The U.S. Coast Guard is currently engaged in a search operation for a missing research submersible called Titan, which vanished during a mission to explore the wreckage of the Titanic. The cost for a spot on the submersible was $250,000.
In an interview via Zoom for Teledyne Marine, Stockton Rush, CEO and founder of OceanGate, was asked about the fact that the “tenure” of a lot of the staff on the submersibles was “obviously not significant” — “a lot of young folks coming out of school.”
Rush replied that while other sub-operators typically have gentlemen who are ex-military submariners and “you’ll see a whole bunch of 50-year-old white guys,” he wanted their team “to be younger, to be inspirational.”
“I’m not going to inspire a 16-year-old to go pursue marine technology, but a 25-year-old who is a sub-pilot or platform operator or one of our techs can be inspirational,” Rush said.
“We also want our team to have a variety of different backgrounds,” he said.
While there is no evidence that staff error led to this incident, it has to be said that hiring staff to be “inspirational” rather than on the basis of their experience sounds like a really bad idea.
Diversity hiring in any job situation can cull the best and the brightest and reduce standards, but in some industries, whom you hire may mean the difference between life and death. In high-stakes industries where human lives are at risk, such as flying a plane, performing surgery, or operating a 22-foot vessel in the Atlantic Ocean at twice the depth of the Grand Canyon, the only criteria that should matter should be education and experience.
Just how DEEP could the missing OceanGate’s Submersible Titan be? This video gives perspective of the depth of the Titanic wreckage. 3.8km deep into the Atlantic Ocean pic.twitter.com/kVwEXvOftv
— Tshepo (@chemicaIydriven) June 21, 2023
Experienced professionals have honed their skills, developed a deep understanding of potential risks and challenges, and cultivated the ability to navigate complex situations with composure and expertise.
An inexperienced staff on a submersible may fulfill diversity ideals and look “inspirational” but can lack the seasoned judgment and decision-making capabilities to mitigate risks and deal with unforeseen catastrophes.
This content was originally published here.