Just one day before the missing OceanGate Expeditions submarine left for a tour of the Titanic, billionaire Hamish Harding sent a foreboding text to his friend regarding the weather near the Titanic.
Col. Terry Virts, a retired NASA astronaut, documented the last text message he received from Harding prior to the submarine vanishing in an interview with Good Morning Britain. Virts said he received a text from Harding, saying, “Hey, we’re headed out tomorrow, it looks good, the weather’s been bad so they’ve been waiting for this.”
According to the Daily Caller, despite both Harding and Virts being well-known for various adventures and Harding holding the Guinness World Record for the longest amount of time spent at the bottom of the ocean, as well as two other Guinness World Records, Virts told Good Morning Britain that the two “don’t really talk about risks.”
Before embarking on the Titan for the tour of the Titanic, Harding announced his role as a “mission specialist” on OceanGate’s expedition. Harding explained that the expedition was “likely” to be the “first and only manned mission” to the wreckage of the Titanic this year due to the “worst winter” in Newfoundland over the past four decades.
“A weather window has just opened up and we are going to attempt a dive tomorrow,” he posted on Instagram. We started steaming from St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada yesterday and are planning to start dive operations around 4am tomorrow morning. Until then we have a lot of preparations and briefings to do.”
According to Harding’s Instagram post, OceanGate’s underwater expedition included a team with a “couple of legendary explorers” who had conducted “over 30 dives” to the Titanic shipwreck since the 1980s.Harding concluded his post on social media, stating, “More expedition updates to follow IF the weather holds!”
Capt. Jamie Frederick from the First Coast Guard District Response Department recently provided an update, explaining that the search for the missing submarine has “not yielded any results.”
The Daily Caller reported that a former Titan passenger described the search as, “aa race against time because there’s only 96 hours of oxygen on board. And after that, if you haven’t reached the surface, you starve of oxygen.”