Ever since the news first came out that a submarine exploring the Titanic had been lost, one of the experts we’ve wanted to hear from most is filmmaker James Cameron.
Aside from making the hit film, the Oscar winner really did his research and became probably the most famous expert on the Titanic AND deep-sea exploration generally. He regularly does what the men in the OceanGate craft were doing, so he knows what he’s talking about. He’s made nearly three dozen dives to the Titanic wreckage.
Related: Wife Of OceanGate CEO Descended From Couple Who Died On Titanic!
After the Titan was found in pieces, ABC News caught up with the Avatar director to get his thoughts — and he did indeed have some strong opinions about the lack of safety involved in the excursion! On his own deep-diving submersible safety record, he explained:
“As a submersible designer myself, I designed and built us up to go to the deepest place in the ocean, three times deeper than Titanic. So I understand the engineering problems associated with building this type of vehicle and all the safety protocols that you have to go through. And I think [it] is absolutely critical to really get the take-home message from our effort … [that] deep submergence diving is a mature art. From the early ’60s, where there were a few accidents, nobody was killed in the deep submergence until now. [That’s] more time than between Kitty Hawk and the flight of the first 747.”
Wow. So even though it’s dangerous, everyone else has been so focused on making everything safe, it’s been relatively incident-free. And that’s why everyone was so worried about what OceanGate was doing. He revealed:
“Many people in the [deep-submergence engineering] community were very concerned about this sub, and a number of, you know, of the top players in the community even wrote letters to the company, saying that what they were doing was too experimental to carry passengers and needed to be certified and so on.”
Damn. They weren’t just told by their own employees, they were warned by other experts in the field! He added:
“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 on a moonless night. And many people died as a result.”
Comparing it to Thursday’s findings of the Titan wreckage, Cameron mused:
“And for a very similar tragedy, where warnings went unheeded to take place at the same exact site, with all the diving that’s going on all around the world. I think it’s just astonishing. It’s really quite surreal.”
Wow. Some strong words from a man at the forefront of deep-sea exploration. See his full interview on the subject (below)!
[Image via ABC News/Youtube.]