• Stockton Rush envisioned OceanGate underwater hubs for billionaire doom preppers, Wired reported.
  • Rush pitched ambitious plans for self-driving submersibles to investors, per the report.
  • Wired revealed new details about Rush and OceanGate a year after its submersible imploded. 

It seems OceanGate's late former CEO Stockton Rush had high hopes for the company behind the Titan submersible, which imploded last year.

According to a new report from Wired, Rush dreamt of having underwater OceanGate bases that could be used by billionaire doomsday preppers or as data storage units.

Wired obtained thousands of leaked documents and spoke to former employees to uncover new details about Rush, including how he reportedly shrugged off concerns and took shortcuts to make his submersible vision a reality.

Rush, who died when the sub imploded in June 2023, also reportedly pitched the company's board and investors on an ambitious concept for what OceanGate could become. This included self-driving submersibles that could dive to depths of 6,000 meters — about half as deep as the wreck of the Titanic, the report says.

After the fatal incident that also killed four other people, Business Insider obtained a waiver signed by prospective passengers which revealed the Titan sub had only reached the depth of the Titanic wreck on 13 out of 90 dives. This meant its success rate could have been as low as 14% on deep-sea expeditions.

Rush had a bold and daring vision for the company, which internally called itself "SpaceX for the oceans," its cofounder Guillermo Söhnlein previously told BI.

According to Söhnlein, who left OceanGate in 2013, the company had set out to help humanity set up underwater cities by creating small bus-sized submersibles.

He told BI: "We were solving the transportation problem for these future underwater communities."

At the time of the tragedy, people with knowledge of OceanGate's workings spoke out about how they had warned Rush of safety concerns they had related to its sub, which was not certified by regulatory bodies.

Rob McCallum, a former OceanGate consultant, warned Rush in emails in 2018 previously seen by BI that he was putting passengers' lives at risk and urged him not to carry out deep-sea dives until the sub was proven safe.

McCallum had also told BI that OceanGate's approach to engineering was "ad hoc" and "ultimately inappropriate."

The sub embarked on its fatal journey last June on an expedition to the Titanic wreckage, which sits nearly 13,000 feet below the ocean surface, when it lost communications with its support ship an hour and 45 minutes into the trip.

Days after it was declared missing, US Coast Guard officials said the sub probably suffered a "catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber."

OceanGate didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, made outside normal working hours.

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