Search continues for Titanic tourist submarine missing in Atlantic
Channel 5’s quick turnaround special on the search for the OceanGate submarine has sparked considerable controversy online, but host Dan Walker defended the show hours before going on camera.
Retweeting Variety’s announcement of the show, Dan declared: “I’m not sure the word ‘documentary’ is helpful here.
“We are not making a documentary at all. It’s a ‘news special’.”
The Channel 5 star is hosting the special, which garnered widespread criticism online not just for the incredible turnaround time but also because the show had been set to air on Thursday evening, hours after the submarine’s oxygen was believed to run out.
While the initial announcement saw viewers dubbing the show “disrespectful”, “awful” and “tasteless”, Dan’s defence also sparked some controversy.
READ MORE: Debris found in search for Titan sub is ‘landing frame and rear cover’
One Twitter user slammed the broadcaster in the comments saying: “The term is ‘cashing in’, Dan.”
Another questioned: “Wonder what new insight you can give. It is a tragedy and such focus is unnecessary and inappropriate.”
A third added: “Dan, shouldn’t the question be, why haven’t there been ‘news specials’ and at least equal coverage for the 500 migrants that lost their lives off the coast of Greece last week?”
On Sunday, the Titan submarine submerged with five passengers onboard the OceanGate vessel to explore the wreckage of the Titanic.
Contact with the submarine was lost less than two hours into its journey and search and rescue efforts have garnered attention across the globe over the past five days.
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Experts estimated that the submarine would run out of oxygen at roughly 1pm today as the Titan usually dives with a four-day emergency supply of oxygen.
As the “news special” began, complaints and concerns continued to roll in from viewers, with one viewer slamming the show as “tone deaf” and questioned: “Not even sure what Channel 5 were thinking in commissioning it.”
Another argued: “This is absolutely grim. Tasteless tv at its worst.”
However, Dan did find some supporters online who praised his “informative and sensitive” approach to the show while others expressed their gratitude for getting live updates on the situation as a debris field was found near the Titanic wreck and the US coastguard confirmed that the vessel suffered a “catastrophic loss of pressure” resulting in the deaths of all passengers.
Express.co.uk has contacted Channel 5 for comment.
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