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Titanic tourist submersible disappear on an expedition to explore the famed shipwreck

Source: Anadolu Agency / Getty

OceanGate Expeditions CEO Stockton Rush said last year that his greatest fear was being in a submersible during one of his company’s expeditions exploring the wreckage of the Titanic and facing “things that will stop me from being able to get to the surface.”

Months before he was among the five people in a submersible that’s been missing for days in the North Atlantic, Rush told “CBS Sunday Morning” in December that he didn’t think diving in a submersible was “very dangerous” at all. But when asked by CBS News correspondent David Pogue of the dangers that exist at nearly 13,000 feet underwater, Rush said he worried about the vessel not making its way back to the surface for a variety of reasons.

“What I worry about most are things that will stop me from me from being able to get to the surface,” he said. “Overhangs, fish nets, entanglement hazards. And, that’s just a technique, piloting technique. It’s pretty clear – if it’s an overhang, don’t go under it. If there is a net, don’t go near it. So, you can avoid those if you are just slow and steady.”

In the same interview, Rush also said that there are limits to his safety concerns.

“I mean, if you just want to be safe, don’t get out of bed,” he said. “Don’t get in your car. Don’t do anything. At some point, you’re going to take some risk, and it really is a risk-reward question. I think I can do this just as safely by breaking the rules.”

Rush, 62, is joined onboard by British businessman Hamish Harding, 58; British-Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood, 48, and his son Suleman, 19; and retired French navy commander Paul-Henri Nargeolet, 77.

The U.S. Coast Guard was first notified about the missing submersible at 5:40 p.m. EDT Sunday, nearly three hours after the vessel was to resurface following its dive to the Titanic wreckage some 900 nautical miles east of Cape Cod, Mass.

U.S. Coast Guard officials on Tuesday said the vessel had less than 40 hours of oxygen remaining.