In 2018, an employee of OceanGate, the maker of the missing Titan submersible, filed a whistleblower complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and was subsequently fired by the company, according to reporting by CBS News.
According to court documents cited by CBS News, OceanGate fired David Lochridge after he raised concerns about the safety of the company’s Titan submersible, which went missing on June 18, 2023. OceanGate reportedly claims the firing was in response to Lockrdige breaching his employment contract by disclosing confidential information to OSHA. In response, Lochridge claims he was wrongfully terminated and that his firing was whistleblower retaliation.
“In his complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Lochridge alleged he had raised concerns about the safety of the Titan with OceanGate and advised the company to conduct more testing of the the vessel’s hull,” CBS News reports. “Lochridge said he had disagreed with his employer about the best way to test the safety of the sub and that he objected to OceanGate’s decision to perform dives without ‘non-destructive testing to prove its integrity.’”
On June 8, the Department of Labor announced that OSHA had found that a South Dakota-based helicopter ambulance servicer retaliated against a mechanic who reported safety concerns and filed a complaint with the Federal Aviation Administration. OSHA ordered the company to reinstate the mechanic, pay them more than $30,600 in back wages and $25,000 in damages and to remove negative reports from their personnel record.