The disappearance of the submersible OceanGate Titan on Sunday during a mission to examine the Titanic debris has captivated the world’s attention for days.
All five people on board were killed in a tragic implosion, and their remains were found yesterday along with vehicle debris.
In the wake of this tragedy, many experts have shared their thoughts. However, few people are as familiar with the thrills and hazards of deep-sea research as Oscar-winning director James Cameron.
He directed the blockbuster picture Titanic in 1997, yet he’s also an enthusiastic ocean explorer who’s visited the shipwreck 33 times.
Cameron has recently spoken publicly about his reaction to the Titanic disaster and the reasons he personally would not have boarded the ship.
If you’ve seen many of James Cameron’s movies, you know that he has a fixation on futuristic gadgets and transporting viewers to previously unexplored locales, like as outer space and the ocean’s depths.
This is based on Cameron’s genuine sense of exploration.
“When I was a kid, I loved not only amazing ocean exploration but space, too,” Cameron told the New York Times in 2011. “I can think of no greater fantasy than to be an explorer and see what no human eye has seen before.”
Cameron has had quite a career as an explorer, being the first person to make a solo dive to the Mariana Trench’s depths in 2012.
He has logged over 70 dives in a submersible, 33 of which were to the Titanic’s sunken remains.
Cameron was no doubt personally invested in the plight of the crew on the Titan submersible as it attempted to reach the Titanic wreck. However, Cameron claims he was worried about the Titan sub’s security and has accused OceanGate of skimping on safety.
“I wouldn’t have gotten in that sub”
“I was very suspect of the technology that they were using. I wouldn’t have gotten in that sub,” Cameron told BBC, adding that he believes OceanGate “didn’t get certified because they knew they wouldn’t pass.”
“OceanGate shouldn’t have been doing what it was doing, I think that’s pretty clear,” Cameron told Reuters, adding that he wished he had “been more vocal” about his concerns from the start. “I was unaware they hadn’t been certified because I wasn’t really studying it.”
Cameron claimed that OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush, who died in the submarine explosion, urged him to go diving with him this year, but he politely rejected, saying, “I wasn’t interested. There was a lot of concern about this outfit and this sub.”
In an interview with ABC News, Mr. Cameron, who has constructed his own submersible vehicles, expressed reservations about the company’s choice of carbon fiber as a material and called it “fundamentally flawed,” despite the fact that Mr. Rush had defended his choices.
Knew it was an implosion
After consulting with other members of the deep submergence group, Cameron was justified in his assumption that the Titan had been destroyed in an implosion when it vanished on Sunday.
Cameron knew the five guys on board were dead as the rest of the world waited in hope for news.
Ocean World Away Teams: Alan Stern Announces Call for Mission Specialists for 2023 Titanic Expeditionhttps://t.co/W98zKhSzv9 #Oceanography #Astrobiology @OceanGateExped @AlanStern #Avatar #AvatarTheWayOfWater #AwayTeam #Titanic pic.twitter.com/zi6hYAftCz— Astrobiology (@astrobiology) December 7, 2022
“The only scenario that I could come up with in my mind that could account for that was an implosion… a shock wave event so powerful that it actually took out a secondary system that has its own pressure vessel and its own battery power supply,” Cameron told CNN.
“I got on the horn again with some other people, tracked down some intel that was probably of a military origin, although it could have been research—because there are hydrophones all over the Atlantic—and got confirmation that there was some kind of loud noise consistent with an implosion event.”
“That seemed to me enough confirmation. I let all of my inner circle of people know that we had lost our comrades. And I encouraged everybody to raise a glass in their honor on Monday.”
Compares disaster to Titanic
Yesterday, the Coast Guard confirmed Mr. Cameron’s worst fears, saying that the wreckage they had recovered was consistent with the “catastrophic loss” of the submersible’s pressure chamber and that all five people aboard “have sadly been lost.”
Cameron claims there are striking similarities between the Titanic and this tragedy, both of which were caused by sailors throwing caution to the wind and sinking their ships.
“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 up full speed into an ice field on a moonless night,” Cameron told ABC News. “And many people died as a result and for us very similar tragedy where warnings went unheeded to take place at the same exact site.”
Given his extensive experience in the field of underwater exploration, James Cameron’s thoughts on the recent events and his fears for the OceanGate vehicle are fascinating to listen to. The victims and their families remain in our thoughts and prayers.
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