Oceangate job ad for submersible pilot surfaces weeks after tragedy

This symbolic photo shows the Titan submersible underwater.  Reuters/File
This symbolic photo shows the Titan submersible underwater. Reuters/File

Some users mistakenly believe the job posting was published by Oceangate, the company that owns the submarine that exploded in the North Atlantic after the incident in June 2023, leading to attacks on the post on social media.

On June 24, a Facebook page with over 1.8 million followers posted a screenshot of the job description.

The Titanic submarine, which suffered a “catastrophic explosion” during a Titanic wreck dive, was operated by Oceangate Expeditions, which had an “immediate opening” for a submarine pilot and marine technician, according to screenshots.

“Well, it hasn’t even been a week yet,” read the Facebook post, which has more than 1,900 shares, an apparent reference to the disaster that killed five people, including OceanGate’s CEO, Stockton Rush .

However, after the tragedy, no job postings were made. In reality, it was disseminated at least three years prior to the event.

According to Oceangate, operations were suspended following the incident. On July 5, 2023, its website was removed and was no longer accessible.

The company is also accused of ignoring safety warnings issued by Titanic director James Cameron.

The Manned Underwater Vehicles Committee, a non-profit industry organization, also said that OceanGate was “reluctant” to undergo a certification process typical for Titan submersibles.

Guillermo Sohnlein, who started Oceangate with Rush in 2009 before leaving the company in 2013, said his late friend was “extremely committed to safety”.

How advertising misrepresentation spread

The job posting was shared extensively on Facebook, TikTok and Twitter accounts around the world, including in the US, Australia and the Philippines.

Various news outlets also reported on the job advertisement, including business Insider, tmz And seven news in Australia. The report said the ad was “vague” when it was first published.

However, some social media users believe that Oceangate published the job description shortly after the explosion.

“Really distasteful but are we surprised?” commented a Facebook user.

“They posted this job opportunity when they were looking for missing subs,” wrote another.

“What were they thinking? Who pushed the button? So many questions.”

Oceangate ceased operations

The job posting disappeared from Oceangate’s website after the submersible accident, leaving no trace of it.

On 1 July, a representative of the company announced that all commercial and exploratory operations had been suspended.

The Port of Everett in Washington, where Oceangate serves as a tenant, tweeted on June 22 that the firm has been “closed indefinitely while employees cope with the tragic loss of their team member.” “.

A search on the Wayback Machine, a site that archives webpages, revealed that the job advertisement was published on Oceangate’s website on August 3, 2020.

Additionally, traces of advertising were found on Oceangate’s website in 2021, 2022, and June 22, 2023, when the wreckage from the sub was found.

The earliest Facebook post, suggesting the job advertisement was published after the explosion, appears to have been from US-based comedian Nick Tigges.


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