This week, Jay Bloom, a billionaire real estate developer from Las Vegas, shared that he was offered two seats on the ill-fated Titan submersible, but he declined due to safety concerns and scheduling conflicts.
Instead, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his 19-year-old son Suleman took the available seats.
Bloom mentioned that Stockton Rush, the co-founder and CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, who tragically lost his life when the submersible imploded during the descent to the Titanic wreckage on Sunday, initially contacted him in February to propose the dive.
“In February Stockton asked me and my son, Sean, to go with him on the dive to Titanic in May. Both May dives were postponed due to weather and the dive got delayed until June 18th, the date of this trip,” he explained in a Thursday Facebook post.
Bloom said he expressed “safety concerns and Stockton told me ‘While there’s obviously risk it’s way safer than flying in a helicopter or even scuba diving. There hasn’t been even an injury in 35 years in a non-military sub [sic].’”
Bloom added, “I am sure he really believed what he was saying. But he was very wrong.”
In March, during a visit to the Titanic exhibit at the Luxor Hotel & Casino, the financier from Las Vegas had the opportunity to see Rush, whom he hadn’t seen since then.
“Then, at lunch in the Luxor food court we talked about the dive, including safety. He was absolutely convinced that it was safer than crossing the street,” he said.
Additionally, Bloom mentioned that Rush had given him a book of signed photos, featuring both Rush and maritime expert Paul Henri Nargeolet, another individual who tragically lost his life during the ill-fated expedition.
Bloom further explained that he ultimately opted out of the dive due to conflicts with his schedule.
“As for Sean and I, after this right on the heels last week of losing Treat Williams, another friend of 25 years and former business partner, we are going to take a minute to stop and smell the roses,” he added. “Tomorrow is never promised. Make the most of today.”