YouTuber MrBeast Says He Declined Invitation to Join Titanic Sub Trip

Three days after five people died in a Titan submersible implosion, iYouTuber MrBeast says he previously turned down an invite on a "Titanic submarine"

By Corinne Heller Jun 25, 2023 9:28 PMTags
Watch: Eerie Connection Between Titanic Sub & Titanic Disaster Revealed

In the wake of the Titan submersible tragedy, YouTuber MrBeast says he passed on a chance to ride in a sub making the same voyage to explore the wreckage of the Titanic.

The influencer, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, made his comments on Twitter June 25, three days after an underwater tourist craft operated by OceanGate Expeditions imploded 1,600 feet away from the famed shipwreck, killing all five passengers, including the company's CEO, Stockton Rush.

"I was invited earlier this month to ride the titanic submarine," he tweeted. "I said no. Kind of scary that I could have been on it."

While MrBeast did not note who extended the invitation, he included a screenshot of a text sent to him that read, "Also, I'm going to the Titanic in a submarine late this month. The team would be stoked to have you along. I'm sure you're also welcome to join-" before the pic cut off.

E! News has reached out to MrBeast's rep for further comment and to OceanGate Expeditions and has not heard back.

Forbes' Highest-Paid YouTube Stars of 2020

Also June 25, the U.S. Coast Guard said at a press conference that the June 22 discovery of the debris of the Titan submersible "marked the end of the U.S. Coast Guard search and rescue mission" and that the group has now opened a Marine Board of Investigation to determine the cause of the tragedy.

MrBeast is not the only person to recently say publicly they turned down an invitation to ride in a submersible to explore the Titanic shipwreck, a voyage that OceanGate charges $250,000 per passenger. Las Vegas businessman Jay Bloom said Rush himself invited him and his son Sean Bloom, 20, on the recent expedition but that they ultimately declined the offer.

Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

"I was just not comfortable with the kind of resources that he had to pull this off, that it could be done safely," Jay told NBC News June 23. "Looking back, I'm very relieved and glad that my son and I did not go, just feel terrible for the people who did."

In addition, Nigerian politician Ned Nwoko said on Instagram this week that he turned down a seat on the Titan sub that ultimately imploded after being invited by his close friend and business partner, British billionaire Hamish Harding, one of the passengers who lost their lives.

In April, U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca Beech Smith, who presides over Titanic salvage matters from a Virginia federal court, received a letter from OceanGate Expeditions' legal and operational advisor that outlined the company's plans for upcoming trips to the wreckage—as well as a personal invitation to join one of them as a guest.

The following month, the judge wrote, "I thank you for the invitation to participate in the 2023 Titanic Survey Expedition, and perhaps, if another expedition occurs in the future, I will be able to do so."

Find out more info on the victims of the Titanic sub disaster below:

Shahzada Dawood & Son Suleman Dawood

On June 18, 2023, a deep-sea submersible Titan, operated by the U.S.-based company OceanGate Expeditions and carrying five people on a voyage to the wreck of the Titanic, was declared missing. Following a five-day search, the U.S. Coast Guard announced at a June 22 press conference that the vessel suffered a "catastrophic implosion" that killed all five passengers on board.

Pakistani-born businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman Dawood, both British citizens, were also among the victims.

Their family is one of the wealthiest in Pakistan, with Shahzada Dawood serving as the vice chairman of Engro Corporation, per The New York Times. His son was studying at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

Shahzada's sister Azmeh Dawood told NBC News that Suleman had expressed reluctance about going on the voyage, informing a relative that he "wasn't very up for it" and felt "terrified" about the trip to explore the wreckage of the Titanic, but ultimately went to please his father, a Titanic fan, for Father's Day.

The Dawood Foundation mourned their deaths in a statement to the website, saying, "It is with profound grief that we announce the passing of Shahzada and Suleman Dawood. Our beloved sons were aboard OceanGagte's Titan submersible that perished underwater. Please continue to keep the departed souls and our family in your prayers during this difficult period of mourning."

Stockton Rush

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush was the pilot of the Titan. The entrepreneur—who founded the research company in 2009 in Everett, Wash.—had long been interested in exploration. Rush, 61, previously said he dreamed of becoming the first person on Mars and once said that he'd "like to be remembered as an innovator."

In addition to leading voyages to see the remnants of the Titanic, Rush had another surprising connection to the historic 1912 event: His wife Wendy Rush is the great-great-granddaughter of a couple who died on the Titanic, Ida and Isidor Straus.

Hamish Harding

British billionaire Hamish Harding confirmed he was a part of the mission in a June 17 Instagram post, a day before the submersible went into the water and disappeared.

"I am proud to finally announce that I joined @oceangateexped for their RMS TITANIC Mission as a mission specialist on the sub going down to the Titanic," he wrote. "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."

Harding—the chairman of aircraft company Action Aviation—said the group had started steaming from St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada and was planning to start dive operations around 4 a.m. on June 18. The 58-year-old added, "Until then we have a lot of preparations and briefings to do."

His past explorations included traveling to the deepest part of the ocean in the Mariana Trench, telling Gulf News in 2021, "It was an incredibly hostile environment. To travel to parts of the Challenger Deep where no human had ever been before was truly remarkable."

The Dubai-based businessman also circumnavigated the Earth by plane with the One More Orbit project and, last year, took a trip to space on Amazon founder Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin New Shepard rocket. Harding shared his love for adventure with his son Giles, described as a "teen explorer" on his Instagram.

Paul-Henri Nargeolet

As for the fifth member, a representative for French explorer Paul-Henri Nargeolet told the New York Times that he was a passenger on the Titan, with Harding also referencing him on Instagram as a member of the team. 

The Times described him as a maritime expert who was previously part of the French Navy. The 71-year-old was a bonafide Titanic specialist and has traveled to the wreckage 35 times before. Nargeolet served as the director of RMS Titanic, Inc., a company that researches, salvages and displays artifacts from the famed ship, per the outlet. 

Alongside fellow passenger Hamish Harding, he was a member of The Explorers Club, founded in 1904.

The Titan

As Harding noted in his post, the submersible—named Titan—was a part of an OceanGate Expeditions tour that explores the wreckage of the RMS Titanic, which infamously sank in 1912.

The company expressed its sympathies to the families of the victims. "These men were true explorers who shared a distinct spirit of adventure, and a deep passion for exploring and protecting the world's oceans," OceanGate said in a statement. "Our hearts are with these five souls and every member of their families during this tragic time. We grieve the loss of life and joy they brought to everyone they knew."

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