back to article Missing Titan sub likely destroyed in implosion, no survivors

An attempt to find and rescue the Titan submersible that vanished during a deep dive to the Titanic has ended with news that the craft likely imploded and its crew of five are dead. Debris from the sub was discovered in the search area earlier today. US Coast Guard officials said they found the nose cone, front end bell of the …

  1. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    FAIL

    A fitting epitaph

    "I think I can do this just as safely by breaking the rules."

    Why do I think this quote is going to see a lot of reuse for years to come?

    1. abend0c4 Silver badge

      Re: A fitting epitaph

      If it really is a risk/reward question, he certainly had his answer. For a small fraction of a second.

      1. elregidente

        Re: A fitting epitaph

        That is an unbelievably crass and insensitive comment.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          On the one hand, yes, on the other hand deserved as it got 5 people killed for no other reason than money over wisdom.

          I would have cared less if this sort of stupidity did not tend to drag along innocents who did nothing wrong other than listening to idiots passing themselves off as experts, and that happens in more professions. Ask anyone who has been hit by a Tesla on autopilot or FSD, for instance. Or has had their details splattered all over the Darknet for abuse by a security breach because nobody has the balls to admit that one thing shared in 99.9% of all breaches is the use of Microsoft products. Or the hundres of thousand extra deaths dusing Covid because some idiots decided ignoring science for political points was more important than getting a grip on a global epidemic.

          If it affects the idiots only, I could live with that - the gene pool needs some chlorine. That it takes along innocent people, no, that should never become normalised, ever.

          1. SundogUK Silver badge

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            I was going to up0vote you until "Or the hundres of thousand extra deaths dusing Covid because some idiots decided ignoring science for political points was more important than getting a grip on a global epidemic."

            Because that's bollocks.

            1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              Likewise

              "a global epidemic" is basically the definition of "pandemic"

              (epi- meaning near, close, adjacent. pan- meaning all)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: A fitting epitaph

                Really? That's your problem with that post?

                Wow.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              Really? Trump & idiotic friends vs Fauci in the US was perfectly OK for you?

              To me that's criminal and should have been addressed as mass murder.

            3. Lars Silver badge
              Thumb Down

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              @SundogUK

              Like "it will disappear when it gets a bit warmer", that was bollocks indeed, and so was the guy too.

              1. nautica Silver badge
                Headmaster

                Re: A fitting epitaph

                "...and so was the guy too.

                This one just pleads to be edited, to wit:

                "...and so IS the guy too."

              2. Lars Silver badge
                Coat

                Re: A fitting epitaph

                More about Trump and the virus here:

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N1ZMLvEsMI

                Woodward on moment in Trump interview that was like a 'thunderclap'

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              @SundogUK

              Actually, what is more bollocks is you copying and pasting a comment complete with spelling mistakes....

            5. ChoHag Silver badge

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              To be fair he didn't single out *which* idiots.

              And one side was definitely all idiots spouting anti-science bullshit and killing people while the other was 100% made up of legitimate scientists who'd researched every aspect of everything and could say no wrong.

              Now, which side was which?

          2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            No they died , because they believed the CEO, who like all CEOs lies and exaggerates, aka im going to use a technical word, they bullshit. This is part of the danger of constantly giving fake titles and elevating CEOs and leadership as being wonders.

            Most other days they just lie and cheat from little people, today they killed a few people.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              This may trigger some retorts, but the saving grace for me is at least this idiot was one of them rather than sitting safely in an office parroting "lessons will be learned".

        2. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          Not feeling very bad, when something bad happens to bad people is a vital part of psychological hygiene. Of course, one can argue that loss of life is far more serious, and one should refrain from comments in a similar vein as "he had it coming".

          But, we humans are nasty, petty and quite emotional creatures. Millennia of rational philosophy be damned.

          I believe, we would go insane, were it not for the occasional Schadenfreude (in less severe cases) or lessened amount of commiseration (in severe cases).

          1. FIA Silver badge

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            Plus... if you start going down that route you could argue that it's inclusion on an advert revenue based commercial IT focused website is also fairly insensitive.

            But as you say, humans. ;)

            1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              Actually its quite fitting. Its no different from American drug companies letting kids die because their parents cant afford to buy some drug from them because of their crazy greed prices. You must remember money especially more money is always more important than anything else in America, including people. In this case the CEO tried to rip people off with an untested, garbage product with unfounded safety all because he wanted money. THe plan would have worked if he wasnt in the sub as well.

              As always the people with big mouths who are professional liars from CEOs to religious types are no different, sure the labesl may change but their greed never does.

              1. Mark 65

                Re: A fitting epitaph

                I don't think he did it because he wanted the money, I think it was because he considered himself infallible.

              2. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

                Re: A fitting epitaph

                Its no different from American drug companies letting kids die because their parents cant afford to buy some drug from them because of their crazy greed prices

                Do you have an analysis to support that accusation ?

                Yes, I'm sure they could cut prices ... a bit. But you know what, developing a drug, testing it, getting it certified, etc., etc., costs a LOT of money - eye watering amounts of money. Often, after years of work (and costs) it doesn't work out so there's no income to cover those costs. So when they do get a new drug to market, they have to charge a significant amount (a lot more than it cost to manufacture) in order to recover the costs spent getting it to that point, and to cover the costs of the other R&D that didn't lead to a drug on the market. And they have a limited time in which to recover those costs, and the patent clock starts ticking when they take out the patent - which they have to do years before it will ever be available to the public.

                You can argue about whether the costs, and in particular the cost recovery rates, are reasonable - but at some point, if the returns aren't seen to be there, investors will put their money somewhere else and the result will simply be that the drug doesn't get developed in the first place. So to a certain extent there is the question : which would you prefer, expensive drugs or no drugs ?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: A fitting epitaph

                  >Yes, I'm sure they could cut prices ... a bit. But you know what, developing a drug, testing it, getting it certified, etc., etc., costs a LOT of money - eye watering amounts of money.

                  The average price of insulin in the USA in 2018 was $98. In Canada, it was $12, Australia $6.94 and UK $7.52. It is typically 8x more expensive in the USA than in other comparable countries.

                  Ivermectin is $94 for 20 tablets in USA. In India, the same tablets retail for under $5.

                  These are drugs (insulin is also a biologic for certification purposes) that have had decades of testing, certification and use - but the pharmaceutical industry in the USA overcharges significantly for them.

                2. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge

                  Re: A fitting epitaph

                  I am not sure about the "letting kids die" part of the argument, but the prices are insane in the US, e.g. insulin, see https://www.rand.org/blog/rand-review/2021/01/the-astronomical-price-of-insulin-hurts-american-families.html

                  While R&D and other stuff is expensive, the steep price difference between europe and the US is striking.

                  1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

                    Re: A fitting epitaph

                    Another real part of the American drug price problem are the numbers of parasites in the system.

                    Corporate gifts to doctors, advertising, sales persons, all are parasites who know their greed is increasing the price which makes it unaffordable to many families.

                  2. Lars Silver badge
                    Coat

                    Re: A fitting epitaph

                    " the steep price difference between europe and the US is striking.".

                    It is, but there is a difference also between the USA and Canada.

                3. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

                  Re: A fitting epitaph

                  i could be a dog: but at some point, if the returns aren't seen to be there, investors will put their money somewhere else and the result will simply be that the drug doesn't get developed in the first place. So to a certain extent there is the question : which would you prefer, expensive drugs or no drugs ?

                  cow: You can tell dog is an american. Its always about money first and people are always disposable. Next your going to tell me its vital to the system that leadership o these companies get mega bonuses for sitting on their arse waving their American flags, while American kids die because they are poor.

        3. This post has been deleted by its author

        4. phuzz Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          It's not that crass and insensitive, and certainly not unbelievably* so. An actually crass comment would be pointing out that now they can sell tours to view the wreck of the Titanic and the Titan.

          * really, if you thought that comment was 'unbelievably crass', you should probably stay well away from most comment threads on the internet for your own mental health.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            Your comment isn't crass either.

            What could be crass is a future Sharknado movie where Kate Winslet uses random bits of Titan wreckage - mainly shards of carbon fibre and titanium - to keep the sharks at bay while she resuscitates Leonardo DiCaprio.

            The script for that will write itself and I can't be the only one who'd pay good money to see that film.

            1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              What would actually be crass and insensitive would be another billionaire financing an expedition to retrieve bits of the mangled wreckage from the seabed, and then using it to make his own sex swing, which he'd then offer as a prize on a pay-per view series, "America's Next Top Porn Actor".

              Never underestimate the ability of a billionaire to out-crass another.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: A fitting epitaph

                Don't give ideas to EM!

                1. Francis Boyle

                  Bezos is the one

                  with the penis rockets.

        5. nautica Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          The time for "sensitivity" is over.

          When a corporation or individual's stupidity, cupidity, arrogance, narcissism, and absolute disregard--and total disrespect--of other people's right-to-trust results (or CAN RESULT) in the death or injury to others, the time for "sensitivity" is over.

          You obviously don't know--or don't want to know--of the adage, "Your rights end where my nose begins".

          Take your wacko demands for 'kumbaya' sensitivity to the vegan restaurant, and the Tesla dealership.They love you there.

          ---------------------------------------------

          "More crucial than what you know, or what you do not know, is what you do not want to know."---Eric Hoffer

          1. Snake Silver badge

            Re: time for sensitivity

            I agree 100% and I'll have you know I am a several decades-long vegetarian, to bring up a point of your argument. I'm just as sick of the kumbaya as the next guy, there's a time for sensitivity and a time when lines have to be drawn in the sand and say, "No more. Step over that line and you get your bum kicked". And people dying gets that line drawn.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: time for sensitivity

              When something terrible happens to people - like Bournemouth Pier for example - I imagine myself as one of their close family and I feel a small fraction of the pain that they are suffering and it's horrific I'm close to tears. I can't imagine their grief.

              Then I remember that big news items like this submarine are big news because of their unusual circumstances and in the real world there are terrible things happening to people all the time and we just don't hear about it. Hundreds of people in a boat trying to reach Greece have apparently drowned and it didn't get anything like the attention that five very rich risk takers did. There will be horrible car accidents today.

              So I don't deal well with all this tragedy so need a defence, and dark humour is part of that. Quite natural for humans.

              1. Martin-73 Silver badge

                Re: time for sensitivity

                Absolutely. Mental health can be HORRIBLY affected by NOT joking about difficult situations

        6. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          No @elregidente, it is not. It's stating a fact. The sad thing of this entire saga is that it didn't just cost *him* his life, but he took at least 3 others (who likely didn't know quite what risk they were taking, the French Titanic expert was a seasoned DSD) with him. A family member of the Dawood family claims that the son had voiced his concerns about the ill-fated voyage, so effectively there's at least one of the 5 who was unnecessarily lost.

          1. ragnar

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            They did - they had to sign waivers saying the vehicle was not certified and could kill them.

            1. anothercynic Silver badge

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              Just because you sign a waiver does not mean you know quite what risk you are taking. You are merely waiving your rights to sue after...

              I'm pretty sure that some of the, if not all, four would've said "yeah nah" if they'd know about the safety concerns raised by ex-employees and other DSD experts alike.

              If anything, there no doubt *will* be lawsuits heading OceanGate's way, waivers or not.

              1. Alumoi Silver badge

                Re: A fitting epitaph

                Just because you sign a waiver does not mean you know quite what risk you are taking.

                OK, "by signing this waiver you acknowledge that death or permanent loss of limbs will occur." IF you don't know what risk are you taking when signing such waiver you're either an idiot or you just can't read and the people reading the waiver to you lied.

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: A fitting epitaph

                  I wonder how many pages the waiver was? I wonder how much prominence the possibility of death was given? Have you ever read the list of possible side effect all medicines come with? Has anyone actually seen the waiver and can comment on it sensibly?

                  1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                    Re: A fitting epitaph

                    Have you ever read the list of possible side effect all medicines come with

                    Yes. With the number I have to take, I can't afford not to..

                    (Also, Dad was a pharmacist and trained us to educate ourselves about the drugs we have to take, their half-lives, side effects and interactions..)

                2. Snake Silver badge

                  Re: risk

                  Just because you signed a waiver stating that you accept the risks does NOT alleviate the legal and moral obligation that the provider of the service in question does everything they possibly can to REDUCE that level of risk in the first place.

                  OceanGate and its owner Stockton Rush, did NO such thing. We now know that he completely brushed off safety concerns from other industry players, calling THEM out for trying to raise concerns.

                  He was a headstrong fool who appeared fully convinced of his own 'genius' (watch the CNN interview of a prospective father and son customer duo that he was courting, showing up in his self-built EXPERIMENTAL airplane). He was completely willing to put people's lives at risk to prove his own ideas correct, and now he and several others paid the ultimate price.

                3. Mark 65

                  Re: A fitting epitaph

                  At least in some countries you cannot sign away your statutory rights with a waiver. That's including, but not limited to, death or injury being caused by incompetence.

        7. JoeCool Silver badge

          Re: insensitive

          Why ? Stockton Rush didn't just ignore safety, he flaunted his ignorance.

          His only idea was to cut corners in design, construction and safety systems.

          Whatever form of delusion or hubris drove that, his death only has value as a warning to others.

          There should be outrage at that kind of callous disregard of real outcomes.

          1. nautica Silver badge
            Meh

            Re: insensitive

            A ship stranded on the beach is a lighthouse to the sea--Old proverb.

          2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            Re: insensitive

            In other words Stockton Rush was the perfect example of the American Hero also know as a CEO. Worshipped, admired, continuously given a platform in the media... just look at the articles here for example and tally how basically the only people allowed to speak are ceos.

