OceanGate Expeditions Suspends All Exploration, Commercial Operations After Titan Submersible Implosion

The company made the announcement Thursday in a banner on its website.

OceanGate, the company that owned and operated the submersible that imploded with five people on board, has suspended all exploration and commercial operations.

The company made the announcement Thursday in a banner on its website. No further details were provided. OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush was among the five people killed when the Titan sub imploded en route to the wreckage of the Titanic wreckage in June. 

The Coast Guard's Marine Board of Investigation, along with authorities from Canada, France and the United Kingdom, are looking into what caused the deadly implosion. Investigators will look into possible "misconduct, incompetence, negligence, unskillfulness or willful violation of law" by OceanGate, the company that operated the Titan, or by the Coast Guard itself, the service branch previously said.

The deadly implosion brought new scrutiny to OceanGate and Rush. In a resurfaced clip from 2021, Rush told vlogger Alan Estrada that he'd "broken some rules" to make trips to the Titanic possible for his company. 

"I'd like to be remembered as an innovator. I think it was General [Douglas] MacArthur who said, 'You're remembered for the rules you break,'" Rush said. "And I've broken some rules to make this. I think I've broken them with logic and good engineering behind me."

OceanGate is a privately held company. On the company website, OceanGate touted its "innovative use of materials and state-of-the-art technology" in developing deep-diving submersibles.

The company, which charged $250,000 per person for the Titanic voyage, had been warned of potential safety problems for years. 

A professional trade group in 2018 warned that OceanGate's experimental approach to the design of the Titan could lead to potentially "catastrophic" outcomes, according to a letter from the group obtained by CBS News.

That same year, an OceanGate employee raised safety concerns about the Titan's design and the company's protocol for testing the hull's reliability. OceanGate fired the employee after he shared his complaints with government regulators and OceanGate management. 

The Titan went missing last month during a voyage to the Titanic wreckage in the North Atlantic. The crew of the Polar Prince research vessel lost contact with the submersible 1 hour and 45 minutes into its June 18 dive. 

In addition to Rush, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, his 19-year-old son Suleman, billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding and French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet were on the sub.

This story was originally published by CBS News on July 6, 2023.