Hamish Harding onboard missing submersible diving Titanic
Hamish Harding is onboard the Titan submersible that has lost contact while diving the Titanic wreck. Harding is founder of Action Aviation the Dubai aircraft dealer-broker.
In a statement OceanGate, the operator of the vessel, said: “We are exploring and mobilising all options to bring the crew back safely. Our entire focus is on the crew members in the submersible and their families. We are deeply thankful for the extensive assistance we have received from several government agencies and deep sea companies in our efforts to reestablish contact with the submersible. We are working toward the safe return of the crew members.”
Harding is a record-breaking pilot but also has experience of diving in submarines and submersibles. In 2020 Harding and Victor Vescovo dived to the bottom of the Challenger Deep – the lowest point on the planet’s surface. The dive broke the record for the longest time spent at full ocean depth – 4.3 hours breaking the previous record by 90 minutes – and the longest traverse at full ocean depth – 2.86 miles (4.6 km) horizontally across the trench floor.
What motivated him to start exploring oceans? “Perhaps reading Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as a boy planted the idea of a dive to the deepest part of the ocean,” Harding told Corporate Jet Investor in 2020. “But I never thought it would be possible.”
Harding’s 2019 One More Orbit flight, broke the pole-to pole-world aircraft circumnavigation speed record in a Gulfstream G650ER. In 2022 he flew to space onboard Blue Origin. He also flew to the South Pole.
He launched Action Aviation, a pre-owned, aircraft brokerage in 2014 having owned a business jet. Harding joined IT consultancy firm Logica straight out of Cambridge University, where he helped develop technology used in the banking sector to this day. He was appointed general manager of Logica’s Saudi Arabian office in 1994. Throughout his IT career, Hamish was an avid aviation fan and held an airline transport pilot’s licence and a number of business jet type-ratings.
After he left Logica, Harding owned a number of business jets – including the second-ever production SyberJet SJ30. He decided to set up a company around selling the SJ30 aircraft. This was his first step into the market and led to the birth of Action Aviation 15 years ago.
“It was a fantastic light jet. I started to think about distributing it. With a background in software distribution, I thought why couldn’t we do the same with this aircraft?” said Harding. He says that owning aircraft gives him an insight into the issues that owners face. “We understand the pressures of an aircraft owner paying the bills so we can explain to a client which aircraft they should buy and which are the ones that would give them a bit of a headache,” says Harding.
In August 2022 he was declared a “living legend of aviation” at the third annual European Living Legends of Aviation Awards were held on August 27th in Austria. Harding’s award recognised his contributions to aviation and aerospace.