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JIM ‘PAPPY’ MOORE: Be Careful What You Wish For

By Jim “Pappy” Moore

I’m not going to lie to you. This tragedy with the mini-submarine headed to see the Titanic leaves me shaking my head. Four grown men decided to get into a submarine smaller than a minivan and go two miles down to the ocean floor where the Titanic rests. Unfortunately, one of them took his nineteen-year-old son with him. 

Crazy money is what that man had. Billions. He had the money to buy anything he could want. He wanted to spend a half million of it so he and his son could take what was supposed to be a short trip to the bottom of the sea, to see the Titanic. It was an adventure. It was something to impress the world. It was a poorly thought-out project. 

Whether you are taking your son or not, this should be the kind of thing a smart, successful person would study and get professionals to make sure the event would be safe. You should not take your son along if there is any significant risk. Kill yourself if you must, but don’t take the kid with you. Be responsible. He’s supposed to do crazy things on the spur of the moment. He’s nineteen. You’re a grown man or woman.

From what I have read, there were former employees of the submarine company who quit or were fired because they had serious safety concerns. The ocean is pitch black once it is a mile or more deep. There is no light. There is great pressure on the hull. Oxygen levels must be maintained and carbon dioxide from five people breathing must be pulled out of the sub space for the humans and into a compartment to handle the CO2. 

When I was a young lawyer I had to work on a very disturbing case arising out of a tragedy on an oil company bathosphere which was used to take two men down to great depth on a project to assess the possibility of drilling in the North Sea between Britain and Scandinavia. Something on the surface happened and controls for the bathosphere were accidentally altered. The result was a mistake in pressure which killed both men. It was beyond repulsive. 

In cases like that one, the liability must be established, which is often a matter of contract. Then the monetary damages must be assessed, and finally a settlement with heirs must follow. It is bad news for everyone involved, and the dollars paid often reflect the horror of the end such men faced. 

There are many cases such as that one where someone – usually a working man – has a tragic work-related accident and comes to a horrible end. Someone’s husband won’t be going home that night. Someone’s daddy will never tuck them in again. 

When people make mistakes, when businesses cut corners, when planners become too arrogant in their faith that they can do it cheaper, tragic deaths sometimes follow.

I have no doubt the sub company with have to pay millions upon millions on these cases. Whatever insurance they have, its limits will all be taken. But it won’t bring back the men who died. It won’t heal their families.

Think before you do something stupid. Don’t take risks that are off the chart. You have a spouse, or a friend, or a child, or a grandchild who needs you to make it back home safely. 

Copyright 2023, Jim “Pappy” Moore. All rights reserved.


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