Author: Rev. Timothy Tin
On June 18, 2023, at 8 am EST, a state-of-the-art submersible led by OceanGate Expeditions’ founder and CEO Stockton Rush descended in Canada’s Newfoundland province approximately 375 miles east of the coastal town of St. Johns. Its objective was to explore the unsinkable Titanic’s wreckage, which sank 111 years ago, its mysteries and at a depth of nearly 13,000 feet below the sea.
Aboard the Titan submersible were four wealthy passengers, each ticket costing $250k. No one expected this maiden voyage would become a one-way journey; the Titan lost contact with its support vessel an hour and forty-five minutes after its descent. It has been determined that it experienced implosion, and all five passengers did not survive this catastrophic event.
The media even drew parallels between the Titan implosion and the Titanic’s accident–from the similarly named ships to the overly confident and wealthy captains who navigated these vehicles.
Harvard’s oceanographer Peter Girguis said this tragedy was absolutely 100% avoidable. Those who live in the present time with modern technology still have not learned from mishaps from the past. Girguis analyzed that the Titan had a few safety issues and even posed an ethical question: Should one person’s desire to explore overrides the safety of its crew? It is still a complicated and tricky question, even if those are willing participants.
Among the five deceased passengers, two were a father and son from a wealthy Pakistani family named Shahzada Dawood and his nineteen-year-old son Suleman. According to reports, Suleman was reluctant to go on the trip; however, it was planned to descend on Father’s Day, and he didn’t want to disappoint his father, so he reluctantly accompanied his father, and both tragically perished under the sea. This filial son also sacrificed himself for his mother, for she was supposed to accompany her husband on board the Titan. However, the initial date was postponed because of the pandemic, and she had thought that her son would like to accompany his father. Another father-and-son team narrowly dodged this tragedy. Who are they, and how did they turn down the opportunity to board the Titan?
Meet Jay Bloom and his 20-year-old son Sean Bloom. Mr. Bloom is a Vegas financier, and he told reporters that upon seeing the photos of the Dawoods, he thanked God and exclaimed that it would have been them who would have boarded the Titan and perished! Initially, the Titan was to descend in May, but it was postponed to June due to unsuitable weather. As they discussed the journey with Stockton Rush, Sean Bloom was concerned about the submersible’s safety. Even though Mr. Rush likened the safety of it to controlling a helicopter or crossing a sidewalk, he even gave a $10k discount to the Blooms, and Sean convinced his father to decline the offer. In turn, it allowed the Dawoods to board the Titan.
Dear friends, behind this tragedy that gripped international media lies a symbolic and significant truth. From the seemingly unsinkable Titanic to the Titan submersible, both were engulfed by the vast ocean.
Proverbs 13:14 reads: “The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.” Surely the implosion of the Titan can be a warning of keeping God’s law of safety.
Both Mr. Dawood and Mr. Sean have made their decisions of life and death while we also have to choose: “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3) We should not simply become indifferent bystanders of the Titan tragedy. Let’s learn from the Bible about decision-making: “This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
May God rest the souls of these five passengers and comfort their families. May the Blooms realize their narrow escape as a lesson to cherish life and spread the message of love to others!
Author: Rev. (Dr.) Timothy Tin is the lead pastor of the Christian Alliance Bible Church in L.A.. Rev. Tin serves on the Board of Director in the International Fellowship of Christian Short-Term Missions and Presence Quotient. Rev. Tin is currently teaching at USA Christian Mission Seminary. He holds practitioner’s licenses in acupuncture in Southern CA and NACCAOM in the US. Rev. Tin received his Master’s in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Alhambra Medical University, Master of Longevity Martial arts and Doctoral degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from the University of East-West Medicine. Rev. Tin is a frequent speaker in many churches and nonprofit organizations.