mission specialists” on board. “Mission Specialists” are people who pay to join OceanGate expeditions. They took turns operating the sonar equipment and performing other tasks in the five-man submersible.
Authorities have yet to officially identify those on board, although some names have been confirmed.
It is believed that OceanGate CEO Stockton fever is piloting the submersible on this most recent mission, according to KING 5 sources. Rush oversees the company’s technical and financial strategies, according to OceanGate’s website.
Rush’s other accomplishments include overseeing multiple IP projects over the past 20 years, becoming the world’s youngest jet transport rated pilot at 19, and authoring numerous technical articles on vehicles. manned diving.
British businessman Hamish Harding, who lives in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, is one of the experts on the mission, according to Action Aviation, the company of which Harding is president. The company’s CEO, Mark Butler, told the AP that the crew was on the road on Friday.
“There’s still plenty of time to facilitate the rescue mission, there are equipment on board to survive in this case,” Butler said. “We all hope and pray that he returns unharmed.”
Harding is a billionaire explorer who holds three Guinness World Records, including the longest time spent in ocean depths by a manned ship. In March 2021, he and ocean explorer Victor Vescovo dived to the lowest depths of the Mariana Trench. In June 2022, he went to space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket.
On board were Pakistani citizen Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, according to a family statement sent to the AP. Dawoods belong to one of the most famous families of Pakistan. Their eponymous company invests across the country in the agricultural, industrial and medical sectors.
“We are grateful for the concern of our colleagues and friends and would like to ask everyone to pray for their safety while ensuring privacy for the family at this time.” the statement said. “The family is well taken care of and is praying to Allah for the safe return of their family members.”
Shahzada Dawood is also on the board of directors of the California-based SETI Institute that specializes in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.
French explorer and Titanic expert Paul-Henry Nargeolet was also on board, according to David Gallo, senior advisor for strategic initiatives and special projects at RMS Titanic. Gallo identified Nargeolet, a friend who led numerous expeditions to the Titanic, on Tuesday in an interview with CNN.