    2. Howard Sway Silver badge

      Re: A fitting epitaph

      He certainly made a contribution that will be remembered, just not for the reasons that he hoped :

      “I’d like to be remembered as an innovator. I think it was Gen McArthur that said, ‘You’re remembered for the rules you break.’ I have broken some rules to make this. I think I’ve broken them with logic and good engineering behind me. The carbon fibre and titanium there is a rule that you don’t do that. Well, I did,” Stockton said

      1. Blank Reg

        Re: A fitting epitaph

        Carbon fiber does not usually fail gradually, I've seen catastrophic failure of carbon fiber, it's fine one moment and then jagged shards the next with not a lot in between

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          makes sense - super-strong materials are often brittle, and brittle fracture is both rapid and catastrophic.

          Recently had a cheap handle break off in my hand from brittle fracture, at a somewhat bad time. Quick action prevented it from causing a minor disaster. Did not really need that, yeah.

          [think 'breaking glass' when you think 'brittle fracture']

          1. Cynical Pie

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            I see this quite regularly at Archery comps where a lot of Archers use carbon/aluminium composite or full carbon arrows.

            Catastrophic failures are more common with full carbons but carbon/aluminium arrows often split/crack.

            My daughter's composite arrows split the second or third time she shot them as they had been hit by other arrows during a previous shoot and the point of damage just gave way as arrows by their nature flex when they leave the bow.

            When they fully go they make an impressive noise that scares the brown stuff out of the rest of the shooting line :)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              ISTR someone killed on a golf course when a carbon fibre shaft shattered into shards when the head struck the ball. One fragment skewered a spectator in the heart.

            2. Barry Mahon

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              Surely they are no currently approved?

              1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                Re: A fitting epitaph

                Surely they are no currently approved?

                Archery's better regulated than the submersible industry. Plus a very long time after we invented the bow & arrow, we invented maths, physics and high-speed cameras that solved this-

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archer%27s_paradox

                So archers have a pretty good idea how their arrows will fire, the first time they're fired. Subsequently, it depends.. Which seems to be the problem with relying on carbon fibre. Or an acoustic failure detection that listens for snap, crackle and pop.. which seems a bit pointless when CF is known to fail rapidly, and catastrophically. It's very strong, until it isn't.

                1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge
                  Headmaster

                  Re: A fitting epitaph

                  Being picky (what, me?), arrows are not fired, they are shot.

                  Unlike these musket thingies, no fire is required to project an arrow.

                  1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

                    Re: A fitting epitaph

                    Being picky (what, me?), arrows are not fired, they are shot.

                    Butt.. Butt.. they have triggers?

                    Unlike these musket thingies, no fire is required to project an arrow.

                    Aha! Fire arrows! Being a fan of YT channels like Tod's Workshop and others on historical weapons, or Hollywood vs history, it's been fascinating to learn more about the complications involved in 'primitive' weapons.

                    1. Phones Sheridan Silver badge

                      Re: A fitting epitaph

                      “arrows are not fired, they are shot.“

                      I always thought they were loose(d).

                      As in Nock, Draw, Loose.

                      1. jake Silver badge

                        Re: A fitting epitaph

                        You can also send and release arrows.

        2. Red Ted
          FAIL

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          Carbon fibre wheels at cycling events are the one I've seen. They go from super strong and round to floppy and un-wheel like in a few feet.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          And orcas are well aware of the effects of a few nose bumps on a submarine...

        4. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          The big problem is that in a vessel under compression the carbon fibre basically doesn't do anything. By the time it gets loaded enough by deformation of the epoxy matrix the vessel is already imploding and lost all structural integrity. CFRP works great for pressure vessels keeping high pressure IN because the CF is very strong in tension and a few strands failing just shares the load along all the other parallel strands (until they can't handle it any more either and the whole thing goes boom). In the design of the "Titan"s pressure vessel with high pressure on the outside, all the structural strength basically comes from the titanium end caps and the plastic of the hull. Plastic which was apparently never tested or inspected for fatique cracking.

          1. LogicGate Silver badge

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            If you read further, I suspect that you will find that carbon fibers in an epoxy matrix can be loaded on compression just fine.

            The respective modulus(es?) of elasticity are not hugely dependent on the loading being compressive or tensile.

            HOWEVER, there is a good reason why you will never find max. compressive stress on a carbonfiber datasheet: The max. compressive stress depends to a high degree on (part) manufacturing parameters such as fiber "straightness" and inter-fiber adhesion.

            Under tension, a "wavy" fiber will be pulled straight and then loaded to breaking point. Under compression, the same fiber can undergo small scale buckling, tearing free from other fibers in the laminate, and thus lose all compressive strength a long time before the theoretiocal utlimate load is reached.

            1. imanidiot Silver badge

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              The problem is that to get anywhere near ultimate compressive strength with CF layups, you need it to be absolutely perfect and flawless. In tension, any minor error is pretty much self correcting. In compression even the tiniest, microscopic flaw means that the CF does next to nothing (or worse, weakens the surrounding plastic). Thus the reality of it is that CF basically has no compressive strength because there will always be minor layup flaws, microscopic voids, kinked fibers, etc. Under compression the majority of breaking load/ultimate strength calculators I've ever encountered assume the maximum compressive force equals that of the epoxy matrix material (low-sh megapascals range, instead of low gigapascals range for CF). Because long term that's all you can really achieve. You might get more for a few load cycles until the lay-up errors start biting.

        5. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          Carbon fiber does not usually fail gradually

          In this case, that would not be relevant.

          The secret to a successful pressure hull (where the pressure is on the outside) is uniformity - a perfect sphere for the ends, a perfect cylinder in between. Draw yourself a diagram, add arrows to represent the pressure and the resulting stresses, and you'll see that with perfect circles, the stresses are nicely parallel to the shape of the shell - that is after all the whole point of making them out of cylinders and spheres.

          Now deform one of those perfect circles and repeat. You no longer have that nice diagram, and suddenly what was under pure compression is under significant bending stresses around the deformity. So a very small defect that alters the stress distribution will result in the material being under bending stresses - and at 4000m depth, that's a lot of pressure. The material will bend, further increasing the deformity, increasing the bending stresses, increasing the deformity - and no matter how ductile or brittle the material, the failure will cascade very rapidly. The main difference would be that a very ductile material might end up with half of the hull "inside out" and flattened against the other half, while a brittle material will shatter at some point.

          Over on the BBC, an ex naval nuclear engineer suggested that the implosion rate would be measured in thousands of feet/second, the adiabatic temperature rise would instantly cook everyone, and the self-ignition of the hydrocarbons would finish everything off by turning the occupants to ashes - all in significantly less time than the human brain could register that anything was happening. In that respect, at least they didn't have to ponder their fate - unlike the crew of the USS Thresher back in the 60s.

      2. Barry Mahon

        Re: A fitting epitaph??

        Imagine quoting McArthur in this context.

        He was the 'victor' in a war which used a nuclear bomb to end it. A "no-risk" situation? he broke what rule?

        The reality of the consequence of the defeat of Japan was that the Japanese stopped believing the Emperor was god.....

        That is the best memory, it bears NO relationship to someone who wants to be remembered as an entrepreneur.

        The most common French interpretation of entrepreneur is opportunity taker. This 'explorer' took serious risks he was warned about.

        1. graeme leggett Silver badge

          Re: A fitting epitaph??

          wikiquotes gives the line as

          "Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind." William A. Ganoe, 'MacArthur Close-Up' (1962), p. 137

          The context though is in Macarthur handing out disciplinary punishments for cadets and not adhering to the set punishments; the author is praising him for not working from precedent and treating each case individually on its merits.

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: A fitting epitaph

      Rush by name,

      Rush by action,

      Rush to, death

      History will repeat

    4. sarusa Silver badge

      Re: A fitting epitaph

      'safety is pure waste' should be the only thing on his tombstone.

      1. ravenviz Silver badge

        Re: A fitting epitaph

        Or ‘Safety was pure waste’.

      2. bazza Silver badge

        Re: A fitting epitaph

        Except there probably isn't enough left to be buried, which is a sad thing (because the same goes for the other victims, and because such an epitaph as a warning needs be be carved in stone, again).

        We've had a couple of things in recent years like this. MCAS v1 on Boeing's 737 MAX, this sub. It ought to be the case that conspiring to be recklessly negligent is a criminal offence. At the moment the best that happens is a whistle blower talks to a regulator, or they countersue having been dismissed.

        The most that seems to happen with regulators is that the problem is fixed, but the bad attitude that lead to the problem goes unaddressed. With this guy Rush, he's basically told the world that he was entirely cool with risking other people's lives for the sake of his own ego, and was allowed to continue doing so with tragically predictable and now eventuated consequences.

        That judge in 2018 had an opportunity to order a cessation order (judges can order anything), and didn't.

        One gets an impression that the FAA is having to work overtime making sure Musk doesn't cut too many corners on Super Heavy / Star Ship, and Musk is another guy who has frequently complained about regulation. SpaceX has already done at least one launch without FAA permission. FAA / NASA did a good job in making sure Falcon 9 became safe (not that Musk has taken a ride himself yet. Bit like a car manufacturer refusing to drive his own cars...), though it looks like they've got their work cut out with Super Heavy and Star Ship. Musk seems determined to launch that thing without maximising the chances of a FOD free launch, which to my mind is the same thing as deliberately taking risks with a mega rocket that gets launched not very far away from a large town. There's well established ways of launching rockets damage free, but he seems determined to do it a riskier way...

        Boeing was well known to have been an active lobbiest, seeking reductions in FAA oversight. It too had decades of whistle blowers that it had sacked and been countersued by. You could smell the MAX accidents and deaths coming years in advance.

        Regulators need to be given sharper, longer teeth. And billionaires need to learn. Regulation makes an industry richer, not poorer. Engage with it, embrace it and there's a good chance they'll help you get richer still, and stay alive too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          One way to fix this is that key personnal such as C level executives will be obligated to join on the first ride. I'm pretty sure you'd see a lot more attention paid to making sure things were safe. I'm pretty confident Musk has never enabled FSD other than on straight, sunny motorways with freshly painted lines (and given how well it is reported to park I also assume he will do this manually, or use valet -or minion- parking so it's someone else's problem).

          1. ThatOne Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            > One way to fix this is that key personnal such as C level executives will be obligated to join on the first ride

            This here was a good example why this won't work, the Big Boss was in the submarine all right.

            The problem is that people are so convinced they are right that they readily negate reality, at least any reality which contradicts their opinions. Your executives wouldn't hesitate joining the first ride, if only to show they have "the right stuff".

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              Yes. Relying on people to act rationally and in their own best interest is a failing strategy.

              1. ThatOne Silver badge
                Devil

                Re: A fitting epitaph

                > Relying on people to act rationally

                You've seen that happen a lot?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            Musk probably has a chauffer to drive him around!

            1. R Soul Silver badge

              The musky one has no need for a chauffeur. He is able to beam himself at will to anywhere in the universe using the alien technology from his home planet.

              1. that one in the corner Silver badge

                > He is able to beam himself at will

                EM activates the teleportation by getting into the driver's seat, closing his eyes and meditating for five minutes: when he opens his eyes, ta-da they have arrived!

                Meanwhile:

                As soon as EM drifts off to sleep ("meditating") the *real* driver takes over (amazing what you can do with a Tesla paired to a bluetooth steering wheel from an old Wii game). When they arrive, all Tesla and SpaceX clocks are wound back to five minutes after they left (if it was only a two minute journey, they get wound forwards) and EM is gently prodded awake again.

                This is how EM manages to do his amazingly long work days *and* explains why he is so happy to make those claims about "FSD is only 3 months away" or "you can buy a Semi with delivery in a year": he is getting lots of sleep and, according to his watch, it is currently an unseasonably warm February in 2017.

                Don't worry about the employees: the worst they have to worry about is ignoring the factory wall clocks and being sure to have the company app running during meetings with the boss, showing EM time. Okay, there are a few odd days when they end up eating three breakfasts in one day full of meetings and they are super-careful around launch days (when they balance things out by having lots of two or three minute drives around the launch site for each fifteen minute drive from hotel to site).

          3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            One way to fix this is that key personnal such as C level executives will be obligated to join on the first ride

            There are already sanctions. So Corporate Officers can and are found guilty of manslaughter and criminal negligence*, sometimes. Sometimes that can be hard to prove though. Or, back to Rush's refusal to hire 'old white guys', there's professional liability. So Chartered engineers, architects etc are assumed competent to design and approve stuff that might kill people. They have both responsibility and accountability. Ignoring this gets people killed, so not having qualified, experienced and certified staff makes it easier to prove negligence. Who signed off this design? How were they competent to sign off this design or component? No, being a good surfer doesn't count.

            *But probably not often enough. It sends a message. Yes, you may be able to speed up heart operations with a surgical chainsaw, but.. it's a bit risky, no?

            1. bazza Silver badge

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              I think the problem we're seeing is that such legal outcomes are retrospective, and are no longer a deterrent to deranged billionaires. All criminal negligence trials happen after someone has died, AFAIK. There needs to be a new class of offence, something like "conspiracy to be lethally negligent".

              It needs to be a criminal offence with prison time, because money is largely insignificant in how such people operate.

              Consider also the lawyers who acted for OceanGate, in pursuit of people saying that the company was doing it wrong. They've effectively been party to something pretty close to murder, and it is premeditated. I wonder what they have got to say for themselves today?

          4. Andy the ex-Brit

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            In the case of FSD, we'd also need them to spend time outside the cars, repeatedly walking into the road as the car approached, or riding a bicycle in the lane. Safe for the occupants ≠ safe.

          5. TimMaher Silver badge
            Windows

            Re: C level executives

            R101 anybody?

      3. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: A fitting epitaph

        "tombstone" - I really don't think so...

    5. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: A fitting epitaph

      "I think I can do this just as safely by breaking the rules."

      Some people never learn and others never live long enough TO learn. Related, see "prison".

    6. mi1400

      Re: A fitting epitaph

      (1) I hope MIT, UCLA etc macho tech boys will think twice before opening their mouths how last time they saved the world using just a screwdriver or they devised such a simple solution for such an epic problem cuz i can see them hiding shushed in some MIT lab locked from inside. (2) This vessel was made using a $30 Logitech gamepad for steering!.. again a signature MIT young sheldon boys' keep-it-simple solution...

