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OceanGate’s Titanic Expedition Marred by Safety Concerns and Lawsuits



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OceanGate, the company behind the ill-fated expedition to explore the wreckage of the Titanic, finds itself in the midst of a turbulent situation.

Before the recent disappearance of their submersible, the company faced a significant lawsuit from a former employee who alleged he was wrongfully terminated for raising serious safety concerns about the vessel’s diving capabilities, according to reports from Fox News. 

The lawsuit revolves around David Lochridge, a former OceanGate employee who refused to grant approval for manned tests of the submersible due to his apprehensions about its safety. In response, OceanGate filed a lawsuit against Lochridge, accusing him of breaching confidentiality agreements. Lochridge, in turn, filed a counterclaim stating that he was fired by the company for speaking out about the vessel’s safety issues.

According to Lochridge’s counterclaim, he had conducted an inspection that revealed numerous safety concerns with the submersible. The inspection report detailed the issues and provided recommendations for corrective action.

Moreover, during a crucial meeting attended by OceanGate’s CEO, human resources director, and engineering director, Lochridge discovered a critical piece of information. The forward viewport, essential for underwater visibility, was only certified for depths of 1,300 meters, significantly below the intended diving depth of 4,000 meters as planned by OceanGate.

Shockingly, Lochridge learned that OceanGate had opted not to invest in a viewport that met the required depth standards. Instead of addressing the concerns raised or seeking appropriate corrective measures, the company swiftly terminated Lochridge’s employment, giving him a mere ten minutes to leave the premises.

The lawsuit, initially reported by The New Republic, has brought attention to the controversies surrounding OceanGate even before the recent incident involving the missing submersible.

The Titan submersible, carrying OceanGate’s CEO Stockton Rush, British businessman Hamish Harding, members of a prominent Pakistani family, Shahzada and Suleman Dawood, and Paul-Henry Nargeolet, a former French navy officer renowned for his expertise on the Titanic, disappeared during the expedition. A frantic international rescue effort is underway, as the submersible’s oxygen supply is estimated to run out by Thursday morning.

The incident has not only sparked concern for the missing submersible’s occupants but also raised questions about safety standards, decision-making processes, and accountability within OceanGate. The troubled history of the company, as highlighted by the previous lawsuit and allegations of safety negligence, adds further complexity to the situation.

As the search continues and hope for a successful rescue persists, the focus on OceanGate intensifies. The company now faces the challenge of addressing the safety concerns raised and providing explanations for their decision-making. The outcome of this incident will undoubtedly shape the future of OceanGate, potentially affecting its credibility and the confidence of those involved in its operations.

Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!

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Electric Vehicle company with Chinese ties awarded $500 million of taxpayer money for 2nd U.S. plant



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With a little help from their Democrat friends, a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) battery company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party just announced the opening of its second plant in the United States.

Fox News reports Gotion Inc., whose parent company Gotion High-Tech is based in Hefei, China, unveiled plans to build a $2 billion lithium battery plant in Manteno, Illinois, alongside Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who cheered the project.

The announcement comes amid growing opposition to the company’s plans to build a billion-dollar factory in Mecosta County, Michigan.

In order to make the expansion happen, lobbyists for the Chinese Communist Party-tied electric vehicle company funneled cash to Democrats. “Individuals at a law firm registered as foreign agents to lobby on behalf of Gotion, a Chinese electric vehicle battery company developing a controversial project in Michigan, and wired campaign contributions to several top Democrats” reports Fox News.

“According to state and federal filings, Monique Field-Foster, an attorney at the Lansing office of the Warner Norcross + Judd law firm who is acting as a foreign agent on behalf of Gotion, donated to the campaigns of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Whitmer’s sister Liz Gereghty and Michigan Democratic Senate hopeful Rep. Elissa Slotkin” the Fox News report continued.

“In partnership with the business community and the General Assembly, two years ago we set out to make Illinois a destination for electric vehicle and clean energy companies from across the globe,” Pritzker said in a statement.

“With the right incentives, nation-leading infrastructure, world-class workforce and booming clean energy production, we have transformed ourselves into an attractive location for global manufacturers. Today, we take another leap forward. It’s my pleasure to welcome Gotion to Illinois and to show the world yet again that Illinois is ready to be a player on the world stage.”

Pritzker delivered remarks late last week thanking Gotion for choosing Illinois to call “home” in a ceremony with leaders from Gotion High-Tech, including Li Zhen, the company’s chairman and president, who said he expected the factory to open in less than 12 months.

“All that we see here [in Illinois] are of enormous value to us: an enabling business environment, a supportive state government for the new energy industry and their highly efficient work, as well as the prospects of the State of Illinois in the coming years,” the Gotion president added. “We believe that Gotion’s battery technology will help to boost e-mobility in North America and the economic and trade exchanges between China and the U.S.”

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