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David Pogue talks about his experience on the Titan submersible

As the world hopes for a successful rescue of five people aboard the missing OceanGate Titan, the recent passenger speaks up

Tech journalist David Pogue is recounting his first-hand experience with the OceanGate Titan, and his concerns for the crew as a rescue operation is underway.

Pogue’s own experience was less than reassuring, though at the time he found it fascinating. In November, he wrote an exhaustive recounting of his trip in details for CBS News, including the experience of being lost for two hours with a navigation system based merely on text messages. “We departed from St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada, the easternmost tip of North America, about 400 miles from the Titanic site, aboard a chartered oil-rig servicing ship. During our two-day journey into the North Atlantic, we got to know our fellow adventurers. They included everyone from Indian industry mogul Shrenik Baldota (“They call me the wild monk,” he said, “because I look like a monk, I’m very calm, but I have these extreme interests that I do”), to bank executive Renata Rojas (“I’m trying to fulfill a dream; I’ve been wanting to go to Titanic and see with my own eyes since before they found it”).

Rojas has been saving up to see the Titanic for 30 years. “Dreams don’t have a price,” she said. “Some people want a Ferrari. Some people buy a house. I wanted to go to Titanic.”

Expedition to Capture the World’s First Science Quality Imagery of RMS Titanic: OceanGate and Virtual Wonders partner to create the first virtual 3-D model and immersive submersible Titanic experience

But the star of the show is the Titan: Stockton Rush’s custom-built submersible, made of five-inch-thick carbon fiber, capped on each end by a dome of titanium.

I couldn’t help noticing how many pieces of this sub seemed improvised, with off-the-shelf components. Piloting the craft is run with a video game controller.

Pogue said, “It seems like this submersible has some elements of MacGyver jerry-riggedness. I mean, you’re putting construction pipes as ballast.”

“I don’t know if I’d use that description of it,” Rush said. “But, there are certain things that you want to be buttoned down. The pressure vessel is not MacGyver at all, because that’s where we worked with Boeing and NASA and the University of Washington. MORE@CBSNews


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