      1. ChoHag Silver badge

        Re: A fitting epitaph

        This has nothing to do with idiot students (but I repeat myself...) who's only mistakes may turn out to be not lawyering up soon enough. The joystick controllers in a serious craft are a sign of a CEO/EGO with weak underlings who can't tell him when he's being a twat.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          The joystick controllers in a serious craft are a sign of a CEO/EGO with weak underlings who can't tell him when he's being a twat.

          I agree 100%.

          The CEO who can't handle someone pointing out that there may be a wiser path can rightly be called a twat (in official terms "a risk to shareholder value" or "in breach of his fiduciary duty to the organisation", but twat is more efficient :) ).

          The one thing I learned early in doing security audits is that staff tends to pick up on dangers and exposures way before management does. Worse, badly managed companies end up with lower management preferring to cover up risks rather than acting on them, which leads to a pile of problems that may combine and then cause such an unholy entangled compounded mess that it takes ages to sort out, and that's assuming you can before the company fails.

          Yes, I'm the guy that will also talk to the cleaners.

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            > lower management preferring to cover up risks rather than acting on them

            Sure, because when you have a CEO with a "vision", you certainly won't go tell him his vision is pants, that would be a rather unwise career move. You just cover your back, so when the stuff hits the fan you don't get too dirty yourself.

            It's human. I'm sure the ones who claim heroic confrontation, professional integrity and other moral-high-groundy stuff are those who have already found a better paid job and are about to quit anyway.

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            "Yes, I'm the guy that will also talk to the cleaners."

            Don't discount the corporate secretary(ies). They might not all be techno-nerds, but make no mistake, they run the company, know everybody, know where everything is, and can expedite whatever needs expediting. Their care and feeding is vital to any decent consultant, along with that of the janitorial, facilities (and security, sometimes[0]) staff.

            [0] The mercenaries are worse than useless from my perspective, but they are easy to spot and ignore.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              Don't discount the corporate secretary(ies)

              In this, I absolutely, totally, 100% agree with you. They are also the only route to get something fixed that is coming off the rails.

              A colleage and friend of mine who is otherwise *way* smarter than me (OK, not that big an achievement but I digress) had some housing problem. I can't quite remember what it was anymore but it had to do with a house he just bought and he just wasn't getting anywhere. When he told me of his woes and his attempt to reach the director he'd identified as someone who could stomp on the idiots not doing their job I grabbed the phone and did not ask for that director, but his secretary (another option is to ask for "the office of <director>", that works too).

              It is their actual job to shield the director from annoying people (as is the receptionist) so asking for his secretary is the only way you get to talk to someone with the ability to bring it to their attention. More often than not, if it's something sensible they will lift the phone themseves and have a few quiet words. No, they don't shout - at that level they know they're way more menacing if they're calm, also because they tend to have a high level of autonomy and power to offload things for the director they work for.

              Once I got through I gave my friend the phone, he explained the problem and it was sorted in a day, with apologies. He'd been at it for a month.

              Underestimate secretaries at your peril, and remember that they also talk to each other..

              1. Diogenes8080

                Re: A fitting epitaph

                I feel a need to misquote Dickson: "Disturb rather the tiger in his lair than the PA at her workstation, for to you orders and expense claims are things mighty and enduring, but to her..."

          3. Agamemnon

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            If you want to know what's going on in a company, you ask talk to the CEOcs Administrative Assistant (they order the hit), Sr. SysAdmin (executes the hit), and the Janitor (hides the body).

            These are the people you talk to in order know what the hell is going on (because they know where the bodies are buried).

            Janitors are assets. I bribe mine with beer and pizza.

            1. imanidiot Silver badge

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              That rather depends on the janitors employment type though. Nowadays very often cleaning staff comes contracted from an outside firm and is barely there, coming in before or after normal working ours, rushing through a nearly empty building to "clean" things to just barely acceptable levels and get to the next job.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: A fitting epitaph

                Now you know why we stay with old carpets and quicklime.

                :)

        2. blackcat Silver badge

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          I've seen similar being used on bomb disposal robots and quite big portable military UAVs.

        3. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          The joystick controllers in a serious craft are a sign of a CEO/EGO with weak underlings who can't tell him when he's being a twat.

          Apparently there are XBox controllers on the latest nuclear submarines. There's been a few interesting discussions on this and comments that they're used to control the electronic periscopes. Difference I guess is understanding the risks, and building in enough safety/redundancy so they keep working. Plus the alternative would be designing a milspec controller that ends up costing >$1m a unit and does the same thing. A box full of XBox controllers works out a lot cheaper, especially when the US Navy can probably force Microsoft to disable all the Xbox app crap that comes with Windows.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            "A box full of XBox controllers works out a lot cheaper, especially when the US Navy can probably force Microsoft to disable all the Xbox app crap that comes with Windows."

            While I laugh with you at the 'orrible concept of "windows for warships", you hardly need to run a Redmond OS in order to use an Xbox controller. They work on Linux, with drivers having been built into the kernel since roughly mid 2014. A friend uses one to manually target the anti-deer sprinklers in his vegetable garden.

            I use a simple joystick for mine ... call me a luddite if you must!

          2. LogicGate Silver badge

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            Why use an x-box controller when you can go to Grayhill or similar and order a rugged COTS Hall-sensor based controller designed for use in heavy machinery by equally heavy workers?

            There may be no need for a mil-spec-controller from Honeywell,but there is no need to go all the way to consumer techno trash..

            So yes.. an x-box controller should not be used for anything where lives may be at risk, or where the environment may exceed 0-20°C with only non-condensing moisture.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              Why use an x-box controller when you can go to Grayhill or similar and order a rugged COTS Hall-sensor based controller designed for use in heavy machinery by equally heavy workers?

              Or one of these?

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kempston_Micro_Electronics#/media/File:Competition_pro_first_version_45deg.png

              Thick shaft and real microswitches! Could even survive Decathlon, being inverted and shaken like a maraca. Mostly. Easier to repair than a new mebrane for a Speccy, and along with converting Atari 2600 trackballs to run on C64s etc, helped provide me with my after-school beer money.

              So yes.. an x-box controller should not be used for anything where lives may be at risk, or where the environment may exceed 0-20°C with only non-condensing moisture.

              But controllers are pretty rugged. It's often >20°C with a variety of moisture conditions, chemical exposure and other abuse. Nothing is going to survive being locked in a room with a bored Marine, so maybe a COTS controller is good enough for government work? My thinking is the risks would more likely be wireless related, and being more complex than it needs to be, ie no rumble pack while silent running. Or general USB vs good'ol Atari D-9 connectors.

          3. that one in the corner Silver badge

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            > the alternative would be designing a milspec controller that ends up costing >$1m a unit and does the same thing

            The story is that they *did* have a "milspec" controller supplied by the contractor, at an obscene cost, until a savvy submariner pointed out to the boss that it was actually just a video game controller (probably rebranded, that is what cost so much). Won't swear that they actually now use an XBox device.

            The controller is only used for pointing the modern replacement for the periscope (and no doubt is not the *only* way of doing so - they may even still have those funky folding handles and can wear their caps backwards as a backup, before resorting to "ratings and binoculars").

            (Tried to find my source to post the URL but search results are currently flooded with thr Titan story).

            1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              Periscopes on Virginia class submarines...

              https://www.digitaltrends.com/cool-tech/navy-xbox-controllers-attack-submarines/

            2. TimMaher Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: results are currently flooded

              I see what you said there.

        4. imanidiot Silver badge

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          "The joystick controllers in a serious craft are a sign of a CEO/EGO with weak underlings who can't tell him when he's being a twat."

          The choice of controller is seriously only a blip on the jank-o-meter for that craft. It barely even registers against all the other things that are wrong with it (porthole apparently rated only to 1300m being used at 3800m down. Titanium bonded to CF with no destructive and minimal non-destructive testing. Dissimilar materials, Ti and CFRP, used for the pressure vessel. The pressure vessel being a cilinder with hemisphere endcaps instead of a sphere, the endcap getting screwed on with only 18 bolts, often only 17!, repeatedly with no exhaustive inspection between dives. The top bolt regularly getting left out "because it was hard to reach and not that important anyway". There was SO MUCH wrong with the thing it's a miracle anyone wanted to get in it to begin with. I doubt those that actually dove with it understood just how dangerous it was.

          1. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            The pressure vessel being a cilinder with hemisphere endcaps instead of a sphere

            I find it strange that people are having a go at this one. Look at just about every naval submarine and they are ... a tube with hemispherical end caps. Having a cylindrical section really is not a problem and makes for an efficient design - a sphere is very inefficient once you have a lot of stuff to fit inside as it would have to be massive, and thus create something that takes a lot of power to push through the water.

            Also, a cylinder can be scaled in length without altering the stresses (from the hydrostatic pressure) involved, as you scale up a sphere, so you also scale up the compressive forces. If you take two hemispheres and consider the joint plane, if you double the size, then you quadruple the total forces, but only double the length of the circumference - thus you need double the material thickness to get the same stress in the material on a per unit area basis.

            Lastly, it's a lot easier making a cylinder than a sphere - especially as size increases. So making a vessel bigger (in volume) by putting a cylindrical section into it makes perfect sense - and once you do that, adding more space by lengthening the cylinder makes very little difference to the stresses involved.

            Dissimilar materials, Ti and CFRP, used for the pressure vessel

            Yeah, that's an issue. Dissimilar moduli means they change size at different rates as the pressure changes. So potentially creating increased stresses at the interface as one or both sides have to deform in order to match the other side.

            The top bolt regularly getting left out "because it was hard to reach and not that important anyway"

            Almost certainly irrelevant. The bolts would probably only be needed to make it watertight until it reaches a certain depth - once at depth you could probably remove every bolt and pressure alone would make the hatch cover immovable.

            I doubt those that actually dove with it understood just how dangerous it was

            I suspect you are totally correct. They were probably not aware of the concerns, and fell for the smooth talking of a bullshitter. The only consolation is that they would not have known anything about the implosion - the temperature rise adiabatic would have turned them from living people to "incinerated" in a tiny fraction of the time it takes the nervous system to recognise a stimulation.

            1. imanidiot Silver badge

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              "normal" submarines only go down to a few hundred meters. That makes dealing with a "cigar" instead of a sphere easier. While indeed a cilinder section makes it easier to make it bigger, it adds a lot of added complexity and strength requirements. Especially when you consider there's 400 bars of outside pressure trying to squeeze the end caps together, and buckling of the cilinder becomes a major factor to consider. OceansGate then proceeded to put the join in a rather vulnerable place (right on the transition from the spheres to the cilinder. And yes, those bolts DO pose a problem. The structure is only stiff and solid as long as it maintains its structure exactly and everything stays round/spherical. If we consider that there's a few thousand tons of force trying to reduce the length of the sub to 0 buckling of the center tube becomes a concern and for that to happen it needs to deform to "not round". When the (probably much stiffer) Ti end caps are properly bolted on (18 bolts is not really enough for this though, I'd expect double to tripple that) the spherical end caps provide hoop strength and help keep the round cross-section of the barrel section. With the missing bolt you get one section where possibly just a little bit more movement can happen, flattening off the round section there, reducing it's strength and allowing a minute amount of flex. This can then rapidly progress to catastrophic implosion as the round section does it's best imitation of a pretzel and disintegrates as the 2 hemispheres get squished towards each other looking a bit like this

              I doubt they incinerated though. While the air volume would certainly have gotten extremely hot, the in-compressible bags of water and meat might only have gotten a little toasty on the outside before turning to mist and then dispersing in the water as a red soup.

    7. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: A fitting epitaph

      Classic cases of FAFO.

    8. flayman

      Re: A fitting epitaph

      Full quote for context:

      "You know, at some point, safety just is pure waste. I mean, if you just want to be safe, don't get out of bed. Don't get in your car. Don't do anything, ... At some point, you're going to take some risk, and it really is a risk/reward question. I think I can do this just as safely by breaking the rules."

      This way of thinking is probably right when it comes to exploring the unknown. Space exploration, for example, has always understood that in order to make progress there will inevitably be some loss of life. Despite this, space exploration has by and large been subject to the most rigorous processes for minimizing risk. Also all those risking their lives have been seasoned professionals who fully understood the risks.

      Contrast this with OceanGate. These are tourists. They are going to look at the Titanic on the ocean floor. This is not advancing human knowledge. The attitude to risk is completely unacceptable. The reward to OceanGate for taking these risks was bucketloads of money. The reward for the tourists would have been a singular experience. The likelihood and price of failure were too high. I call it criminally negligent.

      1. Doctor Evil

        Re: A fitting epitaph

        "Space exploration, for example, has always understood that in order to make progress there will inevitably be some loss of life. Despite this, space exploration has by and large been subject to the most rigorous processes for minimizing risk. Also all those risking their lives have been seasoned professionals who fully understood the risks."

        Well, maybe? I wonder how much Christa McAuliffe understood of the real risks to the craft she was riding to space? Not that school teachers aren't as bright as anyone else, but they're not (usually) engineers either.

        1. flayman

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          That's a good point, and the mistakes that were made were wholly avoidable. Christa McAuliffe is from my hometown and her parents still lived there at the time of the catastrophe. I'll never forget that.

          She knew the risks going up. I feel confident of that. She received extensive training. She was certainly no tourist.

          1. ITMA Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            Interesting that you brought the Challenger disaster into the conversation.

            Another classic example of management putting schedules and money before safety:

            "It is too cold to launch according to the launch rules based on our experience base".

            Management - "Change the f*cking rules then!!!! LAUNCH!"

            Richard Feynman put it beautifully succinctly: "For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled"

            The deep ocean is far less forgiving than space, and aerospace is a very poor role model for how to design deep sea submersibles. Totally different environments.

            1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              Every engineer should know that Feynman quote by heart.

              1. ITMA Silver badge

                Re: A fitting epitaph

                Some places make the report, and Feynman's appendix to the report, required reading.

