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Former passenger of Titanic sub says waiver mentions death 3 times on the first page

By Brooke Villanueva Published Jun 25, 2023 1:20 pm

A man who has been on four OceanGate dives, including one to the Titanic wreckage, said that he signed a lengthy waiver that “mentions death three times on the first page.”

In an interview with ABC News, Mike Reiss—who used to be a showrunner for The Simpsons—said: "It is always in the back of your head that this is dangerous, and any small problem will turn into a major catastrophe.”

“There's a long release. You sign a waiver that mentions death three times on the first page. It's just that they've thought of everything. They want to make sure you know exactly what you're getting into,” he explained.

Reiss looked back on how his submersible lost contact with its host ship on all the OceanGate explorations he took. “Every time, they lost communication—that seems to be just something baked into the system,” he recalled. 

According to the ABC News report, he said it “took his crew three hours to find the Titanic despite landing just 500 yards from the ship.” 

Reiss detailed how simple the submersible he was in, adding that it was “just propelled by two fans on the outside.”

“Even I was able to steer and navigate the sub for a while,” he added. 

On Thursday, June 22, the US Coast Guard confirmed the death of five people aboard a submersible to the Titanic wreckage after their vessel suffered a “catastrophic implosion” in the ocean depths. 

CNN International reported that the submersible lost contact with its mother ship about an hour and a quarter into its descent to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean on the morning of June 18. 

After noting his admiration for OceanGate and its innovations, Reiss stressed that what happened should be a “wakeup call for everyone that things can go wrong.” 

"I'm sure they're doing their very best to keep their passengers safe, but things will go wrong. There will be an incident like this at some point," he continued.