‘I told him he shouldn’t get in that damn sub,’ says pal of submarine victim

A friend of one of the men who perished in the tourist submarine headed for the Titanic wreck have spoken out and said he had tried to dissuade the victim from ever entering the vessel.

The OceanGate Explorations submersible 'Titan' lost communication with its mothership Polar Prince roughly one hour and 45 minutes into its descent to the Titanic wreck last Sunday (June 18).

On Thursday (June 22) it was sadly confirmed that all five on-board – including a British national and two British residents – were dead as the wreckage was found in two debris fields around 1,600 feet from the Titanic site.

READ MORE: Police investigating circumstances of deaths of five in Titanic sub implosion

Among the Brits was billionaire adventurer Hamish Harding, pilot and chairman of Action Aviation. Friends told the Times that he was made fully aware of the dangers of the trip.

“I told him he shouldn’t get in that damn sub,” said Victor Vescovo, a deep sea pilot told the publication.

Harding had been to Challenger Deep — the deepest place on earth, 36,000ft down in the Mariana Trench — in March 2021 with Vescovo.

The latter said Harding had asked if he could do the Titanic trip, and became 'set' on the idea.

“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,” Vescovo said.

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He added: “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] kill somebody."

Vescovo said he now wishes he 'raised more fuss' about his friend's desire to go the Titanic wreck, with a disregard for his personal safety.

He added that he was 'surprised' that Harding went on the dive, and revealed that their last correspondence was a text from his friend saying ‘I’m going down tomorrow to Titanic’.

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