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Statement from Director of Baton Rouge’s USS Kidd Veterans Museum on OceanGate Tragedy

Statement from Director of Baton Rouge’s USS Kidd Veterans Museum on OceanGate Tragedy

Paul-Henri Nargeolet, French deep sea explorer and passenger on the ill-fated OceanGate sub (left) and Parks Stephenson, Executive Director of USS Kidd Veterans Museum, Baton Rouge

As the world processes two recent and very different watercraft disasters, the maritime community begins to weigh in. These takes offer deeper insight into the issues surrounding the disasters themselves, as well as the rescue efforts and aftermath. One such statement regarding the OceanGate submersible comes from the Director of USS Kidd Veterans Museum in Baton Rouge, Parks Stephenson. The recently hired executive director (2022) is a Navy veteran, former aerospace engineer, and once technical adviser to James Cameron, director of ’Titanic‘ and the documentary ‘Ghosts of the Abyss.‘

Stephenson’s statement, presented here by Baton Rouge TV station WBRZ, is at once a sober think piece, as well as an insider’s glimpse into the protocols and processes undertaken when tragedy strikes at sea. – Editor

BATON ROUGE – Parks Stephenson, the director for the USS Kidd, released an emotional statement regarding the loss of the OceanGate Titan – the submersible craft declared to have been imploded merely an hour after its departure to see the Titanic wreckage.

The loss of the vessel resulted in the deaths of five people, including Paul-Henri Nargeolet, a renowned diver with whom Stephenson was close friends.

Click orange button to access full statement:

Stephenson’s Statement

I got the call early Monday morning, just as the sun was coming up. Titan was lost. Indications were that an implosion was recorded. The point was stressed that the information was confidential and not to be publicly shared. I was called and informed so that I could be prepared for an onslaught of media requests. I listened, not asking any questions because I knew that I was being told all that I was going to be told. But my own experience with OceanGate helped me to fill in the blanks.

I had been approached by OceanGate years ago, during construction of Titan. In my opinion, though, I had serious concerns about the design of their submersible. So I turned down their offer of employment. My engineering and diving experience taught me that the safest form for a deep-ocean pressure hull was a titanium sphere… Titan’s carbon-fiber cylindrical hull with glued-on titanium endcaps seemed to ignore the physics of the deep. Now my concerns about the sub had apparently come true.

Read More at WBRZ 2 Baton Rouge

About The Source

WBRZ 2 Baton Rouge

Broadcasting and media production company in the capital of Louisiana, WBRZ 2 is the ABC affiliate for Baton Rouge, providing timely information on news, weather, and sports for more than 60 years.

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