The doomed Titan had only completed 13 out of 90 dives to the Titanic wreck, according to OceanGate‘s passenger waiver.
Despite charging $250,000 per trip, the experimental submersible had a 14 percent success record of reaching the 12,500-foot depth necessary to see to the legendary wreck.
The company also disclosed in its website that it had completed ‘more than 14 expeditions’ and 200 dives in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico using two submersibles.
It’s unclear if clients had to pay the full price for the expedition if they did not reach the Titanic.
OceanGate CEO Rush Stockton, billionaire Hamish Harding, father and son Shahzada and Suleman Dawood and French adventurer Paul-Henri Nargeolet were killed instantly on June 18 when the Titan imploded violently under the immense pressure of the Atlantic Ocean.
The doomed Titan had only completed 13 out of 90 dives to the Titanic wreck. Five men onboard all died last month after the sub, pictured here, imploded in the Atlantic
French Navy veteran PH Nargeolet (left) was on the sub along with Stockton Rush (right), CEO of the OceanGate Expedition
Five people had been on board, including British billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding (left) and Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman, who was just 19
Before boarding the vessel. clients had to acknowledge on the four-page waiver that the submersible was not approved by any regulatory body.
As previously reported, the liability waiver included the term ‘death’ as many as three times – just on its first page.
The waiver read: ‘This experimental vessel has not been approved or certified by any regulatory body, and could result in physical injury, emotional trauma, or death.’
The document asked customers to assume ‘full responsibility’ for the risk of death – even if the company was negligent.
‘I hereby assume full responsibility for the risk of bodily injury, disability, death, and property damage due to the negligence of any Released Party while involved in the operation,’ the document states.
Debris from the Titan submersible recovered from the ocean floor near the wreck of the Titanic, is unloaded from a ship
A file photo of people on board the Titan submersible, operated by OceanGate Expeditions
OceanGate announced over the weekend it is suspending all exploration and commercial operations after last month’s tragedy.
The notice is listed in small red font on the website’s homepage. It’s unclear when OceanGate added the suspension notice or what would happen to people who paid up to $250,000 for future expeditions.
The disaster sparked questions about OceanGate’s past safety record, concerns with previous practices and the future of tourism at the famed 1912 wreck.
Filmmaker Jaden Pan, who was once a passenger on the Titan, recalled running into trouble as the vessel descended to the ocean floor.
Rush reportedly told passengers they needed to go back to the surface when they were within two football fields’ distance of the legendary ship wreckage.
‘At first, I thought he was joking because we were over two hours into our expedition and so close to the bottom,’ Pan told the BBC.
‘But then he explained that one of the batteries went kaput and we were having trouble using the electronic drops for the weights, so it would be hard for us to get back up to the surface.’
Legal experts say the implosion occurred ‘basically in a regulatory no man’s land’ and jurisdiction will be hard to establish both for the families and the investigations.
Any disputes relating to the waivers would likely be governed by the laws of the Bahamas, where OceanGate is registered – but families could also try to declare the waiver to be invalid in the US and bring a lawsuit there, or in their home countries.
Liability waivers – sometimes referred to as release forms – are typical before doing recreational activities that carry some measure of risk, such as sky diving or scuba diving.
By signing the document, passengers generally accept the risk and dangers related to the activity and if they are injured, absolve the company’s owner of liability.