                Rightly so.

          2. bazza Silver badge

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            An outcome of the investigation into the Challenger explosion was that NASA has an unrealistic appraisal of the risks being run in the Shuttle program generally, not just that specific launch and uts unique conditions.

            All of the crew of Challenger were officially being deceived as to the risks actually being run, never mind the unprecedented conditions surrounding their launch.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            She didn't know the risks - well not much beyond the abstract notion that space flight is dangerous. The rest of the crew didn't know the actual risks either because they were too far removed from the engineers responsible for the rocket boosters. If they did know what those engineers knew, they wouldn't have got aboard because the risks of O ring failure were too high. NASA management didn't tell them.

            Read what Feynman found out when he was on the Challenger commission.

            1. flayman

              Re: A fitting epitaph

              I know all about it. I studied this case at university. I know that the engineers warned management about the brittle temperature, and I know that management caved in to political pressure to avoid any further delays. Ronald Reagan was giving his State of the Union address later that day.

              The risk of death in space travel is very real. It's not a commercial endeavor. It's still seat of the pants stuff. The crew didn't know what would be ignored due to politics, but any number of others things could have also gone wrong. You have to have faith in the support staff to look after you, but the risk is still there. Christa would have been told in no uncertain terms, and would have accepted it as true, that there was a very real risk of death, especially in takeoff and reentry.

              Despite being made to sign all sorts of liability waivers, the tourists on board this experimental vessel were being told it was safer than crossing the street.

          4. jake Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            "She knew the risks going up. I feel confident of that. She received extensive training. She was certainly no tourist."

            Yes.

            RIP

      2. Jedit Silver badge
        Unhappy

        "The reward for the tourists would have been a singular experience."

        Well, you can't argue that they didn't get a once in a lifetime experience.

      3. imanidiot Silver badge

        Re: A fitting epitaph

        "I think I can do this just as safely by breaking the rules"

        You can only ever do anything safely if you understand the rules and the reason for their existence in full depth. And understand how you are breaking that rule, why you can break that rule and why you CAN break that rule.

        These guys didn't have a clue. The front was attached with 18 bolts normally. Apparently the top one was hard to reach so the regularly left it out saying that it didn't really matter as 17 bolts was plenty strong anyway. Anyone who knows anything about stress risers and bolted connections in pressure vessels should understand that a single missed bolt is a concentration point for stresses and I'd even argue that 18 bolts wasn't nearly enough on that large a circumference. I would expect double to triple that on a pressure vessel of that size.

        1. Orv Silver badge

          Re: A fitting epitaph

          I would agree with you about an internal pressure vessel, however this was an external pressure vessel so the effect was for pressure to keep the cap in place. Once it was submerged it could have had no bolts and still held together.

          1. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: A fitting epitaph

            That would only be true for a fully spherical vessel. In this case the round/barrel section is trying to squish flat and a missing bolt can create an area where it's slightly easier for that to happen (relative to the hemispherical end-cap) than everywhere it's bolted in. Think of it like trying to squash a toilet paper roll with round hoops in the ends. Hard to squish those ends if they're continuous hoops. If there's no bolt, for the stress lines it's more like there's now a missing section there where the round barrel section can press/dimple into the area where support is missing. Even if there's a lip around the material, that's not going to be thick enough to fully support those stresses.

      4. R Soul Silver badge

        I call it criminally reckless

        I was struck by one remark during the coastguard press conference yesterday. They said they'd started search and rescue efforts before having contingency plans and recovery arrangements worked out for their ROVs and people. If the professionals hadn't done that, it's almost certain OceanGate had put none of these precautions in place before Titan went diving with paying self-loading freight on board. It seems OceanGate didn't have the equipment to track Titan or rescue its occupants. That kit would have been mandatory for commercial deep diving operations on oil pipelines, drilling platforms, etc. Not that any of that could have made a difference after a catastrophic failure of the pressure vessel at 1500m+ under the surface.

      5. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

        Re: A fitting epitaph

        "if you just want to be safe, don't get out of bed. Don't get in your car. Don't do anything," Rush told Pogue.

        Many years ago my brother made this exact argument "getting out of bed is unsafe" to his wife. She was unimpressed by the logic. Men not only discount the risks in adventure scenarios, they are fatally attracted to them. _In the moment_ I tend to act just like my brother did. As a counter to this known tendency, I give extra weight to a woman's voice of caution.

        "But where Cristina understands the difference between calculated and foolhardy risk, Gabriel operates without filter or boundaries. As they begin to quarrel, they mark out the difference between adventure and the kind of careless folly that endangers others as well as the self."

        https://www.npr.org/2018/06/14/619515077/gabriel-and-the-mountain-explores-how-a-young-man-died-and-how-he-lived

  2. Andy Non Silver badge

    "craft's carbon fiber hull"

    Surprised by that, I imagined it to be made of very thick high grade steel. Sounds like they haven't been checking it regularly for stress damage either. Took one chance/dive too many. The pressure at ~2 miles down must be colossal.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

      I wonder if they'd ever heard of the de Havilland Comet...

      1. Martin Gregorie

        Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

        That's not really relevant. The Comet fuselage was an alloy structure that failed from metal fatigue at a stress concentration caused by using sharp corners for windows in the pressurised cabin.

        Carbon composites don't fail that way: they tend to fail by being overstressed and/or by impact cracking rather than by fatigue cracks.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

          I think A non was referring to the Comet structural failure being a result of the repeated cycle of pressure load/unload eventually overstressing the weak point in the design.

          The original Comet as built was perfectly safe for the first few hundred flights, after that it was only a matter of time.

          1. jgarbo

            Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

            Right. The "square windows" factor was minor. The failures were mainly due to metal fatigue. Remember, this a kind of "prototype" in aviation. By the time the problems were fixed the Comet had lost to Boeing.

          2. Martin Gregorie

            Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

            Fair comment: I grew up hearing about the square windows, when the reality was that the crack propagated from a bolt hole, helped on its way by the alloy skin sheeting not being thick enough to prevent it tearing.

            If you want some lighter reading after all this doom & destruction, try reading "No Highway" by Neville Shute, a novel about airliner crashes caused by metal fatigue and, intriguingly, published about a year before the Comet airliner's first flight, and still a pretty good read.

            If you like that, yo mat also like 'Slide-rule', which covers Nevile Shute's life from pre WW1 to 1938, when he emigrated to Australia and became a full-time author. Beterrn1920 to 1938 he worked for De Havilland, Vickers and Airspeed as both engineer and manager, and was involved with both aircraft and airships.

          3. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

            Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

            As did the Aloha Airlines...727?

            Many more frequent pressure cycles than the inspection schedule was designed for., IIRC.

        2. t245t Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

          @Martin Gregorie: “The Comet fuselage .. failed .. caused by using sharp corners for windows”

          one myth that arose was that the Comets crashed because they had square windows instead of round.

          1. hh121

            Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

            I was De Havilland and Nimrod adjacent a long long time ago, and one of the things I heard was that the problem on the Comet was that the pressure testing of the hull didn't do the whole thing in one go, it was done in sections (cheaper natch), and the failure was at the join of one of those sections.

            Once they figured it out, pressure tested it properly (all at once) and resolved any issues it was fine, but by that point no one was going to buy or get in a Comet as a commercial flight. I may be misremembering it, or it's another urban myth I've inadvertantly picked up along the way...that and the Concordski crash reasons.

            It does have echoes for this incident though in the testing situation

            The Nimrod flew a very long time, way longer than you would have expected a design of that vintage. The issue there i heard was feature creep (needs a bigger radar, which needs bigger bird strike shields, which needs bigger radar to punch through it...and so on) till it got to the mk3 and beyond, collapsed under its own budgetary weight and they bought Awacs instead. Still a good reliable airframe though.

            1. phuzz Silver badge

              Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

              The Nimrod flew a very long time, way longer than you would have expected a design of that vintage.

              The B52 and TU-95 both first flew in 1952, and they're still in service.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

              Not so. They realised during design that none of the existing pressure test rigs could test the whole thing with air pressure right from the beginning, so they used special tank which could test the whole thing in water, that was used right from the first prototypes.

              There were several linked causes, the skin was slightly too thin to cope with the expected number of pressurisation cycles, the bracing spars were too weak to halt a tear when it started to spread, and there were some issues with the riveting and bonding used. All were easily fixed, but by then Boeing had larger jet aircraft ready. The later Comets were safe and popular, but the commercial advantage had been lost.

              It was cutting edge technology, Boeing and Lockheed designers have said that if they'd been first on the market, they would have been the ones to have the problems.

            3. David Hicklin Bronze badge

              Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

              "collapsed under its own budgetary weight"

              Have an upvote for that

      2. Anonymous Anti-ANC South African Coward Bronze badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

        Petter from Mentour Pilot did an excellent review (from a pilot's perspective) on the Comet.

        https://youtu.be/-DjnG74DDno

      3. Anonymous Anti-ANC South African Coward Bronze badge

        Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

        I have to assume that fatigue failures from an IMplosion (this submersible) have different failure patterns than fatigue failures from an EXplosion (the de Havilland Comet).

        Can anybody confirm?

        For me the De Havilland Comet still looks the best of them all, but I will not fly in one for obvious reasons.

        1. hh121

          Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

          Not my point, but to yours - as far as i know it was metal fatigue from the repeated compression decompression, then yes, it exploded rather than imploded. Or just broke up in flight which is just as bad. But they didn't find it because of the testing regime missing it. Didn't help that the Comet was the first of it's kind.

          In the sub's case it sounds like a combo of that plus water ingress / unsuitable materials.

          Shall we bring in Apollo 13 for another tangent with no pressure at all?

          1. Anonymous Anti-ANC South African Coward Bronze badge

            Apollo 13 - "Moonwreck"

            Shall we bring in Apollo 13 for another tangent with no pressure at all?

            I have read the book "Moonwreck" by Henry SF Cooper JR, and there were a couple of things that stood out to me :

            - Teamwork

            - Constant communications

            - Trained people knowing what they are doing

            - A long line of previous test flights, along with the experience of What Not To Do. (Same with SpaceX, they started out from scratch, and learnt along the way What Not To Do).

            This incident actually prompted them to improve safety on the Apollo programs.

            The forces exerted on the [pressure] vessels in space is not as high as those exerted on [pressure] vessels such as submarines, bathyscapes etc diving deep into the ocean.

            Plus it is fairly easy to plug a leak in space once you managed to find it.

            The other thing that I'm thinking of now is that every time they have sent up a new Apollo mission, everything was new, and nothing was re-used.

            Only with the entrance of the Space Shuttle did they start to re-use the Space Shuttle.

            And now SpaceX is also starting to re-use rocket stages etc.

            But in general, going into space is not the same as going deep down into the ocean, except with the former you've got a big-ass blowtorch with lots of propellant behind you, and the latter you've got extreme pressures and nowhere to run.

        2. blackcat Silver badge

          Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

          An aircraft skin is primarily under tension so failures are tears usually at stress points.

          A sub hull is under compression and the failure method is more likely to be a bucking type failure.

          A bicycle wheel spoke is a good example. They are very strong in tension but can only take a very small compressive load before they buckle.

      4. GruntyMcPugh

        Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

        My wife and I were discussing this last night (she has a bit of a morbid fear of submarines, I tried to get her in one once on holiday, and it was a firm no) and I mentioned the Comet and repeated stress as a possible cause of failure.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

      Several thousands pounds per sq inch starting at just 3000ft. It just goes up almost exponentially from there.

      1. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Silver badge

        Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

        "Several thousands pounds per sq inch starting at just 3000ft. It just goes up almost exponentially from there."

        Not at all. The pressure increases linearly with depth, it's not exponential. Roughly one atmosphere for every 10 metres. At 3000ft, that's about 1350psi.

        A column of water just 10m high weighs about the same as a column of the atmosphere all the way up.

        1. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

          My bad. Thanks.

          I was just ball parking it. Have my upvote.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

        a good ballpark value to use for depth pressure is 1 psi for every 2 feet of depth

        (from a former submariner)

        think "weight of the column of water above you"

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

          Respect to you - I would not go near anything that would close me in that then also goes underwater.

          In metric that comes to about 1 bar/10m depth which roughly equates to *way* to much for me to go anywhere near. I already cringe when I see someone walk into a shipping container, and that doesn't (normally) go underwater..

      3. very angry man

        Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

        No divers here obviously!

        Water pressure double's at 1thats one metre and every metre after that. YOU are a numbers guy, the wreck sits at almost 4 that's four thousand metres, compound interest eat your heart out

        1. ibmalone

          Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

          No divers here obviously!

          Diver or not, just is just wrong. Pressure is (perpendicular) force divided by area, when dealing with water pressure that force is the weight of the water above you. For largely incompressible fluids like water, for whatever area you want to look at (square metres, square feet, square cubits), the column above it weights g * density * area * depth, divide by area and you get pressure = g * density * depth. (g is acceleration due to gravity in whatever your preferred units are.) This is also why one unit of pressure is mm/Hg (millimetres mercury), the pressure of that equivalent depth of mercury, this wouldn't work if it was exponential.

          For gases the situation is different, density varies with pressure, so every metre down the weight of the gas you just passed is higher than that of the metre above it, making pressure with depth exponential (provided temperature is uniform and the gas obeys Boyle's law, neither of which has to be true in all situations).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

          OK, I'm puzzled. How did you get to that idea that water pressure doubles every meter? That's so far off basic physics that it baffles me you can even think this.

          1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

            Yeah, it's linear. 1 atm for each 10m IIRC from scuba class

            1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
              Alert

              Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

              Now, the following post is bordering on acceptability for this particular thread, otherwise, when discussing water pressure, one should remember...

              https://www.theregister.com/Design/page/reg-standards-converter.html

              As there is no Reg unit of Pressure, first derive it from SI units. 1 Pascal (Pa) = 1N/1m2

              Pressure = Force/Area,

              Force - 1 Newton (SI) = 0.01 Norris (Reg),

              Area - 1 m2 = 0.0481 NanoWales (Reg)

              Pressure = 1 Pa (SI) , 1 N/m2 (SI) = 0.2079 Norris/NanoWales (Reg)

              1atm = 101325 Pa = 21065 Norris/NanoWales

              10m (SI) = 71.42 Linguine (reg)

              1 atm for each 10m (SI) = 21065 Norris/NanoWales for each 71.42 Linguine (reg)

              1. jake Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

                Pat yourself on the back ... you managed to make me snort water out my nose. Rare, that.

