Lawsuit Claims Director Was Fired For Raising Concerns About Titanic Submarine Years Before It Went Missing

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A 2018 lawsuit filed by a former director of the company that runs Titanic expeditions alleges that he was fired for raising concerns about submarine safety while he was at the company, according to the filing.

Former director of marine operations David Lochridge claims he let OceanGate, the company whose submersible went missing Sunday, know that the hulls on their submarines posed serious safety concerns, according to a 2018 lawsuit. He was assigned an inspection role to ensure the safety of submersibles for the company. (RELATED: Billionaire Lost On Titanic Submersible Sent Chilling Last Text)

During his investigation, Lochridge was allegedly “met with hostility and denial of access to the necessary documentation that should have been freely available as a part of his inspection process,” according to the 2018 lawsuit. He issued verbal warnings and concerns about the durability of the carbon hulls that would ultimately end up on the missing vessel, Tech Crunch reported.

“In the Inspection Report, Lochridge identified numerous issues that posed serious safety concerns, and offered corrective action and recommendations for each. Lochridge primarily expressed concern regarding the lack of non-destructive testing performed on the hull of the Titan. Lochridge was repeatedly told that no scan of the hull or Bond Line could be done to check for delaminations, porosity and voids of sufficient adhesion of the glue being used due to the thickness of the hull,” the lawsuit states.

“Lochridge was told that no form of equipment existed to perform such a test, and OceanGate instead would rely solely on their acoustic monitoring system that they were going to install in the submersible to detect the start of hull break down when the submersible was about to fail,” the lawsuit alleged. “Rather than addressing Lochridge’s concerns, OceanGate instead summarily terminated Lochridge’s employment in efforts to silence Lochridge and to avoid addressing the safety and quality control issues.”

The search for the submarine and its passengers is ongoing.