Alan Estrada, First Mexican To Travel in the OceanGate Titan, Shares Theory of How It Disappeared
While Estrada describes the adventure as “spectacular,” recent tragic news of the same missing sub and its five passengers has changed the meaning of his trip forever.
As per El País, Estrada became the first Mexican to travel aboard the Titan sub last year. The video creator attempted a trip on OceanGate’s submersible in July 2021, but a system failure postponed the voyage to 2022.
Once Estrada finally got the chance to see the remains of the Titanic and safely returned to land, he wrote on Instagram: “We succeeded! The first Mexican (from what I know) to visit the remnants of the Titanic. We had a lot of luck and today, we succeeded!”
The Tepatitlán-born explorer says, “I was conscious that I was risking my life, I knew that it could happen.”
Estrada explained in a press conference that Titanic sub voyagers “knew the expedition was incredibly risky”
The video creator sat down for a press conference where he spoke to reporters about his trip on the Titanic sub last year.
“My experience with OceanGate, it was the same company and the same submersible,” he said. “The submersible has a capacity for five people, including the pilot and co-pilot who are part of the company.”
Estrada explained how he knows two people on the missing sub, OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush and French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet, who he says has traveled down to the Titanic remains “40 times.”
About his trip, he described, “As a participant in this expedition, I knew perfectly the risks we were taking on.”
“We signed a release,” he remembered. “Where they explained each one of the risks, including losing your life.”
Adding, “Those who went on the expedition knew it was incredibly risky, we knew we weren’t going to an amusement park.”
Estrada recalled, “This is the first [sub] that can fit five people, there are no seats.”
“You can exchange places, but you cannot stand up,” he described. “The bathroom… is a box for emergencies.” He also confirmed that the sub has life support for 70 to 96 hours. Still, the adventurer said that breathing inside the sub “contaminates the air” making managing survival more complex.
About the tragic loss after the sub went missing Sunday, Estrada theorizes that it could have gotten stuck on its way to see the Titanic remains.
Even more, the creator said his own sub-mission lost communication at around 1,000 meters below the surface. “We were aborting the mission,” he remembered. “And right then, we got it back… and continued the descent.”
An unearthed video of Estrada’s 2021 sub-voyage attempt shows OceanGate CEO saying, “I’ve broken some rules to make this”
Today, Estrada assures, “I knew perfectly the risks I was taking, I was completely conscious of them.”
“It was worth it, I thought it was a spectacular trip despite the risks. I knew I was risking my life,” he said. “I knew what could happen, but for me it was impactful.”
Still, he said it was “extremely costly,” with each seat on the Titan sub going for $100,000 when missions started. When Estrada went aboard, seats went for $125,000, but he explained that sponsors covered the cost (seats on the Titan since increased to $250,000 each).
Estrada also described that the company “had things to improve.”
An unearthed video posted by Estrada details his first failed attempt at taking the Titanic voyage in July 2021. It also includes an interview with Rush.
The interview in question is eerily foreboding, with Rush explaining, “I’d like to be remembered as an innovator.”
“I think it was General MacArthur that said, ‘You’re remembered for the rules you break.’ And I’ve broken some rules to make this,” he described at the time.
Rush said, “I think I’ve broken them with logic and good engineering behind me… It’s picking the rules you break that are the ones that will add value to others and add value to society.”
In the video, Rush also described his hopes for the future. “Maybe think of ocean exploration like everybody thinks of space exploration.”
“The future of mankind is underwater, it’s not on Mars.”
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