Dubai-based billionaire Hamish Harding among missing crew as Titanic submarine disappears

OceanGate, the private company that operates the vessel, said in a statement that it was 'mobilising all options' to rescue those on board


Sahim Salim

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Published: Mon 19 Jun 2023, 10:34 PM

Last updated: Tue 20 Jun 2023, 9:59 AM

A Dubai-based British billionaire and explorer is feared to be among those missing after a submarine exploring the wreckage of the Titanic disappeared. According to a Reuters report, the expedition, which costs $250,000 per person, starts in St. John's, Newfoundland, before heading out approximately 400 miles into the Atlantic to the wreckage site.

OceanGate, the private company that operates the vessel, said in a statement that it was "mobilising all options" to rescue those on board. "Our entire focus is on the crewmembers in the submersible and their families.”

It did not specify how many people were missing. The company's website says multiple 'mission specialists' join the expedition for a 10-day mission.

On Sunday, Harding posted on Instagram that he had joined the expedition as a mission specialist. Harding said the mission is likely to be the first and only manned one to the Titanic in 2023. "A weather window has just opened up and we are going to attempt a dive tomorrow. We started steaming from St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada, yesterday and are planning to start dive operations around 4am tomorrow morning.”

His company, Action Aviation, tweeted that the sub had a successful launch and "Hamish is currently diving".

Neither Harding nor his company have posted any updates on social media since (as at 10pm UAE time).

Brian Szasz, Harding's stepson, took to Facebook to offer his "thoughts and prayers for my stepfather Hamish Harding as his submarine has gone missing exploring Titanic".

Harding had blasted off to space as a tourist onboard Blue Origin’s crewed flight in June last year. In an interview with Khaleej Times after his return, he had talked about his desire to explore the Titanic.

According to Reuters, in order to visit the wreck, passengers climb inside Titan, a five-person submersible, which takes about two hours to descend to the Titanic.

An avid explorer, Hamish has travelled to the South Pole twice and holds multiple aviation world records. In 2021, the then 49-year-old Harding dived the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the world, in a two-person submarine.

Harding’s company Action Aviation deals in buying and selling business jets.


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