Ross Kemp turned down OceanGate submersible trip over safety fears

entertainment
Ross Kemp Turned Down Oceangate Submersible Trip Over Safety Fears
Kemp’s agent, InterTalent chairman Professor Jonathan Shalit, said they pulled out of using the OceanGate craft because it was deemed to be unsafe “on every level”.
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By Gwyn Wright, PA

British documentary-maker Ross Kemp turned down a trip to see the Titanic on an OceanGate submersible for a television show.

The former EastEnders star, 58, had been keen to take part in the mission last year but it was deemed to be unsafe.

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An expert production company carried out checks and decided it would be too risky to let anybody board the Titan submersible to view the shipwreck on the seafloor of the North Atlantic, off the coast of Canada.

 

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Kemp’s agent, InterTalent chairman Professor Jonathan Shalit, said they pulled out of using the OceanGate craft because it was deemed to be unsafe “on every level”.

Prof Shalit told the PA news agency: “The production company, who are well known and renowned, looked into the sub and decided it was unsafe on every level and weren’t prepared to use it.

“We were told ‘it is unsafe, we are not going’ – that was a year ago.

“It is deeply sad for the families who have suffered such a terrible loss.

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The Titan submersible
Photo: PA Graphics. 

“I am relieved that Ross did not participate but I am obviously reassured by the professionalism of those companies we were working with that they didn’t suggest that he go on the submarine.

“The lesson to be learnt is do your checks thoroughly. By good fortune for us the checks had been done thoroughly.”

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The US Coast Guard offered its “deepest condolences” to the families of the five men after the tail cone of the submersible was found around 1,600ft from the bow of the Titanic wreckage off the coast of Newfoundland.

From left, Shahzada Dawood, Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Stockton Rush, and Hamish Harding
From left, Shahzada Dawood, Suleman Dawood, Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Stockton Rush, and Hamish Harding. Photo: AP. 

British billionaire Hamish Harding, UK-Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood, the vessel’s pilot Stockton Rush and French national Paul-Henri Nargeolet were on board.

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At a press conference in Boston, Rear Admiral John Mauger said further debris was “consistent with a catastrophic loss of the pressure chamber”.

Kemp had been considering making a documentary to mark the 110th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on its maiden voyage from Southampton in 1912.

Canadian Coast Guard vessel Terry Fox and Canadian vessel Skandi Vinland return to St John’s Port in Newfoundland, Canada, after supporting the search and rescue operation
Canadian Coast Guard vessel Terry Fox and Canadian vessel Skandi Vinland return to St John’s Port in Newfoundland, Canada, after supporting the search and rescue operation. Photo: Jordan Pettitt/PA. 

Veteran explorer Josh Gates, who hosts Expedition Unknown on Discovery+, also revealed he turned down the chance to film on the doomed Titan submersible.

He tweeted that he had rejected the opportunity to film in 2021 because the vessel “did not perform well” during a test dive.

He wrote: “Ultimately, I walked away from a huge opportunity to film Titanic due to my safety concerns with the OceanGate platform.

“There’s more to the history and design of Titan that has not been made public — much of it concerning.”

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