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Missing submarine billionaire’s former Cambridge college hosts under-the-sea themed May Ball

Students paid up to £175 to attend Pembroke’s ‘Into the Depths’ ball, which went on until 5am


Pembroke College held its May Ball last night with the theme of “Nautilus: Into the Depths.” British billionaire Hamish Harding, who is trapped in the missing submersible vessel, is an alumnus of the Cambridge college.

The organisers said the theme could unfortunately not be changed because it “was chosen months ago.”

Mr Harding has been missing for days now, since Sunday, in the Atlantic Ocean after a failed trip to explore the wreck of the Titanic in which the vessel lost contact. He graduated from Cambridge with a degree in natural sciences and chemical engineering.

The May Ball, which occurred yesterday evening and set students back up to £175 a ticket, had an under-the-sea theme with underwater decorations, and social media posts featuring imagery of divers and underwater scenes.

It included a champagne reception, a VK bar and a tequila and Jägerbomb tent. The ball’s entertainment included a silent disco, samba band, dodgems and a ball pit.

The ball went on until 5am this morning. The Tab has spoken to students who attended the event about what the ball was actually like – find out more here.

via Facebook

With the theme being announced back in February, the May Ball Committee has been posting under-the-sea and submarine-themed content right up to the Ball.

The May Ball’s website has now been taken down. Before this, the Mail reports, a statement was released by the committee regarding Mr Harding and the theme: “We are aware of the worrying news about Pembroke alumnus Hamish Harding. Today’s May Ball theme was chosen many months ago and if we could change it now, we would.

“All we can say is that we sincerely hope that Mr Harding and the others on board the submarine will be found safe and well. Our thoughts go out to the Harding family at this very difficult time.”

The committee worked to support two charities, Plastic Oceans International and Blue Marine Foundation, and by the end of March had already raised over £800. “We have chosen to support two charities whose works we believe are pertinent in today’s climate. In keeping with our ball’s theme, and with our aim to be as sustainable as ever, these charities support and act on improving the health of ocean life”, it said.

“When making a ticket purchase, you can make an opt-in charity donation of £2/£5/£10 or another amount to our chosen charities, as well as an opt-in donation of £2.50 or another amount on all name changes!”

A spokesperson for Pembroke College told The Tab: “We are aware of the worrying news about Hamish Harding and sincerely hope that he and the others on board will be found safe and well. The May Ball theme was developed many months ago. Our thoughts go out to the Harding family and all the affected families at this very difficult time.”

Did you or someone you know go to the ball? DM us in confidence on Instagram @thecambridgetab

Pembroke May Ball and Cambridge University have been contacted for comment. 

Related stories:

‘It’s cast a shadow over the night’: Inside the under-the-sea themed Cambridge May Ball

Who is Hamish Harding? The British billionaire currently missing in the Titanic submarine