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21st Jun 2023

Stepson of billionaire missing on Titanic tourist sub goes to Blink-182 gig as search continues

Charlie Herbert

He’s defended his decision

The stepson of the British billionaire missing aboard the Titanic tourist submarine that disappeared on an expedition to the shipwreck attended a Blink-182 concert just hours after the news broke.

A massive search and rescue operation is underway in the mid-Atlantic after the OceanGate tourist vessel, the Titan, went missing during a dive to the Titanic shipwreck with five people aboard.

British billionaire Hamish Harding, who has previously travelled on the Challenger Deep to the bottom of the ocean and on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin into space, is on the submarine, as is French diver Paul-Henri Nargeolet, OceanGate founder Stockton Rush, along with Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman.

Now, Harding’s stepson, Brian Szasz, has defended his decision to attend a Blink-182 concert just hours after news of his stepdad’s disappearance broke.

He had confirmed in a post on social that he was the stepson of Hamish Harding. But just 20 minutes later, Szasz shared a picture of himself attending a Blink-182 concert.

Defending his decision, he wrote: ”It might be distasteful being here but my family would want me to be at the Blink-182 show as it’s my favourite band and music helps me in difficult times!”

(Facebook/Brian Szasz)

He had since deleted the post after his mum asked him to.

The New York Post reports that many of Szasz’s friends took to the comments on the post to support his decision to attend the concert.

One person wrote: “They would absolutely want you to be there and enjoying yourself. Obviously, your thoughts are with them. They know that!”

A second added: “Every moment matters. Life doesn’t stop for anyone. You have to keep living.”

On Tuesday, expert David Concannon put the chances of the submersible being rescued safely at around one per cent.

“The margins of success are very slim indeed,” the expert insisted.

“It will likely be a one percent chance of rescue with them being found safe.

“If they survive, it will be like a Hollywood movie.”

But in the last few hours, with around a day of oxygen left, noises have been detected by the US Coast Guard that is believed to be banging from the sub.

In a statement on Wednesday morning, the maritime search and rescue operation said: “Canadian P-3 aircraft detected underwater noises in the search area. As a result, ROV (remote operating vehicles) operations were relocated in an attempt to explore the origin of the noises.

“Those ROV searches have yielded negative results but continue.

“Additionally, the data from the P-3 aircraft has been shared with our U.S. Navy experts for further analysis which will be considered in future search plans.”

The Explorers’ Club, of which Mr Harding is a founding member, also shared an upbeat message on Wednesday morning.

President Richard Garriot de Cayeux said in a statement: “There is cause for hope, that based on data from the field, we understand that likely signs of life have been detected at the site.

“They precisely understand the experienced personnel and tech we can help deploy… We believe they are doing everything possible with all the resources they have.”

The trip, which is thought to cost £195,000 per head, launched at 4am, but communications disappeared one hour and 45 minutes into the descent to the wreck site – which sits about 3,800m (12,500ft) below sea level at the bottom of the ocean around 370 miles off the coast of Newfoundland but in US waters.

Related links:

Loose Women star Janet Street-Porter calls missing Titanic explorers ‘selfish billionaires’

‘Claustrophobic’ photos show how small the submersible is that went missing during Titanic tour

Company which owns missing Titanic sub confirms people were onboard