OceanGate Expeditions CEO Stockton Rush, who is aboard the missing submersible, once explained why he preferred not to hire "50-year-old White guys" with military experience to pilot his company's vessels.
Rush said he valued captains who were "inspirational" over experience, noting that "anybody can drive the sub," which is controlled with a $30 video game controller.
"When I started the business, one of the things you'll find, there are other sub operators out there, but they typically have gentlemen who are ex-military submariners, and you'll see a whole bunch of 50-year-old White guys," Rush told Teledyne Marine in a 2020 Zoom interview.
"I wanted our team to be younger, to be inspirational, and I'm not going to inspire a 16-year-old to go pursue marine technology, but a 25-year-old, you know, who's a sub pilot or a platform operator or one of our techs can be inspirational," Rush said. "So we've really tried to get very intelligent, motivated, younger individuals involved because we're doing things that are completely new."
He added, "We're taking approaches that are used largely in the aerospace industry, is related to safety and some of the preponderance of checklists things we do for risk assessments and things like that, that are more aviation related than ocean related, and we can train people to do that. We can train someone to pilot the sub, we use a game controller, so anybody can drive the sub."
Rush is one of five crew members on OceanGate's Titan submersible craft, which disappeared on Sunday during a dive to the wreckage of the Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean.
Rescue efforts by U.S. and Canadian authorities are underway, as the crew is sealed inside the craft with a limited oxygen supply. The other passengers are French mariner Paul-Henry Nargeolet; British businessman and explorer Hamish Harding; and Pakistani businessman Shahzada Dawood and his son, Sulaiman Dawood.
The Titan submersible will run out of "breathable air" by around 5 to 6 a.m. Thursday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard deployed three new vessels in the Atlantic Ocean on Wednesday morning to join the search and rescue effort with additional tools to scan the ocean floor as they race against the clock.
OceanGate Expeditions charges tourists around $250,000 each to explore the ocean depths in a 22-foot-long submersible capable of diving 13,120 feet underwater.
In another interview with "CBS Sunday Morning," Rush revealed the craft is controlled with a modified Logitech F710 wireless gamepad, which retails for $30 on Amazon.
OceanGate, which was founded in 2009 by Rush, has several custom-built submersibles including Titan, which was designed to reach depths of 13,123 feet necessary to visit the wreck of the Titanic, which lies at a depth of about 12,500 feet. The Titan utilizes SpaceX's Starlink satellite communications system when at sea.
The company’s website says that the Titan has life support capabilities sufficient to sustain its five-person crew for 96 hours. According to the Coast Guard, the submersible departed the Canadian research vessel Polar Prince on Sunday morning for its trip to the Titanic, and the ship lost contact with the sub after about one hour and 45 minutes.
Fox News' Michael Ruiz and Greg Norman contributed to this report.