Man Describes “Operation Kamikaze” Dive to Titanic Wreckage
BERLIN — As the international search operation continued for a submersible that went missing en route to the wreck of the Titanic, a man who was one of the vehicle company’s first customers described his dive at the site two years ago as an “operation kamikaze”.
“You have to be a little crazy to do this kind of thing,” said Arthur Loibl, a 61-year-old German adventurer and retired businessman.
Discovering the Titanic
Loibl told The Associated Press that he first got the idea to see the wreckage of the Titanic during a trip to the South Pole in 2016. At the time, a Russian company was offering dives for half a million dollars.
After Washington state-based OceanGate announced its program a year later, he jumped at the chance, paying $100,000 for a 2019 dive that was canceled when the first submersible failed pretesting.
A Successful Voyage
Two years later he took part in a successful voyage together with OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French diver and Titanic expert Paul-Henry Nargeolet, and two English men.
A Challenging Dive
“Imagine a metal tube a few meters long and a metal plate for the floor. You can’t stand up. You can’t be on your knees. Everyone sits next to or on top of another,” Loibl said. “You can’t be claustrophobic.”
During the 2.5-hour climb and descent, the lights were turned off to conserve power, he noted, with all lighting coming from a fluorescent wand.
The dive was delayed several times to fix a problem with the battery and balance ballast. In total, the trip took 10.5 hours.
A Spectacular View
The group was lucky and got a spectacular view of the sunken cruiser, Loibl said, unlike visitors from other expeditions who saw little or no debris at all. Some customers missed non-refundable payments when bad weather made the descent impossible.
Loibl described Rush as a skilled repairman who tried to troubleshoot whatever he had available to perform the dives, though in retrospect he noted that “it was a little questionable.”
“Looking at it now, I was a bit naive,” Loibl said. “It was a kamikaze operation.”
Submersible Disappears on Journey to Titanic Wreckage
The OceanGate submersible, in which Rush, Nargeolet, a British adventurer, and two members of a Pakistani business family were traveling, disappeared on Sunday after leaving for the wreckage of the famous ocean liner, which collided with an iceberg and sank in 1912. Barely 700 of the approximately 2,200 passengers and crew survived.
Safety Concerns Arise
Known allegations now suggest that significant safety warnings were issued during the development of the submersible, dubbed Titan.
Search Operation Underway
The United States Coast Guard was leading the search operation. An aircraft detected sounds underwater Tuesday and yesterday, though authorities weren’t sure what caused them.
In this article, a man named Arthur Loibl describes his dive to the wreckage of the Titanic as an “operation kamikaze.” Despite the recent international search operation for a missing submersible, Loibl recalls his successful dive to the Titanic wreck two years ago. He explains that he got the idea to see the wreckage during a trip to the South Pole in 2016, and when OceanGate announced its program a year later, he eagerly paid $100,000 for a 2019 dive. Loibl participated in the successful voyage with OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, French diver and Titanic expert Paul-Henry Nargeolet, and two English men.
How did OceanGate’s program provide an opportunity for Arthur Loibl to fulfill his goal of seeing the Titanic wreckage and what was his experience like on the voyage
OceanGate’s program provided Arthur Loibl with the opportunity to fulfill his goal of seeing the Titanic wreckage by offering him a spot as a mission specialist on one of their deep-sea exploration missions. As a passionate Titanic enthusiast, Loibl had always dreamed of witnessing the iconic shipwreck firsthand.
During the voyage, Loibl shared that his experience was awe-inspiring and emotional. He described the moment when the Titan submersible approached the Titanic as incredibly surreal. Loibl was filled with a mix of excitement, wonder, and sadness as he witnessed the remnants of the once magnificent ship. He was able to see the ship’s bow, massive propellers, and even the grand staircase.
Being a part of OceanGate’s program allowed Loibl to not only fulfill his goal but also gain a deeper appreciation for the historical importance of the Titanic. He was able to witness the impact that time and the ocean depths had on the ship. It was an experience that exceeded his expectations and left a lasting impression on him.
What challenges did Arthur Loibl face during his dive to the Titanic wreck and how did he overcome them?
Arthur Loibl faced several challenges during his dive to the Titanic wreck. One of the primary challenges was the extreme depth at which the wreck is located, approximately 12,500 feet (3,800 meters) below the surface of the ocean. Overcoming this challenge required the use of advanced deep-sea submersibles that could withstand the pressure and provide a safe environment for Loibl.
Another challenge was the limited availability of natural light at such depths, making it difficult to navigate and explore the wreck. To overcome this, Loibl relied on the use of powerful underwater lights and sonar technology to gather information and document the wreck.
Furthermore, the wreck itself posed challenges, as it has deteriorated significantly over time due to corrosion and natural forces. Loibl had to carefully navigate around fragile areas and unstable structures to avoid causing further damage to the wreck or putting himself at risk.
Loibl also faced logistical challenges during his dive, including planning and coordination with the support team on the surface, ensuring the safety of the mission, and managing the limited time available for exploration due to the long descent and ascent.
To overcome these challenges, Loibl relied on his extensive experience as a deep-sea explorer and utilized state-of-the-art technology and equipment. He worked closely with his support team to plan and execute the dive meticulously, ensuring safety measures were in place. Loibl also relied on his knowledge of the Titanic wreck and its history to navigate around the site and make the most of the limited exploration time.