As the search for a tourist submersible carrying five wealthy adventurers continues for a fourth day, attention online has turned to one passenger’s stepson, who said the experience has been “a nightmare.”
Brian Szasz, the 37-year-old stepson of British billionaire Hamish Harding, was met with intense criticism on Monday when he posted a since-deleted photo of himself at a Blink-182 concert in San Diego while the news about the Titan submersible was breaking around the world.
“It might be distasteful being here but my family would want me to be at the Blink-182 show as it’s my favorite band and music helps me in difficult times,” Szasz wrote on Facebook.
He also tweeted the Blink-182 bandmembers directly, writing, “My stepdad Hamish is on this submarine lost at sea. I’m devastated but coming to the San Diego show tonight so you guys can give me hope and cheer me up.”
Harding, the chairman of Action Aviation, and four others were onboard the OceanGate Expedition’s Titan submersible when it disappeared en route to the Titanic shipwreck. Crews lost contact with the submersible shortly after it began its dive Sunday morning.
Late Wednesday, Szasz uploaded a series of Instagram stories defending himself against online critics who said his concert attendance was inappropriate. Szasz’s posts came only hours before the submersible was expected to run out of air.
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After thanking his followers for their “love and support,” Szasz said he was going to give people the “facts” about his reaction to his stepfather’s disappearance.
“I can’t go out to the ocean,” said Szasz, adding that he had only about $100 to his name and a “legal situation” that prevented him from leaving his area.
“I go to a Blink-182 concert because I have a ticket. It wasn’t like I was having super fun. It wasn’t like I was celebrating and having a great time,” Szasz defended.
He continued: “The submarine is stuck at the damn Titanic. There’s nothing I can do for the situation at all.”
Szasz then took aim at Grammy-winning rapper Cardi B, who posted a video of herself to her Instagram story on Tuesday, disparaging Szasz for attending the concert.
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Cardi B said Szasz should have been at home crying and waiting by the phone for any updates on his stepfather.
In a profanity-filled rant, Szasz said the rapper is missing the bigger picture, namely that Szasz’s mother must now allegedly take care of two children herself, and that Harding is probably dead.
Szasz also addressed complaints that after taking to Twitter to ask for thoughts and prayers for his stepfather, he tweeted a sexually explicit request to an OnlyFans model. Szasz said the model is a longtime friend who has wished his family well amid the search for Harding and the submersible.
Later on, Szasz deleted his Twitter account.
As he ended his rant, Szasz claimed he’s been losing sleep over Harding’s disappearance.
“This whole situation is a f–king nightmare though, everything about it, especially what Hamish is going through down there, it’s just f—king God awful,” he said.
It is too early to determine what happened to the Titan or why it disappeared. Some scientists have theorized that a power failure, some kind of obstruction like a piece of the shipwreck, or a pressure failure may have caused the accident.
Though a glimmer of hope came Wednesday morning when the U.S. Coast Guard said a Canadian aircraft had detected noises underwater, many experts do not believe it is possible for Harding or the other passengers to be saved.
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