OceanGate Expeditions, which has conducted dives to the site of the Titanic shipwreck in 2021 and 2022, says it will begin its trips a month earlier this year, in May — a schedule change that strikes a chord with history.
“May is still considered to be iceberg season in the North Atlantic where the shipwreck of the Titanic lies,” Stockton Rush, president of OceanGate Expeditions, noted in a news release. Rush is also the CEO and founder of Everett, Wash.-based OceanGate Inc., which has OceanGate Expeditions as its exploration branch.
Almost exactly 111 years ago, the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg during its first voyage, resulting in more than 1,500 deaths. The tragedy sparked one of history’s best-known tales of a disaster at sea — and also sparked interest in underwater shipwreck surveys like the ones organized by OceanGate.
Rush said he and his team were mindful of the potential hazard. “With this in mind, having a capable ship specifically designed for working in the icy Arctic regions is going to be very valuable for our extended crew of scientists, Titanic experts and mission specialists,” he said.
OceanGate Expeditions has signed a charter contract with Horizon Maritime and Miawpukek Horizon Marine Services for the use of the MV Polar Prince, which was previously operated by the Canadian Coast Guard as a light icebreaker known as the Sir Humphrey Gilbert. During most of its 64-year history, the ship cleared ice from harbors and guided other ships through ice-choked marine environments.