'It was a suicide mission': German adventurer recalls his past experience aboard Titanic-exploring submersible now lost at sea

"The first submarine didn't work, then a dive at 1,600 meters had to be abandoned."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
While an international effort is underway to rescue those on board the Titanic-exploring submersible that has been lost at sea, a German adventurer, who once went on the same exploration, called the voyage a "suicide mission," as officials race against time before the vessel loses its oxygen supply.

Arthur Loibl, 60, told the German outlet Bild that he went on the voyage in August of 2021 and immediately noticed a slew of concerning "red flags."

"I was incredibly lucky back then," the Bavarian entrepreneur said, recalling his experience on board the Titan submersible that tours the famous Titanic wreckage 12,000 feet below sea level.

"It was a suicide mission!" Loibl exclaimed. "The first submarine didn't work, then a dive at 1,600 meters had to be abandoned."

Loibl told the outlet that he went on the underwater expedition with two passengers that are currently trapped aboard the missing vessel: French Titanic expert Paul-Henry Nargeolet, 73, and OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, 61. The two men are trapped with three other passengers in the vessel which authorities believe to be located around 350 miles off the coast of Canada.

While the vessel was about to launch, Loibl explained that the submersible had a series of electrical issues which resulted in a five-hour delay. In addition to those issues, the entrepreneur, who paid $110,000 for his ticket, said that the bracket of the stabilization tube had to be “reattached with zip ties." The stabilization tube balances the submarine, according to the outlet.

"You need strong nerves, you mustn't be claustrophobic and you have to be able to sit cross-legged for ten hours," he said of his experience, explaining that those onboard the vessel are most likely going through a hard time.

"It must be hell down there. There's only 2.50 meters of space, it's four degrees, there's no chair, no toilet," Loibl explained to the outlet.

Those aboard the Titan submersible, which has been missing since Sunday, include British billionaire Hamish Harding, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son, and the two passengers previously mentioned.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the submersible had around 41 hours of oxygen supply left, New York Post reports.
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