Renowned filmmaker and Academy Award winner, James Cameron, known for directing the iconic film ‘Titanic,’ has expressed his thoughts on the tragic incident involving the OceanGate Submersible Titan, which claimed the lives of five explorers.
Cameron, who himself has ventured to the Titanic wreckage site in his own submersible, criticized the lack of safety measures implemented in the ill-fated vessel.
During an interview with ABC News, the visionary director drew parallels between the Titan sub tragedy and the catastrophic sinking of the Titanic in 1912.
Cameron highlighted the disregard for multiple warnings that ultimately resulted in the loss of lives.
Reflecting on the situation, Cameron expressed his astonishment, stating, “I’m struck by the similarity of the Titanic disaster itself, where the captain was repeatedly warned about ice ahead of his ship, and yet he steamed at full speed into an ice field.”
Cameron further emphasized the significance of heeding forewarnings to avoid such tragedies. “For us, it’s a very similar tragedy where warnings went unheeded. To have it occur at the same exact location, with all the diving activities taking place worldwide, is simply astonishing. It feels quite surreal,” he remarked, echoing the concerns shared by many. “People in the community were extremely worried about this sub.”
The director also brought attention to the fact that numerous industry experts and engineers had written letters to OceanGate, expressing their concerns regarding the lack of safety protocols on the vessel. “A number of leading figures in the deep submergence engineering field wrote letters to the company, stating that their approach was too experimental to carry passengers and that proper certification was necessary,” Cameron explained.
In an interview with Reuters, Cameron expressed his disapproval of the design innovations employed in the Titan sub, considering them to be “horrible.” As a co-owner of Triton Submarines, a company specializing in deep-sea research and tourism, Cameron felt uneasy about OceanGate Inc.’s decision to construct a deep-sea submersible with a composite carbon fiber and titanium hull. However, he refrained from voicing his concerns at the time, assuming that individuals more knowledgeable about the technology were involved in the design process.
“I thought it was a terrible idea. I wish I had spoken up, but I assumed someone smarter than me, you know, because I never experimented with that technology, would be involved. But it just seemed fundamentally flawed,” Cameron shared in the interview.
While the exact cause of the vessel’s loss is yet to be determined, Cameron believes that the critics were correct in their speculation that the carbon fiber and titanium hull would jeopardize the sub’s structural integrity, leading to its gradual deterioration over time.
During the same interview, Cameron revealed, “Within an hour, we received confirmation of a loud bang coinciding with the loss of communication. A loud bang picked up by the hydrophone. Transponder and communication loss. I knew what had happened. The sub imploded.”
Continually highlighting the ignored warnings, Cameron expressed his viewpoint, saying, “We celebrate innovation, right? But you shouldn’t use an experimental vehicle for paying passengers who aren’t deep ocean engineers themselves.” He added, “Here we are again…in the same predicament. Now, there are two wrecks lying side by side for the exact same damn reason.”
The US Coast Guard, after conducting an extensive search for several days, announced on Thursday, June 22, that the passengers aboard the missing submersible are likely deceased.
They attribute the tragedy to a probable “catastrophic implosion” that occurred as the vessel descended into the Titanic wreckage site, approximately two miles below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean.
The US Navy also reported findings of acoustic data “consistent with an implosion or explosion in the general vicinity of where the Titan submersible was operating when communications were lost.”