                The wife and I are switching to beer (on your advice). Next round's on me.

                1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
                  Happy

                  Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

                  Cheers

    3. Macs1000

      Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

      The pressure at 3800 metres (the depth of the Titanic) is about 5500 psi, or 2.5 tons per sq.in. If my arithmetic is correct, (and it may not be) then the force acting on each titanium end section would be about 19,600 tons, and the force acting on any side of the cylindrical section (although having to guesstimate its actual length) would be about 26,000 tons. I find it hard to understand how any sane person with even an inkling of these sort of figures would contemplate climbing into such a contraption.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

        oompressive stress is a bit easier to deal with than tensile (ripping apart) stress.. This is one of the principles behind pre-stressing structures.

        However, you get certain areas that still have tensile stress on them, and this is where failures happen.

        * bending inwards of unsupported surface sections

        * telescopic compression [most likely this happened]

        * seams for things like hatches and cables.

        The design has to be a compromise between weight and bouyancy, where you can drop weights to surface in an emergency.

        If I might predict what happened, it was a telescopic compression of the 'people tank', starting at a point of stress that had been cycled too many times going to and from the Titanic wreck.

        And it would have been rapid, quite possibly causing a diesel explosion of everything organic that was inside - plastic, paint, people, ...

        Probably the window and nose cone were found intact for this reason. But the carbon fiber stuff would have shattered. [In the case of a metal sub hull, it would look a bit like a beer can that you stomped on the top of to flatten it)

        A readup on the USS Scorpion and USS Thresher accidents might give a perspective on what happens at crush depth...

        1. Spazturtle Silver badge

          Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

          "oompressive stress is a bit easier to deal with than tensile (ripping apart) stress.."

          Other way around for carbon fibre, it is much weaker in compression.

        2. ITMA Silver badge

          Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

          "If I might predict what happened, it was a telescopic compression of the 'people tank', starting at a point of stress that had been cycled too many times going to and from the Titanic wreck."

          So essentially you are saying that the weak point (possibly where the repair was done) buckled slightly. That then effectively crippled the longitudinal structural strength of the cylinder and the sea crushed it in a fraction of a second.

          A bit like, if you are careful, you can stand on an empty Coke can stood on its end. Put a very slight dent in the side and try the same thing and it will collapse.

          At over 3,000m the carbon fibre "can" didn't so much collapse - it was more like putting an empty Coke can (with a slight dent in the side) standing on its end and letting some giant (the Atlantic Ocean) stamp on it hard.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

            "it was more like putting an empty Coke can (with a slight dent in the side) standing on its end and letting some giant (the Atlantic Ocean) stamp on it hard."

            If you have a sense of balance, you can attempt a closer demonstration of the concept. Simply balance with your heel on the can (minimizes foot damage), Note that the can will support your weight easily, for as long as you ask it to. Then reach down and tap opposite sides of the can simultaneously. Make sure your fingers "bounce" off the can unless you want to risk landing on them. It will instantly collapse straight down, assuming your finger taps are simultaneous and roughly equal in force. The sub in question collapsed just like that, but much faster.

            I just did this for the first time since highschool, 50ish years ago. My wife thinks I'm nuts ... She's probably right. Didn't stop her from trying it too, though.

            1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

              My wife thinks I'm nuts ... She's probably right. Didn't stop her from trying it too, though.

              Your wife thinks you're nuts ... She's probably right. Didn't stop her from marrying you, though.

              icon: buy her a beer

    4. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

      It's easy to work out. One cubic metre of water weighs one tonne. At 4,000 metres or so, that's 4,000 cubic metres of water above every square metre of surface, or 4,000 tonnes per square metre of pressure. The average human has a surface area of about 1.8 square metres, assuming that half of that area is pointing up, and half down (which it will be, once the pressure has flattened you), then that's about 3,600 tonnes on top of you, or about 500 fully grown bull elephants.

    5. IncreasinglyDisaffected

      Re: "craft's carbon fiber hull"

      Indeed.

      One atmosphere of pressure every 10 meters down (call it 33 feet). 13800 feet / 33 of 'em = 418 ATM pressure.

      418 ATM * 14.7 PSI ~= 6200 PSI.

  3. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

    Hubris: https://youtu.be/4dka29FSZac

    Two things that struck me. Firstly, it's billionaires paying $250,000 each to look at the grave of 1,200 people that died in a tragedy.

    Secondly, the amount of effort to rescue 5 people who chose to put themselves in danger for fun, versus so few shits given about the 600 people that drowned in the Mediterranean trying to get to a better life.

    1. sarusa Silver badge

      Yeah, there should have been no rescue efforts at all - seriously. Those are just the government doing unnecessary safety meddling in the industry with taxpayer money. 'Pure waste!' as he put it.

      But I'm glad they at least sent down a remote drone or two at the site so we actually know what happened to these fools.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Yeah, there should have been no rescue efforts at all - seriously

        No. I am OK with the effort to try and rescue people in need - even just as a more realistic exercise (and as for money, I think the company would have faced a massive bill if they had survived it). I just wish as much energy and collaboration was expended to the less fortunate.

        If we start being selective about who we rescue it becomes an even more slippery slope than it is already. In certain 'enlightened' countries we already have hospital emergency service first checking out your insurance which is IMHO inhumane.

        1. sarusa Silver badge

          That was just sarcasm, from the CEO's very aggressive comments before this happened.

          But I really should have put a /s on it, because in the era of Trump and Johnson there is no such thing as too stupid to be serious.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Especially when you specify "- seriously"...

            1. sarusa Silver badge

              seriously

              The CEO looks at you and very seriously nods and explains how safety concerns are completely overblown. Seriously.

      2. rg287 Silver badge

        Yeah, there should have been no rescue efforts at all - seriously. Those are just the government doing unnecessary safety meddling in the industry with taxpayer money. 'Pure waste!' as he put it.

        No no, anyone in nautical distress should have a reasonable expectation of receiving at least a best-effort attempt at rescue. That's a long-standing law of the sea.

        What this has highlighted of course is how the "impossible" situation of stopping migrants drowning in their thousands is nothing more than a policy decision - because there's plenty of resource when there's a political/media will to stage a large scale search (and - if it hadn't imploded - "daring rescue") when its a handful of millionaires on their holidays.

        I do agree with the sentiment in so much as there's been some fawning over these "brave explorers".

        They're not explorers, nor adventurers. They're disaster tourists, rubbernecking a mass grave which has been extensively profiled and documented by far better hardware than they had. The billionaire amongst them probably spent more money vetting their chauffeur than they did on due diligence into the company selling sub rides in an experimental harbor-freight special. He could easily have afforded to charter DSV Limiting Factor, or even commissioned an Alvin-class sub from Triton.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They are there to see what happened to the hull, not rescue them, unless they were floatimg on the surface.

      The military has ships and men with nothing to actually do except wait until they are needed. These are all exercises.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Alert

      the amount of effort to rescue 5 people

      Well, it's sort of "the rule of the sea" to rescue and provide aid to those who need it out on the ocean. Fortunately does not happen often.

      The ocean is very large and in the middle of it you are very, very alone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Fortunately does not happen often" not counting "the 600 people that drowned in the Mediterranean trying to get to a better life"?

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Certainly agree about the hubris. However, the remark about the search and rescue effort in comparison to that of refugees is incorrect. Search and rescue is for everyone, including billionaires, and for a submersible with an oxygen supply the survival window is longer than for anyone in open sea.

      The politics behind the way many countries deal with this kind of migration is contentious and evolving and possibly not in a good way. The coastguards of many countries are constantly involved in rescue activities related to refugees attempting to cross territorial waters, technically illegally. They simply can't be everywhere at once.

    5. SundogUK Silver badge

      I'm genuinely curious. What should we have done about the 600?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Shoot the people who take their money and put them on boats.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        At one point they were under tow from the Greek coastguard, despite fears this would capsize them. Once clear of Greek waters, the coastguard just abandoned them to make their way to Italy. The ship's propulsion failed then they were left to drift until the boat capsized and sank, with both the Greek and Italian authorities claiming that the ship was moving under its own power. It subsequently was admitted they knew it was without power as someone on board had a satellite phone and told them so. No efforts were made by the authorities of either Italy or Greece to rescue the survivors for many hours, although some merchant ships did their best to help.

      3. Barry Mahon

        If I recall, many of the 600 were from Egypt, were they not?

        Egypt has now got a military government, hasn't it? It may not be actual soldiers, but permitted by......

        What is their beef? I don't recall many were attacked and killed by the ruler, like the UK trained medic did.

        It is a political mess, nothing new there, the UK has had three PMs.....

        So, what to do? Stop treating the likes of Egypt and many other countries in that corner of the world as 'friends' and, much more important, stop providing them with arms.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @sundog "What should we have done about the 600?"

        That question says more about the person asking it.

        You're not one of those foaming gammon who advocates machine gunning civilians are you, Hmm?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Titanium and compression cycles

    According to the India Times (used a reference because it is not pay walled, I don't know where they stole it from) --

    Setting it apart from typical submersibles, the Titan's passenger hull is a combination of carbon fiber and titanium. This innovative blend renders the craft significantly lighter than those primarily made of steel or titanium, a lightweight and strong metal.

    An interesting undated Quora Post with author listed as Olan Prentice, (US Veteran,Wall Street SVP, Author, Naval Warfare Specialist), writing about the US response to the Titanium hulled Russian submarine model "Alfa" in the 70's-80's --

    Anyway, some tests were performed to mimic the behavior of the Alfa’s hull at depth. What they found was that the remarkable, ground breaking titanium hull had a huge drawback. Where American subs used high quality steel and could compress and recover due to the elasticity of the steel…the titanium hulls compressed and did not recover to the same degree. So, this high tech, super fast sub had a very limited number of dives it could perform before the hull would compress to the point of compromise. The US decided to stick with the steel design and that has proven to be a winning strategy.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Titanium and compression cycles

      So, once again it's a question of someone who didn't do his homework.

      Well, I'm glad that, in this case, he was on site to see the results.

      Yes, it's nasty to say that, but he is at least guilty of manslaughter by prioritizing profit negligence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Titanium and compression cycles

        Instant death without any time to reconsider one's motivations or ideology was hardly just punishment for negligent murder or manslaughter. True justice would have Rush being dragged through years of civil and criminal litigation, during which his thoughtless arrogance would have been exposed, followed by bankruptcy and the ridicule of his peers. He should have died a broken man, and gone to his grave knowing his name became another byword for idiotic hubris.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Titanium and compression cycles

          "True justice would have Rush being dragged through years of civil and criminal litigation, during which his thoughtless arrogance would have been exposed, followed by bankruptcy and the ridicule of his peers. "

          You do appear to be a rather unhappy character don't you. That level of vitriol appears completely disproportionate to the actual events.

          Informed individuals bought tickets for an inherently risky trip which ended tragically.

          The craft had previously made multiple successful voyages, nevertheless the individuals were made fully aware of the risks but chose of their own volition to go.

          They all had big boy trousers on and made their decisions.

          As for how it ended? Long slow journey to suffocation or instant annillation? I know which I would choose.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: Titanium and compression cycles

            One of the guys bought a ticket for his son to come along, too. The son may have been old enough to assess the risks for himself, but I bet it was actually just a case of trusting dad.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Titanium and compression cycles

              As you concede, the son was an adult, capable in the eyes of the law of making his own decisions. The rest is just conjecture based on your world view.

              The only people likely to know the truth will be the two of them and their immediate family who now need to grieve and come to terms with the extent of any familial influence and the subsequent loss.

              Some of the misinformed speculation and vindictive views on these threads is truly shocking given the fact that the trips have been on going for some years and are clearly legal.

              The fact that multiple 'experts' are now given media time to express their views is not at all surprising however it is a fact that risk assessment (at least) in the eyes of UK law is not a hard and fast rule, it is a process with an expectation to follow recognised and specific best practice or guidance. If those best practices / guidance are not in place then where is the fault? There is a fundamental expectation however, you are responsible for your own safety by the decisions you make. If you don't think it's safe, don't do it.

              I see it as highly significant that the pilot, who had a long and distinguished career in submersible exploration and with first hand knowledge of the company design / testing / procedures chose to work with them despite this perceived cowboy attitude towards safety.

              There are a number of commentards here who really should think a little more before they engage keyboard warrior mode and vent their spleen on emotive subjects.

    2. Phil Kingston

      Re: Titanium and compression cycles

      "Significantly lighter" forgive me, but is weight really much of a concern on something designed to sink? I mean I guess it possibly increases the hard bit of getting it back to surface. But also surely needs less ballast?

      1. GloriousVictoryForThePeople

        Re: Titanium and compression cycles

        You have to lift it out of the water and ship and truck it around, so weight in air is a big issue.

        In water you still have 100% of the mass, to accelerate and slow using battery power, and when manouvering around a wreck.

        So,it is indeed a big issue.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: Titanium and compression cycles

          To put it another way, The extra weight of a traditional design hull costs money, it may have needed bigger batteries, motors, mother ship etc.

          Bean counters understand the extra money, they don't understand structural stress cycles.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Titanium and compression cycles

            Alvin weighed 17 ton. It would not be an insignificant problem to get that on and off a ship in the middle of the ocean. It had a special wet dock support vessel (Lulu) to transport it.

            Money is far from the main advantage.

