Pilot of OceanGate Titan, 'Mr. Titanic,' lived in Dutchess County

Paul Henri Nargeolet, 77, was piloting the ill-fated submersible that imploded several hundred feet away from the Titanic wreckage Sunday in the North Atlantic.

Blaise Gomez

Jun 23, 2023, 4:21 PM

Updated 305 days ago

Share:

A small Dutchess County community is being thrust into the spotlight, now that a famous resident - known internationally as “Mr. Titanic” – has been named among the five killed onboard the OceanGate Titan.
“He was the Titanic guru,” said Town of Pawling Supervisor James Schmitt." “It’s a sad loss for sure."
Paul Henri Nargeolet, 77, was piloting the ill-fated submersible that imploded several hundred feet away from the Titanic wreckage Sunday in the North Atlantic.
The renowned Titanic expert moved to the Pawling hamlet of Holmes from Connecticut last year and quickly became part of the Pawling community. “Since they’ve been here, they were fantastic residents,” said Schmitt.
Schmitt says the famous deep-sea explorer was outgoing and friendly, and often seen at Town Hall applying for permits for his house with his wife.
Nargeolet’s stepson spoke about the family's loss and Nargeolet’s legacy as “Mr. Titanic” on national media.
“He was so much more than that in my opinion. He was this big, lovable guy who was a prankster and cared so much about his family," said John Paschall.
The retired French Naval Commander led six expeditions to the Titanic wreckage and was onboard the original expedition in 1987 that inspired the blockbuster film about the doomed vessel.
The Coast Guard announced Thursday that Nargeolet and four other people died onboard the Titan – including OceanGate’s CEO, a prominent Pakistani father and son, and a British adventurer.
People in town say the "catastrophic" tragedy described by officials is hard to imagine.
“It’s a crazy story. That’s for sure. I feel bad for the families,” said one resident.
"It's difficult. We all had hoped for the best," said Schmitt.


More from News 12
1:55
Westchester residents join Putnam neighbors to oppose proposed Carmel battery plant

Westchester residents join Putnam neighbors to oppose proposed Carmel battery plant

1:33
Scattered showers Wednesday in the Hudson Valley; cooldown expected Thursday

Scattered showers Wednesday in the Hudson Valley; cooldown expected Thursday

2:01
Orange County hosts crime victims' vigil

Orange County hosts crime victims' vigil

0:37
Authorities: Man severely burned in outside sports complex in Warwick

Authorities: Man severely burned in outside sports complex in Warwick

1:45
A closer look at 4 laws in approved NY state budget designed to combat retail theft

A closer look at 4 laws in approved NY state budget designed to combat retail theft

2:41
Kindness never goes out of style: Social media request helps provide prom dresses for kids with special needs

Kindness never goes out of style: Social media request helps provide prom dresses for kids with special needs

State police: Victim of I-684 car crash identified as convicted murderer in country illegally

State police: Victim of I-684 car crash identified as convicted murderer in country illegally

0:56
Brooklyn man charged with scamming Westchester resident out of $28K

Brooklyn man charged with scamming Westchester resident out of $28K

2:00
Another fire at Spring Valley apartment complex; county officials issue one violation

Another fire at Spring Valley apartment complex; county officials issue one violation

0:39
Source: 16-year-old arrested in Newburgh stabbing near high school

Source: 16-year-old arrested in Newburgh stabbing near high school

Montgomery man charged, officer’s conduct under review following Walmart larceny

Montgomery man charged, officer’s conduct under review following Walmart larceny

0:50
Police: Goshen home vandalized in hate crime

Police: Goshen home vandalized in hate crime

0:18
Fire outside L.L. Bean Store in Town of Ulster quickly extinguished

Fire outside L.L. Bean Store in Town of Ulster quickly extinguished

0:27
Police: Wallkill man reported missing found dead in home

Police: Wallkill man reported missing found dead in home

0:36
Wake and funeral announced for Westchester correction officer killed in crash

Wake and funeral announced for Westchester correction officer killed in crash

0:20
3 Hudson Valley small towns ranked among best places for retirement

3 Hudson Valley small towns ranked among best places for retirement

Vote 2024: Ask your questions for Congressional District 16 Democratic candidates

Vote 2024: Ask your questions for Congressional District 16 Democratic candidates

0:32
Naming contest announced for baby falcons on Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

Naming contest announced for baby falcons on Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

0:56
Headlines: 2 men from Orange County sentenced for drug dealing, Ulster County drug and weapon bust

Headlines: 2 men from Orange County sentenced for drug dealing, Ulster County drug and weapon bust

0:42
State DEC introduces new shark handling regulations for marine anglers

State DEC introduces new shark handling regulations for marine anglers