Suburban man took trip to Titanic wreckage on OceanGate's Titan submersible with CEO Stockton Rush

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Thursday, June 22, 2023
Lake Forest man recalls trip on Titan submersible to Titanic wreckage
Two years ago, David Waud of Lake Forest went an OceanGate expedition to the Titanic wreckage on the Titan submersible with CEO Stockton Rush.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (WLS) -- The race against time to find the missing Titan submersible, which disappeared near the Titanic wreckage with five people on board including OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush. The U.S. Coast Guard brought in more ships Wednesday as a surveillance vessel detected additional underwater noises near the search area.

Two years ago, David Waud of Lake Forest was thrilled to get the chance to join OceanGate's expedition to the Titanic.

LATEST: Coast Guard searching for missing Titanic sub where noise was detected

"Not so much as even seen the Titanic, but the whole process of going down 12,500 feet 'safely' was so exciting for me," he said.

Waud shared photos he took from the support ship on that trip in the same Titan submersible that is now lost at sea with five people on board.

National Geographic editor Kristin Romey joined ABC7 to talk about how the Explorers Club's efforts to find and rescue the Titan submersible being caught in red tape.

"I can't imagine, especially if the power went out and they don't have light or anything in there, I mean, it just multiplies the terror of what they're feeling. Not being able to communicate, being alone, kind of knowing it's going to be very hard to come and rescue them if they're on the bottom, even if they were found," Waud said.

READ MORE: Former ABC reporter recalls near-death experience on trip to Titanic

Waud said he felt completely safe on his journey and loved it so much he invited the OceanGate team, including Rush, to Lake Forest to share the experience with the community. Rush and Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet, who also came to Illinois, are now both lost with the others on board.

"Stockton was so professional, so enthusiastic. I think he is an incredible man," Waud said. "I wouldn't have had them here and try to get friends of mine to go on the trip the next summer, if I hadn't thought that it was completely safe and something that everybody would remember for the rest of their lives."

And while he said the expedition was run with the utmost professionalism, even his time with OceanGate was not totally without issues. Waud said one day one of the large batteries on board the Titan was not charged and a dive had to be pushed back.

"There were little things that went wrong that could've been big things too, but they usually knew about them and they took care of them in time," he said.

Waud is thinking of the families of those lost aboard and hoping for their safe return.