      2. Orv Silver badge

        Re: Titanium and compression cycles

        His stated reason was that it made the sub more maneuverable. Alvin had to include substantial amounts of structural foam to give it enough buoyancy; that stuff makes it lighter in water but still adds inertia when you're trying to maneuver. OTOH no one's ever been killed on a Alvin dive so in hindsight this seems like a bad tradeoff.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Titanium and compression cycles

      Titanium, like Aluminium, tends to be more crystalline than steel, making it liable to fatigue. However, production methods have changed significantly since the 1970s with this knowledge, which is why we now see both metals (well alloys of both) used in cases where their liability to fatigue would previously have ruled them out.

      We've got much less experience with carbon fibre, more specifically the bonding materials used, but I'd have my money on the seams between materials. At these kind of pressures, miniscule differences in the ways materials respond could rip seams apart, which is why you still see rivets instead of welds in many pressure vessels.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Titanium and compression cycles

        There wasn't anything innate wrong with using titanium and carbon fiber or other experimental materials in an experimental craft. But Titan was used as a commercial craft carrying paying customers, legal waivers be damned. The design should have tested to beyond 4000m depth for additional safety margin, and instrumented to determine well ahead of time if micro fractures developed in the materials. But all that would have taken time and money, which is against the tech bro fail fast, fail often ethos.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Titanium and compression cycles

          I agree entirely and I suspect the search and rescue operation is intended to be forensic enough to provide a framework for the licensing of similar future ventures.

      2. a_yank_lurker

        Re: Titanium and compression cycles

        Steel is rather crystalline, in fact steel is a body-centered cubic crystal, aluminum and many titanium alloys are face-centered cubic crystals. That accounts for their different fatigue and ductile-brittle transition vs temperature behavior.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Titanium and compression cycles

          Thanks

    4. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Titanium and compression cycles

      Much (Ti alloy) metallurgy was learned since the 70s and 80s and such limitations have largely been overcome. DSV Limiting Factor for instance (which represents pretty much the pinnacle of current deep submergence vessel design) also has a titanium pressure sphere and is rated for repeated diving to approx. 11km (full ocean depth as far as we currently know, design depth 14km for safety factor).

      The titanium isn't the unknown here. It's the CFRP, as it's application in high compression pressure vessels isn't well researched or understood. Applications for high internal (tension) pressure tanks, even at cryogenic temperatures is much better understood nowadays. To the point we might be able to build an X-33/Venture Star type SSTO. High compression still requires far more research to quantify the problems and dangers. Most "traditional" calculations for the pressure hull of Titan would have said it needed an 8 inch thick wall, not the 5 inch it actually had. So there's already a mismatch there.

  5. sarusa Silver badge
    FAIL

    'Debris Field'

    Can we just call it a 'Hubris Field'?

    Well I'm glad we at least have some closure on this and know what happened to those idiots. Or at least the one titanic (har) idiot and his four victims.

  6. ShingleStreet

    Shoddy risk-management

    An experimental hull design in 400 atmospheres of pressure.

    A “preventative” control (deep analysis of the carbon fibre) was dismissed, along with its proposer.

    A “detective” control (acoustic monitoring and alerting) was somehow thought to suffice.

    What use is it to get an alert immediately before an implosion, when there is no way of doing anything about it?

    Lost for words…

    This event will be cited in risk management training for years to come.

    My sympathies to those who have lost these friends and loved ones.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Shoddy risk-management

      This event will be cited in risk management training for years to come.

      ..and ignored like the thousands of other examples, because... same old, same old.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    AP news

    At one point, Rush took a one-third scale prototype of the Titan’s hull to a lab at the University of Washington where he could test it under extreme pressure to see how much it could stand. The testing could only be done at night, with other people gone, and when the hull finally imploded it shook the building and blew out the lab’s pressure sensors, which Rush had to replace, he said.

    But, the test validated OceanGate’s approach to detect flaws in the hull by using sensitive acoustic monitoring that could detect crackles and pops as it strained under pressure, Rush said. The Titan has a 5-inch-thick (12.7-centimeter-thick) carbon-fiber hull designed to descend 4,000 meters.

    Not everyone agreed with that approach. David Lochridge, OceanGate’s director of marine operations, wrote in a 2018 lawsuit that it could subject passengers to “potential extreme danger.”

    “This type of acoustic analysis would only show when a component is about to fail — often milliseconds before an implosion — and would not detect any existing flaws prior to putting pressure onto the hull,” his wrongful termination claim said.

    However, the company said Lochridge “is not an engineer and was not hired or asked to perform engineering services on the Titan.”

    Rush described at the Seattle tech conference the unnerving experience of taking a prototype down to 4,000 meters, only to have it prove unsound via acoustic monitoring. After a second attempt the company scrapped the prototype constructed by a marine manufacturer and built another with an aerospace supplier.

    1. sarusa Silver badge

      Re: AP news

      Even worse (?), the front window was only designed for 1300 meters. The Titanic is at 4000 meters. The company that made the window offered to make them one specced for 4000 meters, but Rush told them to sod off.

      I am truly morbidly curious whether the hull or the window failed first.

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

        Re: AP news

        The El Reg article says the nose cone (& tail) has been found, so my £0.02 is on it being the main titaniium/carbon fibre body that failed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: AP news

          "Throw in your tuppence" sounds so much better. Although it's actually 7.2 old pence, so sixpence would be closer.

          1. jake Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: AP news

            Except the word "tuppence", going back to at least the mid 1400s, was old long before New Money was a concept.

            Tuppence is 2 old pence, or roughly 0.83 new pence.

            Taking into account inflation that's a few quid, innit, so we may as well get another round in :-)

            1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

              Re: AP news

              In my defense, I always remember the phrase being "two pennies worth". I have no idea what type of penny it referes to. Writing it down as £0.02 is just a minor nerd/geek pun.

              1. TimMaher Silver badge
                Windows

                Re: Two pennies

                Don’t forget the tuppenny bit.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: AP news

        The window was certified for 1300m

        It was thetefore designed for twice that at a minimum.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: AP news

          Yes, but it's exponentially more likely to fail the deeper it goes past certified depth, eventual failure is a certainty.

          1,300m - thousands of cycles, 4,000m maybe in the dozens?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: AP news

          If that was true, 3800 - (2 * 1300) = at least 1200 more meters still needed

        3. Orv Silver badge

          Re: AP news

          Sorry, but no. That safety factor is there to deal with undetected manufacturing flaws and other unknown issues. You don't get to infringe on it routinely.

    2. nautica Silver badge

      Re: AP news

      "...carbon-fiber hull designed to descend 4,000 meters..."

      ...have read elsewhere that Rush said that. Putting aside all the other questionable aspects of this submersible's design, consider this one statement by Rush, and then consider what is generally accepted as good engineering practice---

      The Titanic is >3800 m deep (3810, to be more precise, using the commonly-accepted figure of 12 500 feet.).

      Fledgling engineers are taught at University to design non-life-critical systems to 20% over expected maximums; life-critical: 100% over.

      "Doesn't Matter" design: 3810 m + 20% = 4572 meters.

      "Life-Critical" design: 3810 m + 100% = 7620 meters.

      This guy Rush obviously got his engineering skills and expertise at the same place as Elon Musk. Have not heard what Rush's academic achievements were, but no matter; one should always remember what Richard Feynman (somewhat) said about expertise:

      "Never confuse education with intelligence. You can have a PhD and still be an idiot."

      1. jgarbo

        Re: AP news

        Musk has a degree in physics but he hires the best engineers for his projects. Who else can return a rocket to its launch pad?

        1. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

          Re: AP news

          Interestingly, Muskc has an *Arts* degree in physics, not a Science one.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AP news

            Not sure what the traditions are at Commonwealth institutions but in the USA many liberal arts institutions award the Bachelor of Arts in Physics and other sciences. My degree was a BA and I had the usual curriculum of classical mechanics and E&M, quantum mechanics up to intro to field theory, and electives in special topics such as condensed matter, astrophysics, etc. In the process I also fulfilled the requirements for the Applied Maths degree, but the snooty mathematicians granted a Bachelors in Science for that.

            In Isaac Asimov's autobiography he complained that Columbia granted him a BS not a BA, partly due to anti-Semitism rampant in the Ivy Leagues at that time. While the distinction has largely disappeared in the USA, in some circles the BS is still considered déclassé.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: AP news

              "in some circles the BS is still considered déclassé."

              Most intelligent people have downgraded their opinion of those circles.

            2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: AP news

              BS in Computer Systems Engineering here...about as déclassé as you can get. It's a real conversation stopper at parties.

              1. TimMaher Silver badge
                Headmaster

                Re: BS

                I take it we are referring to a Batchelor of Science? Not the other BS used by the PR people and C-suiters?

        2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

          Re: AP news

          If he had a PhD or even a Masters degree, I might give him some credit for it, but any undergraduate degree, even one in a "hard" subject such as the physical sciences, is an exercise in retaining and regurgitating information, and not really in applying it in any way (beyond maybe some "practical" labs where you follow a set series of instructions).

          I can say this as someone who has physical sciences degrees from a decent university.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: AP news

            This is simply not true at more "decent" universities. A lot depends on the student and certainly some drift or grift their way through undergraduate, but the serious ones will work in labs and take summer internships. I learned to program data analysis in C and Fortran, and construct and test instrumentation for the muon drift tube detectors used in a now retired particle accelerator.

            As for what Musk learned as an undergrad, I have no idea since he wasn't a classmate.

          2. Robert 22

            Re: AP news

            Physics problems do tend to require at least some understanding. Certainly, the ones I recall mostly couldn't be solved by plugging numbers into an equation.Often there would be several possible approaches and one of them would be a lot more straightforward than the others.

          3. WolfFan

            Re: AP news

            It has been 40 years since I graduated, but I had quite a lot of work which was NOT exercises in retaining and regurgitating information. Among other things, I built a computer using breadboard and wirewrap tools. Everything went in by hand, and the instructions were deliberately vague... and misleading. And then I had to program the thing. In TI 9900 machine code, using the console. By the end of the semester, I had it talking to a keyboard and a monitor and had a primitive version of Trek (done in assembly) running. (I leaned on things a little so that the Klingons were tougher than on versions elsewhere.) I was working on a version where users could play as Klingon or Romulan ships, complete with cloaking devices, the better to thump arrogant Feddies. Aiming torpedoes was still a pain, though. If I had had the time I would have addressed that.

            Ah, well, not even Bill Cosby at his most popular could sell TI 99 computers, so I never tried to see if it could be salable... or even if Paramount wouldn't have a fit if they ever found out about it.

            Then there was Electromechanical Devices, involving surplus US Army Signal Corps transformers. Certain others didn't pay enough attention and discovered what a spark gap was, complete with vaporized copper leads. Despite the TA having told everyone the first day about the time someone caused an electrical fire. (I did well enough in that class that I got to be the TA my last year at uni. I much preferred it to my previous on-campus job, in the main dining hall. Even if some students were actively suicidal.)

            Lots more.

            Now, the Arts and Parties classes which I had to take in addition to actual engineering and science classes, _they_ were exercises in retaining and regurgitating data. And writing papers. Lots of papers. Most engineers could do most Arts classes without significant problems, but Arts students would have major problems with technical subjects. Which is one reason why I ended up with a BSEE and a BAHIST, in five years.

        3. nautica Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: AP news

          "Musk has a degree in physics but he hires the best engineers for his projects. Who else can return a rocket to its launch pad?"

          Interesting triple comment in praise of Elon Musk.

          All I said was, "This guy Rush obviously got his engineering skills and expertise at the same place as Elon Musk." Please accept my deepest apologies if you misunderstood, as it appears that you may think I was impugning the scholastic accomplishments of Mr Musk.

          Since this is your answer (or three; no deflection intended, I'm sure), it has not escaped our attention that you left out--to the detriment of Mr Musk, and quite unintentionally, I'm certain--some very important details (as happens quite often when Musk's personal claims of engineering expertise are questioned); you, obviously, are imminently qualified to rectify this situation, as the rapidity and certainty of your answer indicates that you will have no problem answering these very simple questions:

          1. Where, exactly did Mr. Musk receive his degree, or degrees?

          2. What degree(s), exactly (BSECE, MSPhys, etc) did Mr Musk receive?

          3. When did Mr Musk receive his degree(s)?

          Your help in shedding light on Mr Musk's scholarly achievements will be deeply appreciated.

          1. nautica Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: AP news

            It has now been two days since this comment was posted, and there have been not only no enlightening rejoinders or confirming information, but there have been no--as in zero--down-votes; not--obviously--from the individual who informed us all that Mr Musk has a degree in Physics, nor from the seventeen people who up-voted him, thereby agreeing with him.

            It is safe to assume that any statement--by anyone, including Mr Musk--to the effect that Mr Musk has an engineering or scientific degree from a reputable institution is a risible position to take, and doing so should not be done lightly...if at all.

      2. R Soul Silver badge

        Re: AP news

        One of Feynman's comments on the Challenger disaster - an event that has uncanny parallels with what happened to Titan - is also worth repeating here:

        For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled."

        1. Orv Silver badge

          Re: AP news

          An FAA publication on flight-testing homebuilt aircraft put it this way: "The laws of aerodynamics are unforgiving, and the ground is hard."

    3. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: AP news

      Interesting note: Tonight on the local news, both the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory and Boeing are denying having taken part in the Titan's design.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: AP news

        In Boeing's case that is clear from the number of successful dives it made already ...

        I predict that by this time tomorrow, no company designed it, no company manufactured any part of it, and the whole thing was the fault of the dead guys, and a mexican plumber called Juan who built the whole thing, and will be rightly punished by the full weight of the law. (c.f. Valujet)

        1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

          Re: AP news

          I expect Logitech to distance themselves from the project soon.

          It's not uncommon for manufacturers to prohibit applications involving life safety in their TOUs.

        2. nautica Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: AP news

          Every airplane mishap which kills the cockpit crew is due to "Pilot Error".

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: AP news

            Tell that to the surviving family members of Pan Am Flight 103, I dare you.

          2. ChoHag Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Re: AP news

            "Pilot Error" is only caused by inadequate instructions which don't take into account the possibility of pilot error. They fix those when they find them.

