Rochester man was on last month’s Titan mission to Titanic wreckage

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A Rochester man knew three of the passengers on the submersible that imploded in the Atlantic Ocean. He was supposed to be inside it himself less than a month ago, but the weather delayed his dive.

In late May Craig Curran was on a ship over the wreckage of the Titanic waiting for his chance to dive in the Titan submersible.

“I feel about 100 different things — many of them which are in direct conflict if one another. How do you reconcile all of that? And I haven’t gotten there yet,” he tells News10NBC.

Curran is a luxury and experiential travel agent here in Rochester and started selling trips on the Titan after learning about Oceangate’s mission.

“I have been attracted like a moth to a flame to the people who are big thinkers and are changing the world,” he says.

Last month, Curran jumped at the chance to go on a mission himself.  It took two days by ship to get to the wreckage site from St. Johns, Newfoundland, the ship was tugging the Titan behind it.    

“We had a lot of fog, and you can’t have a lot of fog when you go to recover the submersible when it comes to the surface because it’s difficult to see,” Curran explains. 

So they waited for four days. Ultimately, the weather never improved enough for a dive, but Curran still raves about the mission.

“This vision of opening up access to the deep oceans is one that’s shared by everyone that participated these missions, “ he says, “So no, this wasn’t a Disney ride for rich people. There are aspects of that, you have to have the means, it was a very expensive trip to do it but you also have to be prepared to take the risks.”

Curran says the risks were laid out in black and white. He was aware that the submersible was not certified when signing up for the dive.

“They were very transparent about it and when we were on-board, everything was open,” he explains, “the bridge, every meeting,” he adds.

As for the video game controller and the off-the-shelf lights used in the Titan:

“His (Stockton Rush) vision was to do this differently — put the resources into the things that matter, like the pressure hull and the titanium domes, but don’t spend $50,000 or $150,000 to develop a control when a $30 game controller will do the job,” Curran explained of Rush’s philosophy. 

As the investigation continues into the implosion, Curran tells News10NBC his thoughts are with the families of the men inside, three of whom he knew.

“They did this fully aware of what the risks were. I take great solace in the fact that they felt no pain and no anguish. They don’t even know it happened,” he says.