Stockton Rush, the CEO and founder of OceanGate Expeditions was confirmed to be aboard the company’s submersible, the company confirmed on Tuesday (20 June).
The statement provided no other details besides that Mr Rush, “is aboard the submersible as a member of the crew.”
Five other people, including British billionaire explorer Hamish Harding, renowned French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Suleman Dawood, are with Mr Rush aboard the Titan.
The group went missing on Sunday (18 June) while on an excursion to view the Titanic wreckage approximately 380 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada and 900 miles east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Multiple agencies, including the US Coast Guard, US Navy, Canadian Coast Guard and Canadian Armed Forces are working to find the submersible which they believe to be somewhere in the remote part of the North Atlantic Ocean.
The Titan is operated by OceanGate Expeditions, which Mr Rush founded in 2009.
The Titan submersible is used to take people on deep-sea explorations– one of which being a tour of the Titanic wreckage priced at $250,000 per trip.
When interviewed about the Titan submersible by CBS last year, Mr Rush boasted about the Titan being built with “off-the-shelf components” like from Camping World.
“We run the whole thing with this game controller,” Mr Rush added, picking up a gamepad.
When asked about the safety of his missions, Mr Rush assured people that it was not very “dangerous” and mainly was concerned about safety concerns holding him back.
“I don’t think it’s very dangerous. If you look at submersible activity over the last three decades, there hasn’t even been a major injury, let alone a fatality. What worries us is not once you’re underwater,” Mr Rush said.
He added: “You know, at some point, safety just is pure waste. I mean, if you just want to be safe, don’t get out of bed. Don’t get in your car. Don’t do anything.”
According to Mr Rush’s biography on his company’s website, he graduated from Princeton University with a BSE in aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering in 1984.
Mr Rush first began his career as a pilot at the age of 19 after qualifying from the United Airlines Jet Training Institute.
He served as a DC-8 first officer on flights to Europe and the Middle East during his summer between college.
After graduating, Mr Rush joined the McDonnell Douglas Corporation as a flight test engineer. He spent two years at Edwards Air Force Base.
He received his MBA from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business in 1989 and in the years after served on the Museum of Flight’s Board of Trustees, the board of enterprise software company Entomo and as chairman of Remote Control Technology.
In 2012, Mr Rush also founded the non-profit OceanGate Foundation while sitting on the board of BlueView Technologies, a manufacturer of high-frequency sonar systems.