            "Pilot Error" is a way to identify a weak component in a system who's inherent flaws need to be accounted for. It's not there to punish humans for not being machines.

          3. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: AP news

            While there are a lot of accidents that are ultimately listed as "pilot error", there's usually a whole laundry list of "chain of events" identified that led to the cockpit crew making that error and subsequently fixed to prevent repeat accidents.It's rare for aircraft accident investigations to result in "Pilot error, unforced, totally stupid, nothing anyone could have done about it apart from the idiot pilot".

            1. Orv Silver badge

              Re: AP news

              That's something they really emphasize in flight training, that every accident is the result of a chain of events and you only have to interrupt one link in the chain to prevent it.

              About the only time you see "pilot error" with no caveats in an NTSB report is when the pilot does something completely inexplicable with an aircraft that's been shown to have been in perfectly airworthy condition. Even then there's likely to be a note about the training deficiencies that let someone like that take the controls.

          4. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: AP news

            In addendum to my other post, you might find this article interesting: https://www.flightsafetyaustralia.com/2017/05/the-myths-of-pilot-error/

  8. Gala

    Every death at sea is a tragedy, but I can't help comparing this to the probably more than 500 unnamed/unknown ones who ended up at a similar depth in the Med last week.

    And the amount of attention the media paid to each story.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The first coverage I saw all led with the important fact that it had a billionaire on board.

      What is surprising about that is that the media is full of left-leaning marxist luvvies, but they still think the most interesting thing by far, is how much money someone has.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        the media is full of left-leaning marxist luvvies

        You really don't see what more than half of the UK papers are like then?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Nope I really have never seen one, it's a 12000 mile walk in waders to get a UK paper from the 7/11.

      2. IGotOut Silver badge

        Yes, the Daily Mail (largest purchased Daily in UK) is known for its hard left policies.

        It hated the idea of Brexit, thinks immigration is fantastic, loves Muslims, thinks Boris Johnson is evil, the drug laws are to strict and doesn't think that people having equal rights is a silly idea.

      3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Yeah, yeah, that billionaire-owned media is DEFINITELY left-biased.

        If "leftist billionaire" isn't an oxymoron, nothing is.

        Pffft.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          @Elongated Muskrat

          "If "leftist billionaire" isn't an oxymoron, nothing is."

          Stalin

          1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            Re: @Elongated Muskrat

            Stalin was a dictator, and controlled the entire Soviet Union. Despite what you might think, this is not left-wing, but very-very right wing. Just because the Soviet Union started out with communist ideals, that doesn't mean they weren't subverted (See also :The Democratic People's republic of Korea is neither a democracy, nor a people's republic, and National Socialists weren't socialists). Read literally any book on the history of the Soviet Union, rather than trotting out bollocks like that.

            Stalin was just as right-wing as Trump, and the likes of Farage, and the likes of you.

            1. codejunky Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: @Elongated Muskrat

              @Elongated Muskrat

              "Stalin was a dictator"

              Yes. And seriously left wing.

              "Despite what you might think, this is not left-wing, but very-very right wing"

              This is a new one. I know the left likes to disavow the National Socialist Party of Germany but to now try to claim the Soviets as right wing? You guys like to try it on dont you.

              "Just because the Soviet Union started out with communist ideals, that doesn't mean they weren't subverted"

              Of course they were, just as every attempt at socialism has descended into the same fate. Just because far left ideology leads to an undesirable outcome does not mean it is magically right wing.

              "Read literally any book on the history of the Soviet Union, rather than trotting out bollocks like that."

              Yes it was socialist. You try reading?

              "Stalin was just as right-wing as Trump, and the likes of Farage, and the likes of you."

              Does that mean Trump and Farage are far left? Or that your version of right wing is 'stuff I dont like'?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Elongated Muskrat

                I know the left likes to disavow the National Socialist Party of Germany

                The notion that Nazi Germany was a left-wing government is a gross misinterpretation of history and a distortion of political ideologies.

                The Nazi regime, led by Adolf Hitler, was unequivocally right-wing and espoused extreme nationalist and fascist principles. Hitler himself vehemently rejected leftist ideologies and repeatedly denounced communism and socialism throughout his political career.

                The Nazi Party's fundamental ideology revolved around racial superiority, militarism, and authoritarianism, which are antithetical to the core tenets of left-wing politics.

                The economic policies implemented by the Nazi regime further highlight its right-wing nature. Rather than advocating for collective ownership or redistribution of wealth, the Nazis promoted a form of state capitalism where private ownership was preserved, but the government exerted extensive control over the economy. This approach aimed at consolidating power in the hands of the state, not empowering the working class or promoting social equality.

                The Nazis also established strong ties with big businesses and industrialists, allowing them to maintain their economic influence and privileges.

                Furthermore, the Nazi regime's persecution of left-wing groups and individuals is well-documented. The Nazis targeted and suppressed communists, socialists, trade unions, and other leftist organizations, viewing them as ideological rivals and threats to their authority. Left-wing leaders, intellectuals, and activists were systematically persecuted, imprisoned, or executed. The Night of the Long Knives in 1934, during which Hitler ordered the execution of several leaders of the paramilitary SA (which had a left-wing faction), demonstrated the Nazis' ruthless crackdown on potential left-wing opposition.

                Such actions are incongruous with the principles and actions of a left-wing government.

                Own your rightwing history. Do not deflect it on to other groups with your pseudo-intellectual flimflam.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: @Elongated Muskrat

                  @AC

                  "The notion that Nazi Germany was a left-wing government is a gross misinterpretation of history and a distortion of political ideologies."

                  Because state direction of the private sector, competing against the communist vote, in the National Socialist party with policies which UK Labour members align with (removing the Aryan race stuff) isnt left wing?

                  "The Nazi Party's fundamental ideology revolved around racial superiority, militarism, and authoritarianism, which are antithetical to the core tenets of left-wing politics."

                  You may want to come up with a new list. That fundamental ideology is the same as the glorious communist countries. Your description there works with the USSR which was of course left.

                  "Rather than advocating for collective ownership or redistribution of wealth, the Nazis promoted a form of state capitalism where private ownership was preserved, but the government exerted extensive control over the economy. This approach aimed at consolidating power in the hands of the state"

                  The outcome of the glorious socialist countries to hold extensive control over the economy. The state having extensive control of the private businesses. The USSR having a glorious example of wealth redistribution and collective ownership... not.

                  "Such actions are incongruous with the principles and actions of a left-wing government."

                  All of those persecutions/prosecutions, you could be talking about the USSR. See how close this is?

                  But back to the question you seemed to hide from- "I know the left likes to disavow the National Socialist Party of Germany but to now try to claim the Soviets as right wing?". Do you think the Soviets were right wing too?

                  1. imanidiot Silver badge

                    Re: @Elongated Muskrat

                    Just because the practical outcomes were very comparable doesn't mean that the ultimate underlying political drivers/world view were the same. Yes, the Nazi's were very much extreme right.

                    Stalinist USSR was very much left wing as it's flavour of authoritarianism was full state control and abollishment of pretty much all private ownership. Stalin believed all people belonged to the state and thus the state could dictate what they could do, think, say and/or own. Nazi's believed that only their particular view of "uber-mensch" deserved any freedom or ownership and it was therefor the states perogative to dictate what those other "untermensch" could do, think, say or/own. And since the individual "ubermensch" lived to ultimately serve the state it was thus their duty to serve the state however the state required it, and by that reason the state should have full rights to dictate what they could do. think, say and/or own. The underlying philosophies are very different. The outcome (total state control over the individual) are ultimately pretty much indistinguishable. However, Nazi-ism, if you were born into the right group at least, allowed some level of individualism and allowed individual endevours and competition, whereas Communism/Stalinism was/is far more stiffling as all people are the collective, belong to the state and are "equal" (some more equal than others ofcourse).

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @Elongated Muskrat

                    "Nazi are left wing" is just an alt.right/white-supremacist/holocaust-denier trope.

                    So use it at your reputational peril, pseudo-intellectual RWNJs.

            2. flayman

              Re: @Elongated Muskrat

              Dude, there is no left and there is no right. It's just a continuum. The extremes wrap around on each other. If we use the left/right convention however, historians are certainly going to call the Soviet Union and its rulers left wing. They will apply the same labels to North Korea, Vietnam, Venezuela, and every other nation that is still operating under Communist revolutionary ideology. You will find autocratic tendencies at either end.

              You've run out of arguments when you resort to insult.

            3. Robert 22

              Re: @Elongated Muskrat

              There is some truth in that. Communist theoreticians had assumed that the revolution would happen first in the most advanced countries. To get around the paradox of the revolution NOT happening in an advanced country, they had to do some improvising and invented a phase of "State Capitalism." Stalin's regime ruthlessly exploited the population and, with the gulags, basically reinvented slavery. And of course, an elite was needed to runt things.

        2. kat_bg

          Well, i would say that FoxNews, while owned by a billionaire in in now way left biased. But, regardless, any billionaire owned media is bad

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      The reason is very simple. Everybody loves gloating at the "stupid millionaires squandering millions on stupid pointless hobbies" getting killed in the process and that sort of news gets clicks. The whole "will they, won't they" thing keeps driving eyeballs to the news. Nobody gives a shit about the migrants/asylum seekers/fortune seekers* drowning in the Mediterranean. "Stupid poor people will do stupid poor people shit". Alternatively people don't want to be confronted with such news items. Thus there's far fewer news articles.

      The whole submarine thing also drove the news cycle for several days, while the sinking of the migrant boat mostly just resulted in a few singular news articles that people could ignore. Personally, I don't give a shit about either of these news items. If you don't want to drown, stay off the water. The sea is harsh and unforgiving.

      *pick according to political affiliation.

  9. FF22

    "These men were true explorers "

    Weird eupheism for "rich guys who had nothing better to do than waste obscene amounts of money on dangerous vanity trips, with no exploration value whatsoever". Not for mankind anyway.

    1. Phil Kingston

      Re: "These men were true explorers "

      I did read that they'd undergone some "training" so were "mission specialists" rather than "tourists". Yeah, right.

      Would such a thing even be insured by any sensible underwriter?

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: "These men were true explorers "

        "Would such a thing even be insured by any sensible underwriter undertaker?"

        Fixed it for you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "These men were true explorers "

      They have successfully explored what happens when you are inside a pressure vessel that implodes at nearly 4000m down.

    3. AIBailey

      Re: "These men were true explorers "

      "True explorers"?

      No.

      They were tourists paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to get some photographs of a mass grave.

      Whilst it's a terrible way to go, let's not make them out to be heroes.

    4. ITMA Silver badge

      Re: "These men were true explorers "

      Also very interesting that "passengers" were described as "Mission Specialists".

      That is how Hamish Harding described his (mis)adventure.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: "These men were true explorers "

        "Also very interesting that "passengers" were described as "Mission Specialists"."

        Complete with minimal training. It's for tax and liability reasons, I'm sure.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5 billionaires? Get search and rescue in from all over the world. 300 migrants in Greece? Tighten border controls and let them die. Life is measured by wealth.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Can't take it with you

      However, death is the great equalizer. It's thought provoking that the $250K for the seat on the Titan is probably close to the total amount paid by the Pakistani's who perished on the smuggling boat - 100 people x ~2.5K per seat.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Can't take it with you

        Unlike the Titan victims, the Pakistani's families can't sue the operator into oblivion.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    U.S. Coast Guard and Navy staking out rights to the movie.

    Highly trained US lawyers will fight in deadly hand to hand combat to bring that intellectual property home.

  12. Orv Silver badge

    It's now come out that the Navy's sonar arrays detected the sound of an implosion on Sunday, around the time the sub lost contact. They forwarded that info to the Coast Guard. I don't blame the Coast Guard for continuing the search, though, sonar data can be ambiguous and they'd want to have definitive evidence before giving up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hydrophone array - not sonar.

      The book "Blind Mans Bluff" tells the story of submarines during the cold war, including the locating of USS Scorpion by John P Craven's team, who incidental were also responsible for locating the missing nuclear bomb that fell from a B52 bomber off the coast of Spain in 1966.

    2. rg287 Silver badge

      I don't blame the Coast Guard for continuing the search, though, sonar data can be ambiguous and they'd want to have definitive evidence before giving up.

      Also. Morbidly. If you haven't got another vessel in immediate distress demanding your attention and would simply be at standby, then this is a decent training exercise on search and (maybe) recovery, or at least establishing the fate of the craft even if you don't get anything back.

  13. hatti

    RIP

    I hope it was quick and painless, thoughts are with the families.

    1. Mr Dogshit

      Re: RIP

      I couldn't give a crap. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

      Even a ten-year-old kid could tell that thing was as dodgy as fuck.

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: RIP

      Implosion would likely have been a virtually instant transition from biology to physics (apologies to Scott Manly)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: RIP

        Or philosophically a transition from existentialism to eschatology.

    3. codejunky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: RIP

      @hatti

      "I hope it was quick and painless, thoughts are with the families."

      Reading through the comments on here I am glad to have finally seen this one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: RIP

        Virtue Signalling? Very Woke.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ignore the science

    At your own risk

  15. Phage

    Hardly secret

    SOSUS even has a Wiki page and has been described in numerous thrillers.

    1. 42656e4d203239 Silver badge

      Re: Hardly secret

      SOSUS isn't secret but its capabilities are, which is what the USCGS/Navy will be attempting to protect.

      cf. Bletchley Park in WWII knowing convoys were about to be attacked and keeping the information secret so that the Axis forces didn't know we knew.... also, closer to home in the current timeline, POTUS #45 showied off lovely spy satellite photos... everyone knew there were/are spy satellites and guessed at capabilities; now everyone knows what at least one is capable of.

      1. Andy Taylor

        Re: Hardly secret

        Not acting on information because the enemy would know codes had been broken is another myth perpetuated by the "Irritation Game" film (and elsewhere).

        It is widely held that Coventry was destroyed for the same reason - to avoid alerting the enemy. Again untrue.

  16. Diez66

    Psssst

    It's reported the US Navy picked up the implosion days ago using a top-secret microphone system but kept quiet about it so as not to give away this special submarine-detecting capability.

    1. Mishak Silver badge

      Re: Psssst

      The report I saw said they passed the information on as soon as they found the explosion, but would not disclose the system through which it was obtained.

      1. Barry Mahon

        Re: Psssst

        The USCGS is part of the 'armed forces' in the formal sense. They might not have actually known how the Navy knew, but they sure as hell knew they knew.

    2. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Psssst

      It's hardly a secret.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/SOSUS

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Psssst

        The location of the devices is still a secret, for the ones that are still operated solely for military purposes

  17. ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo Silver badge
    Coat

    At some point, we're all potential casualties in someone else's beta test

    "You know, at some point, safety just is pure waste. ... . I think I can do this just as safely by breaking the rules."

    *Karma has entered the room*

    While the loss of life is tragic; one needs to separate the "art" from the "artist", and I for one don't feel sorry for the CEO in his capacity of CEO of that company.

    When the most likely fate was still slow asphyxiation, I asked myself whether the CEO would ask forgiveness from his 4 passengers for selling them an unsafe ride to their doom. But since now, their fate has pretty much been established to be near-instant death, such musings are moot.

    -> Icon: these empty pockets are my safety concept, the certification of my safety concept and the written guarantee that everything was done according to all the standards.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: At some point, we're all potential casualties in someone else's beta test

      Safety is never a waste - regulations are written in blood.

  18. jeremya

    Terminology

    Surely the incident was a rapid gain of chamber pressure, not a rapid loss?

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Terminology

      Exactly my first thought...

    2. Anonymous Anti-ANC South African Coward Bronze badge

      Re: Terminology

      Rapid, uncontrolled ingress of water.

  19. Jim Whitaker

    Too many hobby horses being ridden - too little compassion being shown.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I should imagine most of the Reg commentards feel very sorry for the families. Of the passengers, Suleman the teenage son of the Pakistani billionaire deserves particular pity. He was terrified of the expedition but accompanied his father anyway. The French Navy guy and the Titanic explorer died doing what they wanted to do. Only the father could be considered a joy rider; he shouldn't have persuaded his son to go with him. Rush of course was the main perpetrator of this tragedy.

  20. Jess--

    Re: the Carbon Fibre & Titanium Hull

    I seem to remember from engineering training (too many years ago) that titanium is very strong, very light but had a real weakness for carbon (to the point that a thin sheet would fail along a line drawn by a pencil)

  21. gandalfcn Silver badge

    A classic case of FAFO.

  22. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    I wonder how many times thereg can mention the title CEO....

  23. Anonymous Anti-ANC South African Coward Bronze badge

    "Boomnote" instead of "Bootnote".

    Ahoy. There be puns ahead.

  24. IGotOut Silver badge

    Well at least I know ..

    ...Tim Harford's Cautionary Tales has a new story he can draw upon.

  25. ShingleStreet

    Echoes of the Challenger.

    I can't help feeling there are strong parallels between this event and the Challenger space-shuttle disaster. In both cases strong advice from the techies was ignored.

    In the case of Challenger it was the design of how o-rings interfaced to retain a seal and in the case of the Titan it was the how the pressure chamber should be properly evaluated for the effects of cyclic fatigue.

    Why employ experts and then not listen to them? I've often felt that when certain management types feel threatened by some expert knowledge, they resort to a strategy of making their techie colleague look like the "classroom swot".

    A dangerous management culture, and I can't see it changing.

  26. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

    There's a lot of outpouring of grief for the loss of five people at sea

    Whilst, on the one hand, all accidental deaths are tragic, I can't help but think that thousands of people die at sea in unsafe vessels every day, and the only real difference here, is that five of them were very rich and "on a jolly", and the others are desperate and fleeing death or persecution.

    We shouldn't laud one group whilst demonising the other.

    1. rg287 Silver badge

      Re: There's a lot of outpouring of grief for the loss of five people at sea

      Quite.

      On the one hand, I have no problem with the response as-was. Anyone in nautical distress should get whatever help can be mustered. That's been the first rule of the ocean for as long as there have been seafarers. And in this case, it was a decent training exercise in search and establishing the fate of the craft - even if the prospects of recovery were always slim.

      It does throw into sharp relief the handling of various refugee boats and migrants though. I don't see the media spending a breathless week covering the fate of 700 drowned migrants. But 4 rich tourists? What could be more important?

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: There's a lot of outpouring of grief for the loss of five people at sea

        Agreed, it's the sycophantic outpourings from commenters, and the press that trouble me. You'd think these people had single-handedly solved world hunger. The billionaire class could, but won't.

  27. a_yank_lurker

    4 murdered with their murdered

    The at best half-assed design was going to murder people sooner or later. The comments highlight the reasons for this. Four innocent people were murdered because Rush was too arrogant to listen to those who know something about submersibles and submarines.

    He was an aerospace engineer from an engineering program that was locally regarded as pathetic, I was told this by a couple of engineering managers who I knew as a kid, I grew up in the area.

    1. Doctor Tarr

      Re: 4 murdered with their murdered

      I understand your sentiment but they all signed disclaimers stating that this was as experimental sub and, as we’ve seen in these comments, an easy bit of research would have highlighted significant issues and risks in the design.

      If i were an experienced explorer or billionaire then I’d be doing my due diligence before any high risk activity.

      All the same, it’s tragic for those left behind.

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: 4 murdered with their murdered

        You shouldn't be using an experimental submarine for commercial gain and hiding behind stupid cover-your-arse disclaimers.

        Sure, the inventor/designers can fill their boots with tests in it, but as soon as you start risking other people's lives with this thing, you'd better have some solid engineering behind it. (part of that engineering would be some destructive testing to find the flaws in your design.)

  28. JulieM Silver badge

    Hydrostatic Head

    I tried to calculate the force due to hydrostatic head. Assuming the thing is a cylinder 5m. long by 2m. diameter, we get a surface area of

    A = 2 * π * 5 + 2 * ((π / 4) * 2 * 2) m² = π * (10 + 2) = π * 12

    = 37.6991m².

    Now using P = h * ρ * g, a column of water 3800m. high with a density of 1000kg/m³ will exert a pressure P = 3800 * 1000 * 10

    = 38MPa.

    This means there is a total force on the submersible of 38e+6 * 37.6991

    = 1.433GN.

    Which is equivalent to the weight of 143 300 000 kg.

    That's 143 300 tonnes pressing on the hull!

    I must have gone wrong somewhere in that calculation; but for the life of me, I can't see where.

    1. Methusalah

      Re: Hydrostatic Head

      If you are wrong, It's not by much

      I did a similar calculation myself, but using imperial units and slightly different assumptions.

      It went like this....

      Assumption 1. The pressure hull is a cylinder with hemispherical endcaps. Overall length is 16 feet with a diameter of 6 feet.

      Assumption 2. For the purposes of the calculation the the hemisperical endcaps were considered to be identical and so consistuted a sphere with a diameter of 6 feet.

      Calculation 1

      Surface area of the sphere is therefore. 4*3.14*3*3 giving 113.04 sq feet. Multiply by 144 to convert to sq inches gives 16,277.76 sq inches. Multiply by 2.5 ( ambient pressure in psi for the depth) gives a total pressure over the surface of 40,694.4 tons

      Calculation 2

      The overal length of the hull is 16 feet but the 2 hemispherical endsections each have a radius of 3 feet, therefore the centre section of the hull has a length of 10 feet.

      The circumference of a circle of diameter 6 is 6*3.14 giving a length of 18.84 feet Therefore the surface area of the centre section is 18.84*10, so equals 188.4 sq feet

      Multiply by 144 (convert to sq inches) gives 27,129.6 sq inches. Multiply by 2.5 (ambient pressure) gives total pressure over the surface of 67,824 tones

      Total pressure loading on the hull is therefore 40,694.6 + 67,824 giving 108,518.6 tons

      Given the differing units and assumption they are both in the same ballpark

  29. 2Blockchainz

    Have no fears

    ...my billionaire passengers. Everyone knows this submarine is unsinkable!

    1. Col_Panek

      Re: Have no fears

      "God himself could not sink this ship!"

      1. Methusalah

        Re: Have no fears

        No, but gravity did!

  30. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    We felt a lot of schadenfreude about this because they're billionaires and any human who hordes millions of times the wealth of the vast majority of people is someone most people couldn't give a shit about

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      @anthonyhegedus

      "any human who hordes millions of times the wealth of the vast majority of people is someone most people couldn't give a shit about"

      First question is why? Second question is what do you mean hordes the wealth? Do you think they scrooge mc duck their wealth?

      1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

        Re: @anthonyhegedus

        Because we all know they didn’t earn that wealth through hard work. They aren’t millions of times better workers than the average person. And secondly, yes, they horde it.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: @anthonyhegedus

          @anthonyhegedus

          "Because we all know they didn’t earn that wealth through hard work."

          Do you? That is interesting. So how did they make money? Noting that you seem to be saying all billionaires.

          "They aren’t millions of times better workers than the average person"

          Then what is your envy? They were successful, why is that wrong?

          "And secondly, yes, they horde it."

          How do they horde it? In what form?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Headmaster

            Re: @anthonyhegedus

            How do they horde it? In what form?

            The wealth is mostly in the form of stocks and non monetary assests. Which the elites then borrow against, for tax free income. Educate yourself. Do your own research.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: @anthonyhegedus

              @AC

              "The wealth is mostly in the form of stocks and non monetary assests."

              Ok but that isnt hording. Stocks for example is how businesses get funding which is used to hire and pay staff and acquire the capital to start and run the businesses we all depend on to provide for our lives. Stocks go up and down in their valuations and so not guaranteed to hold their value or increase in value.

              "Which the elites then borrow against, for tax free income"

              Except that leaves them with a loan which must be repaid with interest on assets that may or not hold their value. Kinda like how people borrow a mortgage for their home but the house price can fall below the value of the loan.

              "Educate yourself. Do your own research."

              Based on your education what response do you have for the above?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @anthonyhegedus

                Except that leaves them with a loan which must be repaid with interest on assets that may or not hold their value.

                Either you are extremely naive or you think everyone else here is.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: @anthonyhegedus

                  @AC

                  "Either you are extremely naive or you think everyone else here is."

                  Assuming you are the same AC, didnt you say they borrow against the assets you mentioned? If you borrow money then you are expected to pay it back with interest. Have you ever borrowed money? Or did your original comment have a problem?

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: @anthonyhegedus

                    If you borrow money then you are expected to pay it back with interest.

                    OK, you are naive. Thanks for clearing that up.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      human who hordes millions of times the wealth

      Hoards. The word is hoard, dammit.

      An horde is a large, often uncontrolled group of people, usually out to destroy.

      I know ElReg is trending towards Septicism but can we please actually use the right words rather than picking a random homophone?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        scatological doubts

        I know ElReg is trending towards Septicism but can we please actually use the right words rather than picking a random homophone?

        Rather ironically, no one here gives a shit about Septicism.

  31. Robert 22

    Some technology companies have a "Fake it until you make it" culture. this one had a "Fake it until you break it." culture.

  32. Samuel_Fox

    Breathtaking hubris

    Just add five more names to the butcher's bill for The White Star Line. Nobody would ever dive here without the existing monument to human folly, which is now a bit larger. Has anyone else died looking for the wreck? It's 15 minutes to quitting time, the web is packed with just this right now, and I can't be bothered. The deep sea is technically harder than The Moon, just with other barriers to entry an order of magnitude lower so any idiot can build a can and drop it off the side of a ship.

    As someone who's spent half their career in industrial safety, the plan is to never do this but we always do anyway. But shuffling that bad risk assessment into the folder and hoping it never happens because the controls are too expensive isn't quite the same as openly bragging about throwing safety out the window. Just like the ship, that kind of arrogance is tempting the gods. And we know this. The ancient Greeks knew it very well, filling their pantheon with capricious gods who simply adored to punish anyone who thought they were their equal. Yes, that's mythology but it was a great way for a bronze age people to teach their stupid kids about the value of thinking first. Still haven't learned it quite yet.

    And of course it wasn't the start by any means but 1912 really does feel like the ball was really getting rolling on the fuckups to come. Two years later and even more colossal hubris saw the great powers stumble blindly into a 31 year war--with a pause to develop and rearm--that ground the world to dust and we're still dealing with.

  33. Andy3

    So what was all this talk of SOS being banged out every half hour? Where's that come from?

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Somebody's backside?

      And the classic rumor amplification: When I first heard about it some days ago there was mention of indistinct "thumping". Now you talk about Morse code signals. If they hadn't found the wreck by now somebody would had stated the rescue teams have had full conversations with the mini-sub...

    2. jake Silver badge

      "So what was all this talk of SOS being banged out every half hour? Where's that come from?"

      I never heard anybody say "SOS", nor "every half hour". All I heard was "noises that sound like banging". This is normal. The oceans are noisy by their very nature.

  34. flayman

    Can't get my head around how this could have happened

    I work for a maritime company. We run a fleet of vessels that do seismic. The HSE around that operation is intense. Today around the water cooler I was talking to some colleagues and we just can't quite wrap our heads around this. I spent the weekend reading everything I could find. It's a train wreck but I can't look away. One thing that particularly stood out for me is that in a 2019 blog post, the company defended the decision not to seek classification saying that classification in itself is not enough to prevent accidents because most accidents are the result of operator error, not mechanical failure. And I look at this and think, duh. Of course that's true. When a submersible is classed as seaworthy, then accidents are much more likely to be caused by error than failure. This is not an argument against, but in favor of classification. I'm still trying to understand how this operation was ever taken seriously. I'm trying to understand where the innovation supposedly lies. From what I can gather, the only innovation was making a submersible that was light enough to be carried rather than towed, so that it could be launched in international waters where there were no applicable laws.

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