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Las Vegas Investor & Son Gave Up Seats On Doomed Titanic Sub Trip Over 'Safety Concerns'

Las Vegas Investor & Son Gave Up Seats On The Titan Sub Over ‘Safety Concerns’ -- Making Room For Shahzada & Suleman Dawood

In the 24 hours since we learned the Titan submersible suffered a “catastrophic implosion,” claiming the lives of the five passengers on board — OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his teenage son Suleman, and British billionaire Hamish Harding — the world has come together to mourn with the families of the unfortunate victims.

But the tragedy of the Titanic expedition hit this Las Vegas financier different — because he was supposed to be on the sub!

Related: OceanGate Sub Passenegr’s Stepson Opens Up About ‘Nightmare’ 4-Day Search

Jay Bloom, a wealthy Las Vegas investor, real estate developer, and friend of Stockton, revealed in a Monday Facebook post that the OceanGate exec had been attempting to get him to join on an expedition in the Titan “for a year now.” He explained at the time, prior to the implosion confirmation:

“So this is crazy… I got invited to go on this dive. If I accepted, I would’ve been one of the five onboard right now. Stockton Rush has been trying to get me to go for a year now. I last saw him at Luxor when we went through the Titanic Exhibition together. I spoke with him a couple of weeks ago and he told me they had an opening on this dive. I think there is probably five people on board. I hope they’re OK.  But they’ve been down for 48 hours now with no communication. It’s supposed to be an eight hour dive.”

Absolutely wild. What’s even more chilling is that after news broke of the Titan’s tragic end, Bloom got back on FB to share that he AND his son were actually lined up to board the sub, back when the date of the dive was in May:

“In February Stockton asked me and my son, Sean, to go with him on the dive to Titanic in May. Both May dives were postponed due to weather and the dive got delayed until June 18th, the date of this trip.”

Wow. He and his young son. Why didn’t he go? Ultimately Bloom chose to cancel due to safety concerns:

“I expressed safety concerns and Stockton told me: ‘While there’s obviously risk it’s way safer than flying in a helicopter or even scuba diving. There hasn’t been even an injury in 35 years in a non-military subs.’”

That’s true. It’s something James Cameron pointed out — when he was discussing how Stockton and OceanGate had ignored the warnings of the deep-sea exploration community who worked hard to keep things so safe.

Of course, Jay didn’t know all that. But something in his gut just told him things were off. He added:

“I am sure he really believed what he was saying. But he was very wrong.”

What a humbling situation to find yourself in. No words.

Related: Stockton Once BRAGGED He’d ‘Broken Some Rules’ Building The Titan Sub

The businessman then recalled Stockton telling him the trip would be “safer than crossing the street” while at the Luxor in Las Vegas back in March, but he still didn’t feel right. So, he gave up his and his son’s seats, which he revealed ultimately went to Shahzada and Suleman:

“I told him that due to scheduling we couldn’t go until next year.  Our seats went to Shahzada Dawood and his 19 year old son, Suleman Dawood, two of the other three who lost their lives on this excursion (the fifth being Hamish Harding). One last time..  RIP Stockton and crew.”

See his full post, along with chilling text message exchanges with Stockton, below:

Absolutely wild. Especially in the wake of Suleman’s aunt’s revelation that the 19-year-old was “terrified” to go on the expedition, and amid all the reports over existing safety concerts over the vessel… Remember, we reported that back in 2018 an OceanGate employee who voiced concern over the safety of the sub was fired for speaking up. Not only that, but Chris Brown, a personal friend of Hamish, also gave up his seat due to his own lack of faith in the vessel’s safety.

What a disastrous situation. Our hearts remain with the families of the poor souls lost in the implosion.

[Images via ay Bloom/Facebook & OceanGate/YouTube]

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Jun 23, 2023 17:59pm PDT