One of the biggest slow motion tragedies in recent memory appears to have wrapped up with a bad if not altogether shocking ending. The lost OceanGate Expeditions Titan submersible is now believed to have imploded on its way to the Titanic wreck, and in fact the U.S. Navy apparently knew this shortly after the billionaire pet project originally went missing. But the memory of this bizarre cultural moment will live on inside Grand Theft Auto V by way of a fan mod that allows players to take their own jerry-rigged contraption into perilous waters around Rockstar’s fictional San Andreas.
Released on June 22, “Oceangate Titan Submersible 1.0” was made with OpenIV and already has nearly 1,000 downloads. Created by SkylineGTRFreakm the mod adds a fully “divable” and driveable submersible that looks just like OceanGate’s Titan to GTA V (the same modder previously added a Chinese Spy Balloon mod to the game as well). Because it’s a reskin of the hit game’s existing subs, the hatch is on the top and only one player can occupy it at a time. Though maybe the real-life Titan should have only had an occupancy of one as well. And of course both can be operated using a video game controller.
Here it is in action:
For anyone who hasn’t closely been following the saga of the missing Titan crew, a group of five people, including OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, went missing last weekend shortly after diving down to checkout the ruins of the Titanic. It was a risky voyage made even more dangerous by the fact that Rush’s submersible used off-the-shelf parts, lacked various safety certifications, and had seemingly been flagged by others as generally not a good idea.
A search and rescue operation led by the U.S. Coast Guard ensued under the assumption that the crew had roughly 96 hours of oxygen if their vessel had remained intact. On June 22, however, shortly after a piece of wreckage believed to be from the Titan was discovered near the Titanic ruins, The Wall Street Journal reported that specialized U.S. Navy equipment had detected what some believed to be the sound of the Titan imploading several days earlier.
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In lieu of that information, a bunch of weird and conflicting things managed to play out online in the conversation around the missing sub, including the emergence of the Blink-182 concert guy and ste-son of one of the billionaire crew members getting in a fight with Cardi B. People dying is sad. But also the people dying were all very rich guys (and one rich guy’s son) who seemingly knew that getting in a giant metal coffin and taking it to one of the deepest parts of the ocean is a bad idea. Nearly 100 people died when a migrant boat recently capsized off the coast of Greece and barely anyone paid attention.
Maybe it’s both true that there were a ton of funny jokes about the lost Titan sub and that getting crushed at the bottom of the ocean in the human equivalent of a tin of sardines is incredibly disturbing. What could be a more fitting addition to GTA V’s own “first as tragedy, then as farce,” modern caricature of the world.