Former Titanic sub passenger, Mike Reiss claims that the waiver says ‘death’ three times.
Reiss, who is an Emmy Award-winning writer-producer for “The Simpsons” decided to take extra paper with him to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean last year while in the OceanGate sub in the event that they didn’t return to the surface – he wanted to have material to write some final jokes…
The journey was undertaken with OceanGate Expeditions’ Titan submersible, which is now unfortunately missing.
On board were OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, marine archaeologist Paul-Henry Nargeolet, British billionaire explorer Hamish Harding, and British-Pakistani father Shahzada Dawood and his son Sulaiman.
Few individuals had ventured to the ocean floor in this vessel, and Reiss was fortunate enough to be among them.
Last year, he paid over $100,000 to be part of this expedition, embarking on a voyage from New York to St. John’s, Newfoundland, before setting sail aboard the MV Polar Prince.
The anticipation of the dangers involved in such a precarious journey to the ocean’s depths lingered in his and his wife’s minds throughout the trip.
“Death is always lurking, it’s always in the back of your mind,” Reiss shared. “Before you even get on the boat, there’s a long, long waiver that mentions death three times on page one.” The magnitude of the risks were all too apparent.
Since the tragic events of April 15, 1912, when the Titanic sank, more people have been to space than have laid eyes on the wreckage.
Unfortunately, his wife Denise was unable to join him on the dive due to testing positive for COVID.
She remained on the support vessel while he descended into the depths. With minimal specialized training, aside from learning how to don a survival suit, he found himself bolted into the Titan alongside fellow divers.
Cameras in hand, they nestled onto the floor of the compact and 22-foot-long hold.
The descent commenced, resembling a ‘gentle fall of a stone’. They sank for two hours and 30 minutes. “The sub is very, very simple,” he explained. “You basically push it in the water, and it sinks like a stone. So, it hits bottom, and then you sail around, powered by engines that look like desktop fans.”
The serenity and peacefulness surrounded him to the point that he fell asleep during the journey. Reflecting on the exhilaration, fear, and whether he was scared or not, Reiss responded, “I fell asleep.”
Navigating the 23,000-pound vessel was as straightforward as maneuvering a video game controller, leaving him with a sense of safety throughout the dive. “So, it’s super simple technology, which is very calming,” he quipped. “It’s not high-tech.”
Upon reaching the ocean floor, the pilot realized that they were a mere 500 yards from the primary wreckage of the Titanic.
However, without a working compass and surrounded by the pitch-black darkness, they spent approximately 90 minutes scouring the depths in search of the ill-fated vessel.
Reiss claimed that the experience was both awe-inspiring and humbling.
Despite the challenges encountered, he returned safely, grateful for the opportunity to witness the remnants of history firsthand.
The missing Titan submersible, carrying OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush and others, serves as a sobering reminder of the perils that come with exploring the depths of the ocean.