OLIVER JJ LANE 20 Jun 2023

‘Last Text’ of Missing Billionaire Explorer Spoke of Bad Weather Hampering Titanic Mission

NASA astronaut Colonel Terry Virts, reveals the last text received from his friend the missing British billionaire Hamish Harding, which underlines the weather problems that had impacted the planned submarine trip to investigate the wreck of the Titanic.

Speaking to Britain’s ITV Television, former U.S. Air Force colonel and NASA astronaut Terry Virts heaped praise on his friend Hamish Harding, the British billionaire and explorer who is presently missing in the Atlantic ocean.

Virts said Harding was a “classic” British explorer of the old type who in centuries past would have been leading expeditions to discover the South Pole or new lands across far oceans. The astronaut also recalled a record-setting flight the pair performed together to circumnavigate the earth pole-to-pole.

The astronaut revealed the last text message he received from Harding, which revealed the preoccupation of the weather having prevented the Titan submarine from launching until now. Speaking to camera, Virts said the message was: “Hey Virt, we’re heading out tomorrow, it looks good, the weather has been bad so we’ve been waiting for this”.

The message underlines a message published by Harding himself on his social media which also talked about the weather making things difficult. He wrote Sunday: “I am proud to finally announce that I joined [OceanGate expeditions] for their RMS TITANIC Mission as a mission specialist on the sub going down to the Titanic.

“Due to the worst winter in Newfoundland in 40 years, this mission is likely to be the first and only manned mission to the Titanic in 2023. A weather window has just opened up and we are going to attempt a dive tomorrow. 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.”

Harding never spoke of risk, but understood them, said Virts, who said of the aircraft and ships presently hunting for the submarine: “if they can be rescued, they will be rescued because of this amazing search and rescue effort”.

As reported, Hamish Harding is one of five who lost contact with the surface in the Titan submarine on Sunday, a little under two hours after it launched from its mothership to descend almost two miles to the North Atlantic ocean floor to visit the wreckage of the RMS Titanic. Also onboard was scion of a major Pakistani industrial family Shahzada Dawood, and his own son Suleman Dawood.

The crew of two are submarine tour company founder and CEO Stockton Rush and retired French naval officer and experienced diver Paul Henri Nargeolet.


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