National Whistleblower Day - International Policy Digest

When a Whistleblower Tried to Prevent Titan’s Implosion

The tragic end of the extensive search for five missing passengers aboard the Titan submersible was met with grief and disbelief on June 23. Operated by OceanGate, a deep-sea exploration company, the submersible imploded catastrophically during its journey to the Titanic, claiming the lives of OceanGate’s CEO Stockton Rush and four others. Yet, lurking behind this disaster is the sobering tale of a whistleblower.

In 2018, David Lochridge, an OceanGate employee, was dismissed after raising safety concerns about the Titan. As the Director of Marine Operations, Lochridge advocated for more thorough testing of the vessel’s hull. Denied access to necessary documentation, he learned that OceanGate was concealing the fact that their equipment was suitable only for depths of 1,300 meters – a limit they planned to exceed by over twice the amount. Lochridge’s efforts to voice these concerns led to hostility, his dismissal, and a lawsuit filed by OceanGate.

In the aftermath of this disaster, it becomes painfully clear that safety whistleblowers, like Lochridge, play a crucial role in preventing such tragedies. Often, they do not regard themselves as whistleblowers, but simply diligent employees striving to uphold safety and integrity. When their warnings are dismissed, the consequences can be catastrophic. Click here to read about the devastating consequences of ignoring whistleblowers and the importance of fostering a culture that values their contributions.

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