Pembroke May Ball decorationsLAFAYETTE

Pembroke May Ball has apologised for holding an underwater themed ball last night (21/06) following the news that an alumnus of the college, billionaire Hamish Harding, is currently missing in the Titan submersible. 

The sub was lost on Sunday (18/06) on an expedition to visit the Titanic, and the crew are expected to run out of oxygen early today (22/06), as Pembroke revellers head home for the night. 

It is reported that students at the event were entertained with nautical themed music including Celine Dion’s hit ‘My Heart Will Go On,’ from the film Titanic, while Harding and four others are trapped thousands of feet underwater. 

The May Ball committee “are aware of the worrying news” about Harding. The ‘Into the Depths’ theme “was chosen many months ago,” and the committee said that “if we could change it now, we would”. They also said: “Our thoughts go out to the Harding family at this very difficult time”. 

Decorations included a diving helmetHannah Gillott

One student who attended the ball said it was “insensitive given the circumstances”. She also said: “although obviously it’s a really heartbreaking situation I think it’d be wrong to blame the committee”.

Hamish Harding, a billionaire and businessman who attended Pembroke in the 1980s, is one of five people inside the missing Titan submersible. Harding joined the expedition, he claimed, as a mission specialist. An explorer and friend of the billionaire said that Harding was the crew member who would “go through the emergency checklists and procedures together with the captain”. 

The search to find the sub is still ongoing, since it lost contact near the wreck of the Titanic. The Titan was making a 3,800m dive to visit the wreck when it went off the radar less than two hours into its descent. Underwater noises suggest that passengers, including Harding, may still be alive. 

Pembroke May Ball, which took place last night (21/06), has taken down its website and made its instagram private. The ball is supporting two Ocean-related charities: Plastic Oceans and the Blue Marine Foundation.