The missing submersible raises troubling questions for the adventure tourism industry

The missing submersible Titan raises concerns about the growing adventure tourism industry and its regulation.

The backdrop: Adventure tourism, which offers high-risk travel to wealthy customers, has witnessed several accidents and fatalities recently, such as 17 deaths on Mt. Everest this year.
* A massive search is now underway for the Titan, carrying four tourists and a crewmember on a trip to view the Titanic wreck.

Regulation controversy: Critics argue that the adventure tourism industry lacks proper government oversight, while others believe that regulation would kill the sense of adventure.
* The Titan, operated by OceanGate, gives tours mostly in international waters, avoiding most U.S. safety rules.

Rescue costs: The search and rescue operation, involving the U.S. Coast Guard and other countries’ vessels and aircraft, is costly and largely shouldered by taxpayers.
* OceanGate required passengers to sign liability waivers and is unlikely to be billed for the operation.

Comparisons and questions: The extensive search effort for the wealthy passengers aboard the Titan contrasts with the limited response to tragedies involving migrants, raising ethical questions on rescue priorities.

View original article on NPR

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