Diver nearly on missing Titanic sub says gear used to retrieve Apollo rocket engine ‘needs to be on site’

A lawyer and veteran diver who nearly boarded the missing Titanic tourist submersible is drawing attention to a decade-old video showing the retrieval of Apollo 11 rocket engines from a depth greater than the wreckage of the Titanic. 

The video, shared by David Concannon, an adviser to OceanGate Expeditions, shows Bezos Expeditions recovering the Apollo 11 rocket engines at a depth of 14,000 feet. The wreckage of the Titanic, meanwhile, is at a depth of approximately 12,600 feet. 

“I led this project and both search and recovery expeditions,” Concannon wrote. “This is the type of equipment that needs to be on site but is not on site.” 

The 2013 rocket engine recovery from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean was funded by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos via Bezos Expeditions. The engines were shed during the Saturn 5 launches to the moon during the 1969-1972 Apollo program. 


Concannon’s video comes as rescue teams were scrambling to send more ships and vessels to the area where the Titan submersible, operated by OceanGate Expeditions, disappeared on its way to the Titanic wreckage site with five passengers on board. 

On Wednesday, crews were scouring an area twice the size of Connecticut in waters 2 1/2 miles deep. Even those who expressed optimism warned that many obstacles remain: from pinpointing the vessel’s location, to reaching it with rescue equipment, to bringing it to the surface – assuming it’s still intact. And all that has to happen before passengers’ oxygen supply runs out – which some have estimated might happen as early as Thursday morning. 

OceanGate Expeditions

This file image provided by OceanGate shows the Titan submersible during a testing phase. (OceanGate Expeditions)

Concannon, a lawyer with more than 40 years of diving experience, said on Facebook he was meant to be on the Titan but could not go due to another client matter. 


“I was supposed to be on this expedition and, indeed, on this dive, but I had to cancel to attend to another urgent client matter,” Concannon wrote. “Last night, I was called and asked to provide whatever assistance I could to ensure the safe return of everyone in the sub.” 

Fox News Digital has reached out to Bezos Expeditions and the US Coast Guard, which is leading the rescue mission, for comment. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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