In 2009, Stockton Rush and Guillermo Söhnlein, successful businessmen with close ties to the aerospace and technology industries, founded OceanGate Inc., an ocean exploration venture focused on providing manned submersible solutions which enable researchers to access the oceans' vast resources. Taking an early lead in an emerging market, Stockton and Guillermo recognized that private industry funding and utilization of modern materials could have a major impact on our ability to explore earth's deep oceans while significantly lowering the cost of entry for subsea initiatives.
During the first two-and-a-half years of operations, using a disciplined cost/benefit analysis, Stockton and Guillermo evaluated undersea technologies and acquired the submersible Antipodes, two robotic vehicles, various support vessels, and multiple pieces of support equipment. From the beginning, OceanGate has sought to develop strategic partnerships in order to leverage outside expertise for client objectives. These partnerships have enabled us to deploy innovative and often proprietary technology to recover historical artifacts, map and document shipwrecks, as well as observe and record marine life and underwater habitats. One of the earliest OceanGate partners, Teledyne BlueView Technologies, has worked with us to install advanced multi-beam sonar systems on all OceanGate equipment.
One of our highest priority mission objectives during our early dives was to develop and draft a set of detailed operations, maintenance, and safety manuals for our crew and equipment that would allow us to operate safely and consistently in a wide variety of demanding environments. These procedures have proved to be extremely effective as OceanGate has successfully undertaken submarine expeditions around Washington, California, the Gulf of Mexico and Florida. We continue to evaluate and update these procedures after every dive. Since 2009, OceanGate has safely completed over 150 dives in the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico.
In June 2013, the OceanGate team committed its flagship submersible Antipodes to a series of dives to showcase the company's ability to operate quickly and efficiently through successive cycles of mobilization and deployment. In less than 30 days, OceanGate completed expeditions in three separate bodies of water across the contiguous United States. This series of dives was performed by a single team with one submersible vehicle diving first in the Pacific, then the Gulf of Mexico, and finishing in the Atlantic. Each location had very specific dive objectives that included: equipment testing, oil platform surveys, and invasive species and habit monitoring.
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