Why We Need ’50-Year-Old White Guys’
The recent statement by OceanGate Expeditions CEO Stockton Rush that he didn’t want to hire “50-year-old White guys” with military experience to pilot his company’s submersibles has sparked a lot of controversy and criticism. Rush said he preferred younger and more diverse crew members who could be “inspirational” to the public and the next generation of marine explorers. He also claimed that piloting a submersible was not a difficult skill and could be done with a $30 video game controller. Well, how did that decision turn out for him? It looks like it got people killed.
This statement ignores the value and importance of experience, expertise and professionalism in such a high-risk and challenging environment. The ocean is not a playground for amateurs or thrill-seekers, but a vast and complex domain that requires knowledge, training and discipline to navigate safely and effectively. Hiring the best candidates for the job, regardless of their age, race or gender, should be the priority for any responsible submersible operator.
Experience matters when it comes to operating a submersible, especially in extreme depths and conditions. Military submariners have years of rigorous training and practice in handling various scenarios and emergencies that could arise underwater. They also have a deep understanding of the physics, engineering and mechanics of submersibles, as well as the oceanography, biology and geology of the marine environment. These skills and knowledge are not easily acquired or replaced by a game controller.
Expertise matters when it comes to conducting scientific research or exploration missions with a submersible. Military submariners have access to state-of-the-art technology and equipment that enable them to collect data, samples and images from the ocean floor. They also have the ability to communicate and collaborate with other scientists, engineers and experts on board or on shore. These capabilities are essential for advancing our knowledge and understanding of the ocean and its mysteries.
Professionalism matters when it comes to ensuring the safety and well-being of the crew and passengers on board a submersible. Military submariners have a high standard of conduct and ethics that guide their actions and decisions underwater. They also have a strong sense of duty and responsibility for their fellow crew members and their mission objectives. These qualities are vital for maintaining trust, confidence and morale among the team.
“50-year-old white guys” with military experience are not only qualified but also valuable and indispensable for piloting submersibles. They have the experience, expertise and professionalism that make them the best candidates for the job.
The CEO of OceanGate, responsible for the missing Titanic tourist submarine, clarifies that the company sought individuals who could provide “inspiration” and chose not to employ experienced 50+ year old white men.
And look how that turned out. pic.twitter.com/EvRMWJAqsk
— iamyesyouareno (@iamyesyouareno) June